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Holidays! [Live] Part 3: Banter w/Bruce + I Need To Be In Love 1978 - December, 1978

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Once again yet another glimpse of Karen at her finest, as she sings what ultimately became her favorite Carpenter/Bettis song on Bruce Forsyth's Big Night, December 1978. Merry Christmas!!

  2. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    There's so much expression in her eyes, it's incredible....I think this is my favorite performance of Karen ever on video. My favorite part is at 2:45 when the camera is zoomed out and she starts with "and here I am with pockets full of good intentions" and the camera slowly zooms in on her for just those few seconds on the zoom out she's in this chair and looks so petite and those lyrics and meaning, it just all comes together for me in those few moments...perfect camera angles capturing Karen in such a tender moment.
    Chris Mills likes this.
  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    This is my favorite rendition of this song. I love the banter between Bruce and Karen before the song is performed, I love the way she looks at the camera at 1:26 and the way she exaggerates the lyric "need" at 3:45. A bittersweet experience; seeing how utterly thin she is but still able to dazzle with that extraordinary voice. There simply will never be another one like her. Please pass the paper towels...
  4. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I would say that was Karen's most expressive, and most vulnerable performance - absolutely stunning! You just know that she was really feeling the lyrics. Seeing her like this though, even 40 years later, is still heartbreaking. Bittersweet indeed...
    David A, Jeff and goodjeans like this.
  5. These clips and this timeframe give a very real glimpse of the frail yet determined woman who not very long after would be boarding that DC-10 to NYC for her first recording sessions without Richard.
    Jeff and goodjeans like this.
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    So great to see Karen’s appearances on this show in crystal clear quality. Beautiful performance of a beautiful song. The only things that detracts from it is the pitiful state Karen was in by this point. I try and imagine how different she would look if she’d never developed the illness. It would have been great to see her on this show looking as fit and healthy as she did in 1973 or 1974.
    jaredjohnfisher likes this.
  7. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    So good it hurts.
    goodjeans likes this.
  8. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    If evidence was needed to justify Richard ditching the choir once and for all, this performance provides the proof. (Thank you Peter Knight). This performance just blows me away.
    GaryAlan, newvillefan and goodjeans like this.
  9. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    Thanks Chris for posting. Though I wasn't that fond of the "Hush" version, Karen's far more nuanced vocal here really sells it. Either she was just more familiar and comfortable with the song by this time, or their studio "perfection" sometimes boxed her in a bit vocally. Either way, I like this version a lot (love the little guitar riff prefacing the 2nd to last chorus, and the obliteration of the chorale group too).
    GaryAlan likes this.
  10. I agree. She is really "acting out" the song, which is quite nice. She does purposely "lag" behind the notes (or timing) quite a bit (almost as long as possible), but she knows what she's doing and is in complete control. The lack of a choir gives it the same intimacy "Make Believe It's Your First Time" had before Richard rearranged it. Forgive me if already discussed, but wasn't "I Believe You" their "current" single around this time? I know how much she loved "I Need To Be...", but I'm wondering why she (or Richard) wouldn't have wanted to "plug" their latest single; instead of their modest-hit single from 2 years prior?
  11. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    'I Believe You' wasn't released as a single in the UK, so there was no need for them to perform it on the show. Karen was over in the UK chiefly to promote The Singles 1974-1978, which would explain why she performed 'Please Mr Postman' and 'I Need to Be in Love', as both tracks featured on that compliation. Although since 'I Need to Be in Love' had only been a minor hit in the UK, presumably it was her choice to include because it was a favourite of hers.

    It's a great performance of the song, far better than the album version - she sounds more connected to the lyrics in this, plus the omission of the awful Chorale backing vocals that blighted the studio version is a great blessing. It's sad to see her looking so fragile though.
    jaredjohnfisher likes this.
  12. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Chris, you ROCK! Thanks so much for this video. Again, Karen knocks it out of the park. She was in fantastic voice at the end of 1978. So much control and yet appearing so effortless....though her precision is on full display. I love the way she's playing with the melody, too. I wish the single had been less produced after hearing this version. Who needs the OK Chorale??

  13. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    This live rendition makes "I Need to Be In Love" appear like it could have pulled a whole different sound (a la late-70s power ballad). I love the way she holds out some of the notes. The added guitar riff is cool, too.

    Thank you Chris! The icing on the cake this holiday. Merry Christmas to you :santawave:
    CraigGA likes this.
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    So Christmas Portrait would have been recorded by Karen about 6 months prior to this, in Summer of 78, correct?
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Yeah that’s about right in the timeline. I think they recorded a lot of it in July 1978.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    A lot of Christmas Portrait was recorded in 77 for their first Christmas Special. Plus portions of tracks like “Carol Of The Bells” and “Merry Christmas Darling” date to 74 and 70, respectively.
  17. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

  18. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member

    The video is no longer available (first post,) but I view this one a lot. My favorite rendition, and technically a solo version, as Richard was not well enough to be there. When she rolls her eyes when she sings the lyric "The hardest thing I've ever done, Is keep believing, There's someone in this crazy world for me," you know this is going to be a poignant performance, and it was! When she holds the note in Neeeeeed to be in love, it is another example of how controlled of a singer she is, and how she captivated the audience even with a body that looked skeletal by this time.

    Performance 10/10 -John

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