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Small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Tony, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    That's so true. I can't think of any other singer whose background vocals interest me as much as their lead vocals. In some cases Karen's background vocals are the best part of the song for me.

    That little phrase, where Karen sings "just like me" in the background is one of those parts that I've played hundreds of times over and over. It's especially good in the karaoke version. I obsess over it.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    One of the best examples of that which comes to mind is 'Slow Dance'. Karen's backing vocals (with Richard) are just sublime on that track. I'm so glad they got as far as putting the background vocals down before it was shelved. It wouldn't sound the same with the OK Chorale.
    goodjeans, Tony and WYBIMLA like this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member

    ^ I agree. I like "Slow Dance" it's relaxing and to hear them do their own backing again is so nice. The "someone like you" ending is great.
    I remember on a GMA interview in '83 Richard saying "to have all that music sitting there just didn't feel right".
    That's a case where I really thank him for finishing it and putting it out despite the "young" sounding lyrics.
    To me Karen makes it sound more mature. I mean with a voice like that. I re-watched "The Karen Carpenter story" and it's crazy to think during her 20s her voice sounding so much older than one might think very much so during those early recordings too.
    goodjeans and Tony like this.
  4. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Active Member

    I'm really digging the end of the first verse of "Yesterday Once More" right now. Karen singing "it's yesterday once more" over the top of the background "shoo bee doo lang langs" and the groove with the drums and vibes. Man...
    goodjeans, Tony and theninjarabbit like this.
  5. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    Yep, that's another one that I totally get lost in sometimes.
    goodjeans likes this.
  6. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Thanks to mstaft, "Love Me For What I Am" -- that last overdubbed line "so let me go..I must be free". That part totally clenched me. Goosebumps.
  7. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    See this is why my old vinyl was so scratched up. I was constantly finding those bits of songs and playing them over and over. :phones:
  8. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    I had another of my Carpenters-induced OCD moments this weekend. After reading the thread about the single review of "Sing" I listened to that song for the first time in a while and was immediately taken with the harmonies around 1:55-1:58 on the words "whole life long", especially on the word "long". That sent me into orbit and I'm happy/embarrassed to report that I've now played it dozens of times since yesterday, with the volume dialed up. I wish I could capture that part and have it play continuously because it's so rich and satisfying.
    Don Malcolm and Jamesj75 like this.
  9. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    The instrumental opening of "Now". Woodwinds play the opening melody. It starts with an oboe (I think), then switches to a flute (again, guessing). But it does, so subtly in the mix, it's like the two instruments merge. A little thing, but it's interested me so much much, over the years. It really is a beautiful way to start the last sing his sister ever sang - like one beautiful thing emerging out of another.
  10. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    I like the way you described that, ullalume. "Now" is a really beautiful song.
  11. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    One early "chill factor" moment (which could also be considered in "small parts of Carpenters songs that hook you")
    is found early in "Baby It's You."

    "It's not the way you kiss that tears me apa-a-a-a-a-art."

    I was looking for the "chill factor" thread but found that it inexplicably (to me anyway) had been closed to further replies...
  12. There are times during "housekeeping" that older threads with no recent responses get closed. In that case, you can always start a new one - or, if there's a good reason that you'd like the old thread re-opened, just ask a moderator.
  13. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the explanation, Harry!
  14. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Oh my, there's so many of them, but I'll just list a few
    The "ba" and "daba daba da" parts in Mr. Guder
    The beginning of All I Can Do with all the harmonies
    The very start of Now right before the lyrics kick in
    Towards the end of Superstar where the chorus keeps getting repeated. Oh, and also the closing of the song
    In (TLTB) CTY, the "so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair, and golden starlight in your eyes of blue" line gives me goosebumps every time

    I would list more, but I don't want this post to include just about all of their songs. They're all just so good! :phones:
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  15. Awesome thread.

    There are a million of these for me, as well....and not sure if anyone else feels the same, but sometimes (as well as I know them all)..... they sneak up on me, almost unexpectedly. And that makes it all that much more amazing.

    The one that is coming to mind at this moment is on the Bacharach medley, during "Make It Easy On Yourself".....when the harmony goes just a tad staccato during "If this is good-by-ay" and then fades just a bit in intensity on "I just -- (hesitate ever so slightly!) -- know I'm gonna cry-y-ay."

    Keep 'em coming. Sigh.
    BarryT60 likes this.
  16. Just had another a moment ago in the car...

    Opening phrase:

    "You are the one who makes me happy, when everything ELSE (that gorgeous KC lower register) turns to gray."

    Gonna hit it on the Sennheisers when I get home tonight!
  17. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Today, this (rather large for a small hook! :D); especially at the end of "A House Is Not A Home", that low note on "goodbye"... it's a crime that all of these snippets never made full versions, especially "House" and "I Wanna Be Free". They could've done an album just like this, with only Karen singing and Rich at the piano.
  18. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Truly beautiful. As a fan of The Beatles and The Monkees, I absolutely loved "I Wanna Be Free" and "Good Day Sunshine". And yes, if they did an album with RC at piano and only KC singing, I'd listen to that album ASAP :phones:
    Mark-T, theninjarabbit and BarryT60 like this.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I've always loved the way she sings the word "Rome" on the song Trains and Boats and Planes :love:
    BarryT60 likes this.
  20. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    I so wish they had done a full-length version of "A House is Not a Home." As for small parts of songs that hook me, I've lately revisited "Crescent Noon" after many months away and, as always, I'm completely captivated by the harmonies beginning at 2:26. I play that part over and over and over...
    BarryT60 and Don Malcolm like this.
  21. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    This was one of my very favorites for many years and I still enjoy listening to it! What I liked about it was that it showcased not only their raw talents, but also Karen's ability to sing live with the same genuine intimacy that she did the records. None of the twang and accentuation heard on much of the later live performances.
  22. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    There are so many to list, I don't even know where to start! However this morning as I'm re-reading some of these posts, I'm reminded of the still ever-so-familiar chill factor I get from listening to Karen double her vocals.

    The whole concept of breaking from a single-lead vocal into double unison, followed by parts is something that Karen and Richard absolutely nailed! It was first utilized more prominently by The Beatles and The Beach Boys in the 1960s, and then really became a more prominent production value in the 70s with Nilsson, Gilbert O'Sullivan, Queen, etc. There was just something about the way Karen did it and the ambient effect her voice created with it that still gets me to this day no matter how many times I hear it.
    GATourist and Don Malcolm like this.
  23. Murphy

    Murphy New 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.
    Tapdancer likes this.
  24. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    "Crescent Noon" certainly has a depressing quality to it, no doubt. It took a while for me to appreciate the song, but it's now one of my favorites. Richard seems to have been influenced by Erik Satie's Gymnopedie No. 2 when he wrote it, another song with an almost funereal quality to it. In any case, the harmonies on "Crescent Noon" are just sublime IMHO. (Side note: Just what exactly is a crescent noon?)
  25. Tony

    Tony Active Member Thread Starter

    Totally agree.

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