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SOLITAIRE

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
Hi All,
So I am watching this girl on Youtube do a reaction video on the Carpenters SOLITARE...
And she said this word and I thought she had the wrong lyric...."unchecked" and all this time I had thought Karen had sang the word "unshared" not realizing it was "unchecked"....

Since summer of 1988 when I first heard the song SOLITAIRE I had thought it was always the word "unshared," mind you, at that time I thought the song was so boring...but now think it one of their greatest masterpieces.....she really TELLS a story with the song...


Cam
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
The lyric is:

"A heart that cared, that went unshared"

Always has been, always will be... :)
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
Oh I just googled the lyric and it had said UNCHECKED....so I thought I had been wrong all those years....
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
but seeing that it was rhyming....cared and SHARED...makes sense it was UNSHARED....
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
On the Tony Orlando & Dawn variety show from 1975 (which I got on DVD), guest Neil Sedaka was on. Both Joyce Vincent Wilson & Telma Hopkins sang "Solitaire" (without Tony) & it was great!! Too bad that performance is NOT on YouTube though.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Here is a recent Neil Sedaka "mini-concert" which includes Solitaire (and a Karen Carpenter mention).
Interesting ! This guy is something else...never fully appreciated him until today...but, mini-concerts for all to hear !
I saw this the other day. He’s been doing these every single day for months to keep people entertained. His emotions at the end of Solitaire are very moving.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Here is a recent Neil Sedaka "mini-concert" which includes Solitaire (and a Karen Carpenter mention).
Interesting ! This guy is something else...never fully appreciated him until today...but, mini-concerts for all to hear !
I just watched this, didn't know he was doing this. It was moving, great shout out to Karen. Thanks for sharing it.
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
You know what's funny is every time the song SOLITAIRE gets mentioned he mentions Clay Aiken's version of SOLITAIRE....but I hardly ever hear anyone mention his version anymore...it's Karen's whose name is always remembered when SOLITAIRE is mentioned.....
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Here is a recent Neil Sedaka "mini-concert" which includes Solitaire (and a Karen Carpenter mention).
Interesting ! This guy is something else...never fully appreciated him until today...but, mini-concerts for all to hear !
Of all the artists that have covered his song, he specifically mentions Karen. That says a lot. Lyricist Phil Cody has already made it known that the duo's version is his favorite. Neil is amazing, still going strong at 81! Oh yes, thanks for posting GaryAlan!!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The single version, as always, blows me away as the arrangement is better than the album version imho (but, love them both).
For your listening pleasure, the single:
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
I just wish she had recorded this for concert.....even though I know she hated it....personally as much as I adore the song and her voice....it just seems to go on and on...and I always wait for the end....no wonder she thought it draggy....or did RC say it was draggy....I know someone said that....I think...but I still think it's a magnificent song....
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Yes, Richard said it was draggy. Solitaire is a song that requires total listener engagement.
Yes, it 'appears' to "go on and on..." and that is something I love about it ! It's as if Karen is singing forever !
Horizon has a number of nice, longer, songs. You can bathe yourself in them.
Only Yesterday 4:10
Desperado 3:35
I Can Dream Can't I 4:46
Solitaire 4:40
Happy 3:50
(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You 3:58
Love Me For What I Am 3:28
(Time
code taken from 1975 LP sleeve).
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
I love HAPPY and ONLY YESTERDAY and DESPERADO....

My fave though for A KIND OF HUSH has more songs on it I love....it was one of the first Albums I ever listened to VOICE OF THE HEART and A KIND OF HUSH in summer 1988...first album I listened to was the Singles 69-73....followed by VOTH, AKOH, then CLOSE TO YOU lp, followed by Now and Then. I do LOVE Now and then but wish the side 2 had had more contemporary songs ...maybe make it a double album with the other album being all OLDIES....I did not listen to Horizon until about 1991....
 
As for "Solitaire," yes, Karen's cover is always highly acclaimed. I wish I could learn to like it. But I still can't. Maybe I don't have what it takes to appreciate real art. Perhaps it's not Karen's fault. It may be just that I don't like the lyrics.

But then again, it's not that I don't like what is stated in the lyrics. I rather like it. I mean, I like everything that describes anything related to loneliness, depression, heartbreak, futility, and all other darker aspects of the human condition as long as they seem to state what the authors really mean and that they're honest and sincere.

Then why don't I like "Solitaire"? It's because, although I rather like what the lyrics say, I don't like Neil Sedaka. Bluntly speaking, I don't believe he meant it when he was singing the song. (I don't know whether he wrote the music or the lyrics. In any case, he wrote either of them and sang the song anyway.) I don't believe he's the kind of guy that knows what it is to be lonely. He must have been someone far from what is described in the song.

But then again, I don't know Neil Sedaka inside and out. In fact, all I know of him is:

(1) several of his performances that I've seen and heard on YouTube
(2) perhaps about 30 pages of what he wrote in his autobiography Laughter in the Rain
(3) Rich Podolsky's biography of Neil Sedaka entitled Neil Sedaka: Rock 'n' Roll Survivor.

If any of you feel offended by any of what I've just said, please forgive me. Maybe I should refrain from commenting on any of his music until I know enough of his music and life.

In any case, since I can't yet appreciate the sincerity of his song, I can't feel comfortable with it. Consequently, I can't appreciate Karen's delivery of it either, I'm afraid. Besides, I've read somewhere that Karen doesn't like the song herself either.

But then again (yet again, indeed!), perhaps singers don't have to really mean what they happen to be singing. Singers who've never ever experienced the slightest bit of loneliness may be authorized to sing a song describing the most depressing sense of loneliness. Then why wouldn't Neil be allowed to sing such a song? Moreover, didn't Karen sing songs depicting something she never had any idea about?
 
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cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
This is from the website Song Facts talking with Phil Cody who wrote SOLITAIRE with Neil Sedaka

Songfacts: Tell me about writing "Solitaire." Where did you pull inspiration from that?

Cody: Neil just hit me with a lot of sad music, and that kind of thing for me was a surprise - I didn't know I had that in me. But Neil encouraged me to make him cry. So I went for that particular part of Neil's throat - I was trying to get a reaction out of Neil, and if I got a reaction out of Neil, I knew I'd done good. Because I had no idea what a hit song was. I'd been in the studio and I'd been out and about on the streets for six years at that point. But this was the first time that I ever really hooked up with anyone who actually knew what they were doing.

Songfacts: It's interesting you say you didn't know what a hit song was. I think if you did know what a hit song was, you might not have written "Solitaire."

Cody: I think so. And the interesting thing was that nobody up at Kirshner knew that the song was a hit, either. I think the only person who really believed in that song at that time was Sedaka, and I think the lack of belief and support for that song from Kirshner was part of the reason that Neil and Donny got on the outs with each other. And for me it was just an afternoon of sitting down and listening to a guy who really knew how to write songs.

I was the hippy kid. I lived in a little studio in Greenwich Village and I come up town every day and hung out at the office. And here was this guy who looked like he came in off the tennis court asking me if I wanted to write songs with him. And we clicked. For some reason, what I had to offer to his music was just the right thing at the right time.

Songfacts: Would he have the music composed when you were writing the lyrics to it?

Cody: A lot of the time it was that way, but basically, we'd just do it a line at a time. But there was a lot of music written. I don't recall ever writing anything with Neil out of a verse of lyrics that were already existing. We'd get together, he'd play me a bunch of things, and I'd say, "I like that, let's write lyrics to that one." And then he would almost machine-like, play - keep repeating line after line until I got what that line was. And then we'd move on to the next line and he'd just keep repeating. He was very patient and very accommodating in that way, and he gave me a lot of time. I'm saying gave me a lot of time, I mean, we sat down and wrote three songs, one of which was "Solitaire," in an afternoon. It wasn't difficult.

Songfacts: With "Solitaire," was Neil the first to record that song?

Cody: It might have been Andy Williams, although Neil may have recorded it in Europe before Andy did his version. But I know that we were looking to get it cut, and there was a request made for me to re-write the lyrics for Andy. Richard Perry called up and asked that I accommodate them and re-write some of the lyrics. I sort of balked for a moment, and then Wally Gold at Kirshner said to me, "You should do this. This will assure that you get a record on this, and we'd like to get a record on it." So this might have been prior to Neil's record of "Solitaire" coming out in England.

Songfacts: What was it about Andy Williams that he didn't want to record the original lyrics?

Cody: I think it was certain words that he had trouble saying. But Richard asked me to make some of the word choices a little softer, sonically. And it was okay once I let go of the idea that my lyrics were inviolate. It went rather smoothly. Over the course of time, as the Carpenters did the song, they basically did a mash-up of the old lyric and the new lyric, which actually was better than either of the two, the Andy Williams or Neil's original. I think the Carpenters' version was the one that I like best.

Songfacts: Did you ever imagine that song sung by a female voice?

Cody: Yeah. I did, actually. But when I heard Karen Carpenter, I had chills down my spine. As a lyricist, you want that thing where an artist owns your lyric. You can measure success by the amount of money you make off a song, but I measure the success of that song by that particular moment, when she made it totally her own. And it's still great. I sat down one day and I listened to all 90 versions of "Solitaire" that people have done, and of all the ones that are out there, Karen Carpenter's is still the one that is the benchmark for all the covers on that song.
 
This is from the website Song Facts talking with Phil Cody who wrote SOLITAIRE with Neil Sedaka ....

... when I heard Karen Carpenter, I had chills down my spine. ... I listened to all 90 versions of "Solitaire" that people have done, and of all the ones that are out there, Karen Carpenter's is still the one that is the benchmark for all the covers on that song.

Hip, hip, hooray for Karen Carpenter our super-megastar!!!!!!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I don't like Neil Sedaka. Bluntly speaking, I don't believe he meant it when he was singing the song. (I don't know whether he wrote the music or the lyrics. In any case, he wrote either of them and sang the song anyway.) I don't believe he's the kind of guy that knows wheat it is to be lonely. He must have been someone far from what is described in the song. I don't believe he's the kind of guy that knows what it is to be lonely. He must have been someone far from what is described in the song.
Neil didn’t write the lyrics, Phil Cody did. You should research his musical career before making such a poor assessment. Neil “lost” his appeal as a fifties singer/songwriter with the record buying public when the Beatles came along in 1963 and it wasn’t until Elton John gave him a second chance in 1973 by signing him to his own record label that Neil scored his first #1 single on the US charts in over a decade, with “Laughter In The Rain”. It relaunched his career as an artist after being thought of as “that guy who used to be Neil Sedaka”. I think that loneliness as a washed up artist and songwriter is what he’s singing about in the song.
 
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cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
Neil really has some catchy tunes....but I like his sadder songs....but I also love his uptempo songs. I especially love the HUNGRY YEARS and BAD BLOOD....and yes, he hit jackpot gold in the 1975 era with Laughter In the Rain and Love Will Keep Us Together.....I know when Karen died he made a beautiful statement for her....I had read that somewhere....and before she died....he had met them a few times after their "fiasco" in 75 as he said they had remained cordial....
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Neil really has some catchy tunes....but I like his sadder songs....but I also love his uptempo songs. I especially love the HUNGRY YEARS and BAD BLOOD....and yes, he hit jackpot gold in the 1975 era with Laughter In the Rain and Love Will Keep Us Together.....I know when Karen died he made a beautiful statement for her....I had read that somewhere....and before she died....he had met them a few times after their "fiasco" in 75 as he said they had remained cordial....
Love to hear more about these meetings after the "issue" in Vegas.
 

cam89

Active Member
Thread Starter
No, it was documented in his book LAUGHTER IN THE RAIN, and in The Carpenters Their Untold Story.....of how Neil was upstaging them....and how news reviews had to be hidden from the Carpenters as he was getting excellent reviews....how Neil who was NOT the headliner introduced celebrities in the audience when that was Richard's job, as the Headliner....and how he broke some keys off the piano....etc....after Richard fired Neil....then all hell broke loose, and DJ's and Radio Stations slammed the Carpenters....
 
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