• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Remixes

Do you prefer the Carpenters "Classic" album mixes, or newer remixed versions?

  • I prefer the newer mixes over the originals

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • Given a choice, I'd rather have "classic" original versions

    Votes: 8 50.0%
  • I have no preference--I like both equally

    Votes: 5 31.3%

  • Total voters
    16
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Jeff

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I may stand alone here, but, I appreciate something different about each remix. Being as we will never see another "Carpenters" album of new material, it seems that remixes can change or alter the sound of a song thereby giving the listener a new perspective on the production. Being a die-hard completist, I continue to buy each re-issue in search of that subtle nuance sometimes provided by the technique. Sometimes the difference is bringing out the background vocals a bit or often times I hear a clearer and more pronounced lead vocal. Other times, a reconfigured instrumentation can lead to a new and fresher way of hearing an old favorite. I say bring 'em on!

Jeff
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
You're not alone, Jeff. I too appreciate the work that goes into the remixes, and am always out there buying whatever comes along. That doesn't mean that I still don't prefer an original mix to whatever comes along to replace it. I listened repeatedly to the old LPs back in the '70s, so they have become the definitive versions to me. The new ones mostly sound great, and I do enjoy them too, but they will always seem like replacements to the originals to me, and not the "real thing."

I often get great enjoyment out of listening to the latest and greatest remixes as Richard provides them, but will always be thankful that the REMASTERED CLASSICS series was released with the original LP mixes intact.

Harry
NP: radio at work
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I agree. The remastered classics sound superior, especially in the vocal tracks.

The new remixes seem to add more importance to the instrumental tracks. And, the new ones stick out from what was left in the original version. Only when each instrument has been re-recorded, do the new mixes sound favorable, but all tracks to the vocals are not present and sometimes what remains has too much reverb.

Craig
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I'll split my vote here. :wink:

I grew up listening to the original albums, and that will always be my preferred method of Carpenters listening. There are certain sounds and nuances that I expect to be there, or not there, and only the originals do that for me. The sound quality isn't the same as the remixes, but I can live with a 1972-level sound quality for a 1972 album.

On the other hand, the remixes do sound better, there's no denying it. They have a more contemporary edge, more punch, more presence. I don't mind listening to some of them on occasion (like the few on the From The Top set).

But in my normal "rhythms" of listening, they just don't sound like I expect them to...like the originals sounded, in other words. True, the newly recorded instrumentation on some of them may technically (from a musical standpoint) be more correct, but to me, it's tampering with what already was perfection, and in a small way, just feels like part of the soul of the original is lost. Maybe now it's too perfect, or too antiseptic? Who knows?

I'd be interested to see how different listener groups react to the originals vs. the remixes. Original listeners like myself may find the original album mixes more appealing...or maybe not. But new listeners who've only just begun to listen to Carpenters from the mid 80's forward may only be familiar with the remixed versions, and think those are the definitive and/or superior versions.

I've added a poll to this thread--it should be interesting debate! (As long as we agree to disagree... :wink: )

-= N =-
 

scottb

Well-Known Member
I too am always excited about what new remixes a new compilation may have. I'm split right down the middle as I really like the original versions mostly because there is significantly less reverb on Karens voice. However I find the remixes to be much fuller sounding. A good example is "I Need To Be In Love" as the original is good but when you listen to the remix Karens voice is so much fuller-almost 3 dimensional sounding. Thankfully we can have the best of both worlds with the remastered classics.

Scott B
 

LeadSister

New Member
Nothing beats the originals. There have been a few remixes where Richard seems to add sounds that I dont think really fit. I think what they wanted at the time of making the album means more. If that makes sense.

Pamela
 

davidgra

Active Member
I have to say that I actually like some of the remixes better than the original versions -- "It's Going to Take Some Time" is one of my favorite remixes, because the new stereo piano sounds SO much fuller than the original. "Sing" is another song that I feel benefits from the fuller piano sound.

What I don't like about almost all the remixes, however, is the added reverb in the lead vocal. Given the choice, I'll take the "dry" original mixes of the lead vocals any day...

The "Remastered" series is really perfect -- we got all the original albums in their vinyl mixes, and we got a great remix collection in YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. If we could have another remix collection (like the Japanese "Treasures") in the U.S. to round out the remixes, we'd have it all!

David
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
David, I agree with It's Going To Take Some Time. The remix for Sing is nice, but it does not contain the simple characterist of the original mood as felt in the original arrangement, but it does not destroy the song, as in Top of the World.

There is also one for A Song For You with a grand piano in stereo.

Craig
 

Chris

Well-Known Member
Some of the remixes I really like, then with some songs I prefer the originals. The one remix that I feel is really inferior to the original is "Yesterday Once More". It's just lost some of it's magic in the remix. "A Song For You" is another one that loses something in the remix in my opinion.

Some of the songs that I feel are greatly improved by the remixes are "Bless The Beasts and Children", "It's Going To Take Some Time", "Superstar", and "This Masquerade". A song that has never been remixed that I think could use it, is "I Just Fall In Love Again".

There is no doubt that the sound quality is improved in the remixes, but why couldn't they have been a bit more faithful to the originals by letting Karen's voice stand more in front of the music? The remix of "Calling Occupants" is a good example of when they at least let Karen keep more of the spotlight instead of shoving her deep into the background with too much echo.

Thankfully most of the songs from "Horizon" have been left alone. They are perfect as they are.

Pamela, I love your picture of animal! Very cute. I enjoy your "Lead Sister" site as well.
 

Bruno

Member
Mostly I prefer the remixes.

All Carpenters albums from 1969 til 1973 were recorded on only a few tracks, so that neither the piano nor the drums nor other instruments could be recorded in stereo. When Richard re-recorded his piano in stereo and sometimes other instruments as well, he just made those songs complete, as they always should have been.

Not always, those remixes are good. TOP OF THE WORLD has indeed lost it's original feeling. But YESTERDAY ONCE MORE (remix 1985) is much, much better than the original version, because of the piano in stereo and some added instruments. Listen to the harp( is it a harp??) accompanying the lyrics "it was songs of love that I would sing to them....."

This has the chill factor for me, and always will have. :)
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
I must admit that some of the remixes sound remarkably good, and are enjoyable to listen to. But some of them sound dreadful, with Karen's voice buried by excessive reverb and over-instrumentation. I don't mind so much if Richard wants to re-record his piano parts or do a little tweaking here or there, but it really bugs the hell out of me when he replaces Karen's drumming! :mad: IMO, Karen's drumming can't be "improved"!

In most cases, given a choice, I prefer the original mixes. I grew up listening to these mixes, and they have a certain "magic" to them that the remixes just can't equal, especially when I listen to them on the original vinyl.

Murray
 

PJ

Member
I enjoy both originals and some newer remixes :

Prefer : Top of The World -original Album Mix and 1973 Single Mix -but not the recent 1990's remixes .....

Merry Christmas Darling & Santa Claus -original Single Mixes are the best , 1978 MCD re-recording is fine -but later remix is so-so.

Interestingly with Calling Occupants , I enjoy the original Album mix , the edited Single mix and the 1989 remix with the choral vocals absent ...which Richard did not work on :o

The worst mixes are actually on one of Carpenters biggest selling 1990's Albums "Their Greatest Hits / Only Yesterday " , UK No 1 in 1990 , I recall several critical reviews that Karen's Vocals & Drums had been badly mauled and where were the excellent originals :sad:

Richard has been asked by long term Fans after CPAC Concerts about remixes and where he stands on some Fans opposition !

Richard replied that given the time constraints , pressure to complete various Albums and Singles , there were flaws in the original recordings and only now was there time to revisit and improve these recordings , Richard cited "Bless the Beasts" , "Its Going To Take" and "Ticket To Ride" as prime examples.

Richard was quite clear , if there were changes / improvements to be done -only the Artists / Producers should make the changes / work on the tracks and if anyone had the right to make changes-original Artists were the ones to do so :cool:

I look forward to 20th Century Masters and Revised Box Set for more remixes / changes to Carpenters recordings :)

Peter
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
PJ said:
Merry Christmas Darling & Santa Claus -original Single Mixes are the best , 1978 MCD re-recording is fine -but later remix is so-so.

What bothers me the most about "Santa Claus" is that the sax solo was changed--the original was much better. The newer version seemed to perfect.

Richard replied that given the time constraints , pressure to complete various Albums and Singles , there were flaws in the original recordings and only now was there time to revisit and improve these recordings , Richard cited "Bless the Beasts" , "Its Going To Take" and "Ticket To Ride" as prime examples.

It's ironic that the fans of "Ticket To Ride" (both the album and the song) like that rougher, "early" quality to the songs. I don't know of any other artists, though, who are so into improving their older recordings. Most artists feel it's recorded, it's done...let's move on.

Richard was quite clear , if there were changes / improvements to be done -only the Artists / Producers should make the changes / work on the tracks and if anyone had the right to make changes-original Artists were the ones to do so :cool:

Agreed. Unfortunately we can't recut a lead vocal. :confused:

-= N =-
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
The main reason I enjoy the Carpenters' remixes is simply the fact that I get to hear certain instrumentation/vocals in the arrangements that can't be heard all that well on the original classic mixes.

My favorite remix of all time would have to be the 1985 remix of "Superstar", with the additionally overdubbed drums, as featured in the "Karen Carpenter Story". This can be heard on the double set "Yesterday Once More", as well as the 2-set "Classics" release. -Chris
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The first remix of "Superstar" actually occured on the somewhat rare Quadraphonic LP version of SINGLES 1969-1973. It was there that, for the first time, Richard changed the harmonies on the descending horns in the opening. That idea stuck with him, as he's kept it that way in every subsequent remix since then.

I love the dramatic effect that remix had, though I still have a soft spot for the original mix.

Harry
NP: radio at work
 
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