1. The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available for preorder! Use this link to preorder, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Karen Carpenter Solo Sessions - Continued

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by leadmister, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I was digging through my backup drive this morning and found the files I was working on for the Karen Carpenter solo album concept mentioned in this thread.

    I decided to make videos of the unreleased tracks and upload them to YouTube, then create playlists combining the released and unreleased tracks into the order of the track lists I have proposed. This way, i was able to avoid getting any copyright strikes against my channel. Although the version of Make Believe It's Your First Time I uploaded was the unreleased Phil Ramone mix, YouTube still flagged it automatically, so I had to link to a version that was already uploaded to another channel.

    Here are the playlists for the double album concept:

    Karen Carpenter Solo Disc 1 - YOLO (You Only Live Once) Playlist

    Karen Carpenter Solo Disc 2 - DOLO (Disco Only Lives Once) Playlist

    Please listen and share your thoughts. I am looking for genuine feedback here, as I am considering making a serious attempt to start a campaign to justify the release of the rest of KC's solo tracks by pitching a concept like this.
    Simon KC1950 and John Adam like this.
  2. Honestly, why not? I for one love Karen's solo work. Yes it's not as good as the Carpenters music - most music isn't! - but It's not bad, and Karen really believed in it. That itself should be enough then there's the fans who want it. What damage will it seriously do to release it all?
    Your playlists are brilliant, I've saved them, and wouldn't they be amazing as a delux double gatefold LP set filled with photos and notes.
    John Adam, Chris Mills and leadmister like this.
  3. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thank you. It would be great in the proper context. I think that's part of the issue. Richard just kinda threw the 1996 album out there like "meh" and the track listing was selected with the motive of choosing the less risqué songs rather than following any type of context. The mix of disco and rock made it a disjointed and odd listen in my opinion, more like a compilation than anything with a coherent flow. It has occurred to me that this "flow" is what has been missing and hopefully someday that can be realized and something like this can see the light of day officially.

    Also, these song choices are extremely tame and innocent compared to today's standards, and I doubt that anyone would consider KC's image to be tarnished if everything comes out. It already has anyway and absolutely no one has a trashed opinion of her as a result.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  4. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    As much as I like them, some are not complete or were just decided against and I would not like something I did not think was up to par to be released if I was a grand singer/artist in that situation. As I said in prior threads there are only about three worthy of the unrealeased, releaseable. The others are clearly still works in progress. With both Karen and Phil not with us, we should be glad for what we have outside of those two, possibly three releaseable. The others are clearly outside of a comfort zone. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the solo project/recordings. There are 12 great tracks through all of them that should have seen daylight in 1980. Music Music Music was also great. Those were tough years and thankfully with the exception of a handful of tunes, all releasable are now released. Let’s enjoy the New Album that’s being released on Friday!
    leadmister likes this.
  5. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    No I totally get it. You're not the only person who has shared this exact opinion with me, and I appreciate your input. My aim is only to get her solo work a little bit more respect and recognition. I will indeed be enjoying the new release on Friday though, and I'll be enjoying it for a long time.
    John Adam and CraigGA like this.
  6. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    I think it's a great idea that should see the light of day! But I think this subject has been discussed to death by a lot of the longtime residents of A&M Corner. I totally get that, been there and done that!

    But I certainly will hope that the hundred or so newer "lurkers" will jump in and discuss this project. I love talking about the solo album and the songs that never saw proper release. Just the fact that she is no longer with us is a great reason to revisit these "diamonds in the rough." Since there will be no new vocals ever again!
    leadmister likes this.
  7. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I figured that the overall lack of interest in this thread, and the other one, was most likely due to this being discussed a lot already. I was hoping, though, that this idea of separating the genres and the track listing, which is a unique perspective, would be somewhat of a refreshing change that would inspire other people to rekindle an interest. But if people aren't interested, they aren't. It's not going to kill my spirit one bit.
  8. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    There has been much discussion over the years regarding both the approved/issued album and the unreleased tracks that surfaced back around 2000. As a moderator I can tell you that these discussions have VERY OFTEN led down a path that separates fans into two camps. There are those that remain bitter about the shelving of the original project, and those who feel that the project rightly deserved to be shelved.

    These discussions often led to a lot of assigning blame on everyone involved, when in fact none of us were actually there for the events. Threads were closed, people were banned - it very often turns ugly, and we don't want to go there again.

    So, again, as a moderator, I implore anyone who responds to this thread to keep it about Mr. leadmister's ideas of separation of the tracks into two camps and whether or not that has any merit. It's purely a thought exercise. Let's keep it focused on that.
  9. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    That's unfortunate. I certainly don't want to cause any bad blood, just provide a unique perspective.
  10. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I think it was a good thing that Karen's Solo album got released when it did I was aware of its existence as far back before Lovelines was out and to leadmister I think this is a good thread and I've Been looking at the comments I think what you're doing is a good contribution to the forum Don't let anyone tell you differently. Just wanted to lend my support to a fellow cornerite.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  11. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Harry, As having gone to the "dark side" a few times myself; to be set straight by you, I can say without reservation, I value you as a moderator in this forum and it's a better place because of your presence. You do your job well, keeping things civil and moving in a forward direction. It's all about the music...
    Bobberman likes this.
  12. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    I think as a concept for a vinyl release especially, your ideas would work great. It creates a nice theme and it gives the all the songs recorded a chance to be heard in a new way.
  13. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I feel like separating the tracks into two "styles" is kind of modernistic -- it's the same kind of thinking that causes "playlists" on streaming services to be boring. Just because I pull up a Bee Gees "station" doesn't mean I want all my music to sound like the Bee Gees. The best Carpenters albums (IMHO, at least) are the ones that are a variety of styles.

    Karen's solo album was released "as it was originally intended" (according to Richard's liner notes) and I highly doubt there would be very much interest from the label in releasing it in any other fashion, especially since it wasn't much of a seller when it came out the first time.
    John Adam likes this.
  14. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    ...AND, Rudy's doubling my salary next year!
    John Adam likes this.
  15. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    Maybe she's become much more of an icon and a legend in the last 20 years. Maybe the second time around, with bonus incentive, it might spark some commercial interest, and a big dose of artistic merit? :)
  16. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    0x0=0 :)
  17. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Yep. Won't affect my income taxes!
    Bobberman and John Adam like this.
  18. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    For me, the grouping of the tracks creates and enhances certain moods rather than diminishing them. The first time I listened through all of the available tracks from this perspective, it seemed like it made sense. I'm not at all saying that Karen's wishes shouldn't be honored and the album shouldn't be enjoyed as she intended for it to be released, and we have already had the privilege of doing that. In my mind, this is no different than enjoying various themed Carpenters compilations over the years. I doubt anyone here would say that listening to any of the greatest hits albums diminishes the visions of the original albums or goes against Richard's plans in any way.

    All this is is a compilation of all of Karen's known solo cuts into a certain order.

    I actually got the inspiration to do that through following the then-unreleased Beach Boys Smile album back in the early 2000's. Someone made a website that featured Real Audio copies of all of the bootleg cuts, with an interface that allowed visitors to surmise what Brian's intended track listing was. This produced many wonderful interpretations of what the Smile album could possibly be if it was ever released, and many of us never thought it would see the light of day. But buzz built up over the years, due to fans sharing different "playlists" of the unreleased tracks, and eventually, through Brian's musical director, the spark to finally release Smile, 38 years later, was ignited.

    When I was urged to listen to these solo tracks, which I didn't like at first, the first thing that came to mind was the Smile album and many fans, myself included, imagining track orders and themes. It turns out, coincidentally, that the track order I devised for Smile turned out to be the exact way Brian decided to order the tracks for the 2004 release. Remembering these things inspired me to have a humble dream of making an impact, creating some magic here with Karen's solo works. It's a labor of love, plain and simple.
    Nawvish74, Bobberman and John Adam like this.
  19. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Ummmmm... what?!?!? :shock:
  20. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    What?! I vote for tripling it! Dream big, I always say!
    Bobberman and Chris May like this.
  21. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    REAL big! :-P
  22. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Reminds me of this great Billy Preston cut:

    Bobberman likes this.
  23. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Congratulations my friend
  24. leadmister

    leadmister Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Any opinions on the cross fading of Midnight and Love Making Love To You for the finale of this fantasy album?

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  25. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Since you brought up "Love Makin'...", I honestly think this one belongs right where it is. Rod's vocal arrangement is incredible so I can't argue that. The issue, in an odd twist for me, is Karen. While she sounds great, I don't believe a word she sings. I don't believe that she's about to "lose control" or any of it, really. Also, the tunes is overproduced for me. It should be intimate, not horns, big drums, etc. Perhaps had the production been toned down, she could have delivered a more convincing performance.

    Carpe diem and leadmister like this.

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