• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
I was taken by that snippet of Close To You the very first time I heard it. On the word "time" (every time, you are near), Karen doesn't quite hit the note bang on, but it makes it all the more charming, even better than the original. I'm sure when a lot of people heard the album in 1973, they must have been confused to hear this opening, as the track list showed the album starting with We've Only Just Begun.
That opening -- just one more reason Carpenters was never and will never be a typical "run of the mill" act. How ingenious to open a catalog of such momentous material with that prelude. and the stings fade into the opening piano strains of "begun"... Flawless.
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
How about our favorite moments in background vocals? Per album or single. The overdubs creating the goosebumps feel to them. There are many but I seem to favor Goodbye and I Love You this morning. Earlier is was the ending of Rainy Days. Constantly shifting almost depends on what current spin is. Mr. Guder has a heck of groovy usage too. What are some of your thoughts?
 
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theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
How about our favorite moments in background vocals? Per album or single. The overdubs creating the goosebumps feel to them. There are many but I seem to favor Goodbye and I Love You this morning. Earlier is was the ending of Rainy Days. Constantly shifting almost depends on what current spin us. Mr. Guder has a heck of groovy usage too. What are some of your thoughts?
The ending of "Rainy Days and Mondays" gets me too. To me they feel most prominent on the original 45/album version (which I normally prefer-- always felt right sonically). I don't get tired of the drum fill, the final verse, and all of the choral harmonies accompanying it.

I also love the harmonies on their debut LP and the Carpenters LP. Really now, the third record has tons of delicious harmonies going on-- "One Love", "Hideaway", and the Bacharach medley come to mind, in addition to the hits. Their debut has "Clancy" (a favorite as a burgeoning Buffalo Springfield fan), "All of My Life", "What's the Use", and the bookend "Offering/Benediction". It is easy to see why these two tend to top my list.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Those Good Old Dreams....
when Karen sings the lyric "...answers to my prayers..." and "....carries you away..."
I feel those goosebumps.....

Agree. I know a lot of fans are lukewarm on it but I love this song...Karen sings it so sweetly. Love the harmonies also. I enjoy the video too, especially when Karen looks back at Tony P when he goes into his guitar solo, and of course when she delivers that "finger snap". Wonderful!:)
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
Agree. I know a lot of fans are lukewarm on it but I love this song...Karen sings it so sweetly. Love the harmonies also. I enjoy the video too, especially when Karen looks back at Tony P when he goes into his guitar solo, and of course when she delivers that "finger snap". Wonderful!:)
Toward the end - when the background vocals sing: "I dreamed o-of yooouuu" before the repeat of the last lines... that is always a goose-bump moment for me...
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The way she sings certain "long-oh" words, such as "...or must you GO?" (from Maybe it's You) and "...for all we KNOW". Kind of a valley-girl accent although she's from Downey and New Haven. Anyway, I just find it enchanting, I can't explain why exactly...

I've always found that trend of hers to come across as affected. It sounds like Karen has an upper class English accent while singing.
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
The way she sings certain "long-oh" words, such as "...or must you GO?" (from Maybe it's You) and "...for all we KNOW". Kind of a valley-girl accent although she's from Downey and New Haven. Anyway, I just find it enchanting, I can't explain why exactly...
She said in an interview once, she opens her mouth and it just comes out. I don't think she 'tried' to sound like anyone... and with a gift like hers - there was no reason to affect anything. I think the O's were just part of her way of annunciation when singing... another glimmer of that Karen magic.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
Fantastic thread. Two snippets that always transport me to "goose bump city" that I tend to replay over and over are:
"I'm aware my heart is a sad affair. There's much disillusion there. But I can dream can't I."

"If this is luck then let it ride. If it's the stars, they're surely on my side. (They're surely on my side)."
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Wanted to hear Ave Maria yesterday so I busted out my "Christmas Portrait" album to celebrate the first day of summer. As if for the first time, I noticed what a masterful instrumental transition from White Christmas to Ave! It had Richard Carpenter's name written all over it...Literally brought tears to my eyes. The bells, keyboard, and I believe there could've been a harp in the mix. And then the lovely intro into Ave Maria and that heavenly vocal. Unbelievable attention to detail with a little "genius" thrown in for good measure.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Ave Maria....one of my all-time favorites....
recall, however that it was
arranged and orchestrated by Peter Knight
.
(LP notes, Back Cover of Christmas Portrait)
Happily, Richard Carpenter does perform on keyboards...
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Ave Maria....one of my all-time favorites....
recall, however that it was
arranged and orchestrated by Peter Knight
.
(LP notes, Back Cover of Christmas Portrait)
Happily, Richard Carpenter does perform on keyboards...
Thanks for the correction GaryAlan, I just "assumed":doh: it was Richard, as it's very reminiscent to his instrumental segues on other albums. I am going to have to start reading my liner notes! Then "props" to Peter Knight for a wonderful arrangement and Richard for some great keyboard work:)!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Carpe diem,
I , too had assumed for many a year that the arrangement was due to Richard Carpenter !
This was before I decided to actually read (in detail) the original LP Covers/Credits top to bottom !
But, guess what, I had to listen to Christmas Portrait today after reading your post to the forum.
It is a great Album (The LP) to listen to and become immersed in Karen's vocals.
And, Ave Maria is a sterling example....brings me to tears every time !
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
Fantastic thread. Two snippets that always transport me to "goose bump city" that I tend to replay over and over are:
"I'm aware my heart is a sad affair. There's much disillusion there. But I can dream can't I."

"If this is luck then let it ride. If it's the stars, they're surely on my side. (They're surely on my side)."
YES! Particularly, that "Happy" one. So self-assured sounding... so 'happy'! Such a great delivery on that one...
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
Since we're on a Horizon roll.... I used to wear Solitaire out when the song was new... Particularly, the added organ snippets that RC added on the single rendition. Even now, when it plays - I review that segment, wishing it was turned up in the mix even a little louder... I wonder as I write this, did the 45 have it louder than the Gold version? hmmm

Addendum: Just You tubed the single... (love that organ!) man oh man... that song kills. the ending particularly.
 
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