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Your Navy Presents (again)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Harry, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    This is such a cool look into how much fun they were at the beginning. They sounded loose and downright gonzo at times. Great stuff!

    jaredjohnfisher likes this.
  2. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I just listened, again to this! This sounds like a recorded ‘live’ version of their road tour that year. Karen sounds so intoxicating and her and Doug Strawn sound great together. Karen’s drums even help the arrangements sparkle with freshness and the tight sound created by them all seem incredible for such a young group. They even sound excited as they sing and play. This is the fresh innocent appeal that I hear in The Australian 1972 tour. I especially like Clancy and Ticket on here and I am surprised by that for they are not always in my favorites catagory. All of them are especially tuned to each other when singing and Karen’s voice floats through the air as a dove and melt together with the others during the harmony. She was the consummate lead singer. They must have got a kick out the Morton’s Potatochip commercial cut later that year for it does describe their sound in dramatic detail so clear you can hear the crispness and special taste of the chip. I don’t think the phrase I’m the little lady would mesh these days but rock/on pop jazz group of 1970! I think I’m going to re-listen to re-live the fresh contagious sound again. After all, you can’t eat just one and you can’t listen just once.
    Brian and newvillefan like this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Karen's drumming here is fantastic.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    These are an absolute joy to listen to. The standout moments for me:

    1. The segue between Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing and All I Can Do.
    2. The performance of All Of My Life, which is every bit as charming as the studio version. This performance got me comparing it with what Richard is listening to at 6m20s in the video below. I don’t think they’re the same thing. So what is Richard listening to here - the original demo?

    Carpe diem and Brian like this.
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I thought it said that he is listening to a Sprctrum demo used to send to record companies, made in 1967, before it was just Karen and Richard. Three of the live musicians for the Carpenters were three of the Spectrum voices. Is that right?
  6. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    It does sound similar in the song you point out but maybe they taped their 1970 rehearsals for the live shows and it came from that? Or, maybe it was recorded from a live show with studio edits? I never thought they were using 3 year old demos. Karen sounds like her 20 year old 1970 voice and not the 17 year old voice as in the tapes. And the drums have more kick than the demos. But it’s all from listening observations that even give me questions as I was not there. And it sounds fresher than in Offering, but I am not sure. It is uncanny how the harmonies almost sound exactly the same and it could be part demo, but I would think as perfectionists they were well rehearsed by this point and could duplicate it live.
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I don’t think for a second they used a 1967 demo for Your Navy Presents, I was wondering more what the source was for the tape that Richard hooked up in that video. Did they record the track as a demo for circulation to record companies prior to forming Carpenters? If so I wasn’t aware of that. The only demos I knew they did were Don’t Be Afraid, Your Wonderful Parade and Invocation.
  8. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Ah, I see! Well, I think the one he was listening to was when they were Spectrum. It was so long ago I would think that those remembering could even get confused, not just us trying to piece a timeline together! Thanks for the clarification! In their first year, before all the hits, I like their live jazz influenced sound. With all the soft hits that followed I am happy with Karen as featured in the focus of Horizon forward. Karen’s voice just seemed to flower through the years.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2018
    newvillefan and Brian like this.
  9. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I agree with Craig. I think that Richard is listening to an original Spectrum demo.

    Although we've probably only read that Carpenters sent 'Don't Be Afraid', 'Your Wonderful Parade' and 'Invocation' in on their demos, (because that's the set that hooked Herb Alpert on them at A&M), it's possible that they sent slightly different track listings to different record companies.

    I really enjoyed watching this clip again. You can really see the passion that Richard has for that music even after all those years. You can see the excitement with which he sets up that old multi-track recorder. You can sense the connection that he still has with those old recordings. Listening to those demos seems to bring it all back to him.

    Thanks for reminding me of this segment, Newvillefan. It's really nice, (and interesting), to watch.
  10. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    A little trivia - back in the 60s and 70s, recording artists in 'small' countries like Australia would learn of big hits in the larger music markets and quickly record and release their own versions, before the originals reached their shores. Typically, hits from England or America would reach us three or four months after they'd been released in their home countries. Thus, Colleen Hewett managed to record and release a version of 'Superstar' in the window period before Carpenters' version arrived on the market. Collen Hewett's version became a hit, while Carpenters' recording didn't.

    Different versions would also be 'tied' on the charts at the same position. In regard to 'Cinderella Rockefella', which Karen and Richard recorded on 'Your Navy Presents', a local version by Melboune act Anne and Johnny Walker climbed the charts in 1969, tied to the version by Esther and Abi Ofarim. Also released here at the time were versions by Charade and The Executives.

    It was the version by Anne and Johnny Hawker that I enjoyed on the radio as a child, though. (I don't remember any of the other versions).

    I agree that Karen and Doug sound good singing the song and their on-stage antics, as seen in the 1972 Australian concert footage, were entertaining.

    By the way, it is probable that the lyrics, when written, were intended to channel, (with tongue in cheek), the imagined fairytale existence of the wealthy socialite family, The Rockefellers. Nelson Rockefeller was governor of New York at the time that the song came about and the family remains one of the world's wealthiest, I believe.

    Here's Anne and Johnny Walker's version of 'Cinderella Rockefella'.

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  11. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    2. The performance of All Of My Life, which is every bit as charming as the studio version.

    Agree completely with your observation, newvillefan. I've loved Karen's performance on this song since I first heard it, which I believe was on The Karen Carpenter Story soundtrack. This live performance doesn't miss a beat.
    Brian likes this.
  12. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I'm amazed how close to the originals Karen sometimes sounded 'live', especially considering she was also drumming.

    I like the fact that she played bass as well as drums on the original studio recording of 'All Of My Life'.
  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Oh My Goodness!!!
    What a hoot that was..never heard that one before...the song is the perfect example of how I could listen to Karen sing anything. lol I still like the Carpenters version...with all the added background strange sounds is it really any different than say the song Man Smart, Woman Smarter where they brought out the kitchen sink of sounds?
    Brian likes this.
  14. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Glad you enjoyed it, Rick! I actually used to prick up my ears as a young boy when that one came on the radio because I recognised the fun in the honky-tonk, music-hall / busker style. This version is very close to Esther and Abe Ofarim's original.

    By the way, I kept referring to Johnny Hawker as 'Johnny Walker', above. It must have been the tipsy-sounding lilt in Anne Hawker's voice. :)
  15. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I got my facts a bit wrong there. Collen Hewett's version of 'Superstar' peaked at 32 a few months before Carpenters' version peaked at 35. So both versions were minor hits here.
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Yeah moments ago I just watched Esther & Abe Ofarim's CINDERELLA ROCKEFELLA (london 68 footage) talk about nostalgia. I then watched Esther & Abi Ofarim - Morning Of My Life (1967) Barry Gibb's song, she sure had a nice voice. I have to confess though that I've never heard of these people. :hide: Thanks for the link. :righton:
    Brian likes this.
  17. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    No worries.

    I don't remember ever hearing Esther Ofarim either. I agree that she has a nice voice. Another artists whose recordings I'll now be tracking down, probably.
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    You’re welcome :). There are two parts in this video I find unbearably sad to watch, one is the part where the camera is focused closely on his face as he listens to the tape and the other is the opening of Yesterday Once More. Hearing it played on piano only makes me realise what a sad, melancholic melody it actually is.
    Brian and CraigGA like this.
  19. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    That’s the song that turned me into a hard core Carpenters fan. I shared with everyone I knew and proclaimed how talented and beautiful her voice sounds on a perfectly crafted song. That’s how I felt at 12 years old and it’s still how I still feel today.
    newvillefan likes this.
  20. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Of course, I was talking about Yesterday Once More. I like the ‘73 Single version best.
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  21. "It's yesterday once more" is just how I feel when I hear her voice...
    Mark-T likes this.

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