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Richard and John Interview

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by NowhereMan, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Active Member Thread Starter

    Apologies in advance if this has already been posted on here, but I thought this was a great program. Although many of the sentiments expressed in this program have already been said before, it is still a pleasure to watch. Note: If you turn on the subtitles, you can read the English translation of the Japanese.
  2. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Enjoyed this! Thank you so much!! :)
    BarryT60 likes this.
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    This was really interesting to watch and featured some great guest interviews. From the way Richard looked and sounded, I'd say this was recorded around the same time as the ITV documentary The Nation's Favourite Carpenters' Song. Gayle Levant was very, very sweet in the clip towards the end. She got very emotional about being around at the time and being able to be a part of the Carpenters' sound.

    I lost count of the number of times they repeated the song I Need To Be In Love...it must have been upwards of 15 :confused:, but the real ace up the sleeve was a tantalising glimpse inside Richard's Thousand Oaks home, in the very last minute of the film.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    aaflyer98 and theninjarabbit like this.
  4. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    John Bettis continues to impress me with his very casual, very humble approach to his contribution.
    dave-LIVE likes this.
  5. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Wonderful tribute to a great song, should have been a hit back in 1976. Thanks for posting, haven't seen this show before now.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the Clip !
    Great viewing !
    Always loved I Need To Be In Love,
    as I have noted in previous threads,
    I could not get the local radio station to play it in rotation,
    no matter how often I phoned--or, had many others phone-in for me !
    So, I did try.....
    Chris Mills likes this.
  7. Portlander

    Portlander Active Member

    Great find NowhereMan, thanks! Though it was not a smash single, it still reached #25 on Billboard's top 100 and was #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts in 1976 which would still classify the recording as a legitimate hit. Sadly, that was the beginning of the Carpenters (and other Top 40 artists) decline on the charts. Also enjoyed the glimpse into Richard's music room, all of the platinum and gold records are impressive!
  8. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    I recently spoke with Earl Dumler (featured in both interviews) several weeks ago and at one point mentioned to him that I appreciated his input on the iTV documentary. He asked me if that was the one that they shot about a year ago for the Japanese that he was asked to be a part of and alluded to the idea that it was the only real interview he's been asked to be a part of. This led me to believe that there was a surplus of footage that was all recorded at the same time and later vetted/sifted through for the creation of both, because at the time I'd spoken to him this one hadn't come out yet.
    dave-LIVE likes this.
  9. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Nice program - and interesting that it essentially focused on the backstory of just one song.
  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    And it makes me think- wouldn't we love this kind of detailed documentary on all the other songs?
    Don Malcolm and John Tkacik like this.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Bingo! I knew from the clips that it all seemed to have been filmed at the same time. Thanks Chris.

    Richard is very raspy in these latest clips, almost as if he's losing his voice slowly but steadily. He's also developed some strange facial grimaces which I first noticed in the recent Jay Leno garage segment.
  12. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Great stuff! And so cool to see new interviews with Richard, John and the other musicians we'd not heard from previously. Thanks for posting.
  13. Thanks for sharing this clip. More information on the show can be found at this webpage, where it says the programme was first broadcast on February 3rd.

    カーペンターズ「青春の輝き」を特集するBS-TBS『SONG TO SOUL〜永遠の一曲〜』が2月3日放送 - amass

    Google translation:

    BS-TBS "SONG TO SOUL ~ Eternal Song" at
    11 o'clock on February 3 ( Wednesday )

    ☆ "Sparkle of Youth" Carpenters

    Brother Sister Duo, Carpenters ' 7th studio album released in 1976 " It is said to be the song that was cut as a single from A Kind of Hush and was the song that Karen Carpenter liked the most.
    It was made by three people, Albert Hammond with hits such as "The California's Blue Sky", Richard Carpenter, and John Batis who wrote many songs of Carpenters. It is said that Richard finished the carpenter's song like Albert's song. Richard 's piano and Karen' s melancholy singing voice matched and made an impressive look.
    Although it did not reach such a hit at the time when it was released, in Japan it became a hit beyond generations because it was used for TV dramas in 1985, and it is one of the representative songs of Carpenters.
    Richard Carpenter talked about the birth of this song, and Karen's thoughts on this song. Other writers such as Albert Hammond, John Bettis and others are talking about this song.
    By the way ... the next day of this broadcast (2/3) 2/4 is Karen's death anniversary. Appearance

    Richard Carpenter
    Albert Hammond ( Songwriter )
    John Bettis (Lyricist)
    Earl Dumler (Oboe)
    Gail Levant (Harp Player)
    Tom Bailler + John Baeler (Back Chorus Group)

    [Program Site]
    http: //www.bs-tbs.co.jp/songtosoul/

    PS. It's worth checking out some of the other shows in this series which "T Grace" has also shared - T Grace

    The full list of episodes from this series looks amazing - BS-TBS「SONG TO SOUL〜永遠の一曲〜」
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
    Don Malcolm likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    I'm glad to have seen this and heard from other musicians part of the production as well.
    Very cool to see these things surfacing after so many years.
    My most recent find was Richard in an episode of Jay Leno's Garage.
    Though I admit I haven't watched it all. I am not a car nerd like those guys. Lol

    You really get a sense of how down to Earth, and a decent guy Rich is.
    John seems like one of these guys that'd be great to sit and have a chat with.
    Like in The Download podcast, John has a wealth of stories and fascinating information.
    He presents Karen in a manner that's away from either "squeaky clean" or "sad little girl".
    That's good to get across because, as I imagine, in order to make it in the music business you have to have passion and attitude to get your music out there.
    The image problems had a lot to do with the label and many years after of fans reading into information released piece-meal as an oral history over decades about the duo.
    I think we don't necessarily have THE picture of who she was because we'd have to be there to really know.
    I pick up from in-depth perspectives on their music that she was a really smart lady.
    That may have gone un-emphasized, and just that she had some spunk and emotional intelligence too.
    You don't get to singing for millions of people the way she did and phone-it-in or depressed and ruminating all the time.
    Not to say there weren't moments like that too, but as time goes by I see her as incredibly sweet and sophisticated even as young as she was. I'd bet that some people don't get to gain some of the wisdom she had until much later in life.
    Jamesj75 likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    Also, is it possible that "I need to be in love" didn't chart as Richard expected because the music itself wasn't Pop enough? I mean it isn't a breezy song to sing, nor does it have simple accompaniment.
    I know how that sounds, but perhaps that's why. It verges on being a complex piece.
    Is that fair to say?
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I think that's a fair analysis. It's a bit like Solitaire in its structure. Too slow, too plodding with the added handicap of a syrupy choir. Just too elevator to make enough of a dent on the charts at the time. I'm sure Richard would disagree with that, as he and Karen have both said Barry Manilow's output was of a similar vein at the time, but then only 3 of the 17 singles he issued between 1975-1979 went top 5; some didn't even chart.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  17. David52

    David52 New Member

  18. David52

    David52 New Member

    In December of 1978, Karen Carpenter appeared on a television show in England. During her performance, with the Carpenters' concert musicians, she sang a rendition of I Need to Be in Love. When I saw and heard this clip on YouTube, I marveled at how Karen sang the lyric in a much more personal way. Her phrasing, pausing, seemed like she was talking to the audience. When I went back to listen to the studio recording, I understood why I had "overlooked" this particular song and performance. Somehow, in the recording of the song, Karen's natural style, her intimate reading of the lyric was a bit lost. Perhaps, it was due to the tempo? I am not a musician. I still enjoy the recording of the studio version, but I really fell in love with the song when I heard it sung by Karen that day in England.
    Guitarmutt and Don Malcolm like this.
  19. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    By this time, the standard reply I got was "We don't play Carpenters songs" and you could hear the smirk. Once they weren't making hits like they had been, they were relegated to Adult Contemporary stations.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  20. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    ...and that attitude was prevalent throughout the stations' employees for the most part. I saw and heard it with my own eyes and ears.

    When "I Need To Be In Love" was at its peak, our station did play it - and quite often, but we were an adult contemporary station at the time and quite soft. I recall one young lady working in my department who'd sing along with the songs on the radio, and she always got the lyrics wrong to "I Need To Be In Love". Instead of "I know I ask perfection of a quite imperfect world...", she'd be singing "I know I ask perfection and it's quite impossible..." :laugh:
    Guitarmutt, Don Malcolm and BarryT60 like this.
  21. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Terrific video! I could use one of these for every single! Thanks so much for posting!

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    Perhaps if it were tied to a movie soundtrack that may have helped, but on it's own it wasn't able to get the kind of recognition it ended up getting until the mid-90s as Rich was saying.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  23. Don Malcolm

    Don Malcolm Well-Known Member

    What a wonderful piece of work, definitely something that should be done for (at least) the Carpenter-Bettis portion of the C's output. A 60-to-90 minute documentary focusing on their songwriting partnership that could make use of both Richard and John (separately, as well as together--preferably sitting around the piano with the type of "at the keyboard" examples that are so much fun to watch AND are incredibly informative at the same time...) would be an absolute Godsend, not just for us, but for everyone who's ever managed to admit to themselves that they found the C's to be exceptionally good at what they did no matter WHO labeled it, or cast it aside in search of the next ephemeral trend in pop music. It could prove to be one of the tools that changes the general public's perception of the C's and their amazing musical output.

    This film shows us how something like that can be done--and boy, it should be done right away, while both Richard and John are still in good shape. It might be tricky to work around this effort, as it is so definitive for "I Need To Be In Love," but greater detail about the Spectrum years and the songwriter partnership would be both fascinating and invaluable.

    Kudos again to Nowhere Man for bringing this to our attention!
    Guitarmutt likes this.
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    The brief segment starting at 31:44 where Richard played the piano and referred to the diminished chord as "classical, almost Russian" was the highlight of this film. Amazing, I don't think I'll ever listen to the song the same way again.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
    BarryT60 likes this.
  25. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    So glad I found this forum, gems like this video interview. Aside from this being about Richard and Karen and "I Need to be in Love", which is great, just listening to musicians talk about their craft and how lyrics/songs are born and constructed over time, is fascinating to me.
    dave-LIVE, BarryT60 and Jamesj75 like this.

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