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The Karen Carpenter Story Music

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Simon KC1950, Apr 16, 2017.

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  1. I think exactly the same as you, I believe that in such tragic bibliographical situations, your friends or close friends have another perspective that is even more realistic than the protagonists' own, who are blinded in their mental problems ..:sad::sad:.. Pd. Some time ago I recorded the movie of the TV in Latin Spanish, and in the dubbing of the voice of cintia gibb it is quite good in comparison with the Original voice.
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    While revisiting this (awful--imho) CBS Movie,
    I see and hear another thing that bugs me.
    The Movie utilizes the "choir" while Karen sings "Now"
    in the recording booth.
    Why did Richard choose to do that ?
    He could have (and should have--imho) used only the Work Lead.
    (Not use the finished (1983) version.)

    Anyway, I had wanted to hear the very end, when the Reprise Song For You
    is played. And, it seems as if that Reprise is ever-so-subtly
    edited, as it ends a bit too early.

    Thoughts ?
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  3. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’ve always thought the same about this song too. He stripped We’ve Only Just Begun right back to replicate the fact they were in the middle of laying down vocal tracks, so he should have done the same with this song. It would have been nice to hear it without the syrupy choir.
    CraigGA likes this.
  4. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    With the exception of a few of us, as a rule, we would like the syrupy choir eliminated from everything it was recorded on since 1976 except for the Chrustmas songs.
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    You guys have no flair for the dramatic. That was the penultimate scene of the movie. "Richard" is moved to tears by her vocals. "Herb" is impressed. And then comes the final tragic scene.

    If there was ever a place where a choir was welcome, it should be there. A flat recording would have been out of place.

    All in my humble opinion, of course.
    Nick, David A, Bobberman and 2 others like this.
  6. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I second that opinion my friend.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I will agree that my 'flair for the dramatic' is absent !
    However, for the scene in which it is intended, I stand by my opinion,
    a solitary work-lead--to match Karen in the recording booth--
    is perfect for the (1982) scene....not the later audio recording with added (1983) choir.
  8. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Yeah, I echo the thoughts of @Harry. It's about the emotion of the moment in the film related to what would be Karen's final recording session. Most of the millions of folks who tuned in wouldn't have had any clue, especially back then and I'm not sure a stripped down version would have had nearly the impact. And to be honest if you follow that logic, you'd have to literally strip away strings, winds etc.
    David A likes this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Yes, I would have stripped it down to only the lead vocal--
    or, to try to get it as close to that 1982 recording session as possible--
    and, I'm assuming Karen was not hearing a choir through those earphones.
    I still say my logic makes more sense for that 1982 scene.
  10. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Perhaps for a serious documentary, but this was a Hollywood entertainment bio-pic. Artistic license and all that.
    David A and Bobberman like this.
  11. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    You can hear the bleed of the backgrounds from the tape. Very cool.

    newvillefan likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I must say, it now appears as if the CBS-Movie is anachronistic in the
    instance (and many others) of the recording studio for the song "Now."

    As we know, the song was recorded April 1982.
    In the CBS Movie, after the Doctor says (at 1:22:58) "she's anxious to get back in the studio again"
    along with "I think it would be good for her" and "we can't keep her here forever"
    then, she is released from the hospital.
    Then, we do get to the recording studio with the song "Now."

    So, it is not April 1982 in the CBS-Movie. The time frame is after Thanksgiving 1982.
    So, yes, artistic license, indeed.

    By the way, the more I watch the Movie, the more I dislike it (terrible script).

    Great Music, though.
  13. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Whilst we the diehards will always scrutinise things like this, I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of people who watch this film would never know the difference - and many of them will never have even heard the song.

    One thought that sprang to mind when reading your post is that whilst Karen didn’t record the song in late 1982/early 1983, she did go back to the studio one more time in the weeks before her death to relisten to the basic tracks they had laid down in April 1982. Richard said that, uncharacteristically, she sat away from the mixing desk on a sofa while Richard played back the songs, an experience he later described as “really upsetting”. I sometimes wonder if the Levenkron comment, that she might not even enjoy being a singer any more, was lurking somewhere in the back of his mind at that time.

    What is impressive, looking at the chronological list of songs included in the film, is just how much music Richard managed to pack into it. For the music and film footage around Downey and inside Newville alone, I love watching the movie.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    Geographer likes this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I confess, I do have a VHS Tape from the original broadcast date.
    I confess to being glued to the screen at that time--and, I confess I enjoyed watching it--then.

    Be that as it may....watching that other (banned) movie,
    it also "packs" an impressive list (at least ten songs )of Carpenters' music into its 43min "biopic,"
    it even has This Masquerade played during Karen's wedding....
    So, my point is that while everyone is praising the CBS biopic, allowing for so-called artistic license,
    the Todd Haynes biopic is not only more accurate, it is more creative and contains Carpenters'
    music at 'just the right spots'.....
    and, look at how many people really complain about Todd Haynes' effort.

    I'm not necessarily choosing one over the other, but, reading the TV Guide, Richard carpenter says:
    "I realized soon after Karen's death that if I didn't make the movie, someone else would, and I wanted
    to make sure it was done as accurately as possible." (TV Guide, 1988 Dec 31-Jan 6)
    Carpe diem likes this.
  15. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    "the Todd Haynes biopic is not only more accurate, it is more creative and contains Carpenters'
    music at 'just the right spots'....."

    Agree there...Brutally accurate. Especially dealing with the Anorexia.
  16. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    My gut feeling is that the CBS special movie was created to correct Todd Haynes misconceptions. I think that what both movies missed is that it was time for Karen to explore on her own, creating her own career and singing songs that she researched and not just what she was directed to do by her family, even though she always committed her best. Her independence as a woman was always guarded by others and was concentrated as career turns. From what we read she did not want to hurt anyone but seemed to seek approval from her family and especially from Richard. She loved her career and her family and desired her own family. She had a loyal base of friends whose friendship was tresured in both directions. She did her best to confront issues and strived to live the life she coveted. It is tragic she ran out of time. The disease she suffered from was very serious and unknown at the time to those who loved her. This serious nature can even be seen as debatable as to whether she ever had a chance of survival. Today, she would have a greater potential of survival, but that is true with any disease. In the end she has left behind a great legacy of songs and family loyalty. She holds a reputation of a great voice that continues to allow family opportunities in song. She gave credit to Richard and he gave credit to her. Her voice has stood the test of time and is still adored with the tribute of new fans as well as those like me who have always held her voice near to the heart. To this day Richard is the caretaker of her legacy.
    John Tkacik likes this.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    What I do find interesting---in my own personal development--
    is that I was transfixed with that CBS-TV Movie when it first aired (1988/89).
    There is no way I would have not watched !
    Now, at that time, I never knew the Haynes biopic existed.
    Much later--via internet--I did watch the Haynes' Movie.
    And--at first--I did not like it. Too brutal for me.
    As time has gone on, though, my opinion has flipped regarding each.
    They both utilize "artistic licence" to a degree.

    The difference appears to be this:
    The CBS-TV movie took everything those music critics were writing about the duo (recall those awful reviews)
    and played to that same dynamic (sugar-coating, glossing over the truly insidious stuff).
    The Haynes' movie went in the opposite direction from that dynamic (no frosting).
    So, we got what we got--when we got it.
    But, who were all of these other folks who were in line to make a different "Karen Carpenter Story" ?
    No one else that I am aware of.
  18. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    The movie business is always looking for ideas to make movies about. The fact that there was a Karen Carpenter story to be told meant that SOMEONE would have done it - an ABC movie of the week, or a made-for-HBO feature. Richard's willingness to participate in the CBS feature was because he recognized the vacuum of NOT doing it.

    Once a project like that is in the works in Hollywood, everyone knows about it and either then tries to compete with it, or find another topic.
  19. Just when I thought this forum was back on track for providing excellent news and analysis regarding Carpenters, I read statements like "the Todd Haynes biopic is not only more accurate" and "brutally accurate." Really? People actually believe this? Just like the gushing over Karen's solo album, some of these statements are just too over-the-top. Todd Haynes wasn't there. He's no expert in Anorexia, AND the movie itself is so amateurish in its production it's embarrassing to watch.

    Now, I'm not saying that The Karen Carpenter Story was a spectacular production and didn't take broad license in it's story telling, but it was, at least, professional and told by people who were there. At least even Richard himself said in an Entertainment Tonight piece, before it aired, to take it with a grain of salt and that somethings in it were "Hollywood." So some inaccuracies were expected. But in comparison some pass are passing off the Todd Haynes abomination as "brutally accurate?" C'mon now...
    CraigGA and Simon KC1950 like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^And, I appreciate your viewpoint regarding this point, Geographer !
    As always, I enjoy your analysis.

    My comments were written after I did two things--sequentially--
    1. I watched the CBS-Movie (carefully).
    2. I watched the Haynes Movie (carefully).
    And, I stand by my observations.

    (1) The Weintraub-produced Movie was done, as you may have read, "on the cheap" and filmed relatively quickly.
    (2) The Haynes Movie could not have been produced any better, as it was largely experimental and, regards Superstar:
    " It doesn’t fully lampoon the biopic genre, but embraces its rare potential to examine a life. It’s done critically, sympathetically, and with a demand from the viewer to take responsibility for their role in the story, too."
    More: vaguevisages.com/2017/07/21/musical-necropic-todd-haynes-superstar-karen-carpenter-story/

    I do not choose one movie above the other--they are largely complementary,
    necessarily overlapping (although, musically they are much alike).
    One is largely for entertainment value (CBS), the other is largely for educational purposes (Haynes).

    I am not certain (How could I be ?) that the phrase "more accurate" applies to Haynes, but,
    as I have noted time and again, there are inaccuracies aplenty in the CBS-Movie.

    Which is why I quoted Richard as saying "I wanted it to be done as accurately as possible."
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I posted the below comment in another thread about the Todd Haynes film, listing all the accurate references to Karen’s life. This is pretty impressive given that it was made before the official TV movie, the official biography and long before the advent of the internet, where many articles and interview material have since been published. Haynes explained in an interview that it was all the result of meticulous research.

    So yeah, I’d agree with GaryAlan and others who have said so - it was very, very accurate in many respects.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  22. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. I can understand why some fans really don't like the film, but somehow Haynes managed to accrue quite a lot of accurate details to include in it that didn't become public knowledge until many years later. I've wondered whether he'd somehow managed to tap someone on the inside who knew them well for much of this information.
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’ve often wondered that too. To my knowledge, her fraught relationship with her mother and the difficulties in her relationship with Terry Ellis were never mentioned in the public domain until the Coleman book came along. Haynes’ “meticulous research” must have included access to a family friend or other close source. He was too spot on for it to have been anything otherwise.
  24. Actorman

    Actorman Active Member

    Exactly. It occurs at a moment in the film where Karen is believed to be on the road to recovery. She had just went through hospitalization, therapy, divorce and other issues, and was finally back in the studio. You see Richard, Herb and the engineer sitting there mesmerized by her performance, amazed that after everything she had gone through, she still "had it." A beautiful moment so full of promise for the future with the lyrics of the song coincidentally touching on her troubled past being behind her ("I never really knew how until now..."). All of these things working together to build up to the final closing moments of the movie when fate tragically intervenes. You know what is ultimately going to happen, but still have a glimmer of hope that maybe she will be okay. It was a perfect way to build toward the ending and would not have been as effective without the lush, full version of the song being used.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^That is all well and good, and, I can understand how others view this scene.
    It does make a nice closing for the movie--for that I do not argue against.
    By the way, first mention of the Movie in Fan Club Newsletters,February 1984.

    Now, let us read from the Coleman Biography:
    "In April 1982, Karen flew home for a two-week intermission in her treatment...Karen 78-pounds...
    the sight of Karen shook them all..."she looked like hell, Richard says."
    "Karen pronounced herself fit to record...the song, 'Now', would be the last one she ever recorded."
    (Pages 308-309).

    Now, the scene in the movie takes place after Thanksgiving 1982.
    We know that awful choir (yes, I hate the choir in this song) was recorded for the VOH LP, 1983.

    Director Joseph Sargent: "We are working so closely with the family that it's virtually impossible
    to introduce elements that are in that direct a conflict." (TV-Guide Dec 31,1988 page 26).
    Richard Carpenter: "I'm pretty much into doing things exactly as they happened." (Ibid.,page 29)
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