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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by motownboy, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. motownboy

    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
    (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)

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

    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
    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
    John Adam and motownboy like this.
  3. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    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
    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.

    John Adam and motownboy like this.
  4. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    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.



    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
    one more time
    The Uninvited Guest
    Make Believe It's Your First Time
    maybe it`s you
    I believe you
    John Adam likes this.
  6. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    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.

  7. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    We basically already have Karen unplugged with "All Because of You," an unconventional, yet sweet, surprise.
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  8. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
    "Road Ode"
    "I Need To Be In Love"
    "One More Time"
  9. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    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
    Don't Be Afraid

    Now wouldn't that make an interesting album!
    CraigGA and Mark-T like this.
  10. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    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 likes this.
  11. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    Geographer and CraigGA like this.
  12. CraigGA

    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.
    John Adam likes this.
  13. 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.


    Don Malcolm and Geographer like this.
  14. [Vimeo upload of second video; wasn't boding well on YouTube...]
    Don Malcolm, Geographer and GaryAlan like this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    At 1:02:36 you can really hear the backing vocalists. Amazing how much work went into these records.
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  16. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Only Yesterday sounds like a remix! :) Such depth!
  17. tomswift2002

    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!
  18. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    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
    Geographer likes this.
  19. theninjarabbit

    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".
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    How about this for a stripped back mix?

    Carpe diem likes this.
  21. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Goosebumps!! First time I've heard this version. Karen's beautiful voice is more showcased and the bass guitar way more subdued. I love it! Thanks for posting.
    newvillefan likes this.

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