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Why Does "Crescent Noon" get so little attention?

Jarred

Well-Known 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.
But it's lyrics need a serious tone. There's a whiff of lightness and whimsy in the "fairy tale forest" overdubbing section that gives it even more of a mystical feel.
 

Matthew Smith

Well-Known Member
Just listened to this again today, and probably haven’t listened to it at all in 10+ years because it was not a favorite. But wow, how impressive! I guess age helps refine your taste. Karen’s lows are at their best here. And her voice still has a touch of the immaturity from Offering in it at this point too, its in a nice transitional place here. Discovered the choral version on You Tube as well, and again, quite impressive but I prefer Karen’s vocals on the CTY version. Very beautiful!
 

Proudofyou

Well-Known Member
Oh it's so beautiful. Dark, rich.complex. I wish the original quality of the recording had been done better but if he ever did part two of Royal Phil, I'd LOVE to hear this cleaned up. (I do secretly wish it was called Crecent Moon)
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Karen’s lows are at their best here. And her voice still has a touch of the immaturity from Offering in it at this point too, its in a nice transitional place here.
Yes! I know exactly what you mean in terms of Karen's voice having that "touch of immaturity". Less refined, as it were. That draws me to this song as well (I suspect this is why I like her first recording of "Ticket" over the one she re-recorded), in addition to the fact that I just really like the song. As others have said here - artsy, haunting, a very good album track.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
What does “Noon” mean?
I asked my English teacher but she didn’t knew it....
According to merriam-webster.com;

noon
noun
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\ ˈnün \
Definition of noon

1: MIDDAYspecifically : 12 o'clock at midday
2archaic : MIDNIGHT —used chiefly in the phrase noon of night
3: the highest point

According to the "A Way with Words" website;

Noon of night is an archaism, a poetic way of saying “midnight.”

Long story short: A crescent moon at midnight. John Bettis wrote the lyrics to the song; he was being poetic.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I've liked this song and recording a lot since I first heard it in the mid-70s. I especially like the harmonies when they appear and, of course, Karen's lead vocals.

The chords on this song do have a resemblance to a well-known classical composition, Gymnopedie No 1, composed by Erik Satie. By the way, another artist who couldn't be more different from Carpenters, Kate Bush, used Gymnopedie No 1 to set up one of her songs, 'Symphony in Blue', in live performances and tv specials in the late 1970s.

Richard used the exact melodies from classical compositions in 'Invocation' and 'Intermission', so this seems to be something that he was into, at that time. I'm not sure how he got around copyright on these. It must be to do with the rule that copyright only exists for seventy years after the original composer's death.

There are other artists who have used sections of classical melodies or chord progressions for pop compositions. Eric Carmen springs to mind with 'All By Myself' and 'Never Gonna Fall In Love Again'. Procol Harum's ''Lighter Shade of Pale' shows some resemblance to Bach's 'Air on a G String'. I think the opening of their 'Conquistador' is taken from a classical piece. 'Midnight Blue' by Louise Tucker uses the melody of the second movement of Beethoven's 'Sonata Pathetique'. ('Midnight Blue' was a hit all over the world, with peaks ranging from Number 1 in some countries to Number 46 in the US and Number 59 in the UK). And there are sure to be lots of others.

Richard's composition being discussed here is not directly taken from Erik Satie's piece but appears to have definitely been inspired by it.

I also particularly like Karen's vocals on the CAL State Choir version of 'Crescent Noon'.

I think that other posts on here might allude to the reasons why 'Crescent Noon' might not have appeared on anthologies. The reasons WOULDN'T have anything to do with Karen's voice or performance. Whichever way you look at the song, her voice and performance are stunning.

'Crescent Noon' would have appeared on my Top 10 list that I posted, I think.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I had not listened to this song in quite a while. Karen's vocals are crystal clear and haunting. A real treat. Yes, stunning.
Richard Carpenter writes of the album Close To You:
"...four songs John Bettis and I wrote while still in college... Crescent Noon, Mr. Guder, Maybe It’s You and Another Song."
I love three out of those four songs ! The comments on Youtube regarding Crescent Noon are overwhelmingly positive.
Has anyone heard the "quad" mix of the entire Close To You album ?
Being anthologized on only one japanese cd hardly does justice to Crescent Noon.
 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
I've liked this song and recording a lot since I first heard it in the mid-70s. I especially like the harmonies when they appear and, of course, Karen's lead vocals.

The chords on this song do have a resemblance to a well-known classical composition, Gymnopedie No 1, composed by Erik Satie. By the way, another artist who couldn't be more different from Carpenters, Kate Bush, used Gymnopedie No 1 to set up one of her songs, 'Symphony in Blue', in live performances and tv specials in the late 1970s.

Richard used the exact melodies from classical compositions in 'Invocation' and 'Intermission', so this seems to be something that he was into, at that time. I'm not sure how he got around copyright on these. It must be to do with the rule that copyright only exists for seventy years after the original composer's death.

There are other artists who have used sections of classical melodies or chord progressions for pop compositions. Eric Carmen springs to mind with 'All By Myself' and 'Never Gonna Fall In Love Again'. Procol Harum's ''Lighter Shade of Pale' shows some resemblance to Bach's 'Air on a G String'. I think the opening of their 'Conquistador' is taken from a classical piece. 'Midnight Blue' by Louise Tucker uses the melody of the second movement of Beethoven's 'Sonata Pathetique'. ('Midnight Blue' was a hit all over the world, with peaks ranging from Number 1 in some countries to Number 46 in the US and Number 59 in the UK). And there are sure to be lots of others.

Richard's composition being discussed here is not directly taken from Erik Satie's piece but appears to have definitely been inspired by it.

I also particularly like Karen's vocals on the CAL State Choir version of 'Crescent Noon'.

I think that other posts on here might allude to the reasons why 'Crescent Noon' might not have appeared on anthologies. The reasons WOULDN'T have anything to do with Karen's voice or performance. Whichever way you look at the song, her voice and performance are stunning.

'Crescent Noon' would have appeared on my Top 10 list that I posted, I think.
Yet, Another Song qoutes GF Handel directly from The Messiah w/ different words!
And he plays, Bach, if I remember, Prelude in C Major under the jazz tune, From This Moment On, by Cole Porter; two musics that should’ve not worked together.
The depths here are just kinda unbelievable.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I've liked this song and recording a lot since I first heard it in the mid-70s. I especially like the harmonies when they appear and, of course, Karen's lead vocals.

The chords on this song do have a resemblance to a well-known classical composition, Gymnopedie No 1, composed by Erik Satie. By the way, another artist who couldn't be more different from Carpenters, Kate Bush, used Gymnopedie No 1 to set up one of her songs, 'Symphony in Blue', in live performances and tv specials in the late 1970s.

Richard used the exact melodies from classical compositions in 'Invocation' and 'Intermission', so this seems to be something that he was into, at that time. I'm not sure how he got around copyright on these. It must be to do with the rule that copyright only exists for seventy years after the original composer's death.

There are other artists who have used sections of classical melodies or chord progressions for pop compositions. Eric Carmen springs to mind with 'All By Myself' and 'Never Gonna Fall In Love Again'. Procol Harum's ''Lighter Shade of Pale' shows some resemblance to Bach's 'Air on a G String'. I think the opening of their 'Conquistador' is taken from a classical piece. 'Midnight Blue' by Louise Tucker uses the melody of the second movement of Beethoven's 'Sonata Pathetique'. ('Midnight Blue' was a hit all over the world, with peaks ranging from Number 1 in some countries to Number 46 in the US and Number 59 in the UK). And there are sure to be lots of others.

Richard's composition being discussed here is not directly taken from Erik Satie's piece but appears to have definitely been inspired by it.

I also particularly like Karen's vocals on the CAL State Choir version of 'Crescent Noon'.

I think that other posts on here might allude to the reasons why 'Crescent Noon' might not have appeared on anthologies. The reasons WOULDN'T have anything to do with Karen's voice or performance. Whichever way you look at the song, her voice and performance are stunning.

'Crescent Noon' would have appeared on my Top 10 list that I posted, I think.
Richard was basing “Intermission” off of the “Crucifixius” by Antonio Lotti (b. 1667 AD d. 1740 AD), so by the 1960’s/70’s, “Crucifixius” was over 220 years old, looooooooooooong past any copyright coverage for the original composition (more modern arrangements would’ve been under copyright, but not the original). It’s just like “Silent Night”, or when you think of English playwrights writing plays based on the Nativity or Jesus’s death and resurrection (or even just having a character quote a Bible verse) they use the King James Version of the Bible because it was published in 1611 AD, and aside from its Royal Copyright in the UK, the King James is public domain in the rest of the world and anyone is free to use it.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Yet, Another Song qoutes GF Handel directly from The Messiah w/ different words!
And he plays, Bach, if I remember, Prelude in C Major under the jazz tune, From This Moment On, by Cole Porter; two musics that should’ve not worked together.
The depths here are just kinda unbelievable.
Yes, I forgot about that.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Richard was basing “Intermission” off of the “Crucifixius” by Antonio Lotti (b. 1667 AD d. 1740 AD), so by the 1960’s/70’s, “Crucifixius” was over 220 years old, looooooooooooong past any copyright coverage for the original composition (more modern arrangements would’ve been under copyright, but not the original). It’s just like “Silent Night”, or when you think of English playwrights writing plays based on the Nativity or Jesus’s death and resurrection (or even just having a character quote a Bible verse) they use the King James Version of the Bible because it was published in 1611 AD, and aside from its Royal Copyright in the UK, the King James is public domain in the rest of the world and anyone is free to use it.
Was I correct about 'Invocation?' Now, I'm not sure. 'Intermission', ('Crucifixus', Lottie), and the opening of 'Another Song', ('The Messiah', GF Handel), and the chords in 'Crescent Noon' have a similarity to those on Satie's 'Gymnopedie No 1', but now I'm not sure whether 'Invocation' is a totally original composition, or not.
 

Don Malcolm

Well-Known Member
I think we were very fortunate that the rush to create an LP once "Close to You" went to #1 required Richard to dip into the remaining Spectrum songbook. Otherwise, it's very possible that these unique manifestations of the evolving Carpenters' vocal sound might not have surfaced for a long time. At this point it is extremely difficult to imagine the CLOSE TO YOU LP without those songs, given that they show us "the depths" that Guitarmutt was referencing. "Crescent Noon" and "Another Song" might seem rather morose in the context of pop music, but they remind us of Richard's breadth of influence in those formative stages and just what kind of a musical prodigy he was.

And Karen was able to match him note for note on such songs, which have a kind of unearthly beauty that some associate with Renaissance polyphony. It was a fleeting stage in their career, but it's just more evidence of their singular talents.
 
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