• 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

The musical interludes after the chorus on "Superstar" have always been so haunting to me....but my favorite would have to be the end of Merry Christmas, Darling, starting with the last "i wish i were with you...." then that killer harmony. Gets me every time.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The very ending of
Do You Hear What I Hear,
when Karen sings, "....goodness and Light !",
gets to me every time I listen.

Or, the first instance when Karen sings
"...because you are in Love, your eyes begin to open..." and "what a surprise to Discover...."
in her reading of the Wedding Song.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Or, the first instance when Karen sings
"...because you are in Love"

That is one of the biggest chill factor moments of any of their records. I don't care much for the song, but I've played that part over and over again with my eyes closed :love:
 

ScottyB

Well-Known Member
When I was a kid, my siblings and some friends would be together listening to the Hurting Each Other single, and while one or more of us would sing the verse line
Closer than the leaves on a weeping willow, baby, we are, the rest would follow with the harmony weeeeeee.......aaaaarrreeee.... Love that. Takes me back every time.
 

ScottyB

Well-Known Member
Just listening earlier today to "Knowing When to Leave" on the 1980 Music Music Music Medley...

Every line is sheer perfection on this one. That whole medley... Even the opening lines of 'Sing'.... just flawless. utterly flawless.
I was just listening to that earlier myself. Must be something in the air. Karen?
 

70sFan

Well-Known Member
Another favorite of mine is from "A Song For You". "...Darlin' can't you please see THROUH me?" I always loved the way Karen sang the word through. Sounded as if she was directly on the microphone. Sends chills.
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
As big a fan as I am, I often get busy and go weeks and sometimes a month or longer without listening to the C's. The good thing about doing so is that I find it makes me listen with fresh ears when I come back to them. Anyhow, yesterday, for the first time in a while I popped the karaoke CD in as I was driving and when I came to "For All We Know" I was reminded how much I love the harmonies in the second verse ("For only time, and love may grow"). I've played that part countless times and never tire of it. In fact, I played it about 10 times just now as I wrote this! In particular the harmonies on the words "time" and "grow" are absolutely exquisite.
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
(A Place To) Hideaway when Karen sings "I saved my pennies for a rainy day" and then in the background Karen shadows herself with "Saved them for a rainy day".......... it's that background vocal that I could put on repeat all day long!
 

Tapdancer

Well-Known Member
...I was reminded how much I love the harmonies in the second verse ("For only time, and love may grow"). I've played that part countless times and never tire of it. In fact, I played it about 10 times just now as I wrote this! In particular the harmonies on the words "time" and "grow" are absolutely exquisite.
Tony, we are twins, separated at birth!

I also sometimes play - yes, 10 times in a row - those moments in the second verse where it all comes together. Sublime, and as you say, absolutely exquisite.

Such a gentle song, yet Richard's arrangement still finds its climax (as good as one will find in any classical music, this being to my ears so reminiscent of a Bach cantata) in the line

"...o-o-nly t-i-i-i-i-ME W-I-I-L-L TELL US so-o-o-o-o....."

in what is an almost serendipitous coming together of 4 separate rhythms :

(i) Karen's phrasing of the lyric and (ii) Joe Osbourne's bass line, both floating over (iii) a gentle bossa nova drumbeat -more like a heartbeat - and (iv) the chiming-in of harmonies at that moment in double time.

Whether by accident or design, the way those beats fell, Richard must have been pinching himself!
 
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BarryT60

Well-Known Member
I was just listening to that earlier myself. Must be something in the air. Karen?
I know this has been documented - but I am horrible at finding lost threads with in-tel...

When do we thing this medley was recorded - in the order of events surrounding the solo album - and Made In America?

These special vocals are another pinnacle of Karen's vocal efforts... I think there are several... The tan album, Now and Then, Horizon, Portrait, and this era are among my ultimate favorite vocal time-frames... (I know - that doesn't leave much more!)
 

Tony

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
in what is an almost serendipitous coming together of 4 separate rhythms :

(i) Karen's phrasing of the lyric and (ii) Joe Osbourne's bass line, both floating over (iii) a gentle bossa nova drumbeat -more like a heartbeat - and (iv) the chiming-in of harmonies at that moment in double time.

Tapdancer, it is comments like yours that really keep me coming back here. You see, I don't really have a musical background so I'm fascinated by such observations. I now can't wait to go back and listen again.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
When do we thing this medley was recorded - in the order of events surrounding the solo album - and Made In America?

The vocals for Music Music Music were recorded in March 1980...just weeks after the solo album sessions had finished with the recording of the track Lovelines and two months before the solo LP had even been officially cancelled.

From the official website, regarding the Karen/Ella Medley:

"On Sunday, March 2, 1980, her 30th birthday, Karen recorded her selections in Studio D, A&M Studios. They might as well have been live as she got them all in one take. Since Karen and I co-owned the ABC specials, we hired a remote recording service to record Ella at the ABC television studios at Prospect Avenue, where we were videotaping. I can only say the effort was more than worth it."

The sessions for MIA got underway around April 1980, because Karen met Tom Burris that month and Richard is on record as saying "we'd just gotten started on that [Made In America] when she meets this fellow...Tom Burris"
 
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theninjarabbit

Well-Known Member
Whether by accident or design, the way those beats fell, Richard must have been pinching himself!
There is something magical in songs like "For All We Know", "Rainy Days", "Begun", "Close to You", and countless others -- every listen is as (downright) exciting as the first. That alone not only showcases Karen as a stellar vocalist -- or even the prowess of the Wrecking Crew musicians -- it underscores Richard's finesse as an arranger and producer. He wasn't only pinching himself, he was laughing at Rolling Stone all the way to the bank! :laugh:
 

kprather

Well-Known Member
The musical interludes after the chorus on "Superstar" have always been so haunting to me....but my favorite would have to be the end of Merry Christmas, Darling, starting with the last "i wish i were with you...." then that killer harmony. Gets me every time.
I definitely enjoy that harmony, but I got goosebumps the first time I heard her perform this song on Bruce Forsythe's show. Hearing the electric piano in place of the vocals was chilling, and I would have loved to hear the piano end the song.
 

arthowson

Active Member
For me it's very specifically the vocal harmony sound they created. There's certain moments when it really hits.
Breathtaking.

I bet you I'm probably weirder...

At one point I named these moments "Carpenter-gasms". O__o

At first during "Close to you" it would be past 2 min mark "so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair..."
It's the words "golden starlight". As the vocals come together on "gold". I would play that over and over.
I have no idea why. Just such a full sound I guess.

And "Maybe it's you". During the chorus I always loved "his only thought is love for me" particularly the moment they come together on the word "thought".

I used to repeat "keep them safe and warm" on "Bless the beasts" because it did sound so warm.

"Corn fed chords appeal to me"... believe me "Goofus" got it's repeats too during the beginning part with their close harmonies and especially that great "oooo" at the end.

The ending of "One love" and "Crystal lullaby". The harmonies are so good!

I used to play the sax solo of "Touch me when we're dancing" over and over because of the vocal overdubs in there. I liked the drums too. For sure this one I'd do over and over. One of my fav parts. When I heard the isolated vocals from the SACD album and I got to hear the "aaahs" louder I was amazed once more. It's so spot on. Or are they more "heeehs" rather than "aaaahs". Still I love it.

"Those good old dreams" chorus makes me nuts. Get the headphones on and I'm completely lost in there.
Good luck trying to find me. XD

"(Want you) Back in my life again" used to be one I'd play over and over too. When they jump in there with their sound during the chorus I'm amazed. After all these years. Super tight harmonies. It's studio perfection.

"Without a song" from "Interpretations" rocks my world too. The acapella breakdown in "Somebody's been lyin" is similar. I like that part too.

Parts of "Slow dance" like "Dance with meeeee" or the ending "Someone like you hooowhoaaaa". I'm melting.

Sometimes I like some of those vocals mixed in there so it's almost ambient and takes on a 'smokey' kind of quality. I can't really explain it obviously.

Oh, and the 1980 medley drives me nutty too. "Knowing when to leave" gets a repeat! The "day after days an each night after night". Then, when Karen sings "We've only just begun" ten years after it's initial release and she goes "and we'll smile" one more time... It makes me cry. "Smile" sounds particularly magical.

So, yea I will re-live these moments from time to time. You think it would wear off eventually, but nope.
I've been a solid listener for ten years. I'm still hooked.
it's "in your hair of gold and starlight in your eyes so blue
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
^ Oh no! You're telling me after all these years I had that wrong? :sad:
I thought that I felt foolish already when I only heard the album version of "Close to you" like a year ago. :nut:
Turns out I don't know Close to you then as well as I thought. Oops. Better late than never I suppose. Lol
Now I wonder what else I've heard incorrectly all this time. -__-
I think I did that with C2U cause it was their hit and I kind of ignored it over some of their other stuff. Some weird psychology there I presume. haha
 
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