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Will Richard Follow Elton John's Lead?

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
As with a lot of box sets, the biggest attraction for the Elton set for me is the book. It comes with a pretty thick book. (Same with the recent Herb Alpert box.) Elton's box is coming with a full collection of his single B-sides, which after he got "big" were almost always unreleased anywhere else. So that's an attraction for me too, as some of those B-sides are really good and have only been previously heard on scratchy 45s.

I suppose the reason he did this set is, he figured he already has about a dozen other box sets and compilations out that most everyone in the universe has by now, so it was time to go the "To Be Continued" box one better.

I would welcome a new Carpenters box set that included more rarities...and of course, a pretty thick book! But, the biggest problem is, as stated, there's just not that much left on the shelf.

I had an idea once where Richard could strip out all the instruments, and then arrange himself a new piano track, so it would be just him and Karen, just piano and vocals. He could embellish the original piano parts to "fill in" some of the bits that the orchestra, or other instruments, would normally play. But, as has been stated, his real strength and passion is orchestrations and arrangements, and he's not likely to cut all that away and then release the results.
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
... Not sure why everyone is expected to agree with you though.
I really, honestly thought almost all of you would. I'm surprised and disappointed that you don't. But, I haven't changed my opinion. I'll just buck up and move on to other matters now - for awhile.
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Mark-T, off topic, I know but where else can I tell you that I really like your avatar too. One of her best pics - really sexy! That girl in the hayloft with the eyes you could fall into...she could have had her way with me...no wonder so many guys who knew her fell in love with her.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Mark-T, off topic, I know but where else can I tell you that I really like your avatar too. One of her best pics - really sexy! That girl in the hayloft with the eyes you could fall into...she could have had her way with me...no wonder so many guys who knew her fell in love with her.
Thanks! It’s from the Anthology music book. Murray sent it to me after I recalled seeing it once long ago. I’ve posted it on my blog several times because people like it so much.
 

Randy M

Well-Known Member
If you listen to some of those amateur YouTube posts where fans have removed the background vocals using various software techniques, the songs just don’t sound complete and the absence of all the embellishments is glaring: the whole point of those overdubs was to complement the lead, create those lush chords and “complete” the overall sound. Those Karen [and Richard] overdubs were a huge part of their signature sound and absolutely intrinsic to the way the songs were built, so I agree with others that he’s not about to start stripping them away and messing around with a legacy that he probably feels is now perfect. It would be like asking an architect to remove the front wall of his dream home after he’s finished building it, just so some nosy neighbours can have a gawp at the inside.

I think the dream scenario you’re referring to - having an artist revisit their catalogue and recreate (or perform) stripped back or acoustic versions - is only achievable as long as that artist is still alive. Many veteran artists have done it with great success and acclaim, but I’ve seldom (if ever) heard of it being done by going back to an artist’s original multitracks posthumously and simply removing everything else, because those tracks were built in such a way that all the vocal parts and instruments were dependant on each other to achieve that sound. Because all we have left is the original recordings, there would be no way to convincingly reinterpret or reimagine the material with the original artist gone.

Ironically, aside from a couple of tracks on Made In America, the only songs where I think Karen’s incredible voice is buried are some of those on the original solo album - and that’s coming from someone who is a huge fan of it.
Carly Simon did that with her album Never Been Gone. It was refreshing and somewhat like the Unplugged albums from years ago. She was - an still is - alive and had control over the sessions. I believe they were mostly informal "at home" recordings; there are a few cringe-worthy moments. It was interesting when I read the reviews. The negative reviews were mostly complaints that the songs didn't sound like the studio versions. Damned if you do & damned if you don't.
 
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