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"When I Fall in Love": A Quick Look At Three Versions

JohnFB

She was born to belong to the lines of a song...
"When I Fall in Love" is a beautiful, romantic Standard that has been recorded by hundreds of artists since its first appearance in the early 1950s.

It was composed by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyward (lyrics) and was first used as the theme of the 1952 Korean War movie "One Minute to Zero" starring Robert Mitchum and others.

Doris Day had the first hit version in 1952. Doris is best known for her roles in some romantic comedy movies in the 50s and 60s and a TV program. But, before that she had been an able and appealing singer for several Big Bands during that Era of the 40s.Her voice was always sweet and lovely and easy on the ears. Here's her version, with lots of nice pics...



Nat King Cole was, of course, one of the all-time great crooners of his Era - and before that going back many years he was an outstanding jazz pianist. His voice is about as mellow and romantic as it gets, and his version can be found on his great 1957 album "Love is the Thing" (long one of my favs) with lush string orchestration by Gordon Jenkins...



Carpenter's recording of this excellent song was finally released on the "Lovelines" album. It is ever-so-slightly more uptempo than the other two versions here, and has the big advantage of being sung by Karen, who always seemed to "own" every song she ever recorded. This may not be an exception. This version also contains the (apparently) seldom recorded intro, which adds much to the song's appeal. As one reviewer said: "I can think of so many songs I would love to have heard her sing". An album full of great ballads from the Great American Songbook would have been a good start. I sometimes get the vague impression that Karen was active in the wrong Era, that she should have been born, say, 20 years earlier, when the general quality of popular music was almost equal to that of her incomparable voice...

 
I sometimes get the vague impression that Karen was active in the wrong Era, that she should have been born, say, 20 years earlier, when the general quality of popular music was almost equal to that of her incomparable voice...

Great comment. Although there are classic songs that come up in every era, I often wonder if they would have been even more successful had they been a recording act say in the 1940s or 1950s. I can imagine the sound of Karen’s voice coming from AM radios during wartime to have been a very comforting thing for countless people.
 
I had the pleasure of watching her sing that live in Las Vegas around 1977/8. (I'd have to look it up.) Just gorgeous!

Listening to the bootleg live version that's out there, it sounds a bit different orchestration than what appeared on Music (x3) and Lovelines.
 
...I can imagine the sound of Karen’s voice coming from AM radios during wartime to have been a very comforting thing for countless people.
Speaking of great comments...the thought of this gets this sentimental old fool misty-eyed...her voice would have been like a soothing gift from heaven above during those turbulent and tragic times - I can hear her singing "I'll Be Seeing You" or "As Time Goes By" or "It's Been a Long, Long Time" or "I'll Be Home for Christmas" or any number of other great war-time songs...
 
There are so many wonderful Versions of this tune: Linda Ronstadt, Joni James and many many more. However, K&R did the best version in my opinion. Karen really does a wonderful Job on it and you can truly hear the emotions in her voice.
 
There are so many wonderful Versions of this tune: Linda Ronstadt, Joni James and many many more. However, K&R did the best version in my opinion. Karen really does a wonderful Job on it and you can truly hear the emotions in her voice.

What I love about Karen’s voice on this particular version of the song is how thick her voice is with melancholy. It’s exactly the same with ‘Where Do I Go From Here’. I’ve said it before, but she was at her absolute peak of vocal quality in 1978.
 
The first version of "When I Fall In Love" that made an impression on me was by The Lettermen. This was played often on soft rock radio in the later 60s.

 
What I love about Karen’s voice on this particular version of the song is how thick her voice is with melancholy. It’s exactly the same with ‘Where Do I Go From Here’. I’ve said it before, but she was at her absolute peak of vocal quality in 1978.
I agree with you on all of the above, and regarding to the peak of her vocal quality, the 1978 Songs are pure gold! I tend listen to this period of Carpenters Songs more often then other periods.
 
The first version of "When I Fall In Love" that made an impression on me was by The Lettermen. This was played often on soft rock radio in the later 60s.
This is a good version as well! Very different in comparison to the Carpenters version.
 
I agree with you on all of the above, and regarding to the peak of her vocal quality, the 1978 Songs are pure gold! I tend listen to this period of Carpenters Songs more often then other periods.

I think this is why I love the ‘Lovelines’ album so much - every single track is from that 1978-1980 period, with the exception of ‘You’re The One’, which is for me her most outstanding vocal of all time anyway.
 
Nat King & Natalie singing beautifully "together" - this needs to be listened to a second time, with your eyes closed, so you can throughly enjoy how very well their voices were matched up and arranged musically to create this "duet" - the first time thru as you watch the video you're concentrating on how that video was nicely done, and its a distraction from their voices and the music...
 
I think this is why I love the ‘Lovelines’ album so much - every single track is from that 1978-1980 period, with the exception of ‘You’re The One’, which is for me her most outstanding vocal of all time anyway.
Yes, "Lovelines" is my favorite too, and I'm with you on YTO - until I'm listening to HAVE YOURSELF...or RAINY DAYS...or MCD...and then I get conflicted - what a delightful dilemma - even lately I've been marveling at what a great job she did on BABY, ITS YOU - she absolutely kills that vocal! On the RPO album MCD flows smoothly into BIY, which is a total stroke of genius you've got to love ( and repeat over and over) - it's such a great pairing...
 
Karen was only 15 or 16 when Nat King Cole passed away, and she wasn't even singing much at that point (at least not publicly) so there was never a chance that she could have done a live duet with him on this song, or any other for that matter. But, I wonder how her voice would have matched up with his on a simulated, technically arranged duet like was done with his daughter Natalie. Natalie had that big familial advantage in terms of being compatible vocally with her father, but Karen's voice was roughly in the same range, and was just as soft and warm and romantic as his. One would have to believe that "pairings" with him would have been awesome. Perry Como was similar in tonality and style to Cole and look at how she blended so very nicely with him. There just wasn't enough of it. That duet - like the one with Ella - could have gone on for hours instead of mere minutes.
 
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