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Holidays! [Live] Part 4: Christmas Medley w/Karen & Bruce 1978 - December, 1978

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I was just thinking that considering what we know still exists, but has not been released, Richard could probably put together a third Carpenters Christmas album, a Christmas version of “As Time Goes By”, featuring the mixes done for the BF show of MCD/WW/SB/WC, “Toyland”, “Christmas Alphabet”, Richard’s “Home For The Holiday’s”, And tracks from his aborted solo Christmas album.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Richard was not there because of his addiction to quaaludes. He told Karen he wasn’t up to making the trip, leaving her little choice but to go anyway and create a cover story for his absence.
  3. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Karen did have a choice, she could have followed her brother and gone to rehab, which in hindsight is what Karen should have done, but instead Karen outdid herself in giving us the performance of her life.......the ultimate sacrifice?
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    At that stage she simply wasn’t ready to admit she had a problem. As she saw it, they were committed to the appearance and her professionalism would have prevented her from pulling out. I’m glad she went anyway, as we now have these gems to enjoy. I wonder what Richard makes of them. He must watch these clips with a mixture of marvel and regret.
    Chris Mills likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Of course, as we now know, Richard did not enter rehab until 1979.
    Karen's performance was in December 1978.
    Thus, at that juncture--1978--if Richard was not already in rehab, Why would Karen believe
    that she should be in "rehab" at that point (1978) in time ?
    And, even more interesting, they both appeared at the Long Beach performance ! (later, Dec 1978).
    So, I really see that Karen may have had many conflicting emotions in 1978 !
    Quite frankly, every vocal from Karen , for the Christmas sessions (of early to mid 1978),
    --every vocal--is outstanding, incredible, ethereal.....I simply can't imagine Karen--at this moment in time--
    believed herself to be ill.
    In many respects--as the photos from the period 1975-1978--reveal, Richard was nearly as gaunt as Karen.
  6. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Listen with headphones, and it almost sounds as if Karen has prerecorded her vocal in a recording studio, you can hear the saliva clicks, but I’m certain Karen is not lip syncing.
  7. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    Their Long Beach Concert actually occurred a week before Karen traveled to England to tape "the BF Show". Richard truncated their performance at the concert due to his condition. Your observation of Karen being in denial to her problem is backed up by the account in LITTLE GIRL BLUE of Karen lying to Dr Levenkron on the phone in the Spring of 1979.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Thanks for the correction on dates, John !
    Per the timeline in Carpenters Fan Club Newsletters:
    #60, July 1978..."The Christmas Album is completed and work on the jacket is in progress."
    #62, November 1978..."The taping of the upcoming Christmas TV Show is completed."
    and, December 3...Long Beach performance.

    What I find interesting is how these events are depicted in the Coleman Biography, pages 240-243.
    " Bitter exchanges followed Karen's return from London." (page 241).
    "...At his record company, his pill-popping was a yawn." (ibid).
    "Richard then faced ultimatums from Weintraub and Wolfe." (page 242).
    "Richard had to combat an early lack of self-respect. His weight increased..." (page 243).
  9. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The newsletter is referring to the TV special A Christmas Portrait, which was filmed in October 1978 and aired that December 19 :)
  10. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Your average UK TV viewer back in 1978 would have watched this show transmitted on UHF (Ultra High Frequency) which offered low grade picture and sound quality. Knowing this, someone decided to give this performance a visual and acoustic quality which at that time, most people could not appreciate. It is also baffling that so much time and money was spent to promote an album that most UK buyers did not expect or wanted. (Singles 1974-1978). I appreciate so much the effort Karen made to fulfill this engagement with Bruce, but was it really worth it considering her physical and mental health? From a selfish point of view, I’m over the moon with this performance, Karen had reached a vocal and visual strength that deserved this magical treatment.
  11. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    At 1:07 Karen & Bruce are sharing a joke and Karen gives out this playful laugh. What is the joke? Also Karen looks off screen and bows her head briefly to acknowledge something or someone, any ideas?
  12. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Awww, you took down the videos. I was hoping to watch them one more time this season. Alas, no. Thank you for sharing anyway.

    Happy New Year!!
  13. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    In fairness, The Singles 1969-1973 was a monster seller in the UK (it's massively undercertified, but sales were in the range of 1.5+ million), so A&M UK obviously had high hopes for a follow-up greatest hits, which necessitated some promo from Karen and Richard, who hadn't been to the UK for a couple of years by this point. The Singles 1974-1978 wasn't such a massive seller (probably because it contained fewer proper hits) but did quite good business (something like 600,000 in the end).

    I know Billboard reported that A&M spent something like £600,000 promoting this album in the UK, but I'm inclined to think that figure is a misprint. No one was spending such sums on pushing an album in the 1970s. I suspect there is one too many zeros in that figure and it was something more like £60,000.

    Karen certainly wasn't in great shape for her 1978 trip, but she'd declined even further when they next travelled to Europe in 1981. I imagine the need to keep the show going, plus Karen's denial that anything was seriously wrong, explains why she made such trips despite her obvious fragility.

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