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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. JBee

    JBee Active Member

    A lot of the song choices here made me go back and listen to some of these songs...and with many it's not that hard to hear Karen's take on it (but how different Richard's arrangements would be are the clincher to me - it could be a "Close to You" situation where RC reinvented a song that was years old and never went anywhere and made it a hit, or it could have been a "Man Smart, Woman Smarter" thing where the Carpenters version is almost a carbon copy of the previous Robert Palmer recording of the song..and neither is that good).

    I pretty much usually hear any Paul Willams song as a (potential) Carpenters song. His 1975 Ordinary Fool album is basically a cornucopia of quasi-Carpenters songs to my hear. In addition to the title track (which the C's DID record and is one of their best, though only as a work lead and not released till after KC's death), there's "Loneliness", "Lone Star", "Don't Call Me Love" and particularly "Lifeboat" (which I always twin with "All You Get From Love is a Love Song" since they have the same feel). I think "Lifeboat" would definitely have benefited from the overdubs, and become one of the more memorable latter-era Carpenter tunes, and could have been put on the Passage album (which only had 8 tracks - one to two of which could have been replaced). Also, it's not a ballad but an "up" song and I think the C's needed more of that for the radio.

    Speaking of "All You Get From Love is a Love Song", someone mentioned another song on Steve Eaton's album, "We're All Powered by Same Old Juice" (which has duo choruses already written into the song), but my favorite from that album is the title track: "Hey, Mr. Dreamer", I think with a little tweaking (changing "strumming" to "drumming" for examples) the song could have been almost autobiographical for the Carpenters and their road to success (it may also have given Karen another chance to drum on a recording).

    Also as mentioned, Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are". The fact that the song was enough on the Carpenters radar that they gave it the full-length treatment to it in the Space Encounters '78 special, but then had John Davidson (!) sing it (with a RC arrangement?) is beyond puzzling. Especially since instead of that hit contemporary song they had Karen do a full-length "Goofus" (one of their worst performing singles two years earlier) skit, yet a not-so complete version of "Sweet, Sweet, Smile" (their latest single release at the time). It's a shame that we don't have Karen's version of the Billy Joel song, and just head-scratching for some of the decisions made in that special.

    Of course there any number of standards that I imagine the Carpenters recording, especially since RC has consistently alluded to the fact they meant to/wanted to do a full album of them. It's not hard to imagine Karen singing anything from the Cole Porter/Johnny Mercer/Irving Berlin etc. songbooks, but I wish Richard at least had released a standards album of his own (even if just instrumental) so we could see what arrangements he would give some of the classics.
    kacfansue likes this.
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    While researching Buddy Kaye songs (Uninvited Guest),
    his song

    a gem sung by Doris Day,
    could have been re-arranged
    in Carpenters' style--of course, Karen's Lead:
    KJKennedy likes this.
  3. kprather

    kprather Member

    A thought to contribute to this thread. Wouldn't it have been nice to hear Karen's rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"?
    Passage_Ta_C and Mark-T like this.
  4. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Grown Up Christmas List.
    kacfansue likes this.
  6. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    Little Drummer Boy (Hello, Karen's drumming!)
    natureaker and Geographer like this.
  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Just recently I've been listening to a lot of 80's/90's tracks, and I was surprised at how many hit songs of the 80's and the 90's were ballads. When I was listening to tracks from Air Supply, Tears For Fear's (Everybody Wants To Rule The World), Belinda Carlisle, Michael Bolton and I have to wonder what Karen would've done with some of their ballads. It would've been interesting to have heard Karen singing "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" or Michael Bolton's recording of "Go The Distance" for the Disney film 'Hercules'c
    BarryT60 likes this.
  8. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    in the mid 70's, Paul Williams created the soundtrack for PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. there is a song called OLD SOULS which screams for Richard's treatment. there is also another Williams song called DRIFTWOOD. sometimes I feel so cheated knowing there was so much more for carpenters ahead, then I realized my lose cannot compare to Richard's.
    BarryT60 likes this.
  9. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Good post! Diana was really good in that concert. Her version of the The Look of Love was beautiful with that full orchestra backing her. Julie London did a great version of Cry Me A River back when she was singing "torch songs". I think Karen would have done a great job with either one.
  10. I'm surprised that the Carpenters, Beatles fans as they were, never tackled "The Long and Winding Road" or "Let It Be" by the Beatles. Those two songs were big chart hits for the Beatles around the same time that Richard and Karen were starting to scale the charts themselves, and would have been right up their alley.
  11. A bit closer to present times (though still some years ago), I can hear Karen singing Shania Twain's "You're Still The One" and Faith Hill's "Breathe" from the late 1990s and, with all due respect to Shania and Faith, who are remarkable vocalists themselves, blown their recordings out of the water.
    kacfansue likes this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I've always "heard" Karen's voice on You're Still The One. Lovely song that would have sounded great with Karen on lead.

    It makes me wonder how many times Richard has heard certain songs and thought she could have done them well (or better). Must have happened to him countless times.
    kacfansue likes this.
  13. Yeah...if Karen had lived to record "You're Still The One" in the 1990s, she probably would have hit the top of the charts again.
  14. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Since Air Supply was mentioned I can imagine Karen singing " Even the Nights are Better" and "Two Less Lonely people in the world" two of my favorite Air Supply songs and I think She would have done them superbly in her style.
    song4u and BarryT60 like this.
  15. Tell me if you agree: Shania's vocal approach to "You're Still the One" seemed to take its inspiration from Karen. They way Shania caressed that vocal is very similar to how Karen used to.
    kacfansue likes this.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Yes I've always thought so too, very reminiscent of KC :)
  17. I'm imagining Karen singing the old Coca-Cola jingle and hippie ode, "I'd Like To Teach the World To Sing (In Perfect Harmony)."
  18. Some more thoughts:

    Another Bacharach number from that era: "What The World Needs Now Is Love"

    And for something more upbeat, the Archies' "Sugar Sugar," which was on the charts at around the time that the Carpenters were about to make their first OFFERING. :)
  19. Great Thread. It is funny that you posted this. I am constantly listening to music and thinking that would have been great for Karen's voice. Just the other day, we were listening to The Manhattan Transfer's Mecca For Moderns album and thought the concept would have been perfect for Carpenters - it was even mastered at A & M.

    I definitely liked a lot of the choices here:
    I could have even seen her performing the part of Phoenix - the songs would have been perfect for her, especially OLD SOULS.

    I too have always heard Karen on this.

    Would have been a great rendition.

    So here's my thoughts; some may not be as good, but here goes:

    Cat Stevens: If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out - from the Harold and Maude soundtrack
    David Bowie: Life On Mars? - Something different for Karen, but I think she would have had fun
    Laura Nyro: And When I Die - there's a clip of it on YouTube, but would have been great if they recorded it
    Patsy Cline: "Leavin' On Your Mind" written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce - Karen could have done this justice
    Barbra Streisand: Prisoner (Love Theme from Eyes of Laura Mars) written by Karen Lawrence and John DeSautels
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  20. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Terrific choices, Tracey! I particularly agree with you on "Prisoner" --- love that song. Great to see you here again!
  21. Kirsty MacColl/Tracey Ullman's "They Don't Know" would have been another great one for Karen to sing.
    song4u likes this.
  22. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Andrea Corr covered it too. I agree Karen could have sung it on maybe a retro style album.
  23. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    Ha! "I'd like to buy the world a Coke, and keep it company" I don't think that song has enough range to do Karen justice.
  24. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Moonlight by Rod Stewart. Perfect for a Karen solo song actually.
  25. Some of the songs from Carole King's Tapestry album might have suited Karen: "So Far Away," "You've Got a Friend," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," and "It's Too Late" would have sounded great with Karen's vocals. "I Feel the Earth Move" would have been too strident, though, and "Natural Woman" possibly too forceful.
    song4u likes this.

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