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Lovelines...1980?

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
It’s crazy how much stronger an album like Lovelines is. It’s like Richard knew somehow he could pull them out for some special occasion later on.
We were talking about this album in the Made In America thread but I didn’t want to hijack that thread and it gave me an idea...

Imagine if they’d released Lovelines exactly as it eventually appeared, but in late 1980, a year before Made In America came along? This way they could have squeezed in a 1980 album while sessions for MIA dragged on and also tested the water with the solo tracks, thereby appeasing Karen after the bruising experience of its shelving. Think of how the liner notes could have read:

“Lovelines” consists of 12 previously unreleased studio tracks recorded since 1977 and commemorates the tenth anniversary of Richard and Karen’s first number one single with A&M Records, “Close To You”. The album includes four selections from Karen’s unreleased solo album, produced by Phil Ramone and remixed by Richard especially for this collection. Also included are selections from two of the duo’s recent television specials, along with two tracks from their most recent recording sessions. Richard is especially proud to present the stunning “You’re The One”, which was recorded for the duo’s 1977 LP “Passage”, but which lost out on a place on that album due to “the flip of a coin”.
 
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Kyle Thomas

Member
Love this thought experiment!

I see "Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night" as the lead single (and may have performed similar to Touch Me When We're Dancing), followed by "If I Had You" or if they wanted a more classic Carpenters formula song, "Where Do I Go From Here?" These three songs had stronger single potential in 1980, I think, than "Beechwood" ever had.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I’m happy I said what I did! This is a great topic! I’ll go into more detail soon, but this in 1980 would have certainly eased them into the 80s with a much chance of repcapturing some of their early 70s popularity. All of these songs sound much stronger, sharper, modern, hooky, etc than MIA. They really would have had a shot at chart success had this been the case.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I know I keep going back, but really this is what I see MIA being in 1980/1981.

Side 1

Prime Time Love
Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
Don't Try To Win Me Back
The Uninvited Guest
If I Had You (but remix it so that it ended cold)
Leave Yesterday Behind
(Want You) Back In My Life Again
Remember When Loving Took All Night
The Rainbow Connection

Side 2

My Body Keeps Changing My Mind (aside from keeping Karen's lead track, and the opening drum line (but with added reverb and more stereo separation), I'd re-record the instruments and backing vocals, so that this was a very upbeat dance track, kind of like what Richard did in 1991, but eliminating the disco entirely)
Lovelines
Beechwood 4-5789
Looking For Love* (again a re-record, possible a Richard lead)
I've Got Rhythm
You're Just In Love (just as it appears on As Time Goes By, with Richard dueting with Karen)
Touch Me When We're Dancing
Slow Dance


*if it was written I might even consider Something In Your Eyes with Richard on lead.

Single Releases:

Single #1 If I Had You/Don't Try To Win Me Back (this would be issued shortly after starting the project, as aside from some light editing, they are already ready to go)
Single #2 I've Got Rhythm/Leave Yesterday Behind (to tie-into the Carpenters 1980 TV special)
Single #3 My Body Keeps Changing My Mind/You're Just In Love (this would be released within the month prior to the album's release)
Single #4 The Rainbow Connection/Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night
Single #5 Touch Me When We're Dancing/Making Love In The Afternoon
Single #6 Prime Time Love/Lovelines
Single #7 Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore/The Uninvited Guest
Single #8 (non-album single) Do You Hear What I Hear? (duet with Richard)/I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (keep Karen's vocal track from 78, but re-record the instruments, including adding bells to the track)

With Singles 5 & 8, the three tracks that were not on MIA would just be single-only tracks, with a possibility of hinting at what might come in the future, with the Christmas tracks being released somewhere around October/November 1980.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
These are all Great ideas and had some of these songs been released and played on the radio it is my opinion that Karen and Richard's Fortunes at the time would have fared much better they would have evolved into 80s Hitmakers along the likes of Chicago as far as power ballads are concerned at least but again this is just an optimistic thought on my part but this is a great thread and sometimes it's fun to imagine what might have been. But still I appreciate the Carpenters as they were and are and we are blessed to have all their recorded output Availible to enjoy
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I know I keep going back, but really this is what I see MIA being in 1980/1981.

Side 1

Prime Time Love
Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
Don't Try To Win Me Back
The Uninvited Guest
If I Had You (but remix it so that it ended cold)
Leave Yesterday Behind
(Want You) Back In My Life Again
Remember When Loving Took All Night
The Rainbow Connection

Side 2

My Body Keeps Changing My Mind (aside from keeping Karen's lead track, and the opening drum line (but with added reverb and more stereo separation), I'd re-record the instruments and backing vocals, so that this was a very upbeat dance track, kind of like what Richard did in 1991, but eliminating the disco entirely)
Lovelines
Beechwood 4-5789
Looking For Love* (again a re-record, possible a Richard lead)
I've Got Rhythm
You're Just In Love (just as it appears on As Time Goes By, with Richard dueting with Karen)
Touch Me When We're Dancing
Slow Dance
There's no way we'd have gotten this album. You've mixed Karen's solo tracks with Carpenters' so this would have existed. Even if it could have, Richard never would have let Karen's solo arrangements stand. He'd have done them over himself. There's also no way there would have been eight singles. Given their current chart standing, they might have gotten two. Even in the best case, no more than four.

Ed
 

Jorge

New Member
Songs like Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night, Slow Dance and If We Try would for sure have found a good reception on the charts had Lovelines been released back in 1980. Lovelines is by far a stronger album than Made in America. MIA is bland, sterile. Look at the charts in 1980: Rock With You, Magic, Deja Vu, Lost In Love, Up Side Down, Steal Away, More Love. In a time period when we should have got If I Had You, Lovelines, Remember When Lovin', we got instead Beechwood, The Wedding Song, and Somebody's been Lyin'. Those songs didn't stand a chance. Nobody was doing stuff like that, nobody who wanted to have a hit song. 🤷‍♂️
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
You've mixed Karen's solo tracks with Carpenters' so this would have existed. Even if it could have, Richard never would have let Karen's solo arrangements stand. He'd have done them over himself.
But Karen’s solo stuff was recorded by early 1980, and this is saying for a late 80 release. Of course it could be on there. And as stated by the OP, he might leave her arrangements as is for a reaction from the public on how the rest might be received.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Something about this sound too good to be true. But I agree it would of been a great 1980 release!
One question though. Would it been possible to have released as it was in 1989, then?
As a starting point, let's say in (Oct.) 1980 were the tracks "Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night and The Uninvited Guest" yet recorded or finished?
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
But Karen’s solo stuff was recorded by early 1980, and this is saying for a late 80 release. Of course it could be on there. And as stated by the OP, he might leave her arrangements as is for a reaction from the public on how the rest might be received.
There's no way Richard would use Bob James/Rod Temperton arrangements on a Carpenters' album.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Given the documentation of Richard Carpenter requesting additional lyric from the writers of the song
Make Believe It's Your First Time, how does that fit in with ...
"apparently he came very close to re-recording the song in a very similar style as the solo version" ?
Where does that information originate ? Documentational support is needed.

Richard does say this:
"...I set out to arrange the song...I contacted the writers asking them for a bridge..." (liner notes, From The Top).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
One question though. Would it been possible to have released as it was in 1989, then?
As a starting point, let's say in (Oct.) 1980 were the tracks "Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night and The Uninvited Guest" yet recorded or finished?
I'm fairly certain both songs were already recorded by late 1980, but we know that Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night was not yet complete and the backing vocals seem to have been added by Siedah Garrett much later, as she did not surface as a session singer until the mid 1980s.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I'm fairly certain both songs were already recorded by late 1980, but we know that Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night was not yet complete and the backing vocals seem to have been added by Siedah Garrett much later, as she did not surface as a session singer until the mid 1980s.
Yeah, Karen was clearly intended to be in Siedah's place. A female background part was needed and Siedah did it...and did it well.

Ed
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
A female background part was needed and Siedah did it...and did it well.
I think Siedah sounds superb on the track and wish she had been around in 1980 as she could have made a fantastic contribution to the tracks which were recorded for Made In America. I read a couple of places that she has perfect pitch as a singer (which a lot of sessions singers do).
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I think Siedah sounds superb on the track and wish she had been around in 1980 as she could have made a fantastic contribution to the tracks which were recorded for Made In America. I read a couple of places that she has perfect pitch as a singer (which a lot of sessions singers do).
Yep. She does. I liked Richard spicing up the backgrounds with additional singers. If Karen had lived, it night have been fun to hear them all together.

Ed
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I've never heard that before. It would have been interesting to see how that version turned out.
By very similar I was referring to how Richard’s arrangement, while adding more instruments and a bridge, is the beat is very much the same (both could be danced to as a slow waltz) as the solo, the way Karen sings the words is very similar and when I listen to the song, there is very little difference between the 2 that someone might think that Richard just used the solo tape as the basis for the VOTH version and had Karen record the bridge.Its not like he arranged it to where the track is more upbeat—-closer to an upbeat dance track—-or did a really different arrangement. People have accused Richard of not doing a lot of different arrangements of covers on the post-1974 albums from other artists (like AKOH), and yet with MBIYFT, he basically stuck to the solo arrangement and added a few flourishes.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Thread Starter
yet with MBIYFT, he basically stuck to the solo arrangement and added a few flourishes.
I would disagree with that...for the re-record he added more than just flourishes, it ended up with a full string arrangement, the dreaded chorale and several other instruments. The solo version is basically Karen and piano for most of it, with light drums and bass as it gets into the second verse.

Liner notes from the official site:

Produced and Arranged by Richard Carpenter
Lead Vocal: Karen Carpenter
Backing Vocals: The O.K. Chorale
Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt
Acoustic Guitar: Tim May
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Pedal Steel Guitar: Jay Dee Maness
Flute: Sheridon Stokes
Oboe: Earle Dumler

In early 1980, believing this song to be one of the better selections in Karen’s solo project, and now knowing that project was not going to be released, I set out to arrange the song for the album on which we were starting production. In the process, I contacted the writers, asking them to write a bridge, which it originally did not have. The revision was made and a track recorded with Karen’s “work lead.” It was then set aside, as one of many Made In America outtakes. Some time after Karen’s untimely passing on February 4, 1983, I returned to the A&M studios, to work on what would become the Voice Of The Heart album. This was, with the exception of “Now” (1982), a collection of other outtakes from various years. “Make Believe It’s Your First Time” was chosen as the debut single, even though I didn’t believe there was a hit in that album. I still feel it’s a pretty song, and that it showcases Karen’s resonant alto very well.


Carpenters •• Make Believe It's Your First Time
 
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tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I would disagree with that...for the re-record he added more than just flourishes, it ended up with a full string arrangement, the dreaded chorale and several other instruments. The solo version is basically Karen and piano for most of it, with light drums and bass as it gets into the second verse.

Liner notes from the official site:

Produced and Arranged by Richard Carpenter
Lead Vocal: Karen Carpenter
Backing Vocals: The O.K. Chorale
Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt
Acoustic Guitar: Tim May
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Pedal Steel Guitar: Jay Dee Maness
Flute: Sheridon Stokes
Oboe: Earle Dumler

In early 1980, believing this song to be one of the better selections in Karen’s solo project, and now knowing that project was not going to be released, I set out to arrange the song for the album on which we were starting production. In the process, I contacted the writers, asking them to write a bridge, which it originally did not have. The revision was made and a track recorded with Karen’s “work lead.” It was then set aside, as one of many Made In America outtakes. Some time after Karen’s untimely passing on February 4, 1983, I returned to the A&M studios, to work on what would become the Voice Of The Heart album. This was, with the exception of “Now” (1982), a collection of other outtakes from various years. “Make Believe It’s Your First Time” was chosen as the debut single, even though I didn’t believe there was a hit in that album. I still feel it’s a pretty song, and that it showcases Karen’s resonant alto very well.


Carpenters •• Make Believe It's Your First Time
In other words, flourishes.
 
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