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Work Lead/Demo

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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
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I'm sorta suprised at how many times I saw the words Demo & Work Lead on the new Carpenters Gold 35th Anniv 2 CD set.

Seeing that this is being promoted alot for the public, I always thought that the demos' & the work leads were basically for the fans not really the general public.

Do you think that Richard has all the raw demos & work leads in their original state saved on a master tape somewhere? I'd love to hear these in there raw "untouched state"

Here are the songs were the word "Work Lead" or "Demo" is listed on this new set:

Leave Yesterday Behind
Your Baby Doesn't Love you Anymore
Rainbow Connection
California Dreaming
Make Believe Its Your First Time (revision was made & a track recorded with Karen's work lead)
Trying to Get the Feeling Again


*In addition, can a work lead also be a demo? Karen could have done a work lead vocally 1 time & still be considered a demo track?
 

PJ

Member
Work Lead / Demo are today used as similar terms for unissued tracks -perhaps Richard has his own definitions of both terms ?

Richard has thousands of various Carpenters, Solo, Trio & Spectrum tracks within his home library / archive -Ray Coleman confirmed this at UK convention -he attended in 1994 after publication of his Carpenters Bio.....so Richard could put together various types of different releases -remixes , original masters , mono cuts , singles edits , tracks with and without lead or backing tracks etc ....plus he can relisten to Carpenters & Solo outtakes and decide whether to work further on some future unissued material :cool:

Often surprised that Richard -often accused of not listening to fans requests -decided to complete The Rainbow Connection -despite Karen's stated dislike of this song ....as there were many others Richard worked on during 1999-2000 period for possible release :o

Still....Karen did not favour Superstar or Solitaire .....great performances ....imagine if Richard had listened to Karen and not completed these songs ..... :shock:

Peter
 

Rudy

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Staff member
Site Admin
Chris-An Ordinary Fool said:
Seeing that this is being promoted a lot for the public, I always thought that the demos' & the work leads were basically for the fans not really the general public.
Properly used in studio lingo:

A demo is a version of a song someone may have recorded to cassette, reel, whatever, in order to present a rough idea of their song to the band, musicians, producers and engineers who are recording the final version.

A work lead is just a rough vocal or instrumental part that is recorded as a "guide" so the accompanying instrumentalists can keep their place when recording their parts.

Although I'm certain in today's warped marketing lingo, these terms are misused. Either way, they were never intended to be in a final released product. Even though there are rare instances of a demo being released with "sweetening", as a rule they were not intended for public consumption. (The Tijuana Brass song "What Now My Love" is the actual demo of the song--they never could reproduce the "feel" of the demo, so they just added to it and released it as-is.)
 

davidgra

Active Member
There's another distinction in the terms "work lead" and "demo" that seems to have gotten lost over the decades.

A "demo" was originally the term for a recording made to sell the song to the label/producer/artist/etc. Karen and Richard made "demos" in the 1960's to shop their work around to record labels, and therefore a song like "California Dreamin'" would technically be a "demo." They found "Rainy Days and Mondays" in a stack of demos that had been submitted to A&M Records; the "demo" for "Rainy Days" was probably performed by Paul Williams himself, or by session musicians and singers. A demo is never intended for any further purpose other than to sell the song.

A "work lead" is the beginning of the recording process. The artist has selected the song to record and makes a rough recording of it, mainly for tempo and to give the other musicians something they can listen to in order to familiarize themselves with it. It's the first step in the process to completing a track.

Generally, established artists have little need for "demos," unless they are writing their own material and submitting it to their producers or labels for consideration for future albums. Some artists record "demos" just to try out how a song sounds when it's committed to tape.

The flip side is that a lot of professional singers don't record "work leads." Sometimes the producers bring in session singers to record the initial vocal track, then the rest of the song is built around that, and at the end of the process the "artist" comes in and lays down the final vocal track. I seem to remember that Paula Abdul was sued by a session singer who claimed that her "work lead" was actually blended with Paula Abdul's voice on a song in order to make it sound better.

So Richard's distinction between "work leads" and "demos" actually makes sense. In the early years, the Carpenters were recording "demos" because they were trying to get a record deal. After they had a record deal, they were recording "work leads" for songs they later intended to finish for release.

David
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Thread Starter
davidgra said:
So Richard's distinction between "work leads" and "demos" actually makes sense. In the early years, the Carpenters were recording "demos" because they were trying to get a record deal. After they had a record deal, they were recording "work leads" for songs they later intended to finish for release.

David
Nicely put, that makes sense.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
PJ

Were you at the convention with Coleman in Ware, Herts in 1994.

I was there. A mere 16. and also attended one in London, either in '93 or '95.

Maybe I spoke with you.

He offered to give me and a couple of others a ride back to the station. We declined, had a taxi on the way, but a nice guy.

I was sad to hear of his passing a couple of years later.


Neil
 

PJ

Member
Hi Neil,

Yes -we met at that convention and two more I believe.... :)

Will send you a private message next week -when less busy at work.....
if that happens soon :!:

Peter
 
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