Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Mark-T, Jun 9, 2014.
Does anyone know if he is working on it? If so, will we see anything previously unreleased?
I wouldn't hold my breath on it, remember his last interview, "all done"
I take that he is now officially retired from all things Carpenters. That interview was also after the 2014 DSD mastering of the SHM Singles 69-73, so I take it that is it.
However, if something were to come about...I'd look to Japan to release something for 50th, maybe Richard will throw out a bonus unreleased track to Japan for that collection.
I wish, Chris!
it's hard to fathom that he doesn't have digital backups for the master recordings.
I would surely hope that such a milestone of a career should warrant a 50 year anniversary celebration. We've had just about everything you can think of so it would have to be really special. Maybe he should break out some of those old videos or write a book. Anything to celebrate one of the most popular groups of all time!!! Personally, I would love to hear some of the songs he didn't remix get that treatment and complete all the remixes for those of us who love the remixes. There are a few I would love to hear!!!
I'm all for ABC TV Special Highlights and outtakes.
I'll take anything new at this point!
We are a desperate bunch, huh??
I'm with Mark!!
The recent Richard Carpenter interview, when he responds with "..all done", certainly sounds definitive.
I am still puzzled/perplexed/wondering as to what material has been irretrievably destroyed in the Universal fire.
Richard is an intelligent, thoughtful, individual and he would realize that those words ,"all done",
would reverberate throughout Carpenters' "fandom" .
And, thus I take him at his word(s).
It seems as if (and this is speculating) the fire did destroy all extent (first generation tapes) recordings,then
that would be an enormous loss to him personally--after all, his life work is destroyed (irrespective of the financial loss incurred).
If this be the case, I hope Universal had to fork over many,many millions of dollars to Richard for such a loss.
And, too, it may have saddened him to such an extent that he no longer has the desire to pursue a Carpenters-related
anniversary project (with digitally extant material) and is happier to simply remain fully retired.
I, for one, am still a bit shaken over the abruptness of "all done";I mean, he did not even stop to thing about any " what if's"
or "maybe's" (for the 50th Anniversary,say).
It was very matter of fact.
It sounded final.
It sounded sad.
Thankfully, we have what there is to have.
For some reason I seem to remember he went in to do the SHM-SACD mastering a few weeks after our interview - early February or something like that? When I asked him if there was anything that hadn't been released, I was referring to "previously unreleased", and knew he would understand that. That's where he was coming from. Either way regarding the latest SACD, that was to work on a repackaging of existing stuff...nothing "new" per se.
Well sometimes this stuff sounds confusing, because when someone thinks of a master being destroyed, they think of one song. Unfortunately, because of the way album projects are recorded, there are often times several tracks on one master tape - indicating a more significant loss to the artist if one tape turns up missing or ends up being destroyed. So for instance, if the tape containing (They Long To Be) Close To You gets sent to California for temporary storage until whatever time it is needed again, that tape also contains several other recordings from the album. In this case, possibly I Kept On Loving You and Help (Help is actually located on the orchestration contract along with these two songs). Here is the rhythm track session contract:
Anyway, point being - a large part of their catalog on the first-generation tapes could be gone.
As far as the rest of your comment Gary, it is my personal belief that Richard is burnt and burned out. Aside from the Universal fire situation, he's also had his entire personal family backstory and life exposed thru the recent bio on Karen (a wonderful read BTW), and he's had many things exchanged and/or sold illegally bootleg over the last 20 years. I just think he's over it. He's given all he's got and probably feels like he's had his shirt ripped off his back to some extent. Nothing he's done has been or will ever be enough for die-hard fans, so now he's thinking of himself. Just my $.02
While the loss of the master tapes is unfortunate, I don't see it as "his life's work was destroyed." There are literally millions of copies all over the world of the music he created. And that music has touched and will continue to touch millions of people for many years to come. His life's work and legacy lives on regardless of the existence of the original multi-tracks.
As far as compensating Richard for the loss, I doubt he would have received any money from this situation since the masters (and by that I mean the copyrights of the actual recordings) are technically owned by Universal. While Richard has contractual control over their use, he doesn't have ownership of them (to the best of my knowledge).
I understand, and appreciate your point, Actorman.
May I simply add that, in the field in which I have some small "expertise" (antiquarian physics monographs),
even though there are hundreds of thousands of "copies" of Isaac Newton's masterwork "Principia" in reprint form,
the very few extant copies of the true first edition(1687) would be a huge loss to humanity/history were they destroyed.
And, if Sir Isaac Newton had arrived home one day in the late 1600s to find his home in flames, and his original manuscript
destroyed by the fire, he would not necessarily be absolved from feeling despondent merely because various reprints of the work were in circulation.
True enough, copies of Carpenters' recordings "live on", regardless of what was destroyed of the originals.
And, those "copies" are plenty enough for consumers/fans to listen to and enjoy.
That does not imply that the original artist would not feel a profound sense of loss.
Originals are Originals, nothing can alter that fact.
As for Richard Carpenter and UMG, I do not understand whereby any of us are privy to the business/financial relationship
that exists between them. Who knows?
Ahh, I thought the SHM mastering was done before the interview....in any case, it doesn't make sense why he didn't mention this project, even if it didn't contain new material, it was still a project the fans would have been interested in hearing what he was doing.
Regarding the bootleg material....tell me an artist that is not affected with all things bootleg? I'm not saying it's ok but like Richard said what is he going to do about it? I really doubt that he is that worried about bootleg material as he says he tried not to think about it. Still at this point in his life, even if there were no bootleg material ever made of Carpenters, I think he would still be in the same position. Carpenters releases still bring in some kind of money, look at all the compilations over the years Richard has been involved in especially in Japan, you can't tell me that didn't bring in some money. So the market is still there for renewed growth and interest. I wish more SACD 5.1 multi channel CD's has been made.
I was just thinking after you wrote that you believe it's just that he is burned out...I was thinking about Olivia and she is 65 yrs old and Richard being what 67? they are almost the same age and look at Olivia still going strong as an artist, out in the public eye, she has kept up a steady concert schedule over the past 10-15 yrs and now all over the news with her vegas gig, granted she doesn't release new material as much as she once did but I don't think she is going to stop recording music. She just released a hotel sessions CD for the fans of material recorded in the past. She is still very much active in her life with her cancer research and she's just having fun in her life now.
I love hearing that Richard wants to spend more time with his family but that doesn't mean he should give up his talent in producer, arranger etc...I think it's possible he could do family and work, if it interested him.
I feel that if I got anything out of that interview it was relishing the time he spoke about all the technical stuff about how things worked and how he described them, the creative process. The 2nd thing I got was that he sounded good but also sounded really tired (vocally speaking). Thirdly, I took away that we "finally" got an interview where Richard says he's done so I think this is the end of the road for anything ever being released further that he is involved in. We have no more guessing or wishing, done is done. That is not to say Japan won't release some more comp sets.
Since Richard has stayed in the Carpenters legacy all these years and it's now really over....The only item I really wished he had released was a CD/DVD combo of Christmas Portrait. If what Mr. J said is true about CP being their best selling album, Richard should go out with a bang and select video clips from their Christmas Specials and create a CD/DVD combo in limited run...what a perfect way to not only make more money for Carpenters but also to honor Karen one last time for her work on Christmas Portrait.
That's true, but those are finished versions. What could have been destroyed are the multi-track masters, meaning it would now be impossible to have the original version of just the vocals, say, or just the keyboards. I'd assume there MUST be backups of these things out there, but who knows?
Did you all hear the interview with Hal Blaine and Joe Osborn that was on "The Download" podcast last October? They talked a bit about Richard's long-talked about new Christmas albums. The major points being:
1. The music is all new songs written by Carpenter/Bettis.
2. Richard found a new vocalist in Nashville but he needed to "make sure" that she didn't sound anything like Karen.
3. The arrangements and so on are very complicated. Joe Osborn said he practiced for the sessions, even though he usually never practices for sessions.
4. It took fore3ver just to get the first track done, but they eventually got ten tracks completed, and Richard is "working on the vocals now" (Joe said).
5. The songs are all vocals, no instrumentals.
This is a totally inept question to even consider.Richard wouldn't be thinking about a compilation release five or six years in advance. And,that is,if Richard is still living in five or six years when the 50th anniversary rolls around.
The 45th anniversary is coming up-and that would be something that Richard would be possibly be thinking about-as far as a compilation release.
There will not be any previously unreleased recordings issued(or further remixes)-ever.As Richard said in the January interview,he's "All Done."
There are digital master tapes for every Carpenters recording in release.Anything that has been released on CD has been transferred to digital master tapes.
Whatever might have been lost in that Universal fire,they would have been original analog master tapes.Every Carpenters album has been transferred to digital master tapes-there is no loss of Carpenters recordings.Anything that has been issued on CD is digitally preserved.
The problems arises when there are original analog recordings that have never been issued on CD.If those original master tapes are destroyed,then those recordings are doomed-because if it hasn't been issued on CD,then it's never going to be.
There is no "abruptness" of Richard's declaration "all done".He stated after the release of "As Time Goes By" that there would be no further unreleased recordings.
Roget's Thesaurus: Abrupt....Blunt
Webster's Dictionary:Blunt.....Being straight to the point...direct
Now, I ask you, MrJ., how is my use of that term in my post inaccurate?
And again, when talking about having backups to something just because it goes to CD - YES, when referring to the 2-channel stereo mixes. It has to go to digital before it can be reproduced, so there are countless digital backups in that regard. However, the original 8, 16 and 24-track 1" and 2" first-generation masters are in question. Assuming those multi tracks were copied, then there's no problem. THAT'S where the loss would be, not in the former.
I hate to say it, but I'm gonna push back on this a little. First off, are you saying that because Richard and Universal still profit from the Carpenters catalog, that in essence it's okay to steal a little here, a little there, since they won't really feel the weight of it? Don't get me wrong, I've certainly traded a track or two - even though I technically own every single track every recorded, mixed, remixed etc that has been released officially (unreleased bootlegs excepted).
All I'm saying is, there isn't a single wise business person on the planet, corporate or individual that ever goes into an expenditure with the mindset of "Hey, I know they're gonna steal it once I put it on the shelf, so let's put it out and just hope we make what we can?". Just doesn't work that way. The record companies (especially nowadays) just don't look at it that way. Richard was raised to be a smart manager of finances, as was Karen. I would bet my life that the money lost on bootlegs with respect to their catalog is in the 7-digits. Granted it has generated truckloads of revenue. Still, (and to reference your last point above), I know Richard is burned out. His sole purpose on this planet wasn't to think of the millions of fans they had, yet he still has for decades since Karen's passing. I just think he's done, and he should be, regardless of whether or not I (like many of us) would love to hear just one more new, unreleased track.
Supposing I could hear from Karen about the unreleased material Richard is done with. If she said 'done' then I'd acquiesce. If she thought pursuit would only interrupt moments of recliner time for her big brother and he was just being lazy then up and atom boy! Clear those damn shelves at the raging fans ' behest'. This is just a 30 plus year way of stifling Karen once more. His ego won't allow anything beyond the bare minimum and while many are forever ingratiated to RC for post CarpenterS releases I don't think he's really knocked himself out going beyond anything that might rattle his wallet or nap time. Poor R my foot! Karen's legacy is just that. Karen's legacy. It is the survivors responsibility to carry, nurture and promote that honorably ad infinitum. Not recognizing the entire repertoire is just that. No recognition. Not to be contained miserly or with undo megalomania. Her talent was presented and she loved sharing it. Who is to say Karen share no more? No more anything. The same person(s) who dictated her works all the way to the bank from the get go. Clearly this behavior is alive and well lasting long after Karen's passing. When she could turn a big buck back in the day it was go go girl. Now with residuals so-so seems she's out to pasture. I'll never be convinced there is not some deep psycho sumpin sumpin afoot. May sympathy abound cuz Karen aint talkin'.
Jeff...in her corner @ am.
^^No, I didn't mean that at all.
All I was trying to say was that all artist struggle with bootlegs but I don't think that should be a reason for artist to say I'm no longer going to release any more official recordings because I'm upset by all the bootlegs floating around. That's all I was trying to say. When I talked about Carpenters making money off their albums, I was referring to the official comps not the bootleg material (I should have made another paragraph) When I said, even if there were no bootleg material ever made of Carpenters, I think he would still be in the same position. I meant to say, the fans would be in the same position (sorry typo) (not he)......the material would have never have surfaced and Richard would never have released it. I wasn't speaking of the money aspect but just of the material itself.
Sorry I was typing too fast and not checking my words.
ahh I need to break from this place, posting way too much...checking out for while...
LOL I have to admit I chuckled a little...and great post...Hahaha! Well I've met a lot of people who have lost those they've cherished to the enth degree, and none have I met that ever did anything CLOSE to what Richard has in terms of carrying on his sister's legacy. So...with that, I'll close
And all, please forgive me, as this post is a response to MrJ., who (perhaps??) takes umbrage at my discourse:
Please take the time to verify your facts in response to my post, as I make every attempt to provide documentation for my claims.
(I sincerely make every effort to provide honest, factual information--as, my intent is to inform, not to mislead).
I have no problem, whatsoever, with being called out to task if I make an error or provide false data.
Feel free, all, to correct me---I only ask that the correction be done in a manner which preserves integrity for us both.
To wit, the following quote from Richard, April 2009,
RC: "Between going through not only my photos, but those from the A&M archives, exhaustive. I did find a few I hadn't seen before, and had copies made;
dated for posterity or...just in case...the 50th!"
That quote from Richard, is what gave me pause to think that there might have been more.(obviously, for the 50th!)
Very rarely do I find it necessary to resort to pure speculation. (And, if I do speculate, I preface my posting with that caveat.)
But, as I have stated previously, I have no privileged access to the truth and all of my information is from the secondary literature;
that which is readily available to me (as well as to others, for perusal).
Thanks, all, for taking the time to read, and respond, to any of my postings.
It is always appreciated.
Furthermore, I appreciate the thoughtfulness with which other members expend in their own prelection.
A visual representation of much of what Richard has worked on since Karen's passing:
...plus all of the CD releases of the main albums over the years. In addition to all of that is his work with Scott Grimes, Akiko, Veronique Beliveau, and t.A.T.u.
Go on and tell me that this man (Richard) has not kept alive the legacy of Carpenters.
I, for one, am tired of the pissing contest ("umbrage," "abrupt," and "inept questions," etc). I hate to sound like a broken record, but I am in favor of focusing on what unites, rather than what divides, us.