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How did you get into CarpenterS?

JBee

Active Member
Carpenters music have always been a part of my life...but really only at Christmastime. The original Christmas Portrait LP (and then CD) was a staple at our house. I never really heard them aside from that. My parents were fans of Elvis and the Beatles, the Carpenters not so much. Then after listening to some Carpenter Christmas music about 3-4 years ago, I decided to randomly find out more about about. Stumbled upon "The Karen Carpenter Story" on the internet and vaguely remembered it from when it first aired. I was transfixed, bad wigs and all, mostly by the music (particularly by THAT voice), and from there started listening to the entire Carpenters catalog one at a time. The rest is history.
 

sammyj

New Member
I saw the TV movie many years ago and have recently seen a TV documentary.....I'm obsessed! I've bought books...watched endless YouTube videos.....its the only music I listen too x
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I shunned them in the 70s though I knew from the release of Close To You that Karen's voice was "unique"(I was 13 at the time). I went on to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, etc...any heavy metal. It wasn't until recently, when "surfing" YouTube, I downloaded a video of The Carpenters 1971 BBC television special. I looked at a clip of Karen Carpenter singing Superstar. The song was performed so flawlessly that I thought it was lip-synced. After about 5 more viewings, I deduced that it was "live". This was the fall of 2015 and I have been "obsessed" with The Carpenters and especially the vocal beauty of the late Karen Carpenter ever since. I have now purchased a bunch of their vinyl albums on ebay and listen to them frequently. I am amazed at what I missed when I closed my mind to them in the 70s, and I appreciate what a beautiful gift their music was. Especially Karen, you just don't appreciate what you have until it is gone...
 

Carl

"you are one of the few things worth remembering"
I got into Carpenters music in 2005 just before I finished secondary school. I found a copy of Gold and when I listened to Yesterday Once More I was hooked. I found a book on Karen Carpenter and learnt more about what happened to her. I also managed to track down most of their albums. I listen to them every day of I can. I have various books and DVDs about the Carpenters too
 

masquerade

Member
Ok, my confession. I am probably the most recent C's fan here, as I realized who the Carpenters were just few months ago (late November 2017). Although being 43 years old, and having spent a lots of my lifetime listening to the music, I have to admit that I never knew anything more than "that group name sounds familiar from somewhere".
Well, in our office, we are listening to the internet radio stations, and switching them every 2 or 3 days. One of the stations in November was "California 101" - easy listening station, ideal to listen while working. So, one by one, the songs went on almost unnoticed, until I heard a beginning of one song that really grabbed my ear attention. It was the opening of the song that I really liked from before, heard it somewhere, but I realized that I have no idea who is playing that song, which is a rare case.
Naturally, the easiest way to find out was to stand up and go to the ipod dock (our player), and read it there. Hmm, Carpenters / Superstar. Ok. Now I know. Soooo... Carpenters have a female singer, really?! I thought they were a bunch of guys. I have no idea who are Carpenters, slipped through my mind. Let's check Wikipedia. Ok... Let's check YouTube.
And so it all started - I was hooked. In the last 2+ months, I am listening to any piece of music I can find and trying to read the smallest information on this group on the Internet, every day, every evening (so glad that I found this forum, it's FULL of information, anecdotes, links, reviews, etc. - exactly what I was looking for). The dots started to connect - "This masquerade" is theirs, nice... I always loved that song. "Tunic (song for Karen)" from Goo album that I listened like 1000 times - so, that's the Karen Kim Gordon was singing about! ...and so on, and on, and on...

I asked several of my close friends who are into music, and only one of them knew about C's, and she didn't like them. To be honest, I was struck and repelled by the "lemonade sound" in the beginning, but it was the voice that I was attached to - it just wouldn't let me go. And one by one, I started to like and appreciate even the songs I didn't like at first hearing. "Superstar", "Masquerade", "Song for you", "Only yesterday", slow version of "Santa Claus" were instant love, and if you want to get someone into the Carpenters sound (there's another thread here on this subject), I highly recommend these!

So, right now, I am still in the process of digesting this newly discovered treasure that's been around me for my whole life, and I wasn't aware of. It's really unbelievable that no one has ever recommended them, and also, that they didn't have more exposure on the radio. The country I live in (former Yugoslavia, now only part of it named Serbia) have always been flooded by UK music, and much less by music from US, so I think this must be one of the reasons. Also, the Carpenters' image didn't help at all - they simply weren't 'cool' enough to be played in our country... Heh...
However, I have always been a great fan of female vocals (Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, Lisa Gerrard, Throwing Muses, Annie Lenox, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Florence Welch, just to give you a picture of what I am used to listen to), but Karen... one of a kind. But that's for another thread :)
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Masquerade, welcome to the Boards! I envy the chance to hear new stuff "fresh"! What fun discoveries are ahead.
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
Ok, my confession. I am probably the most recent C's fan here, as I realized who the Carpenters were just few months ago (late November 2017). Although being 43 years old, and having spent a lots of my lifetime listening to the music, I have to admit that I never knew anything more than "that group name sounds familiar from somewhere".
Well, in our office, we are listening to the internet radio stations, and switching them every 2 or 3 days. One of the stations in November was "California 101" - easy listening station, ideal to listen while working. So, one by one, the songs went on almost unnoticed, until I heard a beginning of one song that really grabbed my ear attention. It was the opening of the song that I really liked from before, heard it somewhere, but I realized that I have no idea who is playing that song, which is a rare case.
Naturally, the easiest way to find out was to stand up and go to the ipod dock (our player), and read it there. Hmm, Carpenters / Superstar. Ok. Now I know. Soooo... Carpenters have a female singer, really?! I thought they were a bunch of guys. I have no idea who are Carpenters, slipped through my mind. Let's check Wikipedia. Ok... Let's check YouTube.
And so it all started - I was hooked. In the last 2+ months, I am listening to any piece of music I can find and trying to read the smallest information on this group on the Internet, every day, every evening (so glad that I found this forum, it's FULL of information, anecdotes, links, reviews, etc. - exactly what I was looking for). The dots started to connect - "This masquerade" is theirs, nice... I always loved that song. "Tunic (song for Karen)" from Goo album that I listened like 1000 times - so, that's the Karen Kim Gordon was singing about! ...and so on, and on, and on...

I asked several of my close friends who are into music, and only one of them knew about C's, and she didn't like them. To be honest, I was struck and repelled by the "lemonade sound" in the beginning, but it was the voice that I was attached to - it just wouldn't let me go. And one by one, I started to like and appreciate even the songs I didn't like at first hearing. "Superstar", "Masquerade", "Song for you", "Only yesterday", slow version of "Santa Claus" were instant love, and if you want to get someone into the Carpenters sound (there's another thread here on this subject), I highly recommend these!

So, right now, I am still in the process of digesting this newly discovered treasure that's been around me for my whole life, and I wasn't aware of. It's really unbelievable that no one has ever recommended them, and also, that they didn't have more exposure on the radio. The country I live in (former Yugoslavia, now only part of it named Serbia) have always been flooded by UK music, and much less by music from US, so I think this must be one of the reasons. Also, the Carpenters' image didn't help at all - they simply weren't 'cool' enough to be played in our country... Heh...
However, I have always been a great fan of female vocals (Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins, Lisa Gerrard, Throwing Muses, Annie Lenox, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Florence Welch, just to give you a picture of what I am used to listen to), but Karen... one of a kind. But that's for another thread :)
Welcome to the forums! Glad to have you on board.
I went through a similar phase when I first started-- listening to and reading anything/everything (and I believe other members have, too). That voice really does grab you, doesn't it? :D
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
Well in the late 80's I was not finding the current music very interesting. So between that time and about 1991-2, I started looking back. The decade I picked was the 1970's. I found the lead female vocal/singer-songwriter quite interesting and took a liking to the Carpenters, ABBA, Olivia, Linda, Carly, you get my drift. This is before the Internet and YouTube, so it wasn't easy for a kid to get information. I subscribed to Goldmine and even Billboard for a time $$$$, then replaced by cheaper Rolling Stone magazine.

On the oldies pop station I heard "Rainy Days And Mondays." I just caught my total attention. The song was so intense, and that voice just reeled me in. Found out they had many hits. The sense of melancholy ran through most of their songs. I was attracted to that sense of loneliness, longing, even at my young age. She sounded like she felt every note she sang, so believable, so beautiful. I didn't realize at the time how impeccable the arrangements were, and the songs so lyrically haunting. I just knew I longed to hear that voice and it woke up something inside of me, whether it was ready to come out or not! My first album was "Singles: 1969-1974." My first CD was the double disc collection "Yesterday Once More." After I heard the Carpenters on CD, I was hooked.

I've made several posts already, but thought this question needed to be addressed. -John
 

CarpentersToYou

Somehow you brought the gambler out in me...
I consider myself of the love songs generation. Although I remember listening to The singles 1969 -1973 album in the backseat of my parents car. I remember falling in love with the sound of Karen’s voice during the song yesterday once more and from then I was hooked. I remember my mother asked my aunts to order her the CD version and I remember borrowing my mother CD. I remember noticing how the CD version of the song was different than the cassette And I really loved the way the remix sounded. It was about that and that there were these commercials for the love songs album on TV. So I had to get a copy of that and I was floored with the quality of music. Up until then I was really only a fan of Barbra Streisand so then at that point I was certain that I loved the two female singers with the best voices ever.

Of course this was also a terrible time to be a fan because most of the CDs were out of print at that time and I wasn’t privy to the information that they were going to be released in December of 1998. When the remastered Classics were released it was such a magical moment. I remember going to Best Buy very often to complete my collection. Now it is 20 years later and I find that hard to believe. At this point I have had Karen and Richard music for mor3 than two thirds of my life And here we are at the dawn of a new exciting release.
 

PeterPiper

Active Member
I'm a newby here too!
I don't remember the first time I heard The Carpenters - I remember everyone taking the mick out of me at school but it was something I would never be swayed from!
People used to say if they cut me in half they would see The Carpenters logo !!!
I know every song, every lyric, every harmony.
I sing to every song.
I listen to The Carpenters every day in the car!
40 years I have been a 'fan'.
BUT as a musicians daughter and as someone with a lot of musical knowledge myself, it was Richards arrangements and production that I grew to admire, and I never felt he was acknowledged enough.
The Carpenters have been a huge part of my life and will continue to be so.
 

PeterPiper

Active Member
I fell in love with Richard and Karens wonderful music from the word go in 69 although I didnt start buying records,Cds etc.until recently ( in my retirement years ) but I am obsessed with searching out any memorabilia now!
I visit all the charity shops ( do you call them thrift shops in the States? ) and visit boot sales etc.so I have amassed a decent selection of LPs,CDs,Cassettes,VHS Videos,DVDs,Books and Tour Programmes.
I am very envious of the fans that have all the original Fan Club stuff as I was never a member in the seventies so missed out on all that early memorabilia.
I can honestly say that a day does not pass without listening to Richard and Karen as I have loaded all my CD collection on to my ipod which I listen to in bed.Only usually get to about the 3rd song before I am asleep.
Unfortunately I wont be able to get to the 50th Celebrations. Regards to all especially the British fans.Peter
 

Armjim

New Member
I have been reading this forum for years and always enjoy what I read here. I do not think I have ever posted anything, but I have used the forum as a reference many times. I am in the middle of reading two books at the moment-Hemingway's Islands In the Stream, and Schmidt's Little Girl Blue. I have had the latter for years, and have thumbed it numerous times, but decided last week to read it from start to finish. So I am on a Carpenters kick again-not that I don't ever have their music close at hand. I was an accountant by profession but music has always been one of my main passions in life. I have always been into record collecting and reading music trade magazines, so I have had more than just a casual interest in the music industry.

I first heard (They Long To Be) Close To You June 1970 when I was living in Raleigh, NC-school was about to end for the year and I was in a study hall. I was 13 at the time. The radio was on-and CTY began playing. I was hooked immediately. I bought the 45, and then when We've Only Just Begun was released, I bought that as well. For Christmas that year I got the CTY LP, and then TTR Spring 1971. I kept buying the singles until I finally got the "Carpenters" LP January 1972 (it remains my all time favorite album by them), and beginning with A Song For You, started getting the albums as they were released. I listen to just about everything-primarily folk, pop, rock, classical, R&B. I would say for over 40 years I have considered the Carpenters one of my core artists-forever in my Top 5. I so enjoy reading what the hardcore fans post, and as I said I use this forum as a reference for something I may have missed or was not aware of. I appreciate this forum greatly.
 

CaryMI

New Member
I'm a newby here too!
I don't remember the first time I heard The Carpenters - I remember everyone taking the mick out of me at school but it was something I would never be swayed from!
People used to say if they cut me in half they would see The Carpenters logo !!!
I know every song, every lyric, every harmony.
I sing to every song.
I listen to The Carpenters every day in the car!
40 years I have been a 'fan'.
BUT as a musicians daughter and as someone with a lot of musical knowledge myself, it was Richards arrangements and production that I grew to admire, and I never felt he was acknowledged enough.
The Carpenters have been a huge part of my life and will continue to be so.
Hi Bessie. Everyday. Wow.
Your a bigger fan than me. What's your favorite song?
 

Rachel

Someone said that time would ease the pain...
As a newbie, I guess I will add my 2 cents. Having been born in 1966, I well remember CarpenterS on the radio. The first song I really recall hearing is "Top of the World". My older sister was the bigger fan; she bought the albums. After Karen's death, my sister has never listened to them again. :cry: What's too painful to remember we simply choose to forget.
I, apparently living under a rock, incorrectly assumed once she had died there was no more music from them. (We all know what happens when you assume.) So just in the past couple of months, I am discovering them all over again. Completely unaware of all the releases (really what was I doing?!), I am for the first time hearing all the music after "Made in America". As someone else mentioned, I have listened to all the albums chronologically, plus binged on YouTube live concert footage. Can't watch it enough--CarpenterS Live in Australia.
I guess what draws me to them most is what I so admire in Ella Fitzgerald. No one every asked, "What did she just say?" Ella and Karen enunciated like no one else I have ever heard. Doesn't hurt either that they both had otherworldly pitch and tone.
Finally, I think why I will always listen to CarpenterS is it reminds me of a happier time in my life. My father was still alive. I was 7, 8 years old and listening to the greatest duo of the 1970s.
 

CARPENTERS-COLLECTOR

Well-Known Member
Having been born in 1966, I well remember CarpenterS on the radio. The first song I really recall hearing is "Top of the World".

I was born in `62 and first heard the Carpenters in the car on 8 track, on the way to the caravan. I can`t remember the first song I heard, but do remember loving the music, even that young, so that`s a hell of a memory you have to remember the first song :)
glad your enjoying them again though, I`m a big fan of `made in America` myself, but my favourite album is `loveliness`.
 

Jeremy Cawili

It's yesterday once more....
I was in high school when I first heard Love Me for What I Am. Around 2009 or 2010. That became my favorite Carpenters song. Just became a fan this year, Around January or Feb when I searched LMFWIA on Apple Music. Downloaded all of their discography and got hooked instantly.

Now my favorite songs are A Song For You, Love Me for What I Am and Touch Me When We're Dancing.

Also liked My Body Keeps Changing My Mind on Karen's solo album .
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
I just joined this forum and felt compelled to share my story, which is unique, but can be rather long. I'll endeavor to keep it as short as possible. My apologies if it is too long to read.

I grew up in Bell Gardens, CA, next door to Downey, and lived just a couple miles down from Newville Ave. I met Karen in 1981, when I was about 3 years old. Since I could walk, I have been obsessed with rhythm and music, and would carry around a pair of chopsticks that I would use as drumsticks to tap on anything in front of me at any given time. My favorite thing to do at that age was to pull a few pots out of the bottom cupboards in the kitchen, set them up in front of the TV and drum along to Lawrence Welk and various other music programs on PBS that my parents loved to watch on Saturday nights.

One day, my folks took me to Bob's Big Boy to eat (yep, that one) and at some point in the meal, my mother took me to the bathroom. On the way, I noticed a very sad lady sitting at a table by herself and decided to walk up to her and say hello. She smiled and said hello back, and asked about my chopsticks that I carried with me everywhere. I like to think that it brought her pleasant memories during the most difficult time of her life. I tapped out a little bit of a rhythm on the table and she laughed and clapped lightly (my mother's recollection was that she 'lit up'), said good job, and told me to keep practicing. My mother intervened at this point and apologized if I was being a bother. The lady didn't seem to mind one bit and my mother went ahead and helped me on to the bathroom.

There was something about her voice that resonated with me at that very early age. It was warm, inviting and extremely comfortable. Years later, I was watching a TV program and saw this beautiful lady playing the drums and singing. I was smitten by her but didn't exactly know why. It was then that my mother informed me that I had met her when I was little, and she agreed that Karen's was a magical, one in a bajillion voice. She then informed me that the lady had passed away a few years before that, and I felt the deepest sadness possible at that age. Caught between goodbye and I love you.

That started a lifelong love of all things Carpenters, as well as, eventually, an 18 year career as a musician (singing drummer). I don't share this often because it's personal and I fear judgement, but I believe her voice imprinted on me. Whenever I need balance, relief from stress or any type of soothing comfort, I always turn to that voice. There aren't too many people who can say that their earliest childhood memory involves Karen Carpenter, but sadly, first love, shortly followed by first loss, can be a pretty heavy torch to bear, one that has shaped every relationship in my life to date. I'm going to have a couple shots of rum, put on Horizon and cry now. lol
 
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