Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jun 1, 2016.
Thanks. Yep. That's the one that gets me!
He does and in fact they're literally everywhere on the Carpenter albums.
We've Only Just Begun in the bridge - "Sharing horizons that are new to us..." - F# to Bmaj7 (4 times) followed by "Talking it over just the two of us..." Bbmaj7 to Ebmaj7 (4 times).
A Song For You - "You taught me precious secrets, of the truth withholding nothing...BLAM (Bbmaj7) You came out in front and I was hiding."
Bless The Beasts at "Light their WAY, you have the Dbmaj7, and at the end singing "The children..." all on a Bbmaj7. These are just a few examples.
Something to take note of, for instance with the example I pointed out in A Song For You. When Richard voiced many of those chords on the piano, he would play the major 7 much the way he'd voice for vocal. So on a Bbmaj7, generally you'd play the low Bb, then up the octave play A-D-F in the chord. What Richard would often play [for example] is the A-Bb-D-F in the chord on right hand, and of course play the low Bb on the left hand. Adding this additional half-semitone on the right hand really filled things out, playing the root against the major 7 within the same octave. He voiced this way often to create once again that harmonic tension. Subtle, yet very effective.
And an additional side-note, the original piano track on the album mix for A Song For You features that chord the way I mention it, however it's done using two instruments - the acoustic piano, and a Wurlitzer Electric piano 140b filling out the chord as well. This was done in order to achieve the warmth he looked for in pairing the two instruments. For the later remixes which employ the updated, stereo piano, he plays the straight major 7, eliminating the Bb from the upper octave of the chord by simply deleting the Wurlitzer track from the mix.
over my head
So great to see two seasoned Carpenters experts (Chris and Harry) get so effusive about this track. It really is special...I think it and "Road Ode" are really the last songs where Karen's youthful "belter" approach is given significant play in the lead vocal performance...here it builds so beautifully as Richard employs his own early tendency to expand the "sonic footprint" as the song evolves. The "fattened chord" (layman's term, Chris--and thanks much for your explanation!) is just one aspect of this...you can feel the arrangement meshing and deepening as Richard does his own take on Spector (of course, pulling it off with significantly more finesse than the "Wall of Sound" kingpin).
I had to play that mono mix about seven times in a row, Harry! Every time they sang "gotta stop"--I said "why-y-ah-y?"
Hoping that the link works...it will take you to Part 2 of "Jerry (Dunphy) Visits the Carpenters." At roughly 2:00-4:07 of this video there is footage of Karen and Richard doing overdubs for "Hurting Each Other." I'm sure others can tell us if this was staged or not--if it's lip-synched, however, it's awfully good work--but to see them in the studio singing harmony together under any circumstances is beyond priceless. And with Karen at arguably her peak of youthful beauty--singing passionately, eyes closed--a moment that's truly beyond magic...plus that chord is there for you, Harry! TRIPLE goosebumps!!!
Nope, not staged. This was B roll captured as they were laying down takes.
Thank you for posting that video. If I'd seen it before, it was long ago. I kept thinking "Look how young they were". And Harold had a distinct voice, didn't he.
Thanks for posting the mono mix, Harry. What a great exciting discussion of this beloved song! I have really enjoyed this thread!
This is a great song from a great album. Love the harmonies and the production. Such a personal verse with such presence...and then a dramatic chorus.
I love both songs, but Hurting Each Other gets my vote easily. It's an awesome pop song and an instant classic. I like how it starts off very softly and builds up slowly adding a bit of drama and tension. The louder piano intro in the later remixes kind of ruins this effect for me, so I never listen to these anymore.
I always thought she sang "Rising on the shore the Ocean King," but apparently it's "Rising on the shore the ocean came", lol.
Wow! I always thought it was ocean king too.
Maybe it is "king"! This site seems to think so:
The Carpenters - Maybe It's You Lyrics | MetroLyrics »
But then this site has it listed as "came":
THE CARPENTERS LYRICS - Maybe It's You »
Only John and Richard would know for sure!
You know, I'd tend to think it is 'king'. After all just two lines later the lyric is 'his only thought was love for me'.
The lyric book (Walter Kane & Sons, c.1972, page 20)
for the songs from album Close To You
have the lyric in
Maybe It's You as
" ...the ocean came..."
I always thought it was Ocean King, like some sort of mythological figure or a nickname for the male lover. And as a sentence, it makes grammatical sense.
"Rising on the shore, the Ocean King walks along the waves of velveteen, his only thought, his love for me."
Sounds like a good question for John Bettis, who wrote the lyrics.
1976 Anthology (page 76, Almo Records 1976)Lyric Book, also:
"...the ocean came..."
Here is how the song is printed (as opposed to how we are hearing it sung):
Rising on the shore the ocean came,
Walks along the waves of velveteen,
His only thought was love for me,
It makes sense both ways really.
"Rising on the shore the ocean came." Period, end of sentence. It means the tide was rising, the ocean getting closer.
"Walks along the waves of velveteen, his only thought, his love for me." This sentence is more poetic in nature and less grammatical. The subject is the walks on the beach and the verb is implied or missing or could also be understood to be "walks."
Like I said, we need to ask John Bettis if we can get the opportunity.
One line from another album, another song, which reminds me of this is the opening line of Look To Your Dreams:
"To say I'm romantic would be quite semantically true/
But make-believe passion has fallen from fashion's milieu".
A friend of mine once asked me what on earth Karen was singing about in that opening verse and when I said it back to her, she openly mocked the lyric and the old fashioned, outdated sentiment of the song. I've never really been able to listen to it since without thinking about that.
Well, there's no accounting for taste. I thought that line was clever. But I grew up listening to musical soundtracks.
I love those lyrics in fact the entire lyrics to this song transcend time. It reads like a story Karen telling us this is what I see happening in the world yet here is where we can get to a better place and all hope is not lost. Could it be any more powerful that literally turning on the news today is asking for trouble? The lyrics to this song are much like the security blanket that Karen's vocals provide me, a never ending feeling of warmth and hope.
"King" rhymes better with "velveteen" than "came" - then also with "me" - if that was the rhyming scheme intended. So, I think it's "King" - for what it's worth! You never know what you're going to get in this forum!
Another instance of printed Lyric:
UICY-94221, CD-replication of Japanese
Close To You LP,
has lyric sheet:
There are so many subtle elements of this song that stand out, but I love the French horn line in the second verse (behind "You could love only me"). One of Richard's tiny details that adds so much! I am reminded that while Karen didn't exactly belt (at least not by Ethel Merman standards), she had that intimate voice she used, and then a stronger, more powerful one. How I wish she hadn't decided later on that she'd been "oversinging" in her younger days. As amazing as Karen's voice always was, I missed that contrast between the delicacy and the power.
^^ I think "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore" shows that delicacy / power contrast.
I have the Japanese Pressing of this 45-Vinyl Single
Hurting Each Other/Maybe It's You (#AM-130),
here, the song Maybe It's You lists a time of 3:03.
Now, I notice on the original LP ,Close To You, the time for Maybe It's You is 3:09.
On the remastered classics cd, the time is listed as 3:04.
I'm curious, where was 6 seconds taken away from that Japanese single,
as compared to the Vinyl-LP ?
Isn't that because of the segue from Love Is Surrender? The album version probably classed the first piano note as the start of the track while the previous song was fading out. Those first four notes on piano are about 6 seconds long.