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Your MIA

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by tomswift2002, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Okay, here's a thought, but if you could go back in time to when Karen & Richard were creating "Made In America" and take over the Producers role, out of the non-seasonal tracks that have been released since 1981, which ones would you have selected for Karen & Richard to finish and put on MIA.

    Remember you can only put a single-disc album out, and each side can hold no more than 30 minutes (the maximum for a LP). Also don't include "Trying To Get The Feeling Again, as it was still considered lost in 1981.
  2. kprather

    kprather Member

    Where Do I Go From Here definitely has a spot on the album, probably in place of Somebody's Been Lyin'. The soaring guitar solo is just what that album needed to wake it up.
    goodjeans likes this.
  3. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    i've posted this line up before but here you go. I'm a bit of stickler for details so I've kept the selection to songs recorded specifically for MIA in 1980.

    Those Good Old Dreams
    Uninvited Guest
    Kiss Me
    At the End of a Song
    Touch Me
    When it's Gone
    Rainbow Connection.


    Jeff likes this.
  4. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    2017 Version (this idea changes constantly in my mind:))

    Touch Me When We're Dancing
    Those Good Old Dreams
    Want You Back in My Life Again
    When It's Gone
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore

    Where Do I Go From Here
    Strength of a Woman
    Ordinary Fool
    Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night
  5. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I'd make the 24 cut MIA sessions a double CD set. Then take things like AND WHEN HE SMILES and pop it into CarpenterS. ORDINARY FOOL on Hush and so forth. Add the PASSAGE sessions together. The remnants of the "78" album. A cohesive MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC CD. I heard of members already doing this for some time.
    Mark-T likes this.
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Yes, we have.
  7. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    I like this lineup. Knowing that the Carpenters had at least considered "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress" and "I Don't Need You" for MIA, I'd probably insert them here (in lieu of "Now" and "Those Good Old Dreams", neither of which I'm that fond of). I think Karen could really have done a stellar vocal on "I Don't Need You" -- one of those vault items that I wish, if a vocal track was done, would see daylight.
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    If I was producing Made In America in 1981 I would have this line up for the album:

    Side 1

    Prime Time Love
    Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
    Don't Try To Win Me Back
    The Uninvited Guest
    If I Had You (but remix it so that it ended cold)
    Leave Yesterday Behind
    (Want You) Back In My Life Again
    Remember When Loving Took All Night
    The Rainbow Connection

    Side 2

    My Body Keeps Changing My Mind (aside from keeping Karen's lead track, and the opening drum line (but with added reverb and more stereo separation), I'd re-record the instruments and backing vocals, so that this was a very upbeat dance track, kind of like what Richard did in 1991, but eliminating the disco entirely)
    Beechwood 4-5789
    Looking For Love* (again a re-record, possible a Richard lead)
    I've Got Rhythm
    You're Just In Love (just as it appears on As Time Goes By, with Richard dueting with Karen)
    Touch Me When We're Dancing
    Slow Dance

    *if it was written I might even consider Something In Your Eyes with Richard on lead.

    Single Releases:

    Single #1 If I Had You/Don't Try To Win Me Back (this would be issued shortly after starting the project, as aside from some light editing, they are already ready to go)
    Single #2 I've Got Rhythm/Leave Yesterday Behind (to tie-into the Carpenters 1980 TV special)
    Single #3 My Body Keeps Changing My Mind/You're Just In Love (this would be released within the month prior to the album's release)
    Single #4 The Rainbow Connection/Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night
    Single #5 Touch Me When We're Dancing/Making Love In The Afternoon
    Single #6 Prime Time Love/Lovelines
    Single #7 Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore/The Uninvited Guest
    Single #8 (non-album single) Do You Hear What I Hear? (duet with Richard)/I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day (keep Karen's vocal track from 78, but re-record the instruments, including adding bells to the track)

    With Singles 5 & 8, the three tracks that were not on MIA would just be single-only tracks, with a possibility of hinting at what might come in the future, with the Christmas tracks being released somewhere around October/November 1980.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  9. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Interesting how we all have different preferences.

    Songs that I would definitely leave in, in rough order of preference, favourites up the top, would be:-
    Those Good Old Dreams
    I Believe You
    Because We Are In Love
    Somebody's Been Lying
    When It's Gone, (It's Just Gone)
    When You've Got What It Takes
    And, although it's rather sterile and soulless, 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' might just make the cut.

    'Beechwood', 'Back In My Life Again' and 'Strength Of a Woman' would be left out.

    I realise my list doesn't include any hits in particular, in terms of the types of songs that topped the charts in 1981, but I'm making a record that I would enjoy.

    Earlier recordings, although they might have sounded old and out of date by then, would have included:-
    Honolulu City Lights
    Where Do I Go From Here
    You're the One
    At The End of a Song
    Look To Your Dreams
    You're Enough
    The Uninvited Guest

    And a song that was actually recorded later:-
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  10. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="Brian, post: 166850, member: 2898"
    I would definitely leave in Those Good Old Dreams, I Believe You, Because We Are In Love, Somebody's Been Lying, When It's Gone, (It's Just Gone), When You've Got What It Takes, and, although it's rather sterile and soulless, 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' might just make the cut.

    'Beechwood', 'Back In My Life Again' and 'Strength Of a Woman' would be left out.

    I realise my list doesn't include any hits in particular, in terms of the types of songs that topped the charts in 1981, but I'm making a record that I would enjoy.

    Earlier recordings, although they might have sounded old and out of date by then, would have included:-
    Honolulu City Lights
    Where Do I Go From Here
    You're the One
    At The End of a Song
    Look To Your Dreams
    You're Enough
    The Uninvited Guest

    And a song that was actually recorded later:-

    I forgot 'The Rainbow Connection', 'Leave Yesterday Behind', with background vocals by Karen, not Richard, and 'Slow Dance'. They'd all be in.
  11. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    "MIA" is the biggest victim of bad song choices in the Carpenters' catalog. They had a great album there with everything they recorded; they just couldn't decide between the good tunes and the dross. The dross ended up on "MIA" and the good stuff ended up stuck on "Lovelines" and elsewhere. This is what I would have used from the stuff we know about:

    1. I Believe You
    2. Kiss Me the Way You Did Last Night
    3. You're The One
    4. The Uninvited Guest
    5. Touch Me When We're Dancing
    6. Where Do I Go from Here
    7. Strength of a Woman (with re-written lyric)

    Yeah, I'd stop there and ask for more material from them. Really, this is too ballad-heavy anyway. For all the stuff they recorded, they really didn't have an albums-worth of material that was compelling, IMHO.

  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    You're Enough was actually recorded during the same session as Now. So You're Enough was not around in 1981.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My version of MIA would remove three:
    Want You Back, Somebody's Been Lyin....replaced with: Two Lives , Kiss Me, Uninvited Guest....
    I would re-arrange (as I have in my mind's eye) nearly every other song.
    (e.g., Because We Are In Love stays put, but with an entirely stripped down arrangement).
    A lyric change to Strength Of A Woman might just work.
    I Believe You also gets a lyric alteration, along with beefed-up arrangement.
    All choirs/chorus backgrounds are removed.
    Only Karen and Richard background vocals retained.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  14. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Toss out Strength Of A Woman and replace with You're The One (brilliant Karen vocal). Likewise, toss out Beechwood and replace with Ordinary Fool. Yes, side 2 would be a little ballad heavy, but Beechwood was a "stiff"; as Richard would put it.
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    The other thing that I've noticed with the Carpenters pre-1974 albums and their post-1974 albums it that Richard really moved into the background, whereas on their early albums, like A Song For You, we still got a couple of Richard tracks (such as Flat Barouque, Piano Picker, Heather, Deadman's Curve, Nowaday's Clancy Can't even sing, Saturday, I Kept On Loving You) on each album, which is something that I think was missing on their later albums. Even with the singles we got Rainy Days And Mondays/Saturday, Close To You/I Kept On Loving You, It's Going To Take Sometime/Flat Barouque, Top Of The World/Heather, Sing/Druscilla Penny, Ticket To Ride/Your Wonderful Parade where side 1 was a Karen lead and the side 2 was a Richard vocal or instrumental lead. Even the single Goodbye To Love/Crystal Lullaby featured a song that could be called a duet with Crystal Lullaby. And I think that that is something that is missing from the later, less successful albums and singles. You had a true group effort during the early days, and then once 1974 hit, aside from a few tracks on Christmas Portrait, the other albums are basically Karen Carpenter solos with Richard just as a backing vocalist.

    So in my list that's why I put You're Just In Love and Looking For Love/Something In Your Eyes, with Richard as lead, since I think the later albums are really missing that, and I think that something that Richard realized when he released As Time Goes By (even Lovelines I would've replaced You're The One & Little Girl Blue with either an older Richard lead, or had Richard record an all new song(s)), since ATGB has the most Richard leads since Now & Then in terms of the studio albums (he duets with Karen on Without A Song & You're Just In Love, and then he has solo lead on Dizzy Fingers, Close Encounters/Star Wars & Carpenters/Como Medley).
  16. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Richard stopped leading because Karen was the main attraction to them for most. Few care about "arrangements" or "production" and know what either of those terms mean. They do know Karen's voice and it's that voice that made Carpenters successful. He knew that fact better than anyone so after a few records, he knew to stop singing and let Karen do all of it. At best, he was a decent singer. He could be thin, powerless, and boring at his worst. Karen was almost always perfection.

    I'm no Richard hater but she was his bread and butter.

  17. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    My three wishes: I would have wanted a 1979 release if I had my wish and it would include Richard working with Phil Ramone. On the list would be all the Carpenters 1978 Music that was shelved and a lower key of Something’s Missing, and It’s Really You, and the other solo of Still Crazy After All These Years and Guess I’ve Just Lost My Head, If I Had You and If We Try as all of those are the most innocent of the solo selections. Then in 1980, I would wish for the Music Music Music soundtrack, including Somebody’s Been Lying and When I Fall in Love and a full version of Coming Through the Rye and Dance in the Old Fadhioned Way, then in 1981, I would wish for a new direction but would include Touch Me When Were Dancing and Something In Your Eyes, Love Makin Love To You, and Last One Singing The Blues from the solo work. And, of course through all of this I would include as a given that Karen would still be alive on earth and singing with her own family to share with Richard’s.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I'd disagree, as their most successful albums were the ones where the appeared as a group, and as so many point out, A Song For You is probably their best known studio album and it featured 3 tracks with Richard as lead or sharing lead.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I liked some of his early leads, but that's probably down to the fact that I'm nostalgic about those early albums.
    Brian likes this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I must say, regards arrangements:
    Generally, I am a huge fan of Richard's arrangements,
    on the flip side of the coin, however,
    these songs were arranged by Peter Knight (first five) and Billy May (last two):
    Home For The Holidays
    Little Altar Boy
    Do You Hear What I Hear ?
    What Are You Doing New Year's Eve ?
    I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
    He Came Here For Me
    I Can Dream Can't I (Billy)

    And, some of those songs--as,above--are some of Karen's finest vocals ever !

    Brian likes this.
  21. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    As fans, we have devoted opinions as Stephen mentioned. But I have to agree that it was Karen who brought in the money. Although Richard was the genius behind Close To You, it was Karen with the voice that sold the product. They were a great team. Karen once said something to the point that they could look at each other and know how to proceed. So in making the record it took both, but selling the record was Karen and the stacked vocals that became their signature sound. It was that overwhelming harmonic structure to which Karen made it sellable that created the success of A Song For You. In other words, since her voice was the focus, if people did not like her sound the product would not have sold. In 1974 she was the most internationally recognized singer to which just three words needed sung for her voice to be recognized. I read this tidbit from many sources. I wish I could remember them all so I could footnote it to its proper source. Even Richard knew she was the focus and built their entire career around her. That being said, it was his magic that created the Carpenters sound. The entire Winter tour of 1975 was cancelled and fans understood for they wanted Karen, the voice to their heart, to recover. That patience of fans was rewarded to Karen and Richard in 1976 with record breaking concert success. To fans, they were both loved. To the buying public that instantly moved them into superstardom with Close To You, it was Karen, for the public had no idea at that point as to Richard's involvement. To this day, I have always felt that if Something In Your Eyes had her vocals it would have been their next hit! And, it is Richard's song. They were an inseparable team. Had Karen lived, I feel their creative energy would have indivualized naturally, for nothing stays the same, and good artists evolve and recreate constantly, but the focus of appreciation would have always been those magic years and the product of the Carpenters is what people treasure most!
  22. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    A bit off topic, but I find it curious that Richard gave up his part of Love Is Surrender to Karen;"Shout about love and the wars will all end..." Noticed it first in the 1971 BBC Special and in all the early concert footage that I have seen. As I recall, Richard didn't sing lead at all in that BBC program. It seems he could have done I Kept On Loving You since they were doing material from the "Close To You" album. They were considered a team at that point in time, sharing the vocal spotlight, but I think even at that early stage in their careers Richard was starting to back away from singing lead. He read the tea leaves. The vocal magnificence of Karen sold the records.
    Brian and ThaFunkyFakeTation like this.
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Richard's vocals were heavily double tracks and laden with effects on most of the songs from the first three albums. On Live At The BBC, he probably avoided singing live as his voice would have sounded thin. That may be why they mimed the whole Bacharach/David medley as well.
  24. JayJayVA

    JayJayVA Active Member

    I was in high school when Made In America was released. Back then, we were allowed to have "boom boxes" at school during P.E. I remember "Touch Me When We're Dancing" came on --and a girl said "turn that, you can't even dance to it".
    Maybe some more funky dance hits would have been appropriate for the album.
    Top Singles from Summer/Fall 1981:
    • Bette Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes)
    • Stars on 45-Medley (Stars on 45)
    • Urgent (Foreigner)
    • Jesse's Girl (Rick Springfield)
    • Elvira (Oak Ridge Boys)
    • Endless Love (Diana Ross/Lionel Richie)
    • Don't Stop Believin' (Journey)
    • Physical (Olivia Newton John) - (released Oct,1981)
    • Private Eyes (Hall & Oates)
  25. Ugh -- what a wasteland popular music was in the early '80s (except for Elvira -- I kinda liked that one... )

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