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"Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again"

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Actorman, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Actorman

    Actorman Active Member Thread Starter

    I’ve always enjoyed both the Carpenters’ and Barry Manilow’s versions of “Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again” but I never sat down and really looked at how different they are lyrically. Other than the chorus, they are like two completely different songs!

    The interesting thing is, according to the liner notes in “Interpretations,” Richard and Karen recorded the song first and so I assume that their version contains the original lyrics. For whatever reason, the songwriter, Barry or Barry’s “people” almost completely rewrote the thing for Barry’s version.

    Here’s a side by side comparison…

    Karen’s first verse:
    At any moment he’ll be walking through that door
    But he won’t find me behind it
    ‘Cause the feeling is gone and it just won’t come back anymore
    I worked so hard to find it

    Barry’s first verse:
    Doctor, my woman is coming back home late today
    Could you maybe give me something?
    ‘Cause the feeling is gone and I must get it back right away.
    Before she sees that

    The chorus is basically identical other than the gender change:
    I’ve been up, down, tryin’ to get the feeling again
    All around, tryin’ to get the feeling again
    The one that made me shiver, made my knees start to quiver every time he/she walked in
    And I’ve looked high, low, everywhere I possibly can
    But there’s no tryin’ to get the feeling again
    It seemed to disappear as fast as it came

    Then Karen’s version goes into this bridge that isn’t in Barry’s version:
    I’ve read every book, looked through every meditation and poem
    Just to bring home that old sweet sensation
    But it ain’t no use to me to try to get the feeling again

    Karen’s second verse:
    When did it leave me?
    How did I come to miss you?
    Such a beautiful burning
    But baby believe me, I’ve done everything I can do
    But somehow it’s not returning

    Barry’s second verse:
    Where did it run to?
    I thought I’d done all that I could just to keep the love light burning
    But whatever I’ve done, I guess I just haven’t done it too good
    ‘Cause all that’s left is yearning.

    Barry repeats the original chorus again:
    I’ve been up, down, tryin’ to get the feeling again
    All around, tryin’ to get the feeling again
    The one that made me shiver, made my knees start to quiver every time she walked in

    Karen’s chorus this time has some alternate lyrics, goes into the bridge again, then repeats:
    I’ve been up, down, tryin’ to get the feeling again
    Like a bloodhound, searching for a long lost friend
    Could you help me rediscover the way to re-be his lover once again
    I’ve read every book, looked for every meditation and poem
    Just to bring home that old sweet sensation
    But it ain’t no use to me to try to get the feeling
    I want to get that feeling again
    Would you help me rediscover the way to re-be his lover once again?
    I’ve read every book, looked for every meditation and poem
    Just to bring home that old sweet sensation
    But it ain’t no use to me to try to get the feeling
    I want to get that feeling again

    Barry (after a tempo and key change) simply repeats the same old chorus yet again then goes into his big dramatic ending:
    And I’ve looked high and low and everywhere I possibly can
    But there’s no tryin’ to get the feeling again
    It seemed to disappear as fast as it came
    And I’ve been looking, I been looking, I been looking
    I’ve been up and down and tryin’ to get the feeling
    I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve been trying to get
    I’ve been trying, I’ve been trying, I’ve been trying to get the feeling
    I’ve been trying to get the feeling again
    I want to get that feeling
    I want to get that feeling
    I got to get that feeling
    I got to get that feeling again and again and again…..

    I find it really interesting to see all the changes that were made, especially since I think the original lyrics (Karen’s version) are actually better than the rewritten ones for Barry, which ultimately became the definitive (“hit”) version of the song. I would love to know what prompted all the revisions and especially the deletion of the bridge which is actually my favorite part of the song!

    I’m curious to know other's thoughts and opinions on the differences between the two versions. (And remember, I’m talking about the SONG itself, not Karen or Barry’s performances.)

  2. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Funnier still is that when David did his own version, he used most of the version he wrote for Barry. The only parts he used from his original draft was the "meditation and poem" bit and the "like a bloodhound...searchin' for a long-lost friend...could you help me re-discover" bit.

    Guess he reassessed his own song after hearing Barry scale the charts with it.


    P.S.: Barry has re-written before. He took "I Made It Through The Rain", a song he didn't write, and re-wrote the lyric with Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman. Had he re-written "Tryin'...", he would have a writing credit on it the way Manilow/Sussman/Feldman does on "I Made It...". The credit for "Tryin'..." has always only noted David Pomeranz.
  3. 350hunny

    350hunny New Member

    Hi, Scott. Just to let you know about the correction of miss you:it is actually 'misuse'.
    At first I thought the same as you but I found myself wrong after I received Richard's reply on the lyric.

    Karen’s second verse:
    When did it leave me?
    How did I come to miss you?
    Such a beautiful burning

    How did I come to misuse such a beatiful burning?

    Hope it helps. :)
    BarryT60 and Ilona Karhu like this.
  4. I love that song !! I still remember what a treat it was to hear a new carpenters song when Interpretations came out for the 25th anniversary.

    Magical work lead by Karen, which turned up on the same master tape as Only Yesterday I believe.

    The orchestration by Richard some 20 years later is wonderful and really gets going through the chorus, I always liked their more uptempo songs.

    As great as Karen was, the best Carpenters songs for me are when both of them do the vocals, its just a unique sound


    Karen & Richard "LOOKED"
    BarryT60 likes this.
  5. Well, I like both versions, but I think, that Barry's new introduction verse is very sophisticated (doctor, could you maybe give me something). I mean, it's something else.

    By the way, there is a version of the song with the bridge, recorded by Barry!
    You can find it on the CD set "The Complete Collection and then some", which was released in 1992 and contains three CDs and one video. I think, there is a new edition of this set available nowadays, with three CDs and one DVD with some older performances by Barry.

    In the booklet, Barry writes, that the bridge was cut out because the song would have been too long for radio format. He did the complete song in his shows in 1994 in Germany.

  6. 350hunny

    350hunny New Member

    This is a link to an online cd shop where you can enjoy a few short audio clips from David's. Here from his album, Born For You, his version of the song along with his version of The Old Song, also a hit by Manilow are available.

    I think David's version is not too bad but I think it is clear that both Barry and Karen have the money voices as Richard calls.

    To me, Barry's version seems to be radioworthy while Karen's version, more personal, and it would be more suitable enjoying it alone in your room or car.


    Hope you enjoy them, too.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  7. Thanks for sharing that. I would absolutely love to hear the Carpenters' rendition of the song.
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My two cents, for what it's worth:
    I adore Karen's first, and only take, on this song. Magnificent vocals.
    To my ears, Carpenters' version surpasses Manilow's in every particular.
    I do not like Barry's version, never did !
    When Richard released their Interpretation in 1994 I was beyond thrilled to hear it.
    I ended up with a 45 UK single, a cd promo single, as well as the extended Interpretations cd-album (DVD and cassette).
    So, good times then! Scan0013.jpg
    Charlie D likes this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And furthermore: Scan0015.jpg Scan0014.jpg
    1979lee likes this.
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I also have a Large Promotional Poster for Interpretations which is basically the above photos.
    Too big to scan,of course.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have the official video for this song? I remember having a copy of it on VHS cassette which I later lost in a house move. To my knowledge it has never surfaced on youtube or anywhere else. As far as I know, it was only ever broadcast once in the UK one time only on Top of the Pops 2 and I managed to catch it and tape it.

    It was introduced by Steve Wright, a famous BBC DJ who narrated the links between each music clip shown. It was beautifully done, featuring slow-motion shots of Karen from the videos for 'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' and 'Top Of The World', so it looked like she was actually singing lines here and there from 'Trying To Get The Feeling Again'.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
    Ilona Karhu and ullalume like this.
  12. cam89

    cam89 Active Member

    I remember the tv ad commercial for INTERPRETATIONS which featured a woman painting a portrait of Karen and Richard while TRYING TO GET THE FEELING AGAIN was being played!!!
    Ilona Karhu likes this.
  13. cam89

    cam89 Active Member

    OFF TOPIC< but speaking of commercials does anyone remember the 1988 REMINISCING Carpenters greatest hits album being released. They had a commercial similar to YESTERDAY ONCE MORE tv ads.....with video clips of Karen singing. I remember being enthralled in seeing REMINISCING the album, and so I bought it in cassette, lp and cd (even though I didn't have a cd player then LOL)....
  14. Just found this - don't know if it's been posted on this site before but it answers all the questions, straight from the songwriter's mouth. I never knew he actually wrote the song to pitch to the Carpenters....

    This song was written and originally recorded by David Pomeranz on his 1976 album It's In Everyone Of Us. Says Pomeranz: "We had a bit of a tumultuous time. My first wife and I had some ups and downs, which is what the song kind of speaks about. I kind of pulled from that experience. I also pulled from other times I'd had where I'd be kind of hot in love with somebody and then one day the fear would be gone, and I would never understand. I've come to understand what that's all about since, but there was a time that it was a mystery to me, how I could be in love and then not be. Which is kind of funny."
    Pomeranz: "The music came first. There's a line with the title, "That up/down, trying to get the feeling again." I think it was something that came organically, and I sort of... tried to get the feeling again. I didn't understand what the song meant, and I had to sort of work backwards and discover what the lyrics were going to say, but that often happens, where I'll just have a title, and not know really, fully what the song's about until I kind of delve into it.

    I wrote it in San Francisco. I remember sitting out on a rooftop writing that. It took a little less than a year, but it was something I just couldn't get right. The beginning of the song has verses in it which are the initial kind of set-up to the song. So the, "Doctor, my woman is coming back home late today," that thing, I was working on that for several months, the body of the song, and I just couldn't get that opening verse right. I wrote several versions, one Barry recorded, one the Carpenters recorded, and one I recorded on Arista. And they were all different verses, which is really funny. It was those maybe 5 lines that I had worked on for 4 to 6 months, I just couldn't get it right. Funny."

    Several artists recorded this before Manilow, including Gene Pitney and Lonnie Youngblood. Says Pomeranz: "It was actually written for the Carpenters. I had heard that they were looking for a song. And they never recorded it, or so I thought. Then Barry put his record out, and it was as big of a hit as it was, and then cautiously, they released an album of The Carpenter's called Interpretations in 1995, and on it was a version of 'Tryin' To Get The Feeling' that Karen had recorded, which was a complete surprise to everybody. So it was recorded several times, but Barry's was the big, big hit."

    In the liner notes of his Greatest Hits package, Manilow wrote: "This is a gorgeous song. There's a beautiful bridge that we had to eliminate for the sake of timing. When I sing it in person, I always try to include David's bridge." Says Pomeranz: "I didn't know that the bridge was cut until I heard the finished record. Obviously I was thrilled that he was going to record it, I probably squawked at the time. But his record is a very good Barry Manilow record. I got used to it quickly, and I realized that was a really good record he made, with or without the bridge. My bridge is on subsequent versions, so people have heard the whole song. But I like what he did. I think at the time I was a little upset by it, because I'd worked so hard on the song. Over time... it was flawless. He did a good job, different than a David Pomeranz record. It's a different kind of a rendition."

    Pomeranz explains how Manilow found this song: "My publisher at the time, Warner Brothers Music, I had a good friend there who was the president, his name was Ed Silvers. He's not there any longer, but Ed had given my demo to Bette Midler, and Bette was considering recording the song, and Barry at that time worked with Bette, he was her musical director. She played it for him at her house, and the story goes that Barry said, "If it ever comes to pass that you don't record that song, I'd like to."

    Pomeranz went on to write "The Old Songs," which became another hit for Manilow. In addition to his work as a solo artist, he's written songs that have been performed by Cliff Richard, Lou Rawls, John Denver, The Hollies and many others. Many of his songs have been used in movies and TV Shows, as well as musical theater. (Thanks to David for speaking with us about this song. For more, check out his website.)
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I'd like to see that one!!
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Thanks A&Mguyfromwayback

    I never knew this story about that song and surely didn't know it was meant for the Carpenters. Here is another example of a track Richard could have just kept for his own, instead he gave it to the fans and I love this one. It's unbelievable this was a "work lead" from Karen and makes it that much better. I still find it incredible that Karen could present something in just 1 take and make it sound like she's been practicing it for weeks. She had such a natural talent. Thank goodness that Richard worked on the Karaoke CD release or this song may never have made the light of day. It makes you wonder if they could have had a hit with this back in 75'
  17. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I nearly had a heart attack and peed...maybe in the reverse...but when I saw unwittingly happened upon INTERPRETATIONS I was breathless at the tracklist. I had heard absolutely nothing about this release. A friend and I were perusing a newly discovered record store in downtown Portland. Then, unexpectedly when exiting I saw this CarpenterS logo featuring the publicity shot used in my Tahoe concert program. WHAT??? WHAT??? Brent, my dear friend, was the ultimate of Beatles fans, so when I went into cardiac arrest he was not alarmed. It wasn't until later that I realized my initial copy was the British release with added trax. I struck gold no titanium that day. The 1st moment of recognition took me back to my former glory days of the same experience. As a kid my pulse would increase, face feverish, ears glowing red, literally trembling on my way to the record store. Entering the record store and upon final approach was taxing and euphoric simultaneously. This was at every lp and 45 release. Numerous experiences thru-out the career of K&R. So subsequent visitations to this world of blissful, pulsating anxiety continued on into the 80's cd releases. My 1st cd was The Singles 69-72. That very day I went out and bought what was to be my intro to hi-end stereos. Howza 'bout discovering the Calling Occupants extended format on PASSAGE? Anyone here as enamored as I was? The big finish of AHH AHH AHH AHH absent from the single was sublime CarpenterS harmony and interstellar production value. Haha ha. Interstellar thing, too funny. I digress. Trying To Get The Feeling Again was a revelation a triumph! Karen's vocal has my ever favorite essence of the HORIZON sessions. Richard's back-up efforts SUPERIOR to the chorale travesties. The reading intimate, expressive, painful even. A Rainy Daysesque relation. Thank God it was lost and then it was found!!! Not making HORIZON, a short lp with ample space for inclusion was a gross MISFIRE. Beating Manilow to the radio would've pummeled the top 40. No question, here at the pinnacle of CarpenterSdom the sail up the charts was assured. A gem, a surprise. Oh yeah, on AS TIME GOES BY the extended Without A Song slayed me. I truly don't know how I've weathered this obsessive compulsive stalking of record racks. As I've stated before, even the slightest re-release, unheard whatevers as in Gary Alan's offerings, the adrenal glands continue to over-produce that lovely compound endorphin.

    Oh God Stop! No don't stop. Stop...ummm pray continue!!!

  18. As a songwriter, I actually like the Manilow lyric version better than the one the Carpenters used - it's kind of strange, but certainly a much more unique perspective with the whole talking to the doctor thing.....
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I know wikipedia is not always the most reliable of sources as it's written by those who view and use it, but just read this about the track:

    "Seven years after production wrapped on the song, Richard was looking for songs to include on Voice of the Heart, the first album released after Karen's untimely death from anorexia in February of 1983. According to Richard Carpenter, the basic uncompleted rhythm tracks were found at that time, but Karen's final production vocal intended for the release of the record had been recorded over and was gone. However, many years later a "work lead" was found hidden away on a master tape that also contained the song "Only Yesterday'"

    This is news to me - I have never heard or seen Richard say there was a completed final vocal for this song, neither have I ever heard that the rhythm track was unearthed during the 'Voice Of The Heart' sessions after Karen's passing. A case of misinformation?
  20. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's inaccurate. Karen's work lead was found while remixing the Japanese Karaoke set in 1991.
  21. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I am probably the only one here that thinks so, but I am glad it was left off Horizon. It's great to hear Karen's voice as always, but I do not like the arrangement at all. Very dry, draggy, and certainly not hit material IMHO. Better as an album cut.
  22. mr J.

    mr J. Active Member

    I agree-never liked the song or the arrangement. A perfect example of Richard's term "draggy".

    I think Billy May should've charted another track or two for Horizon-more uptempo swinging arrangements(similar to his recordings with Frank Sinatra & Peggy Lee).
    Mark-T likes this.
  23. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    To me, it was hardly anything special when it was just a Barry Manilow song! Radio stations, of course put it on straight out of the box...

    And as for Manilow, it was one of the best things he'd done since he'd first started recording, albeit it being schlock, followed by more schlock...! A mere year later came "Even Now", a song of the same breed, but at least the oomph of "Copa Cobana"...

    But, Carpenters doing a Manilow Song????!!!! :shake: Yeh, a mystery what they saw in particular, this one!!!!

    At least "Can't Smile Without You" wasn't the bathetic balladry, that "Tryin' to Get..." truly was... But, Barry simply should have been the only one (well, Johnny Mathis covered it) to record something such as this, that no one else could really touch!

    Then again, could you imagine Karen doing anything like "The Old Songs (To bring back the old times)????:yikes:

    -- Dave
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As the song was on the master tape which contained "Only Yesterday" does that imply that the two songs
    were recorded by Karen in the same recording session, the same day in January 1975?
    Her voice, as far as I am concerned, may have been at it's absolute 'peak' in January 1975.
    (Although, I confess, that Karen's vocals (1974?) for the "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" tear me to shreds,too).
    By use of the term 'peak' I am treading a slippery slope, as her voice was always 'tops' with me!
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  25. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Karen's solo output excepted, I think 'Trying To Get The Feeling Again' is the best posthomous track Richard ever released. It's got a rockier, contemporary arrangement, and Karen's vocals are simply awesome.
    John Adam and BarryT60 like this.

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