Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by ars nova, Nov 5, 2018.
which three songs do you feel best represent Richard?
As singer or producer/arranger?
Close to You
Calling Occupants, Yesterday Once More and Superstar... And of course, Close To You.
I first thought this thread would be about Richard's best lead vocal... So here's mine: "You'll Never Know" recorded in 1980 when the duo were so excited about the music on "Music, Music, Music" that they recorded them (even the one's recorded by the guests) for a disc each for their personal collections, a lot of which was released on "As Time Goes By". This is one of the few sadly not yet released. With a bit of work, tidying it up a bit, this would sound beautiful:
Best (3) songs represent Richard as an arranger and producer.
When It's Gone
Close To You
Hurting Each Other
Best (3) songs represent Richard as a songwriter/recording artist
Goodbye To Love
Yesterday Once More
An Old-Fashione Christmas
I think I understand some of Richard's actions; I don't think he has released on a carpenters' collection, his solo vocal unless karen is somehow involved in the recording. I respect his choice, however, TOYLAND is just perfect and should be released somewhere.
now that I have made this statement, I realize karen was not a part of the recording of the song AN OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS or the overture that opened the album.
so much for my thoughtfully constructed investigation into the mind of my genius fan-crush......baby
We got some of his solo vocal on “Collected” and “Ultimate Collection”.
But as far as the 1984 Overture goes, I always thought there might’ve been some Karen in the mix, but Richard mixed her in with the choir, so she doesn’t stand out.
His best vocals (as of today) IMHO;
Nowadays Clancy... I'm liking his vocal on this song the more I hear it. Awesome song from "Offering", great harmonies.
Turn Away - Pretty much the same as above.
The Night Has A Thousand Eyes - Very respectable lead from him.
Goodbye To Love - His title, his vision, his idea for that legendary guitar solo. A masterpiece.
Superstar/Rainy Days & Mondays - Pop perfection. RC arrangements.
Another Song - Brilliant underrated gem from "Close To You". Have to think it was Richard's idea.
I Might Also Add:
This Masquerade - His brilliance as a keyboardist is cemented with that piano solo.
As singer: Absolutely nothing. That's not his gift.
As arranger: I agree with @Carpe diem that "This Masquerade" is just crazy good. I loved it when he left his choral thing behind and went jazzy. "Without A Song" is delicious a cappella goodness. "Ordinary Fool" might be Karen's defining moment but what really make it work is Richard's arrangement. He accentuates her tone and phrasing at every turn. Perfect collaboration of arranger and singer.
As producer: "Calling Occupants". The herculean task he took on is only made more impressive by the fact that he actually pulled it off.
^^Ed, you always have strong comments which adds spice to this forum. Appreciated! Your new avatar is "interesting" to say the least...Getting ready for Thanksgiving?
HA! Thanks! The avatar is courtesy of @Harry's collection of A&M sleeves. He posted it in the "45rpm sleeve" thread in the "Small Circle" forum and I loved it. It was the one I hadn't seen before.
That's the sleeve my UK copy of the 'Sing' single came in... I don't really understand the logic of it ('music good enough to eat'?), but still better than a generic plain sleeve I guess!
Great song. This one needs a proper release.
I really do enjoy the manner in which Richard sings at Karen's wedding (he begins at 1:33):
I like Richard's "O Come O Come Emanuel" from the Christmas album. "Saturday" is one that gives me the giggles
It's always difficult for me to watch any Karen wedding videos. Such a somber event, it seems all the joy has been sucked-out of that ballroom. However, Richard does a very good job with that song and I think it meant a lot to Karen, from her reaction. Thanks for the post.
As a singer:
''I Kept On Loving You''. Easily his best vocal. I think his voice in the early years (up to either the Tan or the Now and Then album) was enough to lead a song; his leads on these three first albums are enjoyable (yes, even the dreaded-by-many ''Druscilla Penny''). Also, ''It Came Upon A Midnight Clear''.
As a producer/arranger:
Pretty much everything up to 1975, and from there a few gems here and there, but to be specific, my top two favorite Carpenters tracks are arrangements he did: ''Let Me Be The One'' and ''Hurting Each Other''.
As a composer:
Several, but those that I have in my favorites: ''One Love'', ''Yesterday Once More'', ''Only Yesterday', ''Touch Me When We're Dancing'', ''All Of My Life'', ''Eve'', ''Looking For Love'', ''You'll Love Me''.
Is anyone else as bothered by his lisp as I am? I always found that to be his main issue as a lead singer. He's wonderful doing BV's and the way he blended with Karen on those multi-part harmonies was legendary. His lead singing, on the other hand, is absolutely mediocre. The only times I have really enjoyed him being up front were him singing Daddy's Home in concert for the Oldies medley and his parts on the Grease medley, especially the Yesterday Once More reprise at the end. I don't know if it's the phrasing or what, but he always reminds me of Rick Moranis as Seymour in Little Shop Of Horrors. Maybe it's the glasses.
He just doesn't have that gift. The lisp isn't a huge deal for me but his tone is just rather unremarkable and dull. He never sounds more than passable on anything. As @TheOneBeatleManiac said, "I Kept on Loving You" is as good as he ever got. The others range from okay to dreadful ("Who Do You Love" is completely dreadful and "Say Yeah!" is right behind it).
Richard didn't write "Touch Me". FYI.
Oh, my bad. Then that one will go on the ''Arranger/Producer'' section.
I totally agree. I have said it often over the years when comparing K&R's musical talents. There are two types of talent when it comes to music, or a lot of other things for that matter: Natural and acquired. Karen's was more natural while Richard's was more acquired. He learned pitch, vibrato, etc. through vocal lessons in college but for Karen, she just opened her mouth and out came the most beautiful sound to ever come out of a human face. Richard just didn't have enough of that natural vocal quality to do any more than carry a tune, although he blended very well in harmonies and overdubbing.
Richard was the perfect background singer for Karen. Background singing is a skill (I do quite a bit of it myself) and Richard is phenomenal at it. He's a master at blending and matching phrase with whoever he's singing with. He as just as good singing backgrounds for others too like Matthew Sweet, Scott Grimes, & Dusty Springfield.