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If There Was A "Karen - Unplugged" Album, What Songs Would You Like On It?

motownboy

Active Member
Thread Starter
Inspired by the "My Carpenters' Heaven" thread, this came to mind. As a general idea, it would be taking her isolated vocals and use existing acoustic guitars, keyboards, not using drums or synths. Some new acoustic instrumentation could be recorded. This would all be determined on a song by song basis of course. Karen's exquisite voice would shine even more surrounded with less intense arrangements. With a bit of tasteful modernizing of production, bring her to a new youthful 21st century audience. After all, Karen recorded from age 19 to 32.

I know that many of you will say, "Richard has said that the original multitracks were lost in the big Universal vault fire...", etc. I don't believe that everything was lost and it hasn't been documented what was lost and what was salvaged. The songs done for the Singles 1969-1981 surround sound SACD were most likely done on a digital audio workstation, and to do so the multitracks would have been transferred to digital. At least these songs would exist. Again, this is just a wish list idea.

Here is a list of some and by no means complete list of songs I think would be great for a "Karen - Unplugged" release in no particular order:

When It's Gone
Goodbye To Love
Top of The World
Happy
(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You
I Need to Be In Love
Sweet, Sweet Smile
Those Good Old Dreams
When It's Gone
The Uninvited Guest (though I wonder how good Karen's dry vocal was on this since it is drenched in reverb on the "Lovelines" album)
Make Believe It's Your First Time (Karen Solo LP vocal)
Now

I am curious what songs others here would like to have with Karen's voice surrounded by more intimate arrangements.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I would think I would choose songs not dominant with overdubs and with intimate characteristics. I'm sure I can think of others but here is my list from just a moment of thought.

Love Me For What I Am
You
I Need To Be In Love
One More Time
I Just Fall in Love Again
Honolulu City Lights
Where Do I Go From Here
Two Lives
I Won't Last A Day Without You
At The End Of A Song
Make Believe It's Your First Time (solo version)
Still Crazy After All These Years
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Nice albums. I’d buy them! I think this is more a “stripped” concept than an unplugged one. Here’s my remix (w: heavy kick drum and extra wet reverb)

Love Me for What I Am
Bless the Beasts & the Children
Goodbye to Love
I Can’t Dream, Can’t I
Touch Me When We’re Dancing
All You Get from Love is a Love Song
You
Only Yesterday
Goofus (I’m curious)
Let Me Be the One
Want You Back In My Life Again (again, curious what it would sound like without the superfluous orchestration)

I’ll stop there.

Ed
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I know that many of you will say, "Richard has said that the original multitracks were lost in the big Universal vault fire...", etc. I don't believe that everything was lost and it hasn't been documented what was lost and what was salvaged. The songs done for the Singles 1969-1981 surround sound SACD were most likely done on a digital audio workstation, and to do so the multitracks would have been transferred to digital. At least these songs would exist.
I’m sure every second has long since been digitally transferred and backed up so he’s likely just lost the original multi track tapes.

Ed
 

CARPENTERS-COLLECTOR

Well-Known Member
somebody`s been lyin
I can dream can`t i
ordinary fool
I can`t make music
two sides
(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You
I Need to Be In Love
your enough
solitaire
one more time
The Uninvited Guest
Make Believe It's Your First Time
Now
maybe it`s you
I believe you
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Agreed on “I Need to Be in Love”. Great song that could stand to be stripped of its orchestration so we can really hear the tune. “Ordinary Fool” is one that I feel should stay intact. It’s gorgeous as it is and the strings are a huge part of what makes it gorgeous.

Ed
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
An album of "unplugged" Carpenters/Karen Songs. (no particular order)

Road Ode
I Won't Last a Day Without You
I Believe You
I Need To Be In Love
Love Me For What I Am
Nowhere Man
Something's Missing
Top Of The World
Look To Your Dreams
Two Sides
Desperado
Don't Be Afraid

Now wouldn't that make an interesting album!
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
An album of "unplugged" Carpenters/Karen Songs. (no particular order)

Road Ode
I Won't Last a Day Without You
I Believe You
I Need To Be In Love
Love Me For What I Am
Nowhere Man
Something's Missing
Top Of The World
Look To Your Dreams
Two Sides
Desperado
Don't Be Afraid

Now wouldn't that make an interesting album!
I find it interesting that you took an unrealesed jem from the solo project and nothing else from it. It has grown to be one of my favorites too and from memory it hits the list quite often.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
An album of "unplugged" Carpenters/Karen Songs. (no particular order)

Road Ode
I Won't Last a Day Without You
I Believe You
I Need To Be In Love
Love Me For What I Am
Nowhere Man
Something's Missing
Top Of The World
Look To Your Dreams
Two Sides
Desperado
Don't Be Afraid

Now wouldn't that make an interesting album!
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
It’s an outstanding song and it’s caressed vocal expressions are equal to its intimacy. It seems to fade a little early on the last line and I would love to hear the tender vocalizations to the end of the line.
 
Maybe these two attempts from what the SACD offers is as close as we can get to *unplugged*, as far as I know.
I've uploaded two compilation videos of isolated vocal tracks, and isolated harmony vocals, from Carpenters' surround sound SACD. The first uses the centre channel's audio; something we've heard in lower quality on YouTube - I tried to preserve HQ audio and nice accompanying audio. The second vid is quite interesting; it uses the outer channels [labelled 'L', 'R', 'SL' and 'SR' in surround recievers/audio setups], so it's harmony vocals, instruments and background sounds only!

P.S - read the description(s) to find timestamps for each song.


Here:
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
“Please Mr. Postman”, (from the vocal only) with more reverb on the lead vocal and some more instruments (but keeping the drum up front) sounds like it could’ve been a Disco dance song!
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
Maybe these two attempts from what the SACD offers is as close as we can get to *unplugged*, as far as I know.
I've uploaded two compilation videos of isolated vocal tracks, and isolated harmony vocals, from Carpenters' surround sound SACD. The first uses the centre channel's audio; something we've heard in lower quality on YouTube - I tried to preserve HQ audio and nice accompanying audio. The second vid is quite interesting; it uses the outer channels [labelled 'L', 'R', 'SL' and 'SR' in surround recievers/audio setups], so it's harmony vocals, instruments and background sounds only!

P.S - read the description(s) to find timestamps for each song.


Here:
These videos made me want to shout all my love and praise for the Carpenters. SO much more than "elevator fluff"!! Thanks for sharing! :D
 

theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
As a side note, the version of "I Believe You" in the second video stunned me. The stripped-back sound suits it well. The song was okay before-- it was never my first pick, honestly-- but holy moly...there were so many of those little earworm moments in there. I loved the flourishing after the line "just ask me and I'll marry you".
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I think a cool idea would be a "mix your own Carpenters" website. You could have a page for each song, and the various instruments and etc would be separated into tracks. You could raise and lower the volume of each track as you wished and listen to the results. Want to hear Karen singing completely solo, no instruments at all? Just turn everything else off. Or maybe just Karen and piano, or Karen and acoustic guitar. Then Richard, if he felt like it, could add "alternate" piano tracks, or even record new ones. Different keyboards, different orchestrations, the possibilities are endless. Or you maybe want to sing your own duet with Karen? Upload your own recording and play it back.

It has a ton of potential and will probably never happen (if it did, there would be tons of home-made Carpenters remixes flooding the internet), but it's fun to think about.
 
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