• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline for October 2021! The new book Carpenter: The Musical Legacy will be available on October 19 and 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 being released October 22, and is available for ordering here.

Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
The manner in which the song "End of The World" ends,
where Karen's vocal slides from one note to another-- in the same word "Goodbye"--
is always awesome to listen to;
The slide ends on the E below middle C, the 2nd lowest note she ever recorded (which she also swoops down to in the verses of WHERE DO I GO..., just before dropping a step lower to a D on the word "I"...
 

tristanbmusic

New Member
Watching the Gold DVD on YouTube last night I was touched by a short instrumental in the credits reminding me very much of Richard's lone piano recapitulation/coda in "Look to Your Dreams." From the forum archives I found out it was the ending to Bacharach's own version of "Close to You" starting around 2:18. It's an airy, melodic, slightly eerie bit that left a strange taste after watching those music videos sequenced so strangely together from over the years. I find their video legacy confusing, but tend not to give it much consideration -- their essence lies in studio artistry (thinking of The Beatles here as well), so I leave it at that. The ending of "Look to Your Dreams" and therefore "Voice of the Heart" shows a real consciousness of form ("the album") Richard and Karen clearly admired (see the reprises, "Aurora"/"Eventide"), but boy it sure carries a lot of emotional weight-- it has a nostalgia of their conceptual side, as if Richard says "we're still Carpenters, but it's only me".
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Near the end of "One More Time" when Karen sings "...when love was all, when love was all, when love was all we had, one more time". And the sweet, soft entrance of the strings in the interlude between the 1st & 2nd verses. And, yes, everything else in the recording...
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Near the end of "One More Time" when Karen sings "...when love was all, when love was all, when love was all we had, one more time". And the sweet, soft entrance of the strings in the interlude between the 1st & 2nd verses. And, yes, everything else in the recording...

One of the best songs in their entire catalogue and by far the best song on AKOH.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Oh, where to begin with this thread. I have so many that came to my mind.
1) "Reason to Believe" - Richard's keyboard in tandem with what sounds like a guitar (all throughout the song, but very specifically in the instrumental bridge -- this is one reason why, even though I uploaded the 1987 remix to YouTube, the album version from 1970 will always be my favorite. The small tiny part that warms me every time can be heard here () starting at 2:56; in the left channel, you can hear a little guitar pluck. That warms me every. single. time. (You can hear the absence of that little guitar pluck in the 1987 remix: )

2) "(A Place To) Hideaway" - Richard was always a fantastic soloist, but "(A Place To) Hideaway" and "Sometimes" remain two of my favorite examples of his keen ability of accompaniment. At around 2:12 in my upload here () he plays a relatively forceful bridge between Karen's voice and the oboe (clarinet?) that to this day makes me smile.

3) "Bacharach/David Medley" - Karen playing the big and little cowbell during "Always Something There to Remind me" (about 2:40 in this clip: Carpenters - Burt Bacharach Hal David Medley). That's the "small" part that hooks me; the big part is the layered harmonies that precede this moment.

4) "And When He Smiles" - Karen's drumming throughout; the "small" part is the rim clicks she adds for flavor throughout the song.
 

Martin Medrano

Well-Known Member
Here we go again for me its the way karen did the drum part in fun fun fun at 6 seconds in. Also the drumming in the night has a thousand eyes. Also the solo at the end of i can't make music its chill inducing.
 

lily-anne

karen carpenter's unrecognized daughter
well i have soo many, but now i only just can think of these- karen's "away ah-ahh" and little piano sound at the end from 'boat to sail' and karen's "t-bird awayyyyy" from fun, fun, fun! i also love that part from 'da doo ron ron' (and it should be 1974 budokan live version) karen singing "i met him on a monday and my heart stood still". and tbh i don't really liked other parts of "kiss me the way~" a lot, but i love "as the stars go sailing by~" part SOOO MUCH!
 
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Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter


One of my favorite tracks from Karen's solo album is "I Guess I Just Lost My Head". I really like the backing vocals, especially near the end of song. So, I was pleased to find this YouTube video of that song with just the instruments and her background vocals. I've been playing the part that begins at 2:50 over and over. Love it.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
One of my favorite tracks from Karen's solo album is "I Guess I Just Lost My Head". I really like the backing vocals, especially near the end of song. So, I was pleased to find this YouTube video of that song with just the instruments and her background vocals. I've been playing the part that begins at 2:50 over and over. Love it.

Those backing vocal arrangements by Rod Temperton are just amazing. The chords are so complex and so unlike anything she ever did as part of the Carpenters. For that alone she gets top marks in my book for breaking new ground.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Those backing vocal arrangements by Rod Temperton are just amazing. The chords are so complex and so unlike anything she ever did as part of the Carpenters. For that alone she gets top marks in my book for breaking new ground.

Agreed. Not "Carpenteresque" in the least bit. These arrangements are very Rod Temperton. He did the exact same kind of thing with Johnnie Wilder for Heatwave. He arranged Johnnie's vocals the exact same way. Here's an example:


Ed
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Agreed. Not "Carpenteresque" in the least bit. These arrangements are very Rod Temperton. He did the exact same kind of thing with Johnnie Wilder for Heatwave. He arranged Johnnie's vocals the exact same way.

Yeah, there’s a similar warmth and resonance to those background vocals that I hear in Karen’s solo work as well. Very nice track, that. Would love to hear more recommendations if anyone has them.
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Yeah, there’s a similar warmth and resonance to those background vocals that I hear in Karen’s solo work as well. Very nice track, that. Would love to hear more recommendations if anyone has them.
All of Heatwave's work is full of Rod's vocal arrangements. He did just about all of them and even those few he didn't do sound like he did. He left the band early on because he didn't like touring but he continued to write and arrange for them from beginning to end.

Ed
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member


One of my favorite tracks from Karen's solo album is "I Guess I Just Lost My Head". I really like the backing vocals, especially near the end of song. So, I was pleased to find this YouTube video of that song with just the instruments and her background vocals. I've been playing the part that begins at 2:50 over and over. Love it.
One of my favorites and probably my most listened to from the solo album.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I like "Guess I Just Lost My Head" a lot too, but prefer the full version as recorded and authorized by Karen & Phil.
 

KentTeffeteller

Well-Known Member
A favorite for me, on a Carpenters LP is "We'll Be Right Back, After We Go To The Bathroom". Keep this on a cart for on air use as a fun insert. Those baroque inspired pieces with antiphonal harmonies. "Ticket To Ride" has "Benediction" are pieces I enjoy.
 

Someday

Well-Known Member
... the second verse switch from Richard's vocal into Karen's for "Do you hear what I hear?". Just magical. RC may have recorded that first verse out of necessity, but it was meant to be. Fantastic.
 
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