Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Jarred, Feb 16, 2019.
Credit goes to Gary on this one!!!
You're right about the time lag - however, do we know when the playback in for A&M in New York which Derek Green attended actually took place? I'd always assumed it was in early 1980, not in late 1979, in which case it would have occurred after this ad was published.
This does beg another question too - who else was at that New York playback?
Coleman, page 271:
"By the time she had completed it in early 1980,
the customary playback for senior A&M executives was set up."
"trusting Green's ears, Jerry Moss asked him to fly in to New York to
hear the initial playback of the songs in the studio."
Now, the Fan Club Newsletters....January 1980...
"Karen has made several return trips to New York in connection with her recordings,
and we can anticipate release of her solo album some time in March."
The Claude Mougin photo sessions took place on January 30, 1980 (I know because the date is listed next to the solo photo of Karen in the large booklet that came with “From The Top”). So up to that point, everything was still all systems go. The track Lovelines was recorded and mixed some time in January 1980 as well. I think therefore that the two playbacks of the completed album took place sometime during February.
My question is, why would they go to the expense of a photo shoot with a world-renowned photographer and then go on to mock up the album’s artwork, if they hadn’t yet done the playbacks?
I think that 'initial' playback is referring to the New York playback, not an earlier playback.
It is an odd way round to do things. Another reason why the artwork would normally be left until after the playback was because it would be quicker and easier to get the artwork and labels done once the tracklisting was finalised, which could only be done after the playback. Yet another puzzling feature of the whole puzzling saga...
Another source reads it this way:
"Scheduled for release in early 1980, it was treated by A&M as a potential blockbuster.
Until they heard it. A routine playback for the label heads, at which Richard Carpenter was also in attendance,
proved to be a disaster. "
Karen Carpenter and the mystery of the missing album
It's a bit like going down a rabbit hole trying to make sense of the chronology and real motivations that led to the cancellation of the solo album as so many of the pieces of evidence that we do have don't tally with each other. Why were A&M talking it up as a potential blockbuster (as I think is also stated in Ray Coleman's book) if they hadn't actually heard any of it until the playback after it was completed? Why hadn't they heard any of it before, given that the recording sessions had taken several months, so there would have been plenty of opportunities to do so?
I don't know if we'll ever find out the full story, but I'd be willing to bet there's still quite a lot of details about this period that haven't been made public yet.
It would be interesting to hear what Paul Grein might have to say about Karen’s solo album appearing for release in Cashbox...if he had heard any news between various writers of music magazines back then. Might be a good question for discussion at the 50th.
Yes, please do and if you can update what you might learn from him. That would be great if he can shed any info or knowledge we might not know already. Thank you!!!!!
I realize that Ray Coleman's is the Authorized Biography,
which is why I quote from that source.
But, keep in mind, I do not necessarily understand all that I read there.
After all, anyone who writes, regards
Lovelines album: "three fine ballads redeemed an average batch." (page 329),
does a disservice to the album and the Carpenters' legacy.
If I don’t get a chance to add another question I’ll ask Paul at the meet and greet after the panel discussion what he thinks on the subject of the many discrepancies surrounding Karen’s album.
That may have come from the pen of Ray Coleman, but it sounds like it came from Richard’s mouth.
Well if you only get to ask one question...You could always say, my question is 2 parts I dare you Stephen.
I think Karen's album deserves a rerelease to include cd, digital, and vinyl. I would also love it if the entire album was given a new fresh mix. The album would be so much improved by new tasteful mixes. If there were any album cover designs made back then, it would be great if that was used.
This is it. I think the general consensus on this forum is that it was an abomination.
^^That page also says this:
"Despite the lack of promotion the album was a success having sold more than one million copies worldwide."
That is simply not true.
There was promotion.
It did not sell one-million copies.
How trustworthy is that link, Stephen ?
(linking to the webpage: leadsister)
Not only the above quote from that linked page, which I listed,
another error regarding the solo album:
" Credits, Karen Carpenter – lead and backing vocals, drums "
There is no drumming by Karen on the solo album that I am aware of.
Take that site with a grain of salt.
It's a google image of the A&M sleeve design for Karen's album, nothing to worry about
The image is fine. It's the "facts" on that site that are questionable.
I listened to Paul Simon performing "I Do It For Your Love."
Then, of course I listened to Karen's performance.
I listened to Paul Simon performing "Still Crazy After All These Years."
Then, I returned to Karen's performance.
As but two exceptional vocal performances by Karen Carpenter,
I can understand why Karen chose to record those songs.
I have never listened to Paul Simon (not caring for his voice),
But...Karen Carpenter does justice (and more) to those Paul Simon songs.
The difference is that both songs were, of course, WRITTEN by Paul Simon, making them more personal when coming from him. Not to mention that fact that these songs were both from an "iconic" solo album by Paul, with possibly his biggest successes following the break-up of him and Garfunkel - and, tucked away on the album is the reunion of Simon & Garfunkel with "My Little Town".
Karen's versions of these songs are very nicely done, and each could be considered a decent album track from an artist who isn't a composer. As much of a Carpenters fan as I am, if given the choice, I think I'd pick Paul Simon's take on these songs. They're his - and iconically so.
You don't have to be the original writer/performer of the song to come up with a good version - or sometimes even the definitive version.
I'm not so fond of 'I Do It For Your Love' - that was rightly left as an outtake - but Karen's take on 'Still Crazy' is very nice and, crucially, isn't a slavish copy of Paul Simon's original, which is actually quite a lot softer-sounding. If anything, I prefer the arrangement on Karen's version.
I know that very well, but in this case, Paul Simon's versions ARE, IMHO, the definitive versions.