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Time for Some Love for Richard!

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Jamesj75, May 25, 2015.

  1. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Karen's voice is unparalleled, as most of us here would agree. Further, we also agree about Richard's incredible talents, to quote a phrase, as "Pianist-Arranger-Composer-Conductor." A current thread included Harry's challenge that we revisit songs that might be our "least favourites." This made me think about the entire Carpenters' catalogue, not just my favorites, fronted by Karen's unique and wonderful voice. It brought me back to the days when I bought the albums and listened to each song in order, never skipping anything, savoring every moment. There was always much to enjoy then, as there is now! Some of Richard's instrumental compositions (e.g., "Karen's Theme," "All Those Years Ago") are brilliant!

    With all that in mind, I have compiled onto CD a grouping of songs, I call Richard Carpenter: Best Lead Vocals/Instrumentals. It's satisfying and enjoyable to my ears, and I'd like to share it with you. I welcome any reaction... :)

    1. I Kept on Loving You
    2. Say Yeah!
    3. Turn Away
    4. Heather
    5. What's the Use
    6. Who Do You Love
    7. All Those Years Ago
    8. I'm Still Not Over You
    9. Piano Picker
    10. Flat Baroque
    11. Remind Me to Tell You
    12. Karen's Theme
    13. Saturday
    14. Druscilla Penny
    15. Medley: Sing/Goodbye to Love/Eve/Rainy Days and Mondays/Look to Your Dreams/Superstar/Someday
    16. When Time Was All We Had
    17. Time
  2. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I might respectfully replace What's The Use with Calling Your Name Again... and possibly add Toyland as a bonus track!

    Say, is the song, 'All Those Years Ago' - out there as an instrumental? It's really quite a lovely tune...

    Makes me wish we could hear more from Richard... If he had written more songs, its a shame we don't have an outlet with which to enjoy them.... I'd even like demos!

    I'd buy this album! And - in the spirit of the old Billboard album reviews we've been able to revisit lately, I'll close with my thoughts on Best Tracks:
    • I Kept On Loving You, Turn Away, Karen's Theme and Time.
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
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  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Love it, James !
    I get quite a charge when I hear Richard singing "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear",
    enjoying, also, his beginning of "Do You Hear What I Hear",
    "Together At Christmas", which he performed in Japan, is a very good song.
    He performed , quite nicely on TV's Solid Gold, "Home For The Holidays".
    Love, and always have, "Karen's Theme".
    On his first solo album I do like "Calling Your Name Again" and "I'm Still Not Over You".
    "How Could I Ask For More" and "Something In Your Eyes" are two of my favorites, as is
    the great "Christmas Turned Blue".
    "Carol of the Bells", which he performed on the Como Special , is terrific.
    And, I enjoy "When Time Was All We Had".
    Recently, I played his second solo album, it has its moments of inspiration.
    So, again, thank you, Richard Carpenter !
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  4. kprather

    kprather Member

    All Those Years Ago is available as an instrumental indeed. On the album "Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor", which I recommend you buy as it is full of great music!
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  5. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    ...I loved Richard's solo album. I was designing WCAU? corporate offices and they 'gave' me the vinyl LP. I asked why. They told me that is was 'ashtray material'. Totally disrespected Richard and his enormous talents.
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  6. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Barry: I totally missed "Calling Your Name Again." How could I have done that?!?! It comes as no surprise, though, that you want to 86 "What's the Use," as I read your comments in the "least favourites" thread. I did include "Time" and meant to also include it in my opening remarks about Richard's brilliant instrumental compositions.

    Gary: I wasn't even thinking about Christmas music, so your nods to the Christmas music make total sense, particularly the unreleased "Together at Christmas," which I heard via youtube, and it is indeed a terrific vocal by Richard.

    kprather: I couldn't agree with you more. "All Those Years Ago" is a great instrumental, as are other selections from that CD.

    goodjeans: I assume you're referring to the Time album, which I also thoroughly enjoy, including all three songs by guest vocalists. I give Richard credit for branching out, even with "Say Yeah!" Karen certainly branched out on her solo effort as well. If you are referring to his second solo album, I enjoyed that one as well, as I state above.
    Last edited: May 25, 2015
  7. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I purchased the second RC album - but I'm afraid I never gave it the consideration it deserved... I heard the very first song - I think it was Yesterday Once More, and it just made me sad.
    Pretty music - but it did not have our Karen singing it - so I don't think I even went through with listening to the whole thing...
    Gotta look that one up again - now that more time has passed.

    By the way - I join many by mentioning I liked Time - the LP...

    I thought there were several worthy tunes on there - and I really liked all three guest vocalists also.
    I wish we'd have gotten more out of Richard - in terms of new material - later in his career.
    Movie score... Producing other artists - or more music from Richard - himself...

    It was listening to Carpenters standards as instrumentals that was too hard to listen to - for me...

    But as I said - I might try to give it a whirl now...
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  8. Passenger

    Passenger Active Member

    Same here. I purchased his second album as soon as it was released, played it once, and have never played it again. I do, however, pull out "Time" and play it occasionally.
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  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    On the topic of 'love for Richard', I might interject how much I enjoyed seeing him perform--
    at Epcot, in Orlando--in 1985. Although my memory has faded somewhat, it was a highlight
    of my younger days and I would jump at the opportunity to attend any event he is a part of.
    And, how about the awesome performance at the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame Induction
    Ceremony. Why was this entire program not taped for wider circulation? He shined.
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  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    The Very Thought of You is excellent. Richard always seemed to shine on the Great American Standards.
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  11. goodjeans

    goodjeans Active Member

    ...I did mean 'Time'. :)
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  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Another favorite, which I adore watching , is the 1968 All American College Show
    performance of "Dancing In The Streets".
    Richard Carpenter does wonders with those electric piano keys !
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  13. Thanks for including "Say yeah". I love that track! I mentioned it to Richard once and he said he got so much hate mail over that recording. I think it's fun and really showcased Richard in a new light.
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  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I like Richard's vocal on You'll Never Know" which should have been released.
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  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Very interesting entries, all !
    (I should correct my entry to : "Dancing In The Street")

    Chris, I had forgotten--and, I'm glad you remembered--You'll Never Know !

    Jazz4Jeff, always good to get the anecdotes along with these songs.
    Too bad Richard Carpenter received 'hate' mail over that song...'Say Yeah',
    then, again, I suppose if he received 'hate' mail over... 'Goodbye To Love' ,
    then not much else would ever raise an eyebrow.
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  16. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    No accounting for taste, is there. At the time it was a very "current" sound, but of course Richard executed it perfectly. Maybe that's what bothered people.
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  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Richard Carpenter sings a song (before the minister speaks ) at Karen's Wedding Ceremony,
    I do not know the name, but he does a terrific vocal, with Choral accompaniment (!), a nice song.
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  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    It's called 'The Wedding Prayer' :)
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  19. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I always liked "Fun, Fun, Fun"! And I wish he would have recorded Johnny Rivers' "Poor Side of Town". Every time I hear it, I think of Richard. It has his style all over it.
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  20. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I remember reading a review on Now and Then, back when the album was released, that said something to the effect of The Carpenters have recorded perfectly a whole side of oldies, and did Fun, Fun, Fun better than the Beach Boys. But it was said like "how dare they!" They really were between a rock and a hard place. Either called schmatz, or too perfect.

    I think that it's partially that perfection that attracted those perfectionists among us as listeners.
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  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    There is a Japan documentary (?) where Richard sings and plays I Need To Be In Love ( 1990's?) ;
    then, too, he plays purely piano on performance of the song in Japan 2008.
    I enjoy both, the piano parts are a bit different between the two.

    ( N.B. I do not recall any vocals at the 1985 Epcot performance.)
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  22. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Jeff: I feel exactly the same way. First, I am impressed (and envious) that you spoke with Richard!! I say "yeah!" to this song! As you say, it showcased Richard in a new light --- completely! I know that "Something in Your Eyes" is a lush, pretty ballad, one reminiscent of the Carpenters' sound. Yet I found it strange that it was released as the first single: it's credited to Richard Carpenter, but Dusty Springfield is the lead vocalist. So it's already introduced to the buying public (or radio) in a confusing manner.

    In my opinion, "Say Yeah!" was the missed opportunity that should have been released as the first single. Why not showcase Richard as the lead singer in his first solo venture? There were several such songs on Time. The others were basically ballads, but "Say Yeah!" had this contemporary (to that time) sound: up tempo, danceable, funky, wild! The DJs could have announced the song as featuring the "new Richard Carpenter, one you've never heard before." Why not go all in?!?! He could have made some new fans with this one. The album could have sold well. "Something in Your Eyes" or another Richard-fronted ballad could have been the follow-up single. At least, "That's what I believe...." :)
  23. Wholeheartedly agree! "Say Yeah" has a real Kenny Loggins / "Danger Zone" vibe to it that I always liked. Coulda been a hit! Used to drive my metal head brother crazy by playing that album so much...
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  24. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    But,the problem is-Richard's not Kenny Loggins.Commercial Pop/Rock was Kenny's forte.Richard wanted to sound contemporary-but he just couldn't do it.

    Not surprised that Richard got negative mail about this album.

    That album sounded bad back in 1987-and sounds even worse today(what was he thinking with those synthesizers?).It's hard to believe this is the same RC that fronted the RC Trio twenty years earlier.
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
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  25. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    Yes-Richard did a fantastic job on that track. He does very well as a Crooner. Would've been a good track for As Time Goes By.
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