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Nonexistent Carpenters songs that you can just hear

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by BGW, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. BGW

    BGW Member Thread Starter

    I think I'm losing it. I just finished watching V for Vendetta. The song Cry Me a River is featured in the movie, and it crept into my head after it (the movie) was over. I heard Karen's wonderful rich, smooth voice flowing over the lyrics and I was entirely sure that the Carpenters had covered the song and that I just didn't have it. I'm still not convinced they didn't record it, even after double checking all over the internet. It's scary. It's not like I'm imagining her singing it instead of the other singers, I can hear an entirely new arrangement crafted around her voice.

    Even when it's just a figment of our imaginations, music is still music, even if it hasn't been written down or recorded. I'd argue that this quasi-Carpenters music that exists solely in that realm is real, at least in its own way. It certainly is to whoever imagines it.

    It reminds me of a passage from Lee Child's first Jack Reacher novel: "People spend thousands of dollars on stereos. Sometimes tens of thousands. There is a specialist industry right here in the States which builds stereo gear to a standard you wouldn't believe. Tubed amplifiers which cost more than a house. Speakers taller than me. Cables thicker than a garden hose. Some army guys had that stuff. I'd heard it on bases around the world. Wonderful. But they were wasting their money. Because the best stereo in the world is free. Inside your head. It sounds as good as you want it to. As loud as you want it to be."

    Karen may be gone but her voice still lives within us. The music lives on, both through us listening to what was recorded in that short span of time but also through us imagining Carpenters songs that never were.

    Anyway, I guess I'm now the resident loony here. But I do have a question. What nonexistent Carpenters songs exist to you?

    *After proofreading this, I think I should clarify. Despite what this post reads like, I am not, in fact, baked. :laugh: Also, while Karen isn't with us, I've no doubt she's in a better place now, looking down and chuckling at this odd rambling post.
    BarryT60 and Jamesj75 like this.
  2. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Might sound something like this . . .
    Carpe diem likes this.
  3. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    ..."It Never Rains In Southern California". I have always wished to hear Karen on this lead.
  4. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    The female lead in the Spinners song, 'Games People Play'. They indeed asked Karen to sing a duet with them, but she declined out of deference to Richard. I always wonder if that song wasn't the one they wanted her to record.

    Too bad she wasn't given the opportunity to expand a bit.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  5. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    I always thought that Anne Murray's "You Needed Me" should have been sung by Karen. I, at least, in my own mind---to keep with the theme---can hear Karen singing this...
    Passage_Ta_C and A&M Retro like this.
  6. Actorman

    Actorman Active Member

    There is a song on Lynda Carter's 1978 album Portrait called "All Night Song" which always makes me think of Karen. It has a similar feel to the solo album and I can totally "hear" Karen singing it.

    I also "hear" Karen on Barbara Mandrell's 1978 hit "Sleeping Single In A Double Bed." The background vocals are very Carpenters-esque and the song has a "(Want You) Back In My Life Again" quality to it. It would have fit perfectly on Made In America although the lyrics were probably a bit too racy for Richard.

    Jamesj75 - Totally agree with "You Needed Me." Karen would have done an amazing version of that song. "Could I Have This Dance" is another Anne Murray song that I think Karen would have sounded incredible on.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  7. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    "We're All Powered By The Same Old Juice" by Steve Eaton from whom Karen & Richard got "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song"...

    -- Dave
  8. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I may have several of these to add in coming days - but the first ones I even used to think back in the day - that SHOULD have been Karen were:

    All Time High - made popular by Rita Coolidge from the James Bond movie, Octopussy.

    Prior to that - I liked You and Me Against The World (Helen Reddy) and wished Richard would have snatched that up for Karen...

    and also Billy Joel's I love you Just The Way You Are... "Don't go changin' to try to please me..." I can hear her very easily... GREAT thread! Not crazy at all! (Or I may be too!!!)
    toeknee4bz and Jamesj75 like this.
  9. Dave60640

    Dave60640 Active Member

    After much thought about what songs I hear or think of the CarpenterS as a unit when I hear them, one song jumped at me right away. And that is "What's Forever For" written by Rafe VanHoy. Recorded by several artists (Michael Martin Murphy scored the hit) but listening to England Dan and John Ford Coley's version makes my mind just hear the great version our duo could've done, especially if Rich gave it an arrangement like he gave Where Do I Go From Here. And with KC's vocals?!! An OMG CarpenterS moment is what I hear.:yikes:
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  10. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    'Crazy For You' would have been an incredible song for Karen. I can always 'hear' her singing the first line, 'Swaying room as the music starts'. And it makes perfect sense because the lyrics were written by John Bettis. I've heard he had her in mind when he wrote it.
    BarryT60, toeknee4bz and Jamesj75 like this.
  11. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    ...and "Rain".
  12. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    And interestingly enough, this song was written by Albert Hammond who also shared writing credit (albeit just the title) on "I Need To Be In Love"...
    BGW and goodjeans like this.
  13. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    "Inside A Silent Tear" would've been perfect for Karen,with a bossa nova arrangement.
  14. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I also think about roles in musicals that Karen could have done. I think she would have been great in Mamma Mia!
    A&M Retro likes this.
  15. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    For years I have been able to put Karen's voice to virtually any song. The subtle nuances and stuff like that there. Chaplin's SMILE is a tune that comes to mind right now. RC's arrangements are easy to conjure as well. Wah sha la la la la la la and so on.
    Passage_Ta_C likes this.
  16. BGW

    BGW Member Thread Starter

    Wow, I've been so busy I only had a chance to check back in just now. Lots of wonderful thoughts! Being 19, I hadn't heard some of these songs before, so I went through and listened to them. All I can say is you all have an excellent ear for music. I agree completely, each one of these songs would have made a bang up Carpenters tune.

    song4u, I hadn't heard that version before. It's very nice. I suppose I'm hearing it most closely to Joan Baez's version. I love Ella's version, but I always thought it was too upbeat. I think Karen both would have enjoyed doing musicals and have done very well with them. She sure seemed to be enjoying herself in that Grease parody thing on youtube.

    goodjeans, It Never Rains In Southern California has all the makings of a classic Carpenters tune. They would have done an excellent job on it, it's a great song.

    A&M Retro, that's interesting about the duet, would have been amazing to hear. The existing lead is good, but Karen really would have made the song "pop". I agree, it would have been great to expand their horizon. Crazy For You would have been incredible indeed. To me, it sounds like it would have fit perfectly on her (double) solo album. The only version I could find was Madonna's. I'm not a fan of hers, I really wish I could actually click on a youtube link of Karen singing it. :D To me, the two are leagues apart. Take Don't Cry For Me, Argentina- Karen's reading is mature and powerful whereas Madonna's sounds girly and vapid to me. No offense intended to anyone who likes Madonna.

    Jamesj75, oh my gosh, you're so right, You Needed Me should have been her song! Anne's version is good, but K&R could've taken it to a whole new dimension.

    Actorman, I think All Night Song would have made an excellent addition to her solo album. Sleeping Single... would have spiced up MIA or I could also see it on her solo album. Of course she would have sung a mean Could I Have This Dance, but I wonder where it would have fit in. Maybe the follow up to MIA? Passage?

    Dave, I can't find a recording or even lyrics of that song, but I love All You Get... so if it's at all similar, I'm sure it would be great!

    BarryT60, All Time High would have been amazing, I can absolutely hear it! It would need a totally different arrangement though. You and Me... is a beautiful song. Karen's resonant voice would have made it even more poignant. Just The Way You Are would have been phenomenal. And thanks, this thread has turned out really well. I was afraid people would read it and think I was :nut:.

    Dave60640, what a great song. I hadn't heard that one before. I agree about the arrangement- I'm sure Richard would come up with something perfect.

    mr J, looked Inside a Silent Tear up. It really would have been perfect for her, it's a beautiful piece and it would have been a breath of fresh air with your suggested arrangement.

    djn, that's a fantastic song! It would be something else to hear her sing it, it fits like a glove.
    A&M Retro, BarryT60 and Jamesj75 like this.
  17. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    The Corrs "Don't Say You Love Me" would have been great for Karen to sing . . .
    BGW likes this.
  18. Iced Tea

    Iced Tea New Member

    Man, I haven't been on here in forever! I always thought it would have been awesome if they had done 'I Write the Songs' by Barry Manilow... except Richard could have sung it the way that Barry sings it "...I write the songs..." etc. and Karen could have sung it the way Frank Sinatra did... ya know, "I sing the songs...". They could have done it as a duet! Ya know... Karen: "I sing the songs that make the whole world sing!" Richard: "I write the songs of love and special things!"

    kacfansue and BGW like this.
  19. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Sarah!
  20. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I'll add a "Karen song" or two: Nat King Cole's "Too Young" and Vanessa Williams' "October Sky". Not too mention the innumerable American standards she should have recorded. Ot the "other" "If I Had You" by Queen Latifah.
  21. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    One more- in the vein of Bwana: "She (He) Walks This Earth"
  22. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I wish they would have done a full version of this commercial song . . .
  23. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Just heard Cher singing The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore off her It's a Man's World cd. The song has Karen and hit written all over it. I don't think the world wearied of Karen's broken hearted love songs.
    goodjeans and BGW like this.
  24. BGW

    BGW Member Thread Starter

    Once again, you all have wonderful ears. All of those songs could easily have been Carpenters hits.

    Iced Tea (Sarah), absolutely. I love your idea for the arrangement.

    mstaft, you've pointed out some really lovely songs, I'd never heard those before. I especially like She Walks This Earth and Too Young!

    song4u, considering the origins of We've Only Just Begun, I'm a bit surprised Richard didn't take to Good Friends Are For Keeps.

    djn, I think you're right. Perhaps people's ears were getting oversaturated with them, but there are still so many that are popular today.

    As for myself, I had a bit of a different idea. Instead of songs I can hear the Carpenters doing, I had an idea for an instrumental cover of Someday. The song has such a beautiful melody I really feel it would carry over well to just instruments. I'm really hearing an upright bass taking the brunt of the melody, but with an antiphonal tradeoff between sections/instruments. I think it could be very powerful.

    Mary Chapin Carpenter's song I Am A Town is kind of in the same league of what I was thinking. The bass is hauntingly beautiful and really accentuates the power of the lyrics.

    As a side note, if y'all don't have Chapin's Come on, Come on album, you really should. Even if you don't think you like country, it's a must have. There's a reason it went more than quadruple platinum and had 7 top 10 hits.

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013
    Iced Tea likes this.
  25. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Welcome, BGW!
    BGW likes this.

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