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Was This Masquerade Ever Performed Live?

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Does anyone know if it was ever on a set list? I so, has anyone ever heard it?

I think it would have been a great song to showcase Richard on piano and Bob Messenger. Not to mention Karen, of course.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
In the 1975 concert I have from Valley Forge, they did "Only Yesterday" early in the set, but "Mr. Guder" remained in the latter half before the oldies stuff.
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
My first Carpenters concert was a couple of weeks after Now & Then was released, in June 1973. Being only 17, and days from graduation from high school, I remember Karen only playing drums on Help and Mr. Guder, which the audience loved. It gave her the chance to show off her skills as a drummer, with an amazing voice, and to improvise into a jazz fusion version of the song. It got the audience involved in the show. Being only 17, I was more interested in them doing the oldies medley, which was the highlight from the new album, and Jambalaya! That was a huge crowd pleaser too. I hadn’t realized what a great cut This Masquerade was until I was a couple of years older, and ready for more adult styles tunes. It was just a great album cut to me in 1973. It was only when George Benson released his version as a single, which I can’t stand, did I feel that Carpenters might have missed an opportunity to gain new fans with that song. It happened again when Barry Manilow released Can’t Smile, and Anne Murray got away with I Just Fall In Love Again. Missed opportunities, or bad guesses, timing? We all know who performed those cuts the best. It’s hard to listen to lesser sophisticated, or sung and arranged versions. I don’t recall Carpenters performing This Masquerade at any of the concerts I saw, whether in big halls,Hollywood Bowl, or Lake Tahoe. Maybe Chris could ask him sometime?
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I never heard they did this and likely they didn’t because it’s more fit for like a classy cocktail lounge setting than a big concert.
 

CarpentersToYou

Somehow you brought the gambler out in me...
Their concert style was never as polished as their recordings. The oldies theme stayed in their setlist far too long and gems like this and other ballads were neglected.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Billboard Magazine, January 5, 1974 (page 11):
"Today's successful single, which sparks a gold album sale, is expected to be every one of these things;
impeccably produced, danceable, with strong easy -to -follow lyrics, a theme relevant to adults as well as teens,
and overall a heavy attention -grabber."
Then, same issue (page: 31):
"Jambalaya" by the Carpenters outranked "Yesterday Once More" by the A&M recording pair for the first time among
the top 20 best-selling singles at the Shinseido chain of record stores in Tokyo during the third week of December.
The single was No. 1 at the Otsuki music store in Osaka the previous week. It was released here by King Record on Nov. 25."

This may be pertinent regards "This Masquerade" not being released as single, or performed in concert venue.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I’d love to hear a live version. But it wouldn’t have played well in there early live shows when the song was released. This is the type of song that requires a clam audience and no coughing, talking or shuffling around from the audience. Most of their live shows we’re the opposite weren’t they?

The same would apply to A Song For You needs to be quiet to hear maybe that’s why they never included these?

It reminds me of the live version of Santa Claus which can get quite at times and all the people coughing and talking.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I’d love to hear a live version. But it wouldn’t have played well in there early live shows when the song was released. This is the type of song that requires a clam audience and no coughing, talking or shuffling around from the audience. Most of their live shows we’re the opposite weren’t they?

The same would apply to A Song For You needs to be quiet to hear maybe that’s why they never included these?

It reminds me of the live version of Santa Claus which can get quite at times and all the people coughing and talking.
Right, it’s just not a song made for a conventional concert setting. It too subtle and intimate even for a Carpenters fan crowd. I think it was always destined to be an album cut loved by real fans and make its way onto compliations and found b others. I never agreed that it would’ve made a good single - it would’ve been great to rescue their image a bit but it’s just not a song made for contemporary, mainstream 1973 radio play.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Right, it’s just not a song made for a conventional concert setting. It too subtle and intimate even for a Carpenters fan crowd. I think it was always destined to be an album cut loved by real fans and make its way onto compliations and found b others. I never agreed that it would’ve made a good single - it would’ve been great to rescue their image a bit but it’s just not a song made for contemporary, mainstream 1973 radio play.
With an extended instrumental intro while maintaining the lengthy dual instrumental mid-song interlude and then tacking on another extended instrumental outro it could have been turned into a crowd pleasing concert masterpiece - especially with Karen handling the drumming - the entire band could have jammed out on this using it as a dynamic "latin-esque" show piece...

As far as radio goes, a single of this - as recorded - would have easily been their 16th No.1 chart topper on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart, which for them should have been the only chart that they (or A&M execs) should have been considering or paying attention to...screw the teeny-bopper driven Hot 100...
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Oh yeah on the AC charts it would’ve topped, but there was so much stigma about wanting to be as seen mainstream as possible (and not the easy listening they were chided for) that there’s no way they would’ve aimed for scoring hits on anywhere else but the Hot 100. Their legacy would/would’ve been much different had they focused strictly on mature, thematically and musically sophisticated material post-1973, let’s say. I love something like “Sing” and I’m happy it exists, but it did them no favors. It went to #3, but in the long run who cares really? It destroyed any credibility they had after a groundbreaker like Goodbye to Love.

In Randy’s newest book focusing on the music Justin Bond believes that the combo of lightweight songs like Sing and the single version of TOTW were the start of them moving away from the serious balladry and more into the realm of a campy novelty act that destroyed their legacy long term. I get why these mistakes were made, but you would think their instincts and professional will power would’ve been sharper to push back against material that was well beneath them. More songs like Masquerade likely wouldn’t have changed their personal fates too much but professionally a great shift would’ve happened. If you listen to Now and Then today it’s jarring hearing said mature material on the same record as the the oldies medley with an annoying fake DJ. It’s beautifully done but largely negligible and weightless, especially when Karen’s performances are whittled down.
 
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