I was going through some of my records and happened across an old Carpenters album I hadn't yet played. Still sealed, found in a second hand shop. $.50.
I am kind of blown away. I remember some of this from growing up in the '70s. More of a feeling than the actual musical notes, but I remember the photo death portrait from the coroner's office in the issue of Newsweek that came out the week she died, and how little her skeletal frame really was, how evident and raw her hip and pelvic bones were as they protruded from the picture.
But now I see her spirit in harmony with her brother's. This is an amazing arrangement and melody; not really live but I like the video..
Karen on the drums always fab. Grew up with this too.
Later, when I was in my teens seeing girls sometimes they would take me home and let slip that the parents were away. That was great because I could rumage through their parent's record collection looking for Carpenters or Bachharach. Drove them crazy.
It always amazes me that such a full, rich, beautiful voice can come from such a frail, slight frame. I was way too cool for the Carpenters when they were at their peak, as the years have passed I've come to appreciate their artistry more and more.
Yeah, I think Superstar is my favorite track on this record,a dn so far the wole thing is pretty fine. A really good record. The sadness and longing in their music provided a rich subtext to the clean Suburban Family California, USA image that was fostered. I like stuff like that; the contradiction and weirdness of how it all comes together. The music is in itself sophisticated, yet simple; her voice beautiful, yet haunting; Richard's piano so polished but natural; and then the hints of romance that naturally tinges brother-sister love.
Listening to"Let Me Be The One" right now, and I can hear how influential this recording was on pop music for years to come. I have a pretty good record player, I wonder how this would sound on CD, or if they remastered it? I prefer records. I can listen to them louder and for greater periods of time than I can CD's. I guess I have a simple hearing mechanism.
Just remembered this, speaking of weird
Lots of sociological aspects are explored, especially the idea of image and femininity and media as they are seated in the pressure cooker of the record business.
They were truly great in their time. Such a wonderful voice she had, and I rarely say that about anybody. Her brothers arrangements were also very good (I think he did them... now that I say that, I'm not sure)
They were all over the place in America in the 70s, from what I remember. Lots of TV stuff. I think I saw her playing drums on one of them, she was bloody good at it, and I was surprised... who knew? Turns out she had been drumming the whole time but it took a back seat to that voice.
Don't recall who it was, but one of the high end producers of that generation once said that they thought Karen's singing voice was perfection in every way. Richard did the arrangements and most of the production. There is some great info about them and the sessions in the Herb Alpert rockumentary. Herb signed them to A&M and helped guide them to the music that finally launched them.
__________________ If musicians ran the world there would be no wars...just an occasional battle of the bands.
My three younger sisters were fans, in the day.
I was far too cool to like them, in the day.
My music always had to have heroic guitar playing.
Now that "the day" is over, I "get" how very talented and professional they were.
I aspire to that degree of talent now, maybe by the time I'm 70?
Their guitarist, the late Tony Peluso was a great player, BTW.
He played a cool sunburst dot ES335, in a F tuning of some kind.
Last edited by brookdalebill; December 31st, 2013 at 12:50 PM.
Reason: typing error
In the early to mid 70's there were a lot of 'softer' groups doing 'older' tunes. 'Older'. That sounds funny now. The Marvelettes version of Please Mr. Postman came out in 1961, and the Carpenters version in 1974. That's 13 years, less time than anyone covering Nirvana now. (As a slight aside, Please Mr. Postman is a great song. Marvelettes, Beatles, Carpeters version are all good. Most songs end up with pale covers).
So there was Please Mr. Postman. And Yesterday Once More. Linda Ronstadt was doing Roy Orbison, Everlys, Buddy Holly and Motown from the previous decade. Shaun Cassidy was covering Da Do Ron Ron. It was a good time for nostalgia.
And I was the right age. I stumbled on the oldies station and that was that. I found out that all that stuff was covers, and I'd found the originals. Wasn't 'cool' to be listening to that stuff as a 70's teenager. But I did anyway (along with other stuff).
And Peluso's outro solo on Please Mr. Postman is sublime.
the first 45 i ever bought was "rainy days and mondays". loved 'em then, love 'em now.
If I'd have to choose just one Carpenters song, I guess it would have to be this one - which says a lot! Besides Karen's angelic voice, I especially enjoy Joe Osborn's tasteful bass playing. And of course Tommy Morgan's melancholic harmonica.
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