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Those good old dreams

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by WYBIMLA, Nov 1, 2015.


    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    Can forum members help me collect as much information on this song.
    It's one of my absolute favourites. I love it.
    And I just adore this album. TGODs is a good example of what this album is.
    Because it's one that really takes you away. It's like a dream sequence, and executed so well.
    It's almost a rebirth of their sound. Here is a place where all the reverb is doing wonders for them.
    It's relaxing, yet also leaves you with feelings of hope and renewal.

    How did it come together? Was it influenced by country music? How many takes could it have taken to make? How many tracks is it made of (vocals/instrumentals)?
    What kinds of feelings and meaning were they going for?
    How does it make you feel when you hear it's sentiments?
    How did it do in the charts? What does it mean to fans now? Is it as beloved as I think it is?
    What did you think when you first heard it? Do you have a favourite phrase?
    What did KC and RC make of it upon completion?
    Was there ever a bridge thought of? or alternative lyrics?
    Is there other artwork put together for this single?
    Do you think there was much thought given to the mention of childhood, prayer and Christmas and how that leads up to the rest of the song?
    Has it been referenced in popular culture?
    When did that original synth line near the end get taken out?
    What else do we know about the making of the "music video"?
    Who came up with the concept of the colourful/black and white video?

    Out of all their videos I rate this one very high along with "Only yesterday".
    The idea of empty frames and various memories works here.
    Despite the obvious reasons why it can be hard to watch.
    Where did that yellow outfit come from?
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015
    Tapdancer likes this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It reached #63 on the Billboard chart and #21 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    Fairly modest how it ranked there.
    I can't imagine it would get much higher if anyone else did it.

    There hasn't been much coverage of this song. I saw a cover and an instrumental on iTunes. It's not the same obviously.
    I wonder if there was thought to so it live. I'm so used to the recorded reading of it. It'd be interesting to hear Karen do slight variation on it.

    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    haha I don't mind.

    WYBIMLA is just short for "(Want you) Back in my life again" another fav of mine. Probably one of their most upbeat and danceable songs I'd say.

    Thanks. I can see that the blueprint for MIA was very rooted in their earlier success.

    I just absolutely love the song. Such an experience with headphones on.

    I like to see Karen bopping around along with it in the video, and her choice to snap her fingers at the end.
    She could have just stood there, but nope she was feeling that song. It's not your typical song you'd move around to, but KC found a way.
    Probably from her drumming background she stuck with that rhythm.
    I think they both genuinely enjoyed doing it. RC too had a nice smile during it.
    It's interesting to watch Karen's movement during the video. Before those backing vocals on "behind us" and Karen moves her hand in a backwards motion emphasizing that phrase. Literally pushing whatever her troubles where behind her in that moment. It's rather nice.
    She gently puts her head back on the "only blue" completely immersed in the sound and music.
    Mostly all of her choosing so it's very interesting I find how they relate to the song.
    They really sell it on this one I find.

    All of this is subtle. Over the years I've picked up much more of what's going on in this song.
    I think it should have performed better, imo. But I'm not sure what was going on exactly at the time of release. It goes back to how people don't necessarily have an appreciation for easy listening/adult contemporary music. They do, but just not in a big way.
    Tapdancer and Chris Mills like this.
  5. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Some really nice observations. It's a song that will totally chill me out if I'm feeling stressed. The video is well put together, and it's great to the band back together again.
  6. Back when the MADE IN AMERICA album was current, the soft rock station I worked for only played "Touch Me When We're Dancing" and never touched "Those Good Old Dreams". At the time, I had no idea it was even a single. The original LP album version is one of the few places that the synth part is easily findable. On CD, it's very obscure, landing only on that rare British YESTERDAY ONCE MORE set (the LP of that set is easier to find). And then there's the appearance on the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE / GOLD video, but there, the song is altered to repeat the opening instrumental part twice, and the end is faded early to accommodate the segue to the next song.

    MADE IN AMERICA was released in June of 81, so one would have to assume that Richard was OK with the synth part up until the album's release. The single was released in November, and by that time Richard had had his fill of the synth notes as they were stripped out. It's odd that Richard would remove some part for a single - usually it was something added to make the single stand out.

    "Those Good Old Dreams" is one of those rare songs that actually mentions Christmas, yet is never considered a Christmas song, despite its release in November. Compare that with a song like "My Favorite Things" or "Winter Wonderland" or "Jingle Bells", which never mention Christmas at all, yet get played every Christmas season.


    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    Indeed it is good to see the band in the video.

    I thought the mentioning of Christmas was interesting too. It's one of a kind. A unique song for sure.

    Yeah, the synth strip is a bit odd. I totally understand it, but I'm not sure it's replacement is anymore satisfying.

    I can see why "Touch me" would have been played over it though because it's a bit more groovy I guess.
    I enjoy "Touch me" very much though. However, I never liked how the "aaahs" or "heeehs" (as it sounds more clear in the isolated track from the SACD) were mixed in during the sax solo.
    It's so much reverb that is becomes inaudible so when they lip-sync for the video they have their mouths open, but it sounds like there's no vocals happening for a brief second.
    Anyways, about TGODS...

    Also, I noticed unless my ears are deceiving me... Between the two choruses the harmonies on "Here's the morning" sound different. I don't know if it's how it was mixed or the way they sang it. It's a very small difference you can barely tell. Idk if it was intentional. But that's an indication that it's all definitely different takes throughout. I'm not sure if they had the technology to recycle their vocals if they wanted to back then or if they wanted to do that. It just adds a bit of humanity in there to hear that difference.
    Anyhow sounds like a lot of work for once song. Lol Interesting tid-bits I've gathered so far.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    There is a point in the arrangement of Those Good Old Dreams,
    where Richard Carpenter remarks he "stole" from himself. (The steel guitar intro. ref:As Time Goes By/You're Just In Love.)
    Also (Anthology) "..one of the most difficult to mix." and "..one of Karen's and my favorites."
    I, personally, love the song. My ears said-at the time-another Carpenters Classic.
    Some air -play was had in the Orlando area,1981-1982, as I recall. None in Rockford (Illinois) though.
    Chris Mills likes this.
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    As I mentioned in another post I first heard this song back in January 1998 on the dual-CD set "Yesterday Once More" that I had just bought with Christmas money, and out of the (to me) five new tracks (which came from MIA and VOTH), "Those Good Old Dreams" was not a hit track. It was okay, but nothing special. And even when I got the Remastered Classics of MIA in July of 2000, I found that Dreams should've been buried and not the lead track. It was fine as an album track, but it was nothing more than a B side.
    goodjeans likes this.
  10. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Ahhhh, one of my top 3. Love the song. Loved it the first time I heard it 24 years ago, and love it more now than ever. It's got everything.

    Other little tidbits for you. Karen played percussion on it. And from the chronology of their MIA tracks I've deduced it was one of the later songs tracked. . . .Oct/Nov 1980.

    So pleased you enjoy it WYBIMLA.

    Jeff and Brian like this.
  11. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Watch Karen again snapping her fingers.

  12. Charlie D

    Charlie D Active Member

    But "Winter Wonderland" and "Jingle Bells" are very much related to the feeling/aura of the Christmas season. I like the reference to Christmas in TGOD, it makes an already very warm track even warmer.
  13. They have indeed come to be symbolic of the Christmas season, but were not originally designed as such. "Jingle Bells" was originally intended for the American Thanksgiving holiday! It's not easy to come up with popular songs with the word "Christmas" in it that aren't considered Christmas songs yet "Those Good Old Dreams" is one. That was my point.

  14. Charlie D

    Charlie D Active Member

    Oh yeah I understand what you're saying. TGOD may be considered a Christmas classic somewhere in the south be because of its country-tinged sound, haha.

    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    I appreciate all of your input. :)
    And that some of you feel the same.

    I enjoy the "Yellow brick road" edited version too! I like the imagery and visual effects... dated they may be.
    So fascinating to see the way they intended the song to be done. Karen's performance of it is interesting to me.
    I mean it's just her gently moving, lip-syncing, but still they way she does it is very fitting. Very appropriate for what it is.

    With everything that we know it's poignant. That it is one of KC's last efforts to reminisce and bring about memories of a great, successful career.
    It's great that they did it. That it exists. They went into the studio and dedicated their time and we have these kinds of gems surrounding such a nice song.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    In regards :
    Those Good Old Dreams,
    I do have--and played this morning--the Japan issued AMP-732 (4:12).
    I do not know when this 45-Single was released there, however, it does
    feature the synth part. And, it (the synth at end) sounds great.
  17. Odd! The Japanese Single Box, which is supposed to feature the single mixes, must have missed out on that one. AMP-732 is supposed to be what is in the set, but the one on this mini-CD single is the American single version with the limited synth.

  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Harry !
    I was wondering about the Japanese Singles Box Set--as I do not have that.
    However, I did play the USA 45-Single and the Japan 45-Single Back-to-Back for a comparison.
  19. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I even recall reading once that Home For The Holidays was meant as an American Thanksgiving song, but artists started putting it on their Christmas albums because they had no other Thanksgiving songs, and the song kind of turned into an "Auld Lang Syne" type song. Meant for a different holiday, but gets grouped into Christmas.
  20. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    Richard's voice sounds a little huskier and more pronounced on the second set of overdubs. As to the difference between the two, they should sound different. Back then, you sang the tune down, note for note, overdub for overdub. Nowadays if you have two identical sections, it's not uncommon to sing thru something, copy it and paste it into the next. In fact, in my interview with John Bettis we touch on that a little bit. So yes, the two choruses are unique even though the parts are identical. :)
    WYBIMLA likes this.
  21. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I love 'Those Good Old Dreams'. As a teen, I travelled on the bus to the city as soon as I heard that 'Made In America' had been released, just so I could buy the album. When I got it home, 'Those Good Old Dreams' immediately jumped out as a favourite, and still holds a special place with me, 36 (!) years later.

    Back then, the sounds on the song were wonderful to hear as the first new Carpenters tones to reach my ears in two-and-a-half years, (since 'I Believe You' was played on the radio). My favourite parts of the song - the low notes that Karen hits when she sings "...prayers" and "....away".

    As time went on, I got to like other songs on the album ALMOST as much as 'Those Good Old Dreams', but there's something special about that song.

    By the way, 'Those Good Old Dreams' received air play daily in my area at the time it was a single, but didn't reach the Top 100.
  22. I'm a huge Carpenters fan, always was; but I gotta say: Those Good Old Dreams is pretty, but has the same "fatigue" that crept into almost all of their songs from 1976 on. It's almost difficult for me to listen to it. It reminds me of the disappointment I felt upon hearing the Made In America album. I just felt sad for them that they were so spent.
  23. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I just always heard MIA as too "soft". Even softer than Hush.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  24. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Quite possibly my favorite track on MIA.
  25. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I really enjoy the "official" video a lot and I like the song also. The records rolling off the production line and the childhood photos. I love watching Karen even though she is thin, frail, and sick. There is a sweetness she projects. The song has a good flow to it...And gotta love that "finger snap":)!

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