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Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

byline

Well-Known Member
Two of my favorite "goosebump" moments are from the album "Close To You". That moment on "Another Song" when Karen lets loose with "and oh, the wind sang of you..." is just exhilarating. Also, on "Baby, It's You", when she "many, many, many nights go by", it's the toughest she ever sounded.

But, to be perfectly honest, I have to disagree with two previous comments. I really hated the song Crescent Noon (so depressing) and the way they changed the great original sax solo on Santa Claus Is Coming To Town to that horrible Vegas-lounge remake.
I agree with all of your points except for "Cresent Noon" ... which will always be one of my favorites. It's such a haunting song, so rare in their repertoire. I think that's why I love it so much.
 

Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
For me i have a few goosebump moments the first one is from the way karen sings the word benedicta in ave maria.

My second one is from the live version of sing from the concert in japan from 1976 where karen holds the note song as she descends lower into her basement as she puts it.
From 2.28 to 2.41
The third one comes from the song a place to hide away when karen sings the lines The world once was mine. love is for weeping
For how I long to find a place to hide away. Those are the lines from that particular song that give me goosebumps.
 
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A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
My all-time favorite Carpenters moments include:

‘My darling, if this goodbye, I just know I’m gonna cry’ from the 1980 MMM medley.

‘Somewhere in a fairy tale forest lies one answer that is waiting to be heard’, from ‘Crescent Noon’, of course.

‘The warmth of you has gone’ line from ‘Another Song’ also comes to mind.

‘Truth or consequences, which one will or be?’ from ‘Two Sides’ slays me.

There are so many, but these four moments really stand out for me.
 

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
GREAT line. I just picked the same recording, but a different line! See below. :wink:

Great minds think alike!! :) There's just something something in the chord progression, mixed with the ahhhh and her simple yet heartfelt read that just gets to me.....and obviously the lyric in itself gets to me when I think about a certain person.
 
How Karen sings "love" in the beginning of "For All We Know" - pure bliss; the "ba-ba-bas" in Mr. Guder; the first "don't tell me what it's all about" and "out those chains, those chains that bind you" in "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"; the opening notes/sax solo in "Rainy Days and Mondays," also Karen's singing inflection(?) at the end; each time Karen sings "every sha-la-la-la, every whoa-oa-oa" in "Yesterday Once More"; the final note in "Solitaire" - there's so many that I love!
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I have another one that I don’t think I mentioned.

“As they melt the years a-way” in YOM. Richard not only paid attention to vocal arrangement, he paid attention to phrasing. It can have such nuance and he handles that better than anyone.

Ed
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
I thought that the "Yesterday Once More (Reprise)" (from 1973 "Now & Then") should have went "When I was young I listened to the radio (Every sha la la la every woah woah woah) When I was young I listened to the radio (Every sha la la la every woah woah woah) & fade out!!!
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
A Favorite of mine is on “Making Love In The Afternoon”. Especially around the 2:10 mark where you have 3 Karen’s singing ‘Making love’ and if Karen had shot a video for the song I could see them having 3 Karen’s on screen dancing, but when they go to holding the Love, that Karen would freeze, while the next Karen zoomed in from the left side of the screen.
 

Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
I love the song but I don't think it would have been a success as a single...I guess I'm in the minority on that one. It's too slow and ploddy for me and the melody in the verses see-saws up and down too much.

One song that I always obsess over is Boat To Sail. Karen's vocals in the instrumental break are absolute heaven. I'd love to hear them a capella with all the instrumentation stripped back.

How could we go about doing this with the song?
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
One of many little Parts of Carpenters songs Have a Hook all their own one in particular That Stands out to me is Chuck Findley's memorable (at least to me) Trumpet solo on "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore. And at that time I knew since it was the Last Original Carpenter Release ( not counting Lovelines or comps) the song today Has more of an Ironic feel to it at least for me.
 

Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
I recently gave i can't make music a listen and at the very end the harmonica and violin caught me off guard. I like this song because of its lyrics and the way karen sings them.
 

Alan71

Member
A line that keeps going through my mind is Solitaire’s “Just how it goes, goes without saying”. I just like how she says “goes” twice in succession without you really noticing. And also the fact that she’s talking about hope going up in smoke - the way she sings it is so comforting, you suspect it’s all going to be OK in the end.

I like that song generally - I absolutely love the fact that Karen apparently never liked the song, but managed to turn in one of her greatest performances. I caught a Neil Sedaka live version on YouTube the other day (never heard any version other than Carpenters’) - still a classic song, but Karen took it to a higher level.
 

Jarred

Your resident analyst right around the corner.
I heard the tan album as whole after a while in one sitting and it just sounds as fresh and wonderful as a collection as ever (and sue me, but I do have a fondness for DP and Saturday - even if I would swept them aside for two additional Karen vocals.)

I’m always struck by Karen’s phrasing on “...and I think about those people, who mean so much to me..” - the way she scoops down on the word “people” sounds as if she wants to make a bed for herself in that word (and what it means to her, or what she wants it to mean to her) but has to lift herself up again and carry on still. The tender, sad love she places on that single word gives the song another dimension for me. The whole performance (and every performance on the album) is Karen having reached a new maturity and what a song to end such an exquisite album on. She truly grows with each listener over time. She never stops communicating something profound.

(Side note: does anyone else hear once she starts singing “and for so many years...” it sounds like a different take/session? It doesn’t detract any I just hear a sound difference and her phrasing alters slightly.)
 
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Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
"Sometimes" is one of those records that was just made for the CD format and really can't be a perfect experience on vinyl. There are so many quiet passages with nothing but a piano or a vocal at a very quiet level. Any vinyl version of this will have to bring out whatever flaws there are in the physical vinyl - the little ticks and the surface noise. It's one of those records that as it was playing, I wished that the vinyl could be quieter.

The record was also never designed to sound all that good on radio. Its low-level would be brought up on its way to the transmitter by the Optimods or Volumaxes in the audio chain, bringing up the hiss and any of those flaws in the vinyl.

No, I always felt that "Sometimes" was a little gift to fans and a way of actually saying "Thank You" to the powers that be for giving them their chance.
 

TimeWarp

Active Member
So many small parts with the Carpenters that it's hard to remember them all offhand. :)

I will start with 0:20-0:25 of "Yesterday Once More". It's simple but played so perfectly and I can tell immediately that Richard was classically trained when hearing these five seconds.
 

ChrisCarpenterCollecter

Well-Known Member
I really love this parts:

“Those Good Old Dreams”
0:58 to 1:12 [In the longer video version]

And “Crescent Noon” 0:27 to 0:50

And last but not least “Sandy” 1:52 to 1:59

-Chris
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I’ve often referred to Sometimes as their Thanksgiving song. I love it.

When I left sixth form (in the UK this is the year you leave school at 18, ready to go on to university), we had a sort of “thanksgiving” service in the library for the whole year, which was held by my form tutor and our RE teacher. Some of the pupils took turns to read out their memories of their time in school and I suggested we played this song during the get together and she loved the idea. We played it and I always felt it summed up our collective journey as schoolmates, from 11 to 18 years old. I’m still great friends with a few of those that were there.
 

JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
That song features the lowest note Karen sang on any of their recordings ("a friend of mine"). From the Fans Ask section of the official website:

Q: On Karen’s solo effort STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, Karen hits a low note at 1:50…is this her lowest note of all time because it sounds really, really low?

A: It's an overdubbed E flat below middle C, same as the opening note of "Only Yesterday". Lowest I had Karen sing was a low D in the song, "A Song For You".

Carpenters Fans Ask- Richard Answers, May 2005
That D also occurs in the last phrase of both the first and second verses of WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE on the word I ("I can't stop singing sad songs" & I wish my mind could let you go") - these verses in this beautiful power ballad are perhaps the finest examples of Karen's extended "cruising in the basement" - this is just awesome, mind-boggling stuff...I play this on the piano and I get chills thinking of her singing these phrases every time I pass thru there.
 
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JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
You're right, I didn't think about that. And yeah, the debate over whether or not she made a conscious change to the sound of her voice in those last few years still goes on. It's very interesting. A friend of mine who has musically trained ears has said that starting at least around the solo album recordings in 1979, he detected something - her range didn't thin out but her tone did. I really don't know if this is a fact or not even though I trust my friend's ears.

Even if that's technically true she still delivered performances from 79-82 that are wholly satisfying to my own ears.
Growing older and the natural, gradual weakening and tone-changing that often occurs; lack of proper, regular care of the vocal mechanisms; little or no regular, structured and long term singing practice, especially under the direction of an experienced, competent voice coach; her rapidly deteriorating physical state from years of malnutrition and abuse of various laxatives and diuretics and other medical substances; the toll from psychological stress due to disappointments in her personal and professional life - this all added up to an awful lot to live with and handle and overcome - change for the worse was inevitable - her voice survived longer than most because she started at such a highly elevated level - but it's a wonder the woman could sing at all after a certain point...
 
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