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Why Does "Crescent Noon" get so little attention?

tonsorock

New Member
Thread Starter
"Crescent Noon" from Close To You is such an incredible song, and yet, I rarely see it mentioned in anyone's favorite song lists etc. and of all the dozens of compilations, it has only shown up on one Japanese release. From Richard's melancholy piano playing — with a strong nod to classical composer Eric Satie's "Trois Gymnopédies" — and Karen's sublime range of melody as she sings the descending chorus ending on a gorgeous low note, "To a falling crescent noon," is is a stunning work of art. John Bettis' lyrics mix somewhat ambiguous fantasy lyrics ("Somewhere in a fairy-tale forest lies one answer that is waiting to be heard") leaving one to wonder what the real message is. Ecology? The passing of the seasons? Only in the third verse does he hint that it could be about a fading relationship when Karen sings, "You and I were born like the breaking day, All our seasons , All our green Septembers burn away."

I would love to hear a clean version of the live performance from the California State University set, and this would definitely be on my request list for a Vol. 2 of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra if one is to happen.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Crescent Noon is one of my favorites, and it does appear on a few of the member's Top 15 lists. It could be seen as too plodding and depressing for some fans, but that amazing harmony between Karen & Richard in the middle blows me away...

BTW, Welcome to the forum, great to have you here!:)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
It's certainly one of my favorites. There's been more discussion of "Someday", which I view as sort of a prequel to "Crescent Noon".

(And there is no shortage of folks who to this day, still think the song is called "Crescent Moon".) :tsk:
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I’ve never understood the fascination with this track, although I recognise everyone’s musical tastes are different. To my ears, it’s a very mediocre, sleeper album track and, more importantly, I think it’s very poorly recorded. Maybe for that reason it falls into the same category as “Someday” in that it has never been anthologised. Not one I’ve ever played more than a handful of times.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I’ve never understood the fascination with this track, although I recognise everyone’s musical tastes are different. To my ears, it’s a very mediocre, sleeper album track and, more importantly, I think it’s very poorly recorded. Maybe for that reason it falls into the same category as “Someday” in that it has never been anthologised. Not one I’ve ever played more than a handful of times.
I think for many, like myself, it has the haunting atmosphere of an art song - beguling, mystical lyrics, a dark melody, gorgeous harmonies, and Karen's raw, very deep voice all coming together into something poetic. Whatever artistic ambitions it sets out to achieve it does. It's not a standard love song or a-side single, it's a gem that only big fans will likely find and appreciate. I think it's demonstrative of how experimental they were in those early albums. How many pop groups then had fascinating album cuts like this? It kind of reminds me of a Horizon track which was populated with languid, moody ballads - ironically Horizon was their last album where they successfully crafted an innovative/experimental sound while being wildly commercial.
 

AnnaSock

Active Member
I must say I’ve overlooked this track myself in the past. There’s nothing wrong with it at all and the lyrics are beautiful, but I can’t say it’s ever stood out to me. However, having read this thread, I’m tempted to give it another listen. I’ll get back to you with further thoughts...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I have no illusions that "Crescent Noon" could have stood as a single track on its own. No, it's decidedly an album track - but what a glorious album track! - part of the glue that holds the CLOSE TO YOU album together. And yes, just like "Another Song" in that regard - an album track that provides the fabric the makes the CLOSE TO YOU album something special.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
'Crescent Noon' I've liked since day one, but it's REALLY grown on me in recent years. It's a perfect showcase for both Karen and Richard's talents. The bridge with the otherworldly, heavenly vocals are simply unmatched to this day by anyone.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I agree with all the sentiments on this thread, except the one about it being "very poorly recorded," but whatever... I like the song enough that I titled my home-brewed best-of-Carpenters CD after it.
 

LondonRobert

Active Member
I adore Crescent Noon.

Close to you surprisingly was an album i discovered in my early teens long after horizon, the tan album, a song for you, well most of the others really. Only TTR came after the CTY album.

As it was an early album I didn't even properly give it much listening as I always thought Horizon and Now and Then were the pinnacle. However, i was wrong and how beautiful an album it is.
That lower section on Crecent noon is just something so incredibly special.
It's a track that reminds me a bit of Road Ode and I can't Make Music. An album track but a little piece of magic that's just sitting there, modestly, but absolutely gorgeous.
 

jaredjohnfisher

Active Member
I adore Crescent Noon.

Close to you surprisingly was an album i discovered in my early teens long after horizon, the tan album, a song for you, well most of the others really. Only TTR came after the CTY album.

As it was an early album I didn't even properly give it much listening as I always thought Horizon and Now and Then were the pinnacle. However, i was wrong and how beautiful an album it is.
That lower section on Crecent noon is just something so incredibly special.
It's a track that reminds me a bit of Road Ode and I can't Make Music. An album track but a little piece of magic that's just sitting there, modestly, but absolutely gorgeous.
I agree. It would be a nice contender for an RPO Volume 2. That is, if Richard gave it the "royal" treatment (unlike the tame treatments given the well-known singles on RPO Volume 1).
 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
You'll see, this is on my list. I know the tempo is slow, but ...

Karen's voice!

I know the tempo is slow. And so many songs speed up. This song has the guts to stay slow. The arrangement is lovely, and the words can mean many things. One of my all time favorites of any genre.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^In my 'eyes' (or, rather 'ears')
there is something special about returning to original sources.
And, given that Richard writes that he and John Bettis wrote the song
while at CSULB, I find the CSULB version all the more unique and special.
But, to each his, or her, own !
As I have often stated, perfection is not my goal.
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
A song that has markedly grown on me over the years. Initially, I found it to paint too dark a picture to the point of depression. However, I always appreciated Karen's delivery. As @GaryAlan states, there is a similarity to "Solitaire," a song that instantly leapt to the top of my favorites, where it has remained to this day.

One other side note: in my brief foray into piano playing many years ago, I had the sheet music for this song and was happy that I could play the bare chords:
My fingers "stumbled round"
My drifting talents were "bound"
To the haunting "Crescent Noon."​
 

Kaisu

Member
I found the album version of Crescent Noon maybe a bit too monotone and serious. I'm not talking about Karen's voice though... The song just needs more music to enhance it in my opinion. The CSULB version on the other hand is simply magical and I love it! It reminds me of Walking in the Air for some reason.
 
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