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Richard and John Interview

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

  1. By many today (who maybe don't have great knowledge of their catalogue) they are still considered a strictly easy listening, or more modernly called AC. I know that they always charted on the AC charts and played on their stations, as they were always a softer sound, but they began becoming less "pop" in 1976. The elevator sound took over around this time, so does this mean they got even more play on these kinds of stations? AC music now and I assume then is thought of as less then or not as important creatively as regular pop, but I'll be damned if even this more Muzak-y sound isn't intricately arranged. That's why it was always more than easy listening, even on mellow albums like AKOH there's more going on than just mere lush sounds.
    Jeff likes this.
  2. Sheena

    Sheena Active Member

    Really want to see the one from 2009 called Songs Special only seen snippets of it, features people never before seen on camera interviewed.
    kacfansue likes this.
  3. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    When Karen sang this song on the Bruce Forseyth Show it was a much simpler and intimate arrangement, and without a choral sound. If the single had more simplicity I think it would have placed better. The songs from the first 4 and even Horizon had just the right amount of instruments and from then on more songs became like orchestral mini pieces with Karen's voice carefully placed on top. If the song I Can't Make Music had more instruments and a choral backdrop it would have felt less emotional, as with Sometimes. One Love is nice for the overdubs of Karen and Richard. And as beautiful as INTBIL is - its creation has moved itself from pop radio. As simpler single arrangement would have promoted Karen better in Top 40. And, if it was released earlier, before the single recipe took hold, it would have charted higher too. And, it was almost a torch song, almost a sing along, but the Bruce Forsyth showing of Karen singing personal reflection is what was missing from the perfectly crafted single that gave it the torch sing-a-long. I was 15 in 1976 and I knew something was not quite there, it did not feel as gripping, and I think I am as close to a loyal fan as there can be. Sometimes I think all of this overthinking is hogwash and that their popularity in general was fixed in the first half of the decade but their talent and loyal fan base carried them. All in all, I was shocked that it did not penetrate the top 20. It felt like I was stabbed by a knife and I had to redefine quality from popularity.

  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I love this program ! Especially, now that my ears are well enough to listen to it !

    Almost forgot....one of my favorite portions in this program is seeing and hearing the
    great Gayle Levant, Harpist...29:30 to 31:21,
    She has some very insightful information regarding the studio sessions.....
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  5. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I missed this post from March...very well said Craig you touched on just how I feel as well. Until I heard the Bruce Forsyth version, I didn't realize how much better this song could sound. It's not just the video that goes along with it but if you cancel out the video and just listen to the audio it's complete goosebumps factor for me, emotional and heartfelt. My goodness if she could sing this perfectly live than the studio must have been a breeze for Karen.
  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Karen sounded absolutely incredible on that show. Even with INTBIL, she stylized her vocals and sang a bit less "formatted" if you will vs. a studio cut, but she still maintained the Karen that I prefer, without all of the twang and over-accentuation that was heard during a lot of their live performances.
  7. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Just had to go to youtube and watch that performance again... quite possibly my favorite live performance from Karen. So intimate... and watching her receive the applause afterward, you can tell she felt it was a job well done also. Just simply beautiful...
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The TV studio audience absolutely erupted after that performance. That's what I remember about this more than anything.
    Carpe diem and BarryT60 like this.
  9. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    It’s a vocal performance that wins Grammy’s for it re-creates the song and lifts it off the paper in an offering.
    BarryT60 likes this.
  10. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    It's an example that Karen only needed a simple arrangement and a microphone to grab the listeners attention. What's also so unique about this live performance on the BFS is that most times the Carpenters were such a stickler about creating the exact sound on stage as it was on the records. Here we have Karen going against the grain in that she puts her own delivery into the song and it works perfectly. She has performed this song live on other shows but it's been more of a stage performance, this one is more like she's in your living room singing just for you.

    Does anyone remember the shows years ago called, A&E Live by Request? So many well known artist did this show...I would have loved to see Richard on piano and Karen on mic...it would have been the ultimate performance not only to hear the callers giving praise to Karen & Richard but also to hear the duo explain a little about the track before they sing it. This live performance of INTBIL reminds me of that kind of a setting.
    BarryT60, Jeff and GaryAlan like this.
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    My initial take on INTBIL was way tooooo much ok chorale. HOWEVER, I've fallen in love...deep love for the live verdion. Such a hesrtfelt, gripping and emotional interpretation. Absolutely heartwrenching as this is purportedly Karen's fave. So very moving
    I'm gripped and enchanted simultaneously. What a remarkable reading.
    Mark-T, BarryT60 and Don Malcolm like this.
  12. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I'm glad I went back and reviewed the comments on this. You reflect perfectly what I was going to describe. I wear out that YouTube video of The Bruce Forsyth Show and her rendition of INTBIL. The way the audience just "blows up" at the conclusion of her performance is amazing! You can tell by her reaction, she is genuinely touched by it. Brings tears to my eyes every time...
    David A, newvillefan and Jeff like this.
  13. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Finally a fave read by Karen in her melodious tones. INTBIL, an ol obsession made new again.
  14. David A

    David A Active Member

    I had not seen this before, so I'm glad I checked this thread when I saw some new activity.

    I love this version, sung by Karen. Beautifully done. So much emotion - and as we know, at this time in their career arc and personal lives there was a pool of emotion to draw upon. The audience reaction is deserved and I agree, it appears Karen is touched by the response.
  15. John Bettis is one of my favorite songwriters/lyricists. I make it a point to listen to everything I can find with him discussing songwriting, because I really appreciate his ability to speak straightforward and candid about the process.

    For those that want to see more discussion, here is a Nashville Songwriters Association International interview where he talks about "Yesterday Once More"

    Here is the first part of an audio-only interview about his time working with Richard and Karen:

    Also, here is Paul Williams at Tin Pan South in 2012 performing "Rainy Days and Mondays"
    Don Malcolm and Jamesj75 like this.

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