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Your Top 5 Carpenters Performances - Live

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Please tell us about it. If you want to include performances you were actually at - all the better. For the rest of us, it's YouTube/DVDs/audio (like Simon posted a while ago - Lake Tahoe performance).

Here are mine - currently;

1. 1971 BBC Concert Special - Recorded before a live studio audience. RD&M is chill-inducing! Karen belting it out and the audience absolutely blowing-up at its conclusion. Also great performances of Superstar, And When He Smiles, For All We Know, and the brilliant conclusion with Close To You/WOJB. I saw this, became an immediate fanatic, and have never looked back!

2. 1978 Bruce Forsyth Christmas Special - Live studio audience. Loved it all, especially I Need To Be In Love (Magnificent and moving Karen performance). Forever a moment in time.

3. 1974 Budokan Concert - Karen in her prime. The whole band sounded great! Highlights; YOM, Goodbye To Love, Sing (Karen with those Japanese school children, and her singing the lyrics in Japanese to boot!).

4. 1976 BBC New London Theatre Special - Live studio audience. Bittersweet. Karen's health turning for the worst, but she still sounds amazing. Highlights; Karen's drum solo, INTBIL, and her melancholy/sensual rendition of Superstar at the end.

5. 1972 Chevron Hotel - Australia - Filmed in B&W but good resolution. You can tell they were having a lot of fun! Richard the most relaxed I have ever seen him. Highlights; Bacharach Medley; specifically: Any Day Now and Make It Easy On Yourself :love:. Great full performance of Superstar (before they made a medley out of it).

Honorable Mention - 1972 Budokan - Karen in that ruffled yellow dress and that magnificent mane of brown hair. Ooh...La...La!! I think I need to thank Billy Rees for the YT version. Thanks Billy! And Simon's audio of the LT concert - great version of When I Fall In Love.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
Please tell us about it. If you want to include performances you were actually at - all the better. For the rest of us, it's YouTube/DVDs/audio (like Simon posted a while ago - Lake Tahoe performance).

Here are mine - currently;

1. 1971 BBC Concert Special - Recorded before a live studio audience. RD&M is chill-inducing! Karen belting it out and the audience absolutely blowing-up at its conclusion. Also great performances of Superstar, And When He Smiles, For All We Know, and the brilliant conclusion with Close To You/WOJB. I saw this, became an immediate fanatic, and have never looked back!

2. 1978 Bruce Forsyth Christmas Special - Live studio audience. Loved it all, especially I Need To Be In Love (Magnificent and moving Karen performance). Forever a moment in time.

3. 1974 Budokan Concert - Karen in her prime. The whole band sounded great! Highlights; YOM, Goodbye To Love, Sing (Karen with those Japanese school children, and her singing the lyrics in Japanese to boot!).

4. 1976 BBC New London Theatre Special - Live studio audience. Bittersweet. Karen's health turning for the worst, but she still sounds amazing. Highlights; Karen's drum solo, INTBIL, and her melancholy/sensual rendition of Superstar at the end.

5. 1972 Chevron Hotel - Australia - Filmed in B&W but good resolution. You can tell they were having a lot of fun! Richard the most relaxed I have ever seen him. Highlights; Bacharach Medley; specifically: Any Day Now and Make It Easy On Yourself :love:. Great full performance of Superstar (before they made a medley out of it).

Honorable Mention - 1972 Budokan - Karen in that ruffled yellow dress and that magnificent mane of brown hair. Ooh...La...La!! I think I need to thank Billy Rees for the YT version. Thanks Billy! And Simon's audio of the LT concert - great version of When I Fall In Love.

Same ones; different order. My go-to one, when I'm feeling down, is your No. 4 pick, the New London Theater Special. Very classy! Even the Spike Jones "Schtick" comes off well. And, yes, Karen's read of IKINTBIL is stellar.

No. 2 for me would be Bruce Forsyth Christmas Special. Same reasons.

No. 3. Australia (wish it was in color...but Australia hadn't invented it yet back them). The medley with Any Day Now, Richard's introductions (he was much more animated in the early days), and Karen's "duets" with band members made this "fun."

Most of the others run together for me. My least favorite, I think, is Midnight Special?
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I will go with a few that I've seen in person. (Full details on my blog if you want more.):

1976- There's A Kind of Hush. The first concert I saw. K&R in Vegas at the Riviera. When she finally walked out on stage, I thought I was going to lose it!
1978- When I Fall in Love- Again in Vegas at the MGM Grand. Beautiful, just beautiful.
1978- Merry Christmas Darling- same location as above. When she hit the last lines, she extended her hand, and snowflakes fell from the air touching her hands. A small touch but magical.
1978- Sleep Well Little Children- Long Beach. The last time I saw them together.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I narrowed it down to 6:

1) Watching Carpenters perform the first song of the show, ‘Help!’, in person in April of 1973. It was my first concert, as well. We had 6th row seats and they were right in front of us!

Watching Karen smack the drums with her hair flying around, and seeing hundreds of flashbulbs going off is still etched in my mind.

2) Boston Pops,1974. Special memory of watching that with my entire family on a Sunday night on PBS. Everybody was mesmerized.

3) Ed Sullivan Show, 1970. ‘Bacharach/David Medley’, ‘live’. They were very young, spot-on and unstoppable.

4) ‘Heartache Tonight’ with Karen as a special guest on Olivia’s ‘Hollywood Nights’ special, 1980. One of my all-time favorite clips.

5) ‘Carol Burnett Show’, 1971. One of my favorite childhood moments and favorite performances.

6) ‘Ticket To Ride’ from the Australia show, 1972. Flawless.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
My Top 5 has seven in it. :) Anything's possible.

1. 'Superstar', from 1971 BBC performance. I love the way that Karen joins "I love you, I really do" to "Baby, Baby, Baby, Baby, oh Baby" at the end of each chorus. It's the only time she ever does it and it sounds great. Other brilliant vocal performances on that show include flawless readings of "For All We Know" and "Sometimes". Also, there's the unique 'And When He Smiles', which is an unusually sunny song for Carpenters.

2. 'Merry Christmas, Darling' 1978, from 'The Bruce Forsythe Show'. Karen looks the most ill you've ever seen her but her voice is rich and beautiful and she hits the low notes better than ever.

3. 'Sometimes', from the 1972 Tokyo concert, where she's wearing yellow. When she holds the last note, having maybe not taken a breath properly and bends over with her hands on her knees, like you used to do after a sprint when you thought you were going to faint, the microphone moves away from her mouth and there is a beautiful echo of her voice around the auditorium.

4. 'The End of the World' 1974, from the video of 'Live at the Budokan'; not from the CD. The video version has the full last vocal run at the very end of the song, as on the 'Now and Then' album, where Karen progresses through those four notes, each one lower than the last. 'Yesterday Once More' has to be somewhere on this list, and it has to be a complete version; not the shorter medley version. I'll also choose the version from the 'Live at the Budokan' video - not the CD version, which is shorter.

5. 'Bacharach / David Medley' 1974, from the Japanese 4CD set, 'Anthology', from 1999. (This CD set was later released under a different title, elsewhere). From memory, the performance of 'Bacharach / David Medley' that I'm talking about was recorded in Las Vegas. The long version of 'Make it Easy On Yourself' sounds great, although I usually don't like medleys.

6. Boston Pops Performance, 1974. Karen sounds fantastic throughout the whole concert.

7. 'Grand Gala Du Disque' 1974 performance, Netherlands. 'Close to You' and 'Yesterday Once More', (and I have to settle for a medley version), sound great.

I've always noticed that Karen sounded great on the 1974 tour - and looked healthy.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I can't rate individual live performances, probably because I always favor the studio recordings. I've seen Carpenters live in concert a number of times, and always enjoyed the shows, but still prefer to go home and listen to their studio perfection.

If I had to pick a show, it would have been the first one that I saw from 1972 where they did full songs.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Harry, is your audio of the 1971 Santa Claus is Comin' To Town
on Youtube ? If not, can you re-post it ?
Somehow, I lost that file and would love to hear that live version again.
Thanks.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I don't believe I ever posted a live version of "Santa Claus..." I don't think I've ever heard one.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
It’s definitely one of their best live performances. Karen looked gorgeous in that beautiful dress. It was interesting that they would perform, then leave and the BP would perform, then Carpenters would come back and do some more. I have an okay VHS tape of it somewhere in my storage. The cable company didn’t have a digital feed back then. So video quality is about a 7 out of 10. As far as I know, they haven’t rebroadcasted the show since the early 90’s here. KCET for Southern California fans.
 
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