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The 20th Anniversary of the release of KAREN CARPENTER

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Harry, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    Today, October 8th, marks the 20th anniversary of the release of KAREN CARPENTER (CD 0588). I remember purchasing it at Sam Goody in Ardmore, PA, and listening to the new tracks on the way to work. I came in late that day, just so I could pick the disc up when the store opened at 10 AM.

  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Just a great album --- with a horrible cover!
    JBee, theninjarabbit and GaryAlan like this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I still love this album.
    Happy Anniversary !
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Wow! 20 years. Where has the time gone? :rolleyes:

    I remember pre-ordering this and it arrived in the post on the day of its release. I'd heard the six tracks already released on Lovelines and From The Top but was shocked to hear how different the opening track sounded. The bass intro was missing and the track sounded more dry and funky. I also noticed that Karen's vocal seemed way back in the mix. The next song, All Because Of You was a treat as it was new to me, but left me feeling...underwhelmed. Other tracks like Makin' Love In The Afternoon, Guess I Just Lost My Head and Still In Love With You just had my head spinning with excitement. My Body Keeps Changing My Mind finally solved a riddle for me, as we got to hear the original line in the second chorus where her original vocal was left intact by Phil and not doubled up as Richard had done for his remix ("when I see you dancing").

    I should point out that I'd heard some of the tracks on a cassette bootleg back in 1995, but the quality was terrible, in mono and the recordings were sped up, this obviously being a copy of a copy of a copy etc, making Karen sound like she had inhaled a helium balloon. It was a joy to finally hear the album in glorious stereo and Karen's dedication really got to me, so God knows how Richard felt when he heard it from Itchie that first time.

    By the way, Richard's comments about their Close To You album also apply to Karen's solo effort..."it's a good album, but it is one crappy cover!

    Happy solo anniversary Karen :)
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    GaryAlan likes this.
  5. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    I was really happy to get a hold of my copy a couple years ago for a reasonable price. It always makes me feel energized and ready to dance!
    GaryAlan likes this.
  6. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    ...I was there also Harry.
    KevCav333 likes this.
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator Thread Starter

    I was parked right in front of the store in my green 1989 Maxima while I waited for the store to open. Once I got the disc, I moved to the row of cars adjacent to the street and listened to the first track or so. Then I took off for work in Bala-Cynwyd.
    goodjeans likes this.
  8. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I bought my copy on the day of release, as well, at Streetside Records in Overland Park, KS. I also accepted a job later that same day, which meant I was moving to Chicago.
    Big day indeed.
  9. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I got my copy several years later but when i finally did i was impressed and i thought "Well worth the wait" but still i thought they should have released it back in 1980 and i dont believe it would have had any negative effects on the carpenters as a group after all Phil Collins and others were doing solo projects on the side while continuing their regular group activities and it could have worked for Karen too. In my opinion.this is a very well done album and at least it finally got released and we are all the more blessed for it my favorite songs on it are" Lovelines" " If We Try" and the great cover of " Still crazy after all these years".
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2016
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  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I remember getting this album in the winter of 98. I only knew it existed because I was watching Jeopardy! one night in January or February 1998 and one of the clues was an audio clue featuring a track from this album (I think it was "My Body", but I don't quite remember), and while the answer was Karen Carpenter, it didn't sound like a Carpenters track. So I called up the record store the next day and asked if the KC solo album had been released (since I had "Interpretations" and really liked 'If I Had You' and remembered the write-up). The told me they had a copy so I had them to hold it for me, and by the weekend I was over to pick it up.
    KevCav333 likes this.
  11. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    I was on holiday in Honolulu staying with friends of friends, I didn't know the album had been released and I just happened to see it, browsing through a cd shop there. Of course I was so keen to play it, which I did on their system.
    I was quite disappointed when they said ' it's rather over orchestrated '!! lol. Perhaps they were used to a more traditional Carpenters sound.
    Loved the album as it was something new, but I rarely play it these days.
    KevCav333 likes this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I don't even get that comment. There's nowhere near as much orchestration on it compared to normal Carpenters albums :confused:
  13. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    Well I think the opening track 'Lovelines' IS rather 'busy', if you are used to Superstar or We've only just begun etc.
  14. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    So, day of release. I had heard some leaks prior. Ironically, October 8, 72 was the evening of my 1st of 3 CarpenterS concerts.
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  15. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Such a great album! I actually just recently listened to the whole album and loved it! Happy anniversary. :)
  16. JBee

    JBee Active Member

    A question for those who bought the album at the time - I've always wondered - did the fact that Richard had released several of the tracks (albeit remixed by him and not Phil Ramone) previously lessen the excitement about the album?

    I ask because when listening to Lovelines (and I know RC still had no intention of releasing the solo album when it was putting it together so felt free to use songs he never thought would otherwise see the light of day) I've always been disappointed to find Karen's solo tracks there as if they were "Carpenters" songs.
    KevCav333 and Jeff like this.
  17. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Like many on here, I had no idea about the album's release, but chanced upon a single copy in HMV's back catalogue section towards the end of 1996. At the princely sum of £16.99 (amazing what record shops used to get away with in terms of pricing in the 1990s) and at a time when I wasn't exactly flush with cash, I couldn't really afford to get it, but eventually picked it up in early 1997 at an independent store for a much more reasonable £10.

    Even though I'd already heard the six solo tracks released on Lovelines and From the Top, it was still quite a surprise to hear the variety of the previously unreleased tracks, like the dryness of 'All Because of You' and the playfulness of 'Guess I Just Lost My Head'. The biggest surprise though was the inclusion of 'Make Believe It's Your First Time', as I'd never heard before anything about this having been anything other than a 'Carpenters' song.

    I still play the album a fair bit, so even though the solo tracks form quite a key part of the Lovelines running order, I associate them more with the solo album now than with that album.
  18. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    Agree with Rumbahbah. There were still enough unheard tracks that it was exciting to finally have the album. Most reviews (that I remember) at the time gave it middlin' grades and claimed, not accurately in my opinion, that it was either a disco album or Karen trying to sound like a soul singer. Some of those comments were circulating well before the album ever saw the light of day. So, it was nice to be able to judge for one's self and not have to take those critics at their word.
    Jeff likes this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    For all the expressed angst which has been said for the Carpenters' album Covers,
    (especially Close To You and inner illustration of the duo Now & Then):

    I ask:
    Who ultimately approved this Cover ?
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I wish Rod Temperton could have given an in-depth interview regarding this
    solo album and what it was like working with Karen and Phil Ramone, when working on this album.

    In other words, what did he really think of Karen Carpenter---especially her Voice.
  21. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Oh absolutely, the cover just looked odd, particularly as I'd already seen the photo that it was based on when I first bought the CD, so it was strange to have what was quite a nice shot of Karen redone looking like a sketch by a not very skilled artist.

    Re Rod Temperton, Randy Schmidt's book does go into some detail on this. From what I recall, initially Karen wasn't overly impressed by Rod's songs and didn't want to record them. However, although she turned down 'Rock With You' and 'Off the Wall' that ended up with Michael Jackson(a shame in the case of the former, as I can imagine her doing a nice job on that, although the latter wouldn't have suited her voice so well), she eventually selected 'If We Try' and 'Lovelines' (I think 'Midnight' of the outtakes was a Temperton song as well), and before long, they clicked and Rod did the vocal arrangements on other tracks like 'If I Had You'. Listening to those arrangements, it seems clear to me that he obviously had great respect for and a good understanding of what Karen's voice was capable of doing.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I'd like to know the answer to that too. Although the artwork as originally intended was still not that good (there are far better photos taken from the sessions that could have been used for the front cover), what we eventually got was an abomination.

    Here's the actual evolution of the artwork:



  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Either of these pictures would have been nice as the back cover or for a single release:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Rare colour version of the photograph used in People magazine:

  24. Was sad to hear of the death of Rod Temperton "The Invisible Man" last week at the age of 66.

    Rodney Lynn "Rod" Temperton (b. 9th October 1949, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England – d. September/October 2016, London, England) - an agressive form of Cancer.
  25. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    For me in Jan/Feb 1998, I had only heard "If I Had You" on the 'Interpretations' album (the first Carpenters album that I had bought with my own money) which I had just bought on Oct. 31, 1997. I had also heard "Make Believe It's Your First Time" on the 1985 "Yesterday Once More" 2-CD set that I had bought with Christmas money in January 1998. To this day, I can not figure out what the added verse in the Carpenters version of MBIYFT is, but either way, both versions I've never taken a care for and is easily one of the weakest songs of the Carpenters catalogue, and really on the YOM set, I think another track, such as "Beechwood", (which is on the video but not the set) or "Your Baby" would've fit better musically. And on Karen's solo album, I think MBIYFT could've been replaced with "Love Making Love To You" or "Don't Try To Win Me Back".

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