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Official Review [Single]: 7. "SUPERSTAR"/"BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN" (1289-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, May 22, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "SUPERSTAR"

    39 vote(s)

    7 vote(s)
  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    August 1970 would be very early for taping at home. The Betamax didn’t come out till 1975 and 1977 for VHS in North America (the Phillips VCR format came out in 72). The closest would be U-Matic, but as far as I know, that didn’t hit the market till 1971 (it had been announced in the late-60’s).

    So you would probably be looking for kinescope copies, unless a videotape copy from a station survived.
  2. Thanks for the very informative replies. It sounds like the footage might be in never-never land! Oh, well, just was wondering (and hoping)...would've been interesting to see.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Karen Carpenter, October 30, 1978:
    "That song--Bless The Beasts And Children--we cut in three days.
    ...it's a nice song, we never thought of it as a single, but a lot of people like it."
    (ref: Liner Notes, Reader's Digest).
    CraigGA likes this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Bless The Beasts And Children.....
    Karen's comment--"...we never thought of it as a single...." had me wondering....
    Why Not ??
    The soundtrack version of the song is great.
    Also, there is a soundtrack LP (which I still do not have).
    As of this day, I have not seen the entire movie--but, I will do so eventually.
    The soundtrack version of the song is outstanding--later remixes are anathema to my ears.

    We read this:
    " Despite it’s dismissal by hostile critics upon its release I dare say that
    Bless the Beasts and Children will be vindicated by future generations of movie
    lovers who will respond to it’s life-affirming themes of tolerance and compassion."

    Bless the Beasts and Children
    Forsaken 70′s Cinema: Stanley Kramer’s “Bless the Beasts and Children”
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    "You love that song -- but do you love its original?
    By Tamara Wilson, Wed March 21, 2018"
    #3. "Superstar" (1971)
    Delaney & Bonnie and Friends originally recorded and released "Groupie (Superstar)" in 1969,
    telling the story of a groupie who falls in love with a rock star.
    The song title changed to "Superstar" when Joe Crocker re-recorded it in 1970.
    Bette Midler and Cher also released versions. But it was The Carpenters who made the song a hit.
    The brother-and-sister duo crafted a stellar version that shot up to number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1971."

    You love that song -- but do you love its original? - CNN
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Well, finally I decided to get a copy of the Soundtrack LP:
    Bless The Beasts....I went with a copy off of ebay for $15,
    the Japanese pressing w/obi....
    Ooh....I can't wait to play it....
  7. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    The soundtrack LP to me is a classic from start to finish I voted for Bless the Beasts and the children even though I never saw the film I enjoyed the music which is usually the case with many soundtrack albums i heard over the years. The Bless the Beasts soundtrack also features some Great instrumentals too I think You are going to completely Enjoy that album.
    Don Malcolm and GaryAlan like this.
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I'm listening to the soundtrack Bless the Beasts and Children. I'm enjoying this mix on one of 3 vinyl copies.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  9. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The original soundtrack version always sounded to me like it was being played on an uneven turntable or warped vinyl. The piano and that weird mellotron part at the beginning (replaced with an oboe) sound wobbly to me. I’m not surprised he later remixed the hell out of it.
  10. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Although there was no way Bless the Beasts would get my vote here, over Superstar, I love Karen's vocals on the song, and listening to the above video reminded me of this particular time in her career where she was still doing some belting. Love it. So strong, emotive.

    I seem to be in the distinct minority in preferring the later remix ('91) to the original soundtrack.
  11. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I like the 2004 remix best!
  12. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Any idea where I can hear the 2004 version? I didn't see this version listed in the Carpenters Resource. I know that the one I have on disc is the '91 remix.

    EDIT: Or is it 1990? I see both dates used, though usually 1991.
  13. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I think he's referring to the SACD 5.1 mix that is only on the SACD.
    David A likes this.
  14. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I did not trust my memory since I usually play from a software playlist, so I checked the Resource and ICON and 40/40 also has the 2004 remix.

    I think it’s in the 2 channel mix as well on the SACD (in addition to the multi channel mix) as is Top of the World, if memory serves, which is also a great remix. It would be great if all the multi channel remixes were mixed down to 2 channel mix for everyone without SACD. As Harry said once, a good bit of Sony Blueray players play SACD and if you have a surround setup I can add my opinion that the multi channels have something different coming at you all the time and it offers the best in listening.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
    David A likes this.
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I just checked the resource. ICON did not have Bless The Beasts, and 40/40 had the 1990 remix for it, which is the most recent stereo remix. Unless a stereo fold down of the 5.1 mix slipped by...
    David A likes this.
  16. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    From the Resource: for ICON
    Catalog number: B0020369-02

    Track listing:

    1. Yesterday Once More (1991 remix)
    2. Superstar (2004 SACD remix)

    I did not understand that you were looking for Bless the Beasts and the Children, too. That was discussed a little back in either this subject or one close to it. If I find it I will private you. It has all the Bless the Beasts broken down, even the videos.
    David A likes this.
  17. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Superstar b/w Bless:

    I just scored one for a song. The sleeve is a bit tattered, but the vinyl looks great. Haven't listened yet.

    The best part? It was $1 at a library sidewalk sale.

    It looks great on my book shelf.
    Don Malcolm and David A like this.
  18. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    The Official Album of the Week thread on this album was closed and so were some others so I'll need to place this here.

    Bless The Beasts and Children LP
    High Fidelity Review April 1972

    Jamesj75, Bobberman and GaryAlan like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^ I was pleased with the album...especially for a "soundtrack album."
    That original Carpenters' version of Bless The Beasts is simply fantastic...
  20. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Nice that Renee Armand got a mention in that review. Her album that came out on A&M was called THE RAIN BOOK, and it's quite nice. I have the original LP and managed to find the rare Japanese CD.
    Bobberman likes this.
  21. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    For me, it's "Bless the Beasts" all day long. I likely would have chosen "Superstar" 30 years ago but where "Superstar" is a very straight (though great) Karen vocal, "Bless the Beats" is just so amazing on multiple levels. The lyric is just gorgeous (I don't find it cloying at all) and it's more resonant now in 2018 than it ever was before. The line that always gets me is "Bless the beast and the children / for the world can never be / the world they see". Devastating truth. Throughout, we get an achingly beautiful Karen vocal and the gorgeous backgrounds. Richard embellishes on the emotion here beautifully. I love the call and response of "Give them shelter from the storm / keep them safe / keep them warm". I love that Richard's not showy here; he just serves the tune. With tunes like this, the brilliant lyric is king and Richard and Karen kept the focus there throughout. Speaking of Karen's vocal, it's total perfection as I can really feel her imploring us to protect those who can't fend for themselves. I'm not sure there's ever been a vocalist who did that better.

    Overall, a very sweet song that, for me, reminds me that many of those most important don't have the ability to remind us to consider them. We have to speak up for them and, if need be, defend them when the opportunity arises. A timeless message.

    John Adam, David A, Murray and 6 others like this.
  22. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    "Superstar"/"Bless The Beasts.." is a truly-deserved double A-side single!
    David A likes this.
  23. That was one of my first 2 Carpenters records, the other being It's Going to Take SomeTime / Flat Baroque.
  24. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    I was listening to this song (Superstar) in my car on CD last night and realized how timeless the sentiment in this song is.

    I found myself longing for the "oldies" that actually included THIS very song, as well as many other favorites of mine from the '70's. Any generation, as they get older, would find the emotion in this song relevant; Karen sings it with a longing and melancholy that transcends generations.
    John Adam likes this.
  25. John Adam

    John Adam leis around my neck

    Superstar/Bless The Beasts And The Children

    Lots of bang for the buck, how much were singles then, about 99 cents?
    "Superstar" is #7 on my list of favorite singles by the Carpenters. Like Rainy Days it packs a lot of emotional wallop. Karen does an excellent reading on this song and Richard's arrangement accentuates that sense of longing the lyrics convey. Again, this is the definitive version of this song and over the years plenty of covers attempted, but no one can get it better! Another hit in their string of top 3 Hot 100 songs. I would of loved to seen Karen (live) front and center singing this beautiful song. Also note "Bless the Beasts and Children" is an "A' side in itself with Karen and Richard turning in a first class performances!

    Charles H. likes this.

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