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Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Dec 1, 2014.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    43 vote(s)
  2. ****

    11 vote(s)
  3. ***

    0 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    No complaints from me about this one...it's horrible, too bright and jars with the original opening of Ave Maria that it runs into.
  2. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Very valid complaints Gary. The other thing that really bugs me about the remix album, is the amount of reverb added to Karen's voice. I remember the first time I played the CP disk from Christmas Collection... my mother commented that Karen sounded like she was singing from the bottom of a well!

    I'm so happy that I was able to snag the original mix CD from Germany on ebay last year, so I never again have to listen to that abomination that is "Christmas Collection: Disc 1"! Richard has said that the original stereo master tape was too damaged to use, so he had to go back to the multi tracks to recreate the album for the Christmas Collection release (hence why it doesn't sound exactly the same). Why then, did he not simply use the German CD as his master - it sounds perfectly fine as is. If he didn't have one in his possession, I'm sure any fan who had it would have lent him theirs. Heck, even a needle drop of a clean vinyl record would have been better than his remix.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, I truly feel as if I am berating Richard Carpenter, more than I should...I do not want my comments
    to be misconstrued--as,Richard Carpenter thankfully has given the world, the public, as much Carpenters' music
    as he is physically able to do, and my thanks to him.
    But...(we all knew there was going to be a caveat, didn't we?)...
    Why not leave perfection alone?
    Murray makes a good point, why not re-master from the LP or the West German CD pressing (which I do not own).
    Stephen, too, points out how the piano segue 'jars' with the opening of ave Maria...did Richard Carpenter not hear that
    while listening to his playbacks? Is that another case where Richard would say "..to all involved it was a great addition"?

    This reminds me (somewhat) of the constant tinkering with college-level textbooks--purportedly done to keep textbooks
    up-to-date. Each subsequent edition of the textbook detracts from the 'thing' that made the original edition a bestseller
    to begin with! After the '200-th' edition, another author writes a better book ( his first-edition !)---
    which, while better than the current edition of a now-hated textbook,
    replicates the by-then-forgotten-attributes of the other' Great First Edition.
    (Gee, did that come out right?).
  4. aaflyer98

    aaflyer98 Well-Known Member

    The German CD pressing...is perfect!
    Jeff likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    One Youtuber has audio of Christmas Portrait, in full (49:15), and goes to great lengths to explain that he has restored
    the original LP, and thus, the original-as-delivered LP from 1978.
    Problem is, when you get to Ave Maria....there's that choir!
    So much for 'due diligence'.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Billboard Magazine, December 11,1978, Page 54:
    Rock LP Best Sellers:
    Carpenters Christmas Portrait #27
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I was listening to the Larry King Radio Show from 1987 with Richard taking calls, one caller asked him if he would ever consider putting together a Christmas DVD of just the excepts from their specials. Richard said yes he would like to make a Christmas DVD, Larry says I think the public would take to it, Richard says oh I think so too. Richard was 39 yrs old.

    I thought maybe with the Perry Como DVD would spark interest again, hopefully Richard has not forgot about this idea, take out the comedy and other actors rights just give us Karen and Richard would be fine for me.
    aaflyer98, Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Interesting, that on the 1978 Christmas Portrait Sleeve:
    "Merry Christmas, Darling" Produced by Jack Daugherty with special thanks to Ed Sulzer.
    Karen re-recorded this song for the 1978 album.
    Why then, the credit to Jack ?--though, of course, he was in the studio for the 1970 version.
    What is it that he would have done in the 1978 version?
    Vocals: Karen and Richard Carpenter and Tom Bahler Chorale.

    An Old -Fashioned Christmas Sleeve:
    Vocals: Karen and Richard Carpenter and,
    O.K. Chorale and The English Chorale.

    The chorale utilized in 1978 sounds much better than the different Chorale used in 1984.
    Thus, even if a choral was originally intended in 1978 for Ave Maria, it would not have sounded the same
    as the Chorale added in 1984. That explains (to my ears) why I have never been as happy with the later addition.
    Entirely different Chorales used.
    Just my opinion.
  9. I swear I bring this up every year. I even watched both TV specials and found about 9 or so performances that could be pulled directly for a DVD. Add a recorded performance of "Old Fashioned Christmas" and "Oh Holy Night" by Richard, "Carol of the Bells" from the Perry Comos special (I think it was) and "Santa Clause," and there you have it. I'd even love a new "claymation" version of our favorite duo performing one of their Christmas songs just for kicks (maybe "Sleigh Ride" as it is VERY dated). Animated Karen anyone? It would be awsesome!
    GaryAlan likes this.
  10. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member


    Agree, I even like Richard's performance of Toyland from the Christmas special, that song should have made it to one of their Christmas albums but it would be a great video clip to add to the DVD. Someone needs to put a Christmas bug in Richard's ear about this DVD for next year...time is running out.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This is because the 1978 version is just a remix of the basic track that Jack Daugherty 'produced', so the credit remains intact. It's the same as saying '"If I Had You" (Remixed by Richard Carpenter. Produced by Phil Ramone)'.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the additional input!
    I had always assumed that the entire song--vocals ,and everything---was a complete re-do
    from the 1970 version.
    There is no credit given to Jack Daugherty, on the credits following the Christmas Portrait TV special.
    for Merry Christmas, Darling.
  13. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    No, "Ticket To Ride" was a complete re-do from the ground up in 1973. "Merry Christmas Darling" was essentially a remix with a new Karen vocal lead, so the basic underlying tracks are what was there in the Jack Daugherty days.

  14. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    If you listen closely to the SACD center channel only, you will hear that some of the background vocals are indeed the original ones from the 1969 recording.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all, for the input.
    Carpenters Perform Carpenter (2003) has this to say regarding:
    Merry Christmas, Darling:
    Music by Richard Carpenter
    Lyrics by Frank Pooler
    Produced by Jack Daugherty
    Arranged by Richard Carpenter
    Lead Vocal Karen Carpenter
    Backing Vocals by Karen and Richard Carpenter
    Keyboards Richard Carpenter
    Drums Hal Blaine
    Bass Joe Osborn
    Tenor Sax Bob Messenger
    Additional Recording and Remix done in 1978
    From the Album Christmas Portrait

    AMCD-716 (1990) Merry Christmas, Darling
    Conceived and Produced by Richard Carpenter
    Associate Producer Karen Carpenter
    Taken from the A&M cassette and CD "Christmas Portrait" 395 173-4/2)
  16. Oh, yes! I forgot about Toyland. Excellent! Way more than enough for a Chistmas DVD!!
  17. This album has always been one of the many Christmas CDs that I have that I put on once the holiday season begins. Honestly, when I first heard it, I thought it sounds very much like a tv special soundtrack (I haven't seen their tv specials when they were on at the time). This is one album that I wouldn't hesitate to put on when I have guests at home, since this album still has some mainstream appeal. I wouldn't consider it as the greatest Christmas album ever made, but there are a few tracks that withstood the test of time.

    My favorite tracks are: "The Christmas Waltz", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", "Merry Christmas Darling", and "Carol of the Bells".

  18. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    BarryT60, Walkinat9 and Jamesj75 like this.
  19. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting this great ad, Chris! They look frighteningly like Sonny and Cher here. Bang! Bang!
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  20. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

  21. This is classic! Their hair is so perfect and shiny that it looks like they are wearing wigs! :razz:
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    How cool is this? I've never seen this before....I said what the heck let me search Christmas Portrait in Billboard magazine for Dec 1978 and look what I found....Billboard ran a full page promo ad for Christmas Portrait Album along with advert for TV Special to air check it out!!!
    This ad appears in Billboard issue Dec 23, 1978.
    (Check out the old style TV in the ad, ha ha takes you back in time huh?)

    Last edited: Mar 16, 2015
    BarryT60, goodjeans and Jamesj75 like this.
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    What a great find Chris!
  24. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    The liner notes from The Essential Collection says that Christmas Portrait was released in Oct 13, 1978....the ad above ran in Dec 23, 1978 so in just 2 months Christmas Portrait turned Gold status? How many albums and cassette tapes had to be sold in order to go Gold? I didn't realize it went Gold that quickly, that must have been a huge accomplishment back in 1978 for an artist with a Christmas album, huh?
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    January 16, 1981 : that is the date specified, as Christmas Portrait being certified for 500,000 units sold,
    in the A&M Records First 25 Years Publication.

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