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Touch me when we're Dancing (Live)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by WYBIMLA, Apr 29, 2017.


    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    I'm sorry for the way I phrased that. I wouldn't expect anyone too...
    Specifically on the verses I can hear that. More breathiness that can contribute to pitch issues, but I think she was hitting the note right... just not supported the same way. Depends on how you think of it perhaps. Slight is the right word.

    Of course I know she was human and very ill.

    In general, I get tired of criticism in our global online society.
    It's grown tiresome I find.

    I was glad to have the chance to hear probably the last live performance she ever did from this video.
    Like Chris was saying, whether I knew it or not, I was hearing what I wanted to hear.
    Because yes she was one of the greats.

    Right away, in general, people go for the fault in everything.
    Critical thinking is great! But, at some point seems nothing is let be.
    As subjective as it is, Music can takes a heck of a hit. No less enjoyable.
    Considering that, I'm glad this is off of youtube. Probably some of the worst cases of online discourse happens on that website.

    For the fans, as it usually seems, here was the last time it felt she sang live right to us.
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    Geographer likes this.

    WYBIMLA Active Member Thread Starter

    ...rather enjoyment isn't right towards the experience of this live performance.
    Certainly differs from many other amazing footage we have seen surface.
    The enjoyment here is in part constructed.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Well, I had to re-watch and re-listen to that live performance.
    First, I wonder how far into the promo-tour this performance occurred, as Karen may already
    have been exhausted--irrespective of the toll which the Anorexia would have taken.
    Secondly, the song itself is--and always has been--in a higher key than many previous Carpenters' songs.
    So, a direct vocal comparison to earlier performances is probably going to be off the mark, in any event.
    Thirdly, if you look ( and listen) to the December 1978 Bruce Forsyth show--I Need To Be In Love--
    Karen sounded awesome despite her apparent physical condition.
    Again, Richard's comment that "nothing ever affected her voice" is simply unsubstantiated.

    I am glad that this performance surfaced.
    Karen is doing the best she can under incredible circumstances.
    To pretend--after all this time--that Anorexia never affected her voice, is simply unfounded.
    It is heartbreaking to see and watch, but to keep it hidden is simply to imagine that Karen Carpenter
    was not a living, breathing human being. Yes, the greatest singer ever, but, still a human being.
    It is the entirety of the person whom I love, not just her voice.
  4. I couldn't stay quiet, although I tried. I'm coming down on the side of devastating. Yes, I agree.....remarkable that we have this clip at all.......but this is so one of those times I wish I had looked away.
    MorningOpensQuietly likes this.
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    The answer is: not very far into the promo tour. The schedule for the MIA promotional tour was, to my mind, insane, given how terrible Karen looked. They went from New York to Europe (including this appearance), then to London, then back to Europe and then onto Brazil, before heading back to California. All in the space of four weeks. A total of nineteen promo appearances on radio and TV in all, aside from all the travel. Those time differences and flights must have wiped them out. No wonder she looked dreadful. I'm sure she was probably relieved most of the appearances were to playback.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I need to revisit the Fan Club Newsletters for this promo-tour,
    as I seem to recall it was very much a last-minute affair.
    And, I do agree Stephen, all things considered, at that point in time, an insane schedule.
    I do not understand this:
    Karen went to London,1978, for the Forsyth TV Show when Richard was ill.
    Are we to assume no one was willing to wait on Karen's health ? (As they did in 1975).
    Or, did Karen want to do this promo tour ?
    Nothing about this 1981 time frame makes any sense to me....
  7. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    The schedule that you listed in the original thread for the video back in January 2016 had the tour dates as October 17 thru November 7. The two weeks in October were spent crisscrossing Europe and the first week in November was spent in Brazil.
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Here it is again. I may be wrong but I'm sure they set off for Europe from NYC right after Good Morning America.

    United States

    22nd August - Japanese Telethon, live from Los Angeles
    1st September - filming Merv Griffin Show, Los Angeles
    9th October - Good Morning America Interview, New York

    Mid October - Europe
    17th October - Palmares Show, Paris France (Touch Me When We're Dancing)
    18th October - Sightseeing only
    19th October - Numero Un, Paris, France (Sing, Top Of The World)
    20th October - Top Pop and Mies Show, Amsterdam, Holland

    Late October - UK (London)
    22nd October - Nationwide Interview with Sue Lawley
    24th October - Multi-coloured Swap Shop interview (without Richard), album signing at Harrods Store
    25th October - Dinner with Peter & Babs Knight
    (Dates Unknown):
    - BBC Radio 2 Interview with John Dunn
    - BBC Radio London Interview with Tony Blackburn
    - Capital Radio Interview with Michael Aspel

    27th-29th Oct - filming Show Express, Germany (Top Of The World, Beechwood 4-5789), sightseeing then return to Paris for connecting flight to Brazil.


    November 1st - Arrive Brazil
    November 2nd - Press interviews
    November 3rd - Radio interviews, Generation 80s Show (Close To You, Begun, Back In My Life Again medley), Golden Globe (Touch Me When We're Dancing)
    November 4th - Radio interviews, Sao Paulo
    November 5th - filming Fantastico Show @ Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil (Touch Me When We're Dancing), Sendas Shopping Mall Concert (Close To You, Back In My Life Again)
    November 6th - Press interviews
    November 7th - Radio interview/appearance, leave Brazil
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
    WYBIMLA and Chris Mills like this.
  9. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    You've nailed it there, Chris. That's exactly how she sounds. If you listen to her on the Live at the Palladium album, right after her epic drum solo, she speaks on the mike, clearly out of breath "Richard kept practising. . .etc" and it's the same thing here. It's just that now she appears to be drained so much easier.

    This clip was recorded during what appears to be a very busy day/week and so the girl was clearly exhausted. 6 months later when she recorded Now/You're Enough she would have been calm/rested and able to whisper into the mic with perfect control.


    Chris May likes this.
  10. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    That's exactly right :)
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is Coleman--regarding the recording of song Now (Page 308-309):
    "April 1982, Karen flew home for a two-week intermission in her treatment.
    She looked like h..., Richard declares, worse than when she went to New York.
    Yet she found an inner strength to keep her universally loved voice intact

    Again, I ask, both during the 1981 promo tour, then in April 1982,
    if Karen was in that kind of physical condition, why was she recording at all !
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And,yet we read.....
    Coleman,Page 290-291:
    "Late August 1981, Karen and Tom left for an anniversary vacation...scenic tour of Canada."
    "Then, it was back to work to promote the Album. Karen seemed in fine fettle, eating normally,
    as she and Richard headed for Europe: first stop Paris, where they guested on television
    show with Julio Iglesias, who joined them as they performed "Sing,"
    ....and, as they flew on to Britain, their enjoyment of working together recalled the tempo
    and pleasure of ten years earlier. Visiting London to promote Made In America, Karen and
    Richard went on October 25,1981 for dinner with Babs and Peter Knight....Karen ate a gourmet
    meal enthusiastically, Babs recalls, nor did she appear as thin as the Knights remembered her previously,"
    "But, within weeks of her return to California, Karen's condition must have worried her...."

    Coleman's account appears to be saying that Karen deteriorated after she returned from the promo tour.
    Hopefully, all will read those pages,290-291, and see if I am interpreting the account properly.
  13. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    What has always struck me as bizarre with the Carpenters' story (with all due respect to Richard of course), has been the incredible contradiction of accounts - even from one account to another where Richard was concerned. Often times it's more the way something is recalled from one time to the next. Both technically are saying something similar, yet come across so differently.

    Without further ruffling any feathers here, I can say that Karen never sounded as bad as she did in this late '81 tour. Whereas I have a lot of experience in hearing these kinds of differences due to my years in music production and directing, it really isn't that difficult to hear for someone without my years of experience. Again, doesn't in any way take away from the incredible gift Karen clearly had on the whole, just further points out that she too - like any of us, was nothing more than a broken human being coupled with an incredibly rare and unique talent.
  14. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This paragraph reminds me of the newsletters: covering up the sad truth with fluffy anecdotes to the point of delusional statements like "Karen seemed in fine fettle, eating normally". The newsletters encouraged and continued the illusion originally endorsed by the label, that all was rosy in the Disney-esque, whiter than white world they seemingly inhabited. All you had to do was see them on one of these TV appearances to realise that something was drastically wrong with Karen.

    All I can say is the Knights should have gone to Specsavers because Karen looked worse than she ever had by this point.
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  15. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing she insisted. She hadn't recorded a song in 18 months by that point, the longest in her entire career, so I can can imagine her putting her foot down, so to speak.

    With regards to the tour. . .I think both of them needed the "celeb" fix as neither of them had had that in several years.

    In fairness to Richard, twice he refused to go back into the studio until she showed signs of improvement. He put off the commencement of MIA for a few months until she gained some weight (which worked). And then he held off the proposed 1983 album until February. . .and again she maintained her weight over this 2 month period.
  16. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I was glad to get the chance to see this clip of 'Touch Me When We're Dancing'. However, Karen does not perform the song well here, as many others have suggested. She is off-key and out of tune in quite a few places. The performance is in stark contrast to some great performances such as those televised on the Bruce Forsyth show, the 1971 BBC concert, 1974 Holland concert, Live at the Budokan, 1974 Boston Pops concert, etc. This performance would surely have hindered sales and damaged The Carpenters' reputation, rather than promoting sales as it was intended to.
  17. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't go that far but if I'd been watching this at the time - remember by this point they had not been on TV for some years - I would have thought a) they sound a bit off and b) what the hell is wrong with Karen?
  18. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Interestingly at the end of the video when Karen speaks she sounds as strong as ever. Maybe the microphone was just not up to the job of enhancing Karen's vocal style. Richard and Karen do not harmonize very well during the sax solo, both had an average performance.
    newvillefan likes this.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    There is a stack of overdubbed harmonies in that instrumental solo and Richard's seemed to be an amalgam of two or three different harmony lines, so they didn't really marry up. The fact his mic was louder than hers on that section also didn't help. The mix could have been better.
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  20. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    I caught that too, and was a little surprised at some of the pitchiness on those also as I've heard Richard sing live harmony over the top of Carpenter records and he can do it immaculately. I'm thinking they may have had some monitoring issues quite honestly, which would actually explain a lot here.
    newvillefan likes this.
  21. David A

    David A Active Member

    Chris, you made a great point about "hearing what we want to hear"; hearing Karen's voice in a way that we expect it to sound. I suspect I may be "guilty" of that.

    And is it possible that what you and newvillefan refer to - Richard's mic a bit louder, the overdubbed harmony lines - be a result of trying to compensate for what Richard thought was an issue with Karen's voice at this point in time? I suspect there would have been other ways to more effectively do that, if true - but I'm not learned on these matters.
    Chris May likes this.
  22. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I agree. From all accounts, Karen was very strong-willed and would have done what she wanted to do. According to 'The Untold Story', she put her foot down and determined to fly to England to perform on the Bruce Forsyth Show when Richard refused to go. Footage of that 1978 performance shows her the thinnest and sickest-looking I've ever seen her. It makes you feel ill to see how thin her waste is. Her eyes are glazed and she looks a bit out of it, although she performs beautifully.

    Carrying on as normal would be part of the whole anorexia thing, as well. It's partly a mis-used crutch that helps the individual feel that they are coping better, as we know, so being so thin might even had lead Karen to feel that she was accomplishing much in that area and may possibly have made her even more determined to get out there and perform.

    When asked whether he believes in the 'Richard contributed to Karen's downfall' theory, John Bettis said something about if anyone thinks Richard victimised Karen, they obviously never met Karen. Herb Alpert, at a different time, said something like, 'This was not a woman whom you could push around'. 'The Untold Story' mentions that the word went around amongst UK music industry insiders before the 1974 tour that if they were going to cross anybody during the tour, don't let it be Karen because she'd give them a serious mouth full. Good on her, because at that time, women would have weathered all sorts of abuses in the male-dominated music industry.

    Although she was obviously physically weak from the illness from 1975 onwards, I don't believe that Karen was generally mentally weak, or a push-over. Obviously, I wasn't there, but I don't believe that Richard had disregard for her well-being or rail-roaded her into doing things against her will.

    By the way, when 'Sweet, Sweet Smile' was on the American Country Top 40, I remember the host of the syndicated US Top 40 radio countdown saying that at school, Richard had been victimised by bullies and Karen, four years his junior, used to come to his rescue.

    As a terrible footnote to my post, I will mention the section of the 'Little Girl Blue' book that includes a quote by Frenda Leffler saying that Karen once arrived on her doorstep, beaten and broken by her husband. I think that Itchy Ramone also alludes to domestic abuse. The fact that Karen was so ill and thin with anorexia at that time makes these acts of violence all-the-more horrifying and disgusting. So it seems that somebody did manage to push Karen around, after all.
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I've ever shared this clip here but this reminds me of the TMWWD clip and the mix on the vocals. This one is much better, Richard's there for the backgrounds but not intrusively so.

  24. David A

    David A Active Member

    Thanks for sharing this newvillefan, I had not seen this. Whenever I have seen anything similar - where a much older Richard is playing/singing along with Karen's vocals - I cannot but imagine the emotions that run through Richard's head. In this clip he rarely looks at the images of Karen (it's possible those are green-screened and not even there for him to see, I guess).

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