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Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Jeff, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I always figured the Richard medley gave Karen time to go stretch out in the backstage area for awhile. A lot of concerts even today are designed that way - drum solo or guitar solo, the rest of the band goes out back for a smoke. And, I think Richard always felt that he didn't get enough "credit" for his contributions to the group, so maybe that was why they included more of his solo stuff in the track list. But it's surprising they included THAT much of it.
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    34% of this Live At The Palladium album, time-wise, is Instrumental (Flat Baroque,Warsaw Concerto) and Instrumental Medley.
    Hush, Jambalaya, From This Moment On and Hits Medley comprise the remainder. (66%).
    Apparently, three shows were recorded by A&M, then edited for this collection.
    Variety states :75 minutes for the November 25th,1976 Show. It included the Spike Jones' influenced version Close To You.
    (Schmidt Reader, page 205).
    Thus, I hope the actual Concert consisted of a few other complete songs being performed. (i.e., vocals by Karen.)
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    There's also the Grease medley, I Need To Be In Love and a couple of others.
  4. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    There's also the possibility that something in the recordings (audience noise, technical glitches, performance mistakes) made some selections less suitable for release. Maybe that's why "I Need To Be In Love" was excluded. We all know how perfectionist Richard is!
  5. masqueraded

    masqueraded Member

    From what I understand, they also did Coming Thru the Rye medley as an encore and Jambalaya is actually an encore as well. Someone had a radio version of the Holland show and it has the full medley along with those encores in it. I also believe that Richard wanted to include the Rye medley from the Palladium show as an outtake on ATGB but of course thought against it. :/
  6. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Coming Thru The Rye I'd consider a duet song and I loved it when Karen and John Denver sang it however the live version where Richard takes the part of John has never sat well with me. To me it's sorta like a love song I can't get past both of them singing it together. I love the song but wish we could have gotten a studio version of Karen and John Denver on Cd.
  7. I get that icky feeling from "You're Just In Love" in that regard...
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Given the similarities in the London Concert and
    The First Television Special,
    was the objective of the television show
    to give American audiences a taste of the re-vamped Concerts ?
    Late November 1976, the UK dates.
    Early December 1976, the USA Air Date for the Special.

    Here,again, I defer to the Full-Page Newspaper Ad for the Special:
  9. masqueraded

    masqueraded Member

    That more than likely will never happen due to copyright and knowing Richard as well, it'll never see the light of day. The MOST we can hope for is someone from John's camp releasing it on a special release or something?
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I suppose much of the Palladium Concert looked like this, at The Theatre filmed by BBC:
    (Footage that has been seen by most, however I think this newer upload is crystal clear.)

  11. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I don't. I feel that with that song Richard took on the "older sibling" role of the song, the older sibling giving advice to the younger one, just like he was Karen's older sibling in real life, and I think it worked really well with the two of them.
  12. My brain tells me that too, but I still get a little creeped out by the song.
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The line in that song that always makes me laugh is "I keep tossing in my sleep at night". My dad just cracked up the first time he heard Karen sing it :laugh:
  14. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    'I Need to Be In Love' was possibly the most satisfying segment from the New London Theatre concert, (apart from Karen's drum solo). It's surprising it wasn't included on the 'Live at the Palladium' LP / CD.

    I've never been fond of medleys. Why not play a couple of complete songs, instead of the long stream of song snippets heard in this concert?

    I love the long note held by Karen the last time she sings 'Begun' in 'We've Only Just Begun' and the emotional build-up resulting from the repeating of "Together... Together.... Together..." at the end of the song.

    The live version of 'From This Moment On' from 'Live At the Palladium' far surpasses the studio version from the 'Music, Music, Music' special. It's got a lot more warmth, depth, energy, feeling and life.

    It would have been nice to hear 'Coming Through the Rye' and 'Good Vibrations' separately, rather than in a medley. When I first saw / heard the First TV Special many years after it was produced, I thought that the 'Coming Through the Rye' section had, once again, warmth and light, while the 'Good Vibrations' section sounded a bit sterile and uninspiring. Surprisingly, I feel that, for once in his life, Richard didn't arrange the background harmony vocals for best effect, for starters, (on the studio / First Special version, I mean). 'Good Vibrations' offered a terrific opportunity for Carpenters to utilise their harmonies. Given the way this medley turned out, I would have preferred to just hear 'Coming Through the Rye' on its own, especially live. As it is, neither song appears on 'Live at the Palladium', anyway.

    All-in-all, 'Live at the Palladium' contains some wonderful moments but, for me, is nowhere near as satisfying as 'Live In Japan'.
  15. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I love the Palladium album better than the Japan one. But that concert was the first one I ever saw them in. Precious memories.
    Geographer, GaryAlan and Brian like this.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Speaking of
    of which--as is well known--I am not into...
    I am in the process of tabulating all of the Medleys which
    arise through the recordings, concerts and television programs.

    Any guess as to the number of them ?
    Brian likes this.
  17. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    A lot! :) Richard seemed to be a big fan of them!
  18. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I like the medleys as I enjoy the fresh presentation they give. I know they are not preferred but it helps focus on new material while zipping the catalog is a nice gift wrap. Keep in mind, that I also like in operas and broadway shows how the last songs can end in 3 part harmony matching up three songs as one.

    Karen sings From This Moment On while sailing over the seas of Bach’s altered basic accompaniment. It’s just pure heaven for me.

    I like that they have more to offer than the hits. Sometimes the sillyness in Grease I can do without, but I still find it enjoyable and it is something offered on in the live shows for the fans. Again, another gift wrap.

    The best gift wrap of all is Karen dressed and showcased in the best voice of our favorite songs and the persona created with her best representing Richard’s craft in the music as she relates to the audience.
    Walkinat9, Jamesj75 and Brian like this.
  19. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    GaryAlan, a while back, I put together a compilation of Carpenters' recorded medleys (a total of seven that I found), including the ones with Ella Fitzgerald and Perry Como. And here's my take:

    :) As time goes by, this exercise can be fun, fun, fun. Any day now (or one fine day, or even someday), I love putting together compilations, including medleys. It would be helpful to have someone to watch over me. If I omit something, there's always something there to remind me. But it's not the end of the world if I screw up. For all we know, it might involve some magic moments. I think it would be challenging to sing these medleys, unless you're a superstar. I would advise that one should make it easy on yourself: it's not as though it's impossible. And now, knowing when to leave...
    Murray and GaryAlan like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^ A preliminary count of cd's gave me a number closer to 10 !
    This, ignoring television specials: such as Carol Burnett, Tonight Show, Andy Williams--to name a few,
    but including instrumentals,
    when I go back and add in all the Medley's from television programs, that number greatly increases.
    Now, granted some of these are duplicates, and some I really enjoy (Las Vegas 1974).
    But, what is telling is the amount of time which these Medleys consume !
    For instance, watching the 1980 Music, Music, Music or 1976 First Special, the time spent on
    Medleys consumes time spent on singing (not just Karen and Richard, but, all performers--Como, Fitzgerald, etc.).
    Thus, my issue (that is, if it really were an 'issue')
    What is the sense of all these Medleys ?
    Is it merely an 'easy' way to come up with filling time ?
    Was it really that difficult to find, arrange, and sing, entire songs ?
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  21. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    "Ahh, I've got to get into a serious mood here...."

    I understand your premise, @GaryAlan. And I tend to agree with you. These would be great questions to pose to Richard. @Brian makes a great point: "Richard seemed to be a big fan of them!" Richard loves arranging, and arranging one song to flow into another (and then into another, etc.) presents its own challenges. Perhaps there were times when Richard's "Arranger" mentality took center stage....

    And now taking a detour, as a lifelong fan of Saturday Night Live, one of my favorite performers was Nora Dunn. I loved when she and Jan Hooks performed as the Sweeney Sisters (during the 1980s) and did their infamous medleys! To me, they were hysterical! ("Clang clang clang went the trolley.") But with not as much detail to arrangement and vocals as we got with Carpenters!
    Brian likes this.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^ I realize that the Concerts had the "Oldies" Medley--in more than one incarnation,
    along with the 'Grease' Medley (Richard on motorcycle, Karen with fake-you-know-whats),
    all with the apparent intent of injecting "fun" into the concerts.
    But, for me , the 1976 Holland concert extravaganza is painful to watch.
    So, we can discuss 'inappropriate' solo material all we want; simply watch that Grease Medley
    unfold on stage,1976,--then, let's talk about inappropriate !
    So, what prevented things like One More Time, or A Song For You,
    from being performed in the concerts (Las Vegas did get Don't Cry For Me Argentina--thank you !).
    I Need To Be In Love, another highlight of the later concerts, yet US audiences get the hits Medley
    on the 1976 Special, but not that ballad !
    One reason I approach this subject is due to the number of 'live' cd's I have:
    they are flooded with Medleys !
    Brian likes this.
  23. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    That's a good comment, Craig. I'm sure that Richard's interest in medleys is rooted in a practice that came before his time, SUCH AS finales of operas, or artists he admired who used to do them, or performances that he attended where they were used. I know that, early on, before 'Close to You' was recorded, he was actually requested to create a Bacharach / David medley. And as Jamesj75 suggests, he obviously enjoys the challenges and opportunities they bring.

    Maybe the current-day version of the medley is the sampled section of someone else's recording running underneath a completely different song, (which doesn't seem anywhere near as clever). I don't know whether any of the current-day Top 40 artists use them. (I don't think I listen to any current Top 40 artists).

    All that aside, when I heard the long medley on 'Live at the Palladium' as a teen back in 1977, I felt disappointed and ripped off, and wished for a greater number of complete songs. I still feel the same way about it.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  24. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I think you've hit the nail on the head, GaryAlan. I think that these medleys were to increase the pace and drama of the show and raise the level of entertainment. There probably was the self-conscious notion that all those ballads together might have made for a dull show.

    I think that the oldies and the 'Grease' medleys did inject a sense of fun and a change of pace into the shows. But the 'hits' medley just came across as a bit of a let-down and a missed opportunity.

    Also, thinking of the idea of a concert full of ballads potentially being a bit dull, consider the 1971 BBC concert. Yes, it does include a medley, (the Bacharach / David medley, which is mimed, so doesn't really count in the context of all the other 'live' performances), but apart from the medley, the show is totally made up of all those well-known Carpenters songs, (with the exception of 'And When He Smiles', which still fits in with the style of all the others). With this line-up, the concert couldn't have been better. It was magical, and Karen was phenomenal, (especially on 'Superstar'!! And 'For All We Know!!)

    Just the ballads and Carpenters' other well-known songs, and no oldies medleys or 'Grease' medleys, would have made a perfect concert.
  25. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I have mentioned it a few times I'm sure, but the BBC show is my favorite of all. When I get to it, I watch it a few times at least- how I would love some kind of official release. This is how I would have wanted to see them if I got to go to a concert. 1971.
    Brian likes this.

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