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Magic Lamp, RCA and Spectrum recordings I

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Simon KC1950, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Simon KC1950

    Simon KC1950 Active Member Thread Starter

    I was just reading the notes by Richard for the 'From The Top' set. In it he talks about the songs included.

    Magic Lamp
    -He mentions that "The Parting Of Our Ways" was one 'of the first things' they recorded there.

    RCA Records
    -'11 sides were cut in minimal times

    -Ed Sulzer got them a deal to work in a studio where they cut and overdubbed 9 songs
    -Later, not being able to afford anymore studio time were cutting demo tapes in the Carpenters home.

    all of this tells us that they recorded:

    -an unknown ? Amount of songs for Magic Lamp

    -11 sides for RCA

    -9 Tracks with spectrum + Demo tapes.

    -any songs recorded by RC, KC at home using their Sony recorders.

    overall from those 3 ventures we have 7 songs, which means there are other songs we don't have.

    does anybody know their names / heard them?

    will they ever be released?
    Jeff likes this.
  2. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Based on the video of Richard playing the snippet of 'All Of My Life' on the Carpenters 'Forever' video, there have to be dozens and dozens of unreleased home recordings. Richard just pulls out one tape, and there are many tracks on just the one tape he demonstrates on the old Sony reel to reel. There are so many tapes in the background of that scene, as well. Only Richard knows for sure. My guess is most of it would be from the Spectrum period, though he has acetates of recordings from before that time, as well.
  3. Simon KC1950

    Simon KC1950 Active Member Thread Starter

    I remember that video! When I saw it all I thought was that I wanted to get in that room!!!

    He has to release it, he must be sitting on dozens maybe even hundreds of unreleased songs both from the pre-Carpenters days and their career. When he eventually does pass what's going to happen to it all? Will it just sit there collecting dust.

    That's another thought who will take charge of the Carpenters and all their releases? One of his Children maybe.
    A&M Retro and newvillefan like this.
  4. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Are you referring to just the tracks on "From The Top"? You should check out "As Time Goes By" as it contains "Nowhere Man" and "California Dreaming". "California Dreaming" is the one song from the Magic Lamp days that Richard has had the master to for all these years. "Nowhere Man" was from the Carpenters original demo tape.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  5. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    I have several hours of video on this - Richard, Joe Osborn and the late Ron Gorow (Richard's copyist) at Capitol Records working on the As Time Goes By album.

    Here is a clip of California Dreamin', as you can hear the original tracks all in tact during the playback as opposed to the polished re-cuts we hear on As Time Goes By. Will give a little insight as to what it sounded like initially.

  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    ^^^ Chris- THANK YOU for this. Their genius is evident!
  7. JayJayVA

    JayJayVA Member

    Seems like I'd like the original better :)
    Lesley Parry and Simon KC1950 like this.
  8. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    That version of "California Dreamin'" blew me over! Much more than the version out there (don't get me wrong, I listened to it today and found I had more appreciation for it than I realized! Something new is always exciting).
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
    newvillefan and Simon KC1950 like this.
  9. masqueraded

    masqueraded Member

    Seriously, why did they have to replace Karen's drum track though on this? I would've just been happy with the original demo versions. I mean Richard didn't tamper with anything on the FTT set (aside from the Goodnight mistake). Oh well. It's a shame that we won't be getting anything new. Thanks so much Chris.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  10. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    What struck me was not just Karen's drumming but Richard's organ playing on the original demo- throughout the whole song. I liked the part where you heard it after the line "And I began to pray".
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  11. masqueraded

    masqueraded Member

    I think a double disc set of pre Offering material would be so interesting. Richard doesn't have to clean up a lot of stuff (unless the recording calls for it). But us as diehards know that demos are just that-demos. They don't need to be perfect. The set could consist of everything in Simon's list above, plus the Dancing In The Streets performances, any home recordings (of either RCT-wasn't Caravan an at home recording and not RCA?-or something with Karen's vocal), etc. I know there was talk of an acetate/45 of Karen with her pre-big voice that Richard (understandably so) won't ever release. Oh well, one can dream I guess.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Chris I've thought so much in the last few days about some of that footage that was once aired, having read the recent threads about the Spectrum days and early Carpenters. The footage was amazing!
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Ron: "Karen and Joe sound good together"
    Joe: "Well we always did!"

    Pure heaven to watch this, thank you Chris.
  14. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Ron was the one responsible for writing out all of Richard's orchestrations for the Carpenter records on thru PACC. Died suddenly back in around '08 I believe. A genius and another unsung hero of the Carpenters camp.
  15. Nick

    Nick Member

    How do I private message you?
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  16. A "private message" is the same as a "conversation". Click on Chris May's name under his avatar, and you'll see a link for "Start a conversation."
    Nick likes this.
  17. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Thanks, Chris! That was great! I enjoyed hearing Karen's stripped-back vocal for 'California Dreaming', her drumming and Richard's original organ playing. It was also great to see Richard, Joe and the other guys working together in such a relaxed way.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  18. arthowson

    arthowson Active Member

    i would love to see the video if it's still available.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  19. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    When As Time Goes By was released I had a friend who would never tire of listening to Nowhere Man. He was a high School Chorus teacher and was amazed with Karen's voice at such a young age. So, if Richard thought his efforts were lost, they were not. I think any criticism is because fans want other songs as well. My only issue with the CD was the re-recording of the Perry Como Medley. Now, I love that Magic Moments and Catch A Falling Star is added, but I almost despise all the other added vocals. It was fresh in the original form from the TV special. And, part of hearing all of those older moments is hearing them in the original form, however what was done to Nowhere Man was awesome, and the harmonica helped blend it. This project or Interpretations would have been great for Thank You For The Music so I am hoping it comes a possible 50th Anniversary set. I am thankful for everything he brings forward from Karen, as she was and is my favorite singer. This is the only group I follow and only board I participate. There is no other who speaks to my soul and I can acclaim her voice was heaven sent. The Manhattan Transfer came second over the years but still no comparison to Karen. The vocal work and blend of Karen and Richard will always be what I crave. As a teenage boy I was amazed with the vocal stacks used in Top of the World and Superstar and A Song For You coming from every angle in my room and songs with those overdubs is what I have craved since. Little did I know at the time that a complete song with just Karen, without vocal stacks or just her alone would also fit in this category. She just had a gift that her voice sounded good in everything and with perfect phrasing and rhythmatic feel without effort. I believe that she and Richard felt the essence of a song in similar fashion and is one if the ingredients that made them a perfect team.

    Jeff and Simon KC1950 like this.
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    You do realize that the original form on TV included those added songs? And the only reason that Richard needed to record his vocals for some of the songs in 1999 was that Perry Como had originally recorded them to the 2-inch videotape, but they were cut and not saved. However the music had apparently been recorded by the Carpenters back in 1974 so that they could lip-synch on the special, and in the linear notes Richard says that they recorded the track in stereo, but only mastered it in mono because television only had mono sound at the time. It's just like what Richard's done with all the Carpenters DVD's, he's put the music on them in stereo rather than their original TV mono mix.
    Brian and Simon KC1950 like this.
  21. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Yes, Tom. I understand what was involved. It still did not give a more pleasurable listening product to me, but it did give 2 new songs in the medley that are fantastic! Sometimes there is more beauty in original footage of whatever is left outside of natural tape destruction in whatever form as long as nothing sounds warped or some other factor that deteriorates the product. Karen had the vocal strength while Richard has the piano, arranger, conductor, producer and beautiful music writing strengths that I could never possess. To think, songs like Yesterday Once More will live forever. How many can say that!! Karen just did not have a good voice, her talent showcased a voice of the century type of voice, and that just can't be replaced or replicated, just as those infamous songs could never be written by others.
    Simon KC1950 and K.C. Jr like this.
  22. wayney74

    wayney74 New Member

    Hi Chris could i please have a link ? Would appreciate it ! Thanks Wayne

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