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Two lives

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Song4uman, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member Thread Starter

    Listening to VOTH on vinyl for the first time in a long time. Forgot how much I really like Two Lives.... would like it better without the choir
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I feel Two Lives is another under-represented Carpenters' gem.

    Now, it would be interesting to make a list of the "choir" songs--
    if only to see how many of those songs are enhanced--or not--through
    utilization of the "choir"....
    I always felt that "Silent Night" made excellent use of choir,
    not so for the later-added choir on Ave Maria.
  3. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I Need To Be In Love started it all. It never needed the Chorale and was probably what kept from going up the charts. The same thing kept Make Believe It’s Your First Time from being played on pop radio stations that earlier played Touch Me When We’re Dancing. I’ll never understand why someone would arrange their own songs to be stuck on Muzak type Easy stations.
    MorningOpensQuietly likes this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Make Believe It's Your First Time should never have been released as a single. It's far too quiet and slow for radio. Richard was right when he said there wasn't a hit on the entire album, which is forgivable given it was a collection of outtakes that probably would never have seen the light of day, had Karen lived.
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I think "Your Baby" should have been the first single. It had the old school power and awesome arrangement.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  6. "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore" was the first song from VOICE OF THE HEART to jump out at me. I liked it well enough to play over and over again. Couldn't get enough of it. So to me it almost has that "well-worn" single feel about it, even though I never, ever heard it on the radio.
    K.C. Jr and theninjarabbit like this.
  7. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I agree with the sediment of Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore, but I did hear it on the radio where I lived at the time in Rome, Georgia. I thought I saw it get around number 84 on Billboard and then Billboard had a nugget inside the magazine that said Made in America had 5 singles as A Song for You had 5 singles, with each being in the top 100 about 10 years apart and that was some kind of a first statistic, or something like that? I don't recall hearing it on any other station around. I was curious at the time if it was just a radio single. Later on, I think You're the One was also a radio single and I new a few who bought Lovelines after hearing it on the radio. I was in Atlanta by then. Then there was Honolulu City Lights which never needed the chorale on it. I never heard it on the radio but I did call a radio station about it and he gave me the radio station single with the cover. I treasured that at the time, but passed it on to a friend who never had seen it who lived in another city. I am sure Harry can fix any of this if I am misinformed about the radio single accuracy. Back in the day, it was hard to get cold facts.
  8. I DID hear "Honolulu City Lights" on a very soft elevator music station. It was only that one time - I didn't normally listen to that station - but it was on in a car dealer's showroom on one of their demo radio displays.
    Bobberman likes this.
  9. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I was a DJ back in 1983 when 'Voice Of The Heart' was released. Whenever I played 'Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore', somebody would always come up and ask if it was Carpenters. It went over very well. 'Two Lives' was truly on 'heavy rotation' in our corner of the fraternity. My friends became hooked on that song and 'Your Baby', and 'Make Believe It's Your First Time' were also played a lot. I'd come home and my LP would be in somebody else's room.... those 3 songs especially. 'Two Lives' and 'Your Baby' are two of my all-time favorites. Everything about those two recordings is perfect to my ears. Even The Chorale is mixed pretty quietly on 'Two Lives', so it doesn't really distract.
  10. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I agree with Two Lives but I still think it would have been stronger without the Chorale. I think Richard heard the fans request when it came to arranging Trying To Get Thst Feeling again and maybe through software found a way to edit the songs voicing with just the two of them. It is an impeccable arrangement and makes me wonder what he would do with the rest of Horizon today. Would he give those songs a similar treatment with the use of an alternative rock use of the strings, etc.
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That song is perfect the way it is. He would have murdered it if he'd added the dreaded OK Chorale. I do remember reading - and being fascinated by - the liner notes where he explained that he artificially "doubled" Karen's lead in the choruses using studio technology to make it sound as authentic as possible.
    GaryAlan and CraigGA like this.
  12. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Calling Occupants is a great arrangement and showcases how a choir can have a positive vocal sound on a Carpenters song. I'm a fan of Two Lives, again the use of the choir doesn't spoil the song, I think it adds to the feel of it.
    Brian likes this.
  13. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    I assumed "Make Believe It's Your First Time" was chosen as the lead single from VOTH for the sentiment in the lyric more than the hit potential of the song itself. Karen had recently died, there would be no new recordings, but we were able to "make believe it's your first time" hearing her music with this surprise album. Anyway, that's how I approached the song, and it had a pretty deep emotional impact for me (and then again when I heard the more intimate solo version). BUT...I'd have to agree that if these were songs released in her lifetime, "Your Baby" would be the more obvious choice for a potential hit. Loved that one, too. Never heard it on the radio but did hear "Make Believe" quite a few times. Bottom line, though, I never, ever looked at any of the posthumous releases as resources for possible hits. It just wasn't going to happen. But that doesn't mean they didn't contain some near-classic tracks that belong in the Carpenters' catalog right next to some of the actual "hits". And you're 100% correct that "Tryin' to Get the Feeling" is one of them.
    Brian likes this.
  14. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I think "Prime Time Love" would've also made a better single than "Make Believe". It's too bad that "Prime Time Love" has never been anthologized. Just like "Rainy Days" is the perfect setup for "Superstar", PTL is the perfect setup for "Your Baby".
  15. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I first heard that same song on An Exactly The Same Kind of Radio station in the city where I lived at the time and It was a station I always listened to (Until they changed to a 50s 60s and 70s oldies format) and hearing that song reminded me of where I was originally raised and not Hawaii or even where I live now but the feeling of the lyrics made me Homesick for my childhood area. And as the lyric puts it "It's not easy to leave again" And that's how I felt on my last visit down there back in December last year. YES MUSIC HAS THAT KIND OF POWER.
    Brian and song4u like this.
  16. I remember trying to figure out the lyrics or title, but all I was getting was, "Each time on a lu-lu city night...". I couldn't figure out what a "lu-lu city night" was or why Karen was singing about it... :D
    song4u likes this.
  17. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Lol. I figured that one..but not all words are clear and sometimes I have to credit compression for we don’t hear all formations clear and then there is dialect. It’s sometimes hard to hear that H consonant for sure. In Italian opera and singing it’s more important for the vowel to be on the beat. Listen to Joan Sutherland... she had spotless technique but diction is sometimes unclear.
  18. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I agree that the choir that was added to the mix of 'Ave Maria' on later CD releases spoils the song a bit. This choir covers up Karen's beautiful high notes towards the end of the piece. I think that Karen's reading of 'Ave Maria' is brilliant.

    I also love her performance in the verses of 'Two Lives' and especially in the bridge. She gets a bit much in the later choruses - sort of a bit harsh and whiney. She sounds good in the first chorus. I think, had she lived, those choruses would definitely have had to be re-recorded before release, but they could have kept that first take of the 'work lead' for the verses and bridge.
  19. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Joan Sutherland's voice was amazing! What power! I think I've got about twenty of her CDs. My other favourite amongst classical singers is Kiri Te Kanawa. (My musical tastes swing from pop to rock, soul, blues, folk, traditional, world, classical, country, jazz, trance, alternate and reggae - but they don't stretch as far as heavy metal or hip-hop!)
    CraigGA likes this.
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I think that's why I can't listen to the song, it irritates me too much as it progresses.
  21. Chris Mills

    Chris Mills Well-Known Member

    Have you seen Kiri Te Kanawa in this, it's amazing.

    Don Giovanni (1979)
    Brian and CraigGA like this.
  22. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    No, I haven't. I'll watch part of it soon. Thanks, Chris.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Interesting that two of my personal favorites,
    Two Lives
    Strength Of A Woman,
    appear on only four (TL) and three (SOAW) recordings.
    That tally includes the original LP's,
    so, really only three and two additional cd-compilations !

    Perhaps just me, but I do like those two songs very much.....
  24. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member Thread Starter

    I have never really liked 'Your Baby." something about Karen's vibrato....almost seems to get away from her. I know there are many who really love it. I just don't care for it.
    song4u likes this.
  25. Superstar

    Superstar Rainy Day and Monday Specialist

    Is there any way that the Chorale can be removed like the you tube videos where Karen's voice (or background vocals) have been isolated? Because I'd just take the Chorale out of all the songs that have it (other than maybe the Christmas songs). Also, there are plenty of people who sound like Karen, why didn't Richard just hire some session vocalists to do the background overdubbing to Karen's work leads? It would have made all of those tracks more like a true Carpenters album if you ask me.

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