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Unreleased tracks from “Karen Carpenter”

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^Correction: Not Still in love with you
I meant I'm still not over you
For me they’re not even in the same league. Richard takes breaths between each line most of the time. There are vocal overlaps at the end but they are overdubs recorded separately. There aren’t any of the lengthy vocal phrases on the RC track whereas Goodbye To Love is awash with them. The longest line I hear that doesn’t contain a breath is “Sleepin' away almost half of the night/Now who”.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
(1) Too bad Richard (Carpenter) and John (Bettis) had not pooled their respective talents together
to present TEN new Carpenter/Bettis compositions for a "Karen Carpenter" titled Album !
(2)There was an interview with Herb Alpert where he says "we were not exactly giving them (KC/PR) any songs."
So, if all parties concerned were so adamant about keeping those KC solo songs vocally "in the basement,"
WHY did no one suggest anything ? For instance, how about an album of American Standards (e.g., What's New ?)
or an album of duets (e.g., KC/Ella) ?
(3) Still, no matter, there are some great things happening on the solo songs we got (and, didn't get) !
I still say, Rod Temperton, Karen Carpenter and Phil Ramone gave us some awesome music.
Big deal that the vocals were not "in the basement".....that only adds to the variety and
explicitly constructed experimental aspect of the solo album.

By the way, one of my favorites is
Still In Love With You !
I'm with you on everything but 1. This was to a Karen Carpenter solo album, not a Carpenters album. As such, it didn't need any Carpenter/Bettis compositions. Better yet, it had Rod Temperton songs. Rod was, IMHO, a significantly better songwriter than Richard will ever be. He's one of the best to ever do it, honestly. His success spoke for itself in that regard. If anything, Karen's album could have done with more Rod. I'd kill off the Javors tunes in a hot second for more Temperton tunes.

Ed
 

WYBIMLA

Well-Known Member
For me they’re not even in the same league. Richard takes breaths between each line most of the time. There are vocal overlaps at the end but they are overdubs recorded separately. There aren’t any of the lengthy vocal phrases on the RC track whereas Goodbye To Love is awash with them. The longest line I hear that doesn’t contain a breath is “Sleepin' away almost half of the night/Now who”.
Ok that's fair. My point was these aren't easy songs to sing.

Part of The Carpenters success was because they made you feel like could sing-a-long to with ease.
"Time" has so much going on in it that you end up listening to the arrangement and vocal effects (overdubs/delay/reverb).

I don't hear weakness from Richard, but strength in his skill. He wasn't a vocal acrobatic or belting type.
So, to my ears his vocal style suits each song.

There's an argument to made about his choice to use "Say Yeah," but there's good moments there too.
The part where the song breaks down and he repeats "yeah" with electric guitar sounds kinda cool.

I'm neither Team Richard or Team Karen. I like them both!

As for KC's solo album, as we know there's some great moments too.

Is having some good moments on an album enough? :confused:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Yes, Ed....I forgot to clarify the first point of my previous post:
Had a new Carpenters' album been on the horizon at any juncture, I would have been
interested in seeing what new songs Richard and John could come up with. In other words,
an entire album of new compositions--for a new 'Carpenters' album.
But, I do so agree--Rod Temperton, what a talent !
Indeed, I would have loved more Rod Temperton tunes on Karen's solo album.
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
Is having some good moments on an album enough? :confused:
Good question. I suppose it depends on the individual buyer. I have hundreds of albums, but I'd be hard pressed to name very many on which I love (or even strongly like) each and every track. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is one. "Rumours" is another. "A Song for You," except I usually skip "Flat Baroque" (not that it's bad, just not worth repeat listens). Some others. Usually, if I strongly like half the album, then I consider it a win. Or if there's one or two tracks that just blow me away -- Coldplay's "Viva la Vida", kd lang's "Constant Craving". My answer, I suppose, is yes, a couple of truly standout moments can justify owning an album, or it did before digital downloads. And as I've said before, to my ears, Karen's album had more than enough of them to rise well above the classification "releasable". Now, whether it would have made money for the label...different issue. I don't know.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Wouldn't it be amazing if Richard completed one of these tracks (like Something's Missing) for the new album with the Royal Philharmonic. It would be quite the surprise, but I suppose the quality of the vocal tracks would not mix in well with the rest of the Carpenters tracks.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
A year later from this last post (^) Something's Missing is almost as autobiographical as "I Need To Be In Love." I'm really surprised Phil and Karen never finished this. Maybe Phil thought this song-lyric was the kind they were trying to get Karen away from? Who knows.

It would of made a nice Carpenters record had Richard been able to finish the production. Another wonderful could-of-been moment from the fascinating solo sessions of Karen Carpenter.

 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I did a re-appraisal of the tracklist a while back which assumed the track had been finished and included. I’ve just read it back now and still think it would have made for a better album overall...

https://forum.amcorner.com/threads/solo-album-and-single-success.15953/page-6#post-174830
Perfect! :) This would be my wishes also. I recently book-marked this thread and I was starting to read it. It is one of the few that is still open for responses. It's such a fascinating subject matter.
 

crescentnoon

New Member
I like the solo album. No, it's not the Carpenters sound, but that was the point. I think Karen had the absolute right idea with it and the Carpenters could have taken it from there to jump into the 80s with a more contemporary sound and escaped from their floundering output/sales.
I think also that some of the public expected more from it because it was a posthumous release. Obviously when it was recorded, it wasn't intended to be one of the final recordings of Karen's. It is what she wanted to do at that time of her life and she probably most certainly felt she would have many more opportunities to record. This is just another tragedy for her that to this day there are people who think of her solo album as a 'wasted opportunity' - as if she knew it would be one of her very last opportunities. 😞
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
A year later from this last post (^) Something's Missing is almost as autobiographical as "I Need To Be In Love." I'm really surprised Phil and Karen never finished this. Maybe Phil thought this song-lyric was the kind they were trying to get Karen away from? Who knows.

It would of made a nice Carpenters record had Richard been able to finish the production. Another wonderful could-of-been moment from the fascinating solo sessions of Karen Carpenter.

I was listening to this song just the other day. Even though the insturmentation doesn't sound quite finished, there is something special about it. Karen's reading of it is so honest and vulnerable. It almost sounds a bit other-worldly. Cracking performance.
 

Proudofyou

Active Member
Bettis went on to write Human Nature, One Moment in Time, Madonna Crazy For You!!! What if those songs went to Richard with the same Richard arrangements? Music history would be so much different. Incredible when you think about it.
 
When it comes to Carpenters music, it amazes me how we all hear the songs so drastically different at times, but that is what makes it so much fun. With regards to "Something's Missing" from above, I think the first 2 minutes are just dreadful. Dislike the music and the way she sings it, but the last 2 minutes I do enjoy. It is like two completely different songs in one, but I feel there was no way the Carpenters could have made the transition with huge success into the late 70's and 80's. Karen singing "One Moment In Time" would have been interesting....
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Bettis went on to write Human Nature, One Moment in Time, Madonna Crazy For You!!! What if those songs went to Richard with the same Richard arrangements? Music history would be so much different. Incredible when you think about it.
Richard must have so many regrets over the way things ended. Not only did he lose his sister, his best friend and his professional partner in one go, he also lost an active career as one half of a world famous duo and his working relationships with his songwriting partner John Bettis and countless other talented people like Peter Knight, Bob Messenger and the rest of the guys in their band. The loss is incalculable really when you think about it.
 

Proudofyou

Active Member
Either way, they would have had to disappear and come back w/new vibe and fresh. I think Ramone was correct that the mold was 10 years out of date but it completely coincided with their personal lives at the time. But that mold was soooo good. And awesome. And magical. And I think she was right when she said to Joan Lunden that they can work together and separately at the same time. $#!^e, just do it all!!! What was cool about Billy Joel per se, is he was able to record and write whatever genre he wanted because it was just him. She had such an instinct to play and create with something new. Anyway, I digress....sorry.
 
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