1. The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available for preorder! Use this link to preorder, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

The Carpenters' Struggle for Uptempo Material

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Sabar, Mar 8, 2019.

  1. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    The second was "Aching Kind", the leadoff track of Michelle Phillips' album. Both of these were written by John "Moon" Martin.

     
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I had forgotten that my local radio station used to spin the solo Michelle Phillips single around 1977.
     
  3. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Michelle also did a Roger Nichols tune called "No Love Today" that Karen would have been amazing on. (but then it's a ballad, and not uptempo).

     
  4. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Donna Summer actually had quite a low register not heard much on her singles - mainly on some softer, slower album tracks - ‘Can’t We Just Sit Down and Talk It Over’, the ‘B’ side of ‘I Feel Love’, for example. Their voices may have blended well.

    I mentioned ‘Mickey’ as an example of an uptempo hit from the era we’re talking about, or the style of music of the time. I hadn’t thought of Karen singing the specific song. Sounds like a ‘Jimmy Mack’ situation.
     
    John Adam likes this.
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Speaking of Mamas and Papas, I always wish K&R had recorded Dream A Little Dream of Me.
     
    Carpe diem likes this.
  6. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    As it turned out everything hinged on Karen's health. How much was her solo work adversely affected by her Anorexia Nervosa? Probably a lot. Let's say Karen was in the prime of health and her career as lengthy as Streisand or Tony Bennett. I think there is virtually nothing she couldn't accomplish vocally. She would have to break free of "The Carpenters" and the "image" first (which she tried to do but to no avail). How about a rock & roll album, much like Linda Ronstadt with Heart Like A Wheel? What about a Stevie Nicks-type lead in an album rock oriented band similar to Fleetwood Mac? Then there was country/blues scene in what Emmylou Harris was doing at that time. I think she would've been successful recording an album of big band/show tunes much like Ronstadt with What's New in 1983. What about an entire album dedicated to Karen's drumming skills such as what Sheila E had in the 80s (imagine Karen singing The Glamorous Life:love:)? Then, picture if you will, Karen doing Gloria Estefan-type songs like Conga, Rhythm Is Gonna To Get You, Get On Your Feet while she is playing the drums.Ooh la la!! The dance floors around the world would be filled and MTV would be showing nonstop videos of it...huh, huh, oh I just woke up - it was all a dream...And to think by the end of the decade (80s) she would've only been 40 yrs old...
     
    goodjeans, Jarred and Mark-T like this.
  7. Sabar

    Sabar Member Thread Starter

    I didn't know Thom Bell by name, but when I researched him, I was familiar with his string of hits. I think his sound would have worked well for Karen. Nice idea.
     
    goodjeans and Mark-T like this.
  8. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    This is a great topic!!
    It's one of the reason why I love songs such as "Happy" and "Sweet Sweet Smile" because while I love the sad emotional songs that are Karen's forte...I crave the uptempo ones such as those. I'd even lump Goofus into that happy upbeat feel. It's also one of the reasons why I love her solo material so much because it's so unlike the Carpenters material...for me the songs from her solo album show me just how happy she was inside recording them and that in turn makes me love the album even more.
     
  9. Sabar

    Sabar Member Thread Starter

    So I think a Linda Ronstadt country rock style could have worked for Karen in the mid-70s and the Thom Bell R&B productions mentioned my Mark-T. Karen's solo album also demonstrated to me that her voice was well suited to doing R&B-jazz-soul fusion. For me, this is the best material on the solo record, such as If We Try, If I Had You, Guess I Just Lost My Head. I think the Carpenters could have kept doing that style with success into the early and mid-1980s. Other successful examples of that genre were Al Jarreau (Mornin' & We're In This Love Together) and Anita Baker (Same Ole Love). My two cents worth...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
    Mark-T likes this.
  10. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Beautiful song! This was a standout for Mama Cass, but wouldn't you just love to hear Karen's interpretation.
     
    Jarred likes this.
  11. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    I would love to have heard Carpenters record something along the vein of ABBA's track, SOS. Instead of being a complete uptempo song from start to finish....it starts off with just the female vocalist telling a story in a melancholy plea catching the listeners attention then when the chorus chimes in...it could not only use Karen and Richard's vocals but the entire Carpenters band w/ their vocals and then utilizing Tony's steel guitar (much like he did on Calling Occupants) then Cubby on drums adding to that rockier sound. It's the perfect kind of song where it's soft in spots and peaks in others creating that harder edge sound yet it could still retain Karen as lead. I have no doubt Karen could have performed this as equally as Agnetha with the right arrangement intended for Karen's vocals.

     
    Sabar and John Adam like this.
  12. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    I love that song by Michelle Phillips. A minor hit, could have been excellent for Karen to sing.
     
  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    Yeah I can hear Richard on the Pow Pow ha...this would even fit on the Now & Then album.
     
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    I like this one much better and can you imagine Karen on drums? :) I might have to download this one.
     
    John Adam likes this.
  15. I believe I mentioned this in another thread, but--I always felt "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" was the right kind of tempo (and adult-without-being-explicit lyrics) they needed at the time. I see now that it was written by Parker McGee.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    That's a good one...I like that song.
     
    John Adam likes this.
  17. no1kandrfan

    no1kandrfan Active Member

    They did uptempo with All You Get From Love Is A Love Song, and much later I Want You Back In My Life Again - not well received by the public. It was good music, too. I think their popular time was done by then. The record buying public is fickle. The ride they enjoyed was phenomenal. That's not to imply that their music was no longer good, just that public taste had shifted.
     
    Geographer, Jarred and John Adam like this.
  18. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    I don't know how this never crossed my mind. It was made for her voice.
     
  19. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    It literally felt like a dream reading this, and it's a beautiful thing to think about..
     
    David A and Carpe diem like this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’ve often wondered what Karen’s versions of Rock With You and Off The Wall would have sounded like if she’d recorded them for the solo album. From “Little Girl Blue”:

    “Temperton offered Karen several of his own compositions, including “Off the Wall” and “Rock with You,” but at that point the songs were just grooves at the piano, still in their most raw form. She declined both charts, saying they were too funky”.

    I swear in my head I can hear those trademark solo album backing vocals on the line:

    I wanna rock with you (all night)/
    Dance you into day (sunlight)”.

    And again, on Off The Wall, where Jackson sings the line “live your life off the wall”, I hear Karen doing that in the high pitched voice we hear on If I Had You (“you are my night/you are my day/you are my dreams/my everything”).
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    Mark-T and GDB2LV like this.
  21. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    ^^^ Cant like this enough!
     
    newvillefan likes this.
  22. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    I would have loved to hear Karen's "Rock With You", but if I had to give it to one of them it would be Michael; it fits his soulful voice better and Karen didn't have that type of voice (in terms of innate style).
     
  23. Sue

    Sue Active Member

    uk
    I would have liked to hear a Carpenters upbeat version of Bee Gees "Words"
    Perhaps "You Win Again" 0r "Run to Me" would have worked with Richard's arrangements. Perhaps "Guilty".

    I wonder if Barry Gibb ever approached Karen about writing a song for her??

    Abba- "One of Us" or "Name of the Game"
     
  24. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I can so hear her singing Guilty!
     
    Sabar, newvillefan and Sue like this.

Share This Page

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)