lunes, 13 de noviembre de 2017

299º-CLOSE TO YOU PIANO LESSON-



After a commercial failure with Offering, the magical date 15/05/1970 represents the beginning of a brillant career whit this amazing and solid piano ballad. It was their firt hit to reach the number one on the charts.

miércoles, 8 de noviembre de 2017

296º-MADONNA RECOGE LA HERENCIA DE THE CARPENTERS-


18 agosto, 2014

Madonna, Karen… y la lluvia

foto105-1
Aunque Madonna nunca lo confirmó, diferentes medios aseveraron que su sencillo “Rain”, lanzado el 17 de julio de 1993 y perteneciente al álbum Erotica, era un tributo a la fallecida Karen Carpenter.
De ser así, no sobran los conceptos de la Reina del Pop sobre la mujer que falleció justamente 10 años antes de que este single fuera estrenado como tal en la radio estadounidense.
“Karen Carpenter tenía la voz más clara y pura de todas. Estoy completamente influenciada por su sensibilidad armónica”, declaró Madonna sin tapujos.
Otras voces claman que la inspiración específica de la diva fue ni más ni menos que la interpretación de Karen en “Rainy Days and Mondays“, uno de los grandes clásicos de The Carpenters que trepó al sitio 2 del Billboard Hot 100 en 1971. Sea o no cierto, la realidad es que las voces de ambas se asemejan mucho en las respectivas canciones que tienen que ver con lluvia.
“Rain” fue uno de esos sencillos que escapó al universo absolutamente sexual de Erotica y logró gran aceptación en los radioescuchas de inicios de los 90, llegando al Top 10 en países como Japón, Reino Unido, Italia, Irlanda, Australia y Canadá.
La revista Billboard llenó de elogios el corte que la artista escribió junto a Shep Pettibone, externando que merecía total atención de parte de la audiencia por el juego de sintetizadores que amalgamaban a la perfección con la tersa y cristalina voz de Madonna, la devota de la extinta e inolvidable Karen.
“When you looked into my eyes and you said goodbye… could you see my tears? When I turned the other way, did you hear me say I’d wait for all the dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky…“



martes, 7 de noviembre de 2017

295º-LOS TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES-



































Es un hecho que quedará como un hito en la historia musical estadounidense que el dúo de New Haven (o de Downey California desde su adolescencia) vendieron 100 millones de discos alrededor de todo el mundo. Desde la misma Downey hasta Osaka o Australia. Sin embargo, la tendencia imparable de lograr varios números uno -que se inició un 15 de mayo de 1970 con la estremecedora Close To You- no se podría mantener en el tiempo y un lustro después, en 1975, dicha tendencia se rompió.

Hubo un notable descenso de las ventas ya en territorio americano registrado por la propia compañía AM RECORDS, y ello pese al éxito cosechado por los Singles Please Mr Postman y Only Yesterday. El referido debilitamiento no se puede explicar sólo en términos de lo complicado que resulta mantenerse arriba en la industria musical, sino que hay que buscar las causas en el surgimiento del movimiento Punk y de la música Disco; dónde Los Carpinteros obviamente no encajaban en absoluto. En la segunda mitad de la década de los setenta se produce un desplazamiento del foco de atención a esas nuevas tendencias musicales. Por otro lado el llamado Rock Progresivo se afianzaría (ya lo venía haciendo desde finales de los años 60) recordemos a King Crisom por ejemplo.

Otra de las causas que no se pueden perder de vista es, desde 1975 en el caso de Karen y desde finales de los setenta en el caso de su hermano, el progresivo deterioro de la salud de ambos, con el consiguiente resentimiento de la calidad musical de sus trabajos.

Esto tuvo como consecuencia un parón de cuatro años de duración hasta la llegada de un nuevo larga duración de los hermanos, que finalmente entregaron el 16 de junio de 1981.

Desde 1969 hasta 1977, realmente no se aprecian grandes cambios en la estructura de las canciones de Los Carpinteros, un Pop melódico, con baladas instrumentales apoyadas por teclados, instrumentos de viento y algún que otro ocasional solo de guitarra eléctrica a cargo de Tony Peluso.

Con la llegada de Passage, si que es cierto que pareció en su momento que podría haber sido un disco de transición hacia territorios inexplorados. Digo esto porque contenía versiones de canciones de otros grupos (Klaatu) e instrumentación jazzistica no utilizada antes por el dúo; cierta transición hacia música bailable como en la pieza All you get from love is a love song. 

No obstante, cuando comienza realmente la década de los ochenta en 1981, se ve claro que dicha transición o cambio musical que podría haber ayudado a los hermanos a remontar su mala racha, no se produjo. Antes al contrario, las estructuras tradicionales antes mencionadas se mantienen, si bien la portentosa voz de Karen no se ve especialmente afectada por estos avatares. Quizá debieron buscar como solución el arriesgar más, mezclando quizá la música disco con trazas de su Pop melódico. O incluir sonoridades más orientadas hacia el Rock -recordemos la sabia mezcla de Blues y Rock que Jimmy Page y compañía en Led Zeppelin supieron realizar- Ya  lo hicieron en Goodbye To Love con aquel solo memorable del gran Tony Peluso. Puestos a imaginar, podrían haber incursionado en la Electrónica o en el Funky en algunos temas de sus álbumes, manteniendo en la mayor parte sus consabidas baladas. Todo ello hubiera permitido quizás un cambio de estilo más ecléctico, más variado, que les hubiera permitido volver a la senda del éxito. 

Lo cierto es que las dos últimas canciones del dúo, grabadas en abril de 1982, revelan que la base que había estado presente desde 1969 permanece inalterable. Incluso se podría casi hablar de una vuelta a los inicios. Voz melodiosa, y teclados de acompañamiento. No es que critique este conformismo, opino que la dupla tenía que haberse renovado, si bien es cierto que el triste fallecimiento de la cantante los catapultó a la inmortalidad. Les devolvió el interés del gran público, tanto de los viejos seguidores como de las nuevas oleadas que a partir de entonces abrazarían su música; felizmente continúan haciéndolo en el día de hoy.

domingo, 5 de noviembre de 2017

293º-RUMER VERSIONA CLOSE TO YOU-


La resurrección de Karen Carpenter se completa: Rumer versiona ‘Close to You’

Por Jordi Bardají | 27 Jul 16, 9:07

Rumer vuelve en algún momento de este año o del que viene con nuevo disco de versiones de Burt Bacharach y Hal David, ‘This Girl’s In Love – A Bacharach and David Songbook’. El primer adelanto de este largo, cuya fecha de salida se desconoce por el momento, no es otro que ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’, el clásico de Carpenters de 1970. Todo un aliciente para los fans de Karen Carpenter que siempre han percibido su espíritu en la sedosa y emotiva voz de Sarah Joyce. Su marido, el músico Rob Shirakbari, se ha encargado de los arreglos, que convierten el tema en una delicada y serena balada a piano con cuerdas orquestadas.


Rumer ha explicado que sentía respeto por interpretar ‘Close to You’, pues es consciente de lo mucho que su voz recuerda a la de Karen y porque ella misma es fan de Carpenters. “Por este motivo, el catálogo de Carpenters siempre me había parecido intocable”, ha señalado. “Al final decidimos intentarlo pero solo si lo hacíamos con un arreglo nuevo. A continuación, Rumer detalla el secreto de su versión. “El otro día me reí yo sola. Estaba en la nevera y Rob me dice “sabes que has clavado ‘Close to You'”. Y yo dije “gracias, creo que he encontrado el verdadero significado de la canción… que es, lo que siente [mi perro] Alfie por mí, ¡por supuesto!”.

La relación de Rumer con Bacharach viene de lejos, pues el compositor la invitó a cantar a su casa en 2010 tras escuchar ‘Seasons of My Soul‘ y la cantante ha interpretado canciones del repertorio de Bacharach y David en varias ocasiones después de la edición de su álbum debut, notablemente en la Casa Blanca, donde interpretó ‘A House is Not a Home’. También le hemos oído interpretar ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head’ en la tele o ‘Alfie’, ‘Hasbrook Heights’ y ‘Arthur’s Theme’ en su último disco de rarezas y caras b.



viernes, 3 de noviembre de 2017

miércoles, 1 de noviembre de 2017

289º-Karen Carpenter and Elvis Presley - Solitaire Fantasy Duet-







Aquí os presento unas mezclas que han hecho posible que podamos escuchar las voces de estos dos mitos de la canción. 

No voy a entrar a valorar el episodio de Karen Carpenter y Petula Clark con Elvis Presley, eso sería rozar el amarillismo. El episodio es de sobra conocido. Creo que es mejor centrarse en el aspecto musical. 

Desconozco si llegaron a cantar ambos juntos de verdad en alguna actuación. Espero que os guste.

martes, 31 de octubre de 2017

288º-MEJORES CANCIONES-




Esta colección de Los Carpinteros de 6 CDs se lanzó por primera vez como un pedido por correo en Japón a mediados de los años 90. Ha recibido otra vez publicidad en Japón. Ahora titulado MEJORES CANCIONES, el conjunto presenta nuevas obras de arte coloridas pero sencillas en lugar de las imágenes de acuarela utilizadas en SWEET MEMORY. Actualmente se supone que incorpora las mismas mezclas que el conjunto anterior.

jueves, 26 de octubre de 2017

287º-Karen Carpenter would have been 60-





Karen Carpenter would have been 60

Eric Pierce March 5, 2010


It's hard to imagine Karen Carpenter as a "senior citizen," but March 2 marked what would have been her 60th birthday. (She died February 4, 1983 of cardiac arrest due to her battle with anorexia. She was 32.)Today we remember Karen for her remarkable gift to the music world, and for her influence on so many contemporary artists, from Madonna and Chrissie Hynde to Sonic Youth and Gwen Stefani. But we also remember Karen as she wanted to be remembered, as a good person. She once said about the Carpenters: "We want to be remembered for our contribution to music. That's the main thing in our lives: to present what comes from within us through our music. We want to be remembered as good musicians and nice people." Interest in the Carpenters continues to grow. Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the duo's signing to A&M, and a commemorative CD release, "40/40," hit #1 in Japan. Meanwhile, a fantasy novel about Karen called "Leave Yesterday Behind" was published, while a new book about the Carpenters by Randy Schmidt, "Little Girl Blue," is due this summer. If you grew up in the '70's, Carpenters music was part of the soundtrack of your life. For the 1973 liner notes of "The Singles" hits collection, Digby Diehl wrote: "Although the Carpenters have been recording for only four years, it is already difficult to remember a sunny afternoon at the beach without them." It was true. In that pre-YouTube, MySpace and iTunes era, when radio was virtually the only place to hear new music, their hits played non-stop from 1970 through about 1977. Their 1978 Christmas album became a modern classic and is a holiday airplay staple to this day. In 1981, they returned to the Top 40 one last time before Karen's untimely passing. Because Karen's voice was ubiquitous, many people took it for granted. But she received well-deserved accolades from many of her peers, some of which are worth noting here. John Lennon once told her "You've got a fabulous voice," while Paul McCartney reportedly called it "the best female voice in the world-melodic, tuneful, and distinctive." What made the voice so distinctive? A&M Records' top brass Herb Alpert, who signed the duo, believed that Karen was drawing from her "dark side" when she sang. "A common trait in all great performers, instrumentalists or singers," Alpert said, "is that great quality that tugs at your heart. It doesn't come from that bubbly, 'up' side of their personality. It always comes from their undercurrent of reality." Composer Henry Mancini said "Karen had a quality about her that was so vulnerable, so exposed that she just demanded attention." He believed this is because "whatever she sang came right from the heart." Her voice, he concluded, was "the manifestation of everything within her. Maybe if she had more self-esteem, it wouldn't have been the same voice." Journalist Paul Lester wrote: "Karen was the finest female singer of her generation, possessed of perfect pitch, able to soar between octaves in a single verse. (She had) that rare ability to share moments of incredible intimacy with the listener, to sound as though she was singing just for you." Pop music historian Paul Grein agreed: "If you made a checklist of the qualities of a great singer, Karen had them all: tremendous presence, a natural, conversational ease, and impeccable intonation and control. But a checklist couldn't begin to capture the emotion that she put into everything she sang. Karen had a remarkable facility for peeling away the outer layers of a song and getting to its core. And once she located a song's essential truth, she would relate it as if she were singing just to you." Happy Birthday, KC. We miss you. Jon Konjoyan is a music promoter and journalist.

jueves, 19 de octubre de 2017

286º-'The Vinyl Collection', 2017-


The Carpenters 'The Vinyl Collection' To Be Released Worldwide

Pop/Rock Duo's Longstanding Influential Legacy Celebrated in Full with Mastered for Vinyl 12-LP Vinyl Box Set and Individual LP Releases on November 17



The Carpenters' The Vinyl Collection box set includes all 12 albums replicated on 180-gram black vinyl and housed in a stylish slipcase. Each album features lovingly restored original packaging and related artwork. Mastered for vinyl by Ron McMaster (The Beach Boys, Don McLean) at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, each album will also be released individually. The box set does not include their two Christmas albums.
This unprecedented box-set collection chronicles the runaway success of the Carpenters' super-successful 14-year career, which resulted in 11 studio albums and a greatest hits collection, The Singles 1969 - 1973, that has been certified at seven-times platinum and features such indelible chart-topping hits as "We've Only Just Begun," "Top of the World," "Superstar," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Goodbye to Love," "Yesterday Once More," "It's Going to Take Some Time," "Sing," "For All We Know," "Hurting Each Other," and "(They Long to Be) Close to You."
The Carpenters – vocalist/drummer Karen and her older brother, pianist/composer/arranger Richard – are one of the most successful sibling duos in pop/rock history, having garnered over 100 million album and singles sales to date. Their unique blend of smooth vocal harmonies and classically influenced pop arrangements frequently vaulted them to the top of the charts, resulting in three No. 1 singles and five No. 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and a dozen Top 10 singles overall, not to mention an astonishing 15 No. 1s on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Karen and Richard have more than earned their superstar standing as one of the world's most popular and bestselling duos of all time, and their influence as songwriters, performers, and composers spans multiple generations and genres. The Carpenters have long elicited critical praise as well as numerous accolades from their contemporaries, from such notable artists as Paul McCartney, Gwen Stefani, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé. Showing the scope of their reach, the 1994 If I Were a Carpenter tribute album showcased entries from alternative-rock icons ranging from Sonic Youth ("Superstar"), Shonen Knife ("Top of the World"), The Cranberries ("(They Long to Be) Close to You"), Sheryl Crow("Solitaire"), and Matthew Sweet ("Let Me Be the One"), to name but a few.
The Carpenters were nominated for numerous GRAMMY Awards® throughout their storied career, and they won three of them: Best New Artist (1970), Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus for "(They Long to Be) Close to You" (1970), and Best Pop Vocal Performance for a Duo or Group for Carpenters (1971). Two of their most cherished songs have also been inducted in the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame: "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun." Following Karen's untimely death in 1983, the Carpenters received a well-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

No matter what your walk of life is, the Carpenters have a song that touches your soul and finds a place where there's room to grow.


The Carpenters The Vinyl Collection 
  1. Ticket to Ride (1969)
  2. Close to You (1970)
  3. Carpenters (1971)
  4. A Song for You (1972)
  5. Now & Then (1973)
  6. Horizon (1975)
  7. A Kind of Hush (1976)
  8. Passage (1977)
  9. Made in America (1981)
  10. Voice of the Heart (1983)
  11. Lovelines (1989)
  12. The Singles 1969 - 1973

sábado, 23 de septiembre de 2017

285º-40 years have passed!-




Catalogue Number: A&M SP-4703
Date of Release: 09/23/77
Chart Position- U.S.: #49; U.K.: #12; JAPAN: #7
Album Singles: "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song”/"I Have You”
"Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft"/"Can't Smile Without You"
"Sweet, Sweet Smile"/"I Have You"
Medium: Vinyl/Reel/8-track/Cassette/CD​


Track Listing:

1.) B'wana She No Home 5:29 (Franks)
2.) All You Get From Love Is A Love Song 3:46 (Eaton)
3.) I Just Fall In Love Again 4:02 (Dorff/Herbstritt/Sklerov/Lloyd)
4.) On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada/Don't Cry For Me Argentina 7:57 (Webber/Rice)
5.) Sweet, Sweet Smile 3:00 (Newton/Young)
6.) Two Sides 3:27 (Davis)
7.) Man Smart, Woman Smarter 4:21 (Span)
8.) Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft 7:07 (Klatuu)


Album Credits:

B'Wana She No Home:
Piano: Pete Jolly
Electric Piano: Larry Muhoberac
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt
Percussion: Wally Snow & Tommy Vig
Conga: Jerry Steinholtz
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Tenor Sax & Alto Flute: Tom Scott
Vocal Arrangement: Gene Puerling

All You Get From Love Is A Love Song:
Electric & Acoustic Piano: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ed Green
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso & Ray Parker
Conga: Tommy Vig
Percussion: Jerry Steinholtz
Tenor Sax: Tom Scott
Background singers: Karen & Richard Carpenter, Julia Tillman, Carlena Williams, Maxine Willard

I Just Fall In Love Again:
Electric & Acoustic Piano: Richard Carpenter
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ron Tutt
Oboe: Earl Dumler
Harp: Gale Levant
Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor

On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada/Don't Cry For Me Argentina (From the opera Evita):
Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor
Announcer: Dennis Heath
Peron: William Feuerstein
Che: Jonathan Marks

Sweet, Sweet Smile:
Bass: Joe Osborn
Fiddle: Bobby Bruce
Banjo: Larry McNealy
Drums: Ron Tutt
Tack Piano: Tom Hensley
Acoustic & Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso

Two Sides:
Electric Piano: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ed Green
Acoustic Guitar: Lee Ritenour & Jay Graydon
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Pedal Steel Guitar: Jay Dee Maness

Man Smart, Woman Smarter:
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Ed Green
Piano: Leon Russell
Tack Piano: Richard Carpenter & Tom Hensley
Steel Drums: Vince Charles
Percussion: Tommy Vig
Baritone Sax: David Luell & Kurt McGettrick
Tenor Sax: Jackie Kelso
Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
Conga: King Erickson

Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day):
Acoustic & Electric Piano: Richard Carpenter
Synthesizer: Richard Carpenter
Drums: Ron Tutt
Bass: Joe Osborn
Electric Guitar & DJ: Tony Peluso
Oboe: Earl Dumler
Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor

Produced by: Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer: Karen Carpenter
Arranged and Orchestrated by: Richard Carpenter
I Just Fall In Love Again, On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada / Don't Cry For Me Argentina and Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft Orchestrated by: Peter Knight
Vocals: Karen & Richard Carpenter
Engineered by: Ray Gerhardt, Roger Young and Dave Iveland
Mastering Engineer: Bernie Grundman
Special Thanks to: Ed Sulzer, John Bettis and Ron Gorow
Art Direction: Roland Young
Design: Junie Osaki
Cover Art: Lou Beach

 ℗ © 1977 A&M Records, Inc.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You could start by saying that this new Carpenters album is the most daring, innovative, surprising, serendipitous and satisfying one they've yet made.


Another listen to their previous albums - beginning with the last two, the superb A Kind Of Hush and the sublime Horizon, then continuing all the way back to their debut LP, Ticket To Ride - will reinforce the conclusion that Karen and Richard's records have of course always had the qualities listed above, combined with impeccable taste and a quality of production that made their work a standard against which to measure that of their contemporaries. Taken as a whole, the Carpenters' recorded output makes up an oeuvre in which all pieces fit, in which daring adventurousness and taste have equal place.


Be that as it may ...


This is still the most daring, innovative, surprising, serendipitous and satisfying Carpenters album yet.


"This time there's more different sounds than ever before," Richard says. "I like many kinds of music, and I tried to include a lot of them in this album."


To be sure, there are plenty of "traditional" Carpenters-type tunes on these two sides: Steve Dorff's rueful I Just Fall In Love Again, Scott Davis' Two Sides, Juice Newton's countrified Sweet, Sweet Smile, and Steve Eaton's All You Get From Love Is A Love Song.


But even these are approached from angles slightly out of the ordinary. Note, for instance, Tom Scott's highstepping on All You Get From Love Is A Love Song. Two Sides, Richard's personal almost-favorite on the album, can be enjoyed for its face-value romantic irony, but at the same time it extends the emotional territory explored on the Horizon LP; and the lyric's suggestion of the duality of affairs is especially appropriate for Karen to sing, because the ambivalence enclosed by the song is a nice approximation of the chimerical quality of her own art - as soon as you think you've categorized her, she reveals another aspect of her range, one you'd overlooked or forgotten for a while.


Consider Man Smart, Woman Smarter. The Harry Belefonte calypso favorite is here totally transformed into a torrid, teasing, taunting rocker that jolts along like the first motorcar to come to Tobago. Karen performs like a native to the genre born, while King Ericson pounds the congas, Leon Russell pounds the ivory, Vince Charles works the steel drums, ex-Johnny Otisite Jackie Kelso jams on tenor, and weird vocal snatches boil and bubble out of the speakers.


Then there is B'wana She No Home. Michael Franks' sinuous, subtle, droll explication of the master-servant problem - another eye-opener: jazzy, seductive, and a spontaneous triumph, elegantly executed with the assistance of pianist Pete Jolly and flautist-tenorist Tom Scott, who trade choruses in one of the album's several "live" cuts.


"When recording, we usually begin with bass, drums, piano, and build from there," Richard explains, "but on several of these tracks, almost the whole thing was recorded live all at once, with just brass and strings overdubbed later. Certain pieces call for that."


One such definitely was Don't Cry For Me Argentina, from the Webber-Rice opera Evita. Some 150 people participated in the recording of this number, including members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a 50 member singing group under the direction of Gregg Smith. The orchestration was by Peter Knight, an Englishman best known in this country for his recorded work with the Moody Blues. Singers and orchestra were assembled on the A&M Records soundstage, in front of microphones that led into the control booth of Studio D. "You get a beautiful sound that way," says Richard, "a much more open sound than you could get in a recording studio." The presence of press turned this "monster date" into instant news: the crispness of the production and playing, and Karen's powerful vocal, make for an instant favorite. Karen projects both worldly knowledge and unexpected innocence, sophistication combined with the pain of lost illusion. I doubt any other version could equal this one's poignance and authority; it becomes immediately definitive.


But surely the most unexpected entry here is the Carpenters' adaption of Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft, a paen to galactic communication written by the Beatles-influenced group, Klaatu. Richard chose this song for three reasons: "I'm a Beatles fan, a Klaatu fan, and a science fiction fan." Again, his arrangement is orchestrated by Knight. Richard purposely avoided the kind of electronic devices with which Klaatu conveyed the illusion of outer space. "They employed a lot of sound effects - tape delay, things like that - and did all their sweetening with synthesizer. I wanted to use the real thing." So Tony Peluso (who also portrays the confused disc jockey) plays his Appollonian guitar over swelling cosmic threnodies, swirling violins, pipe organ, choir, classical piano and a marching band - Charles Ives goes to Mars! Somehow it all seems as natural as catching a wave.


And there it is: exactly three months' labor, from the first vocals on Love Song to the final mix of Occupants - a potpourri of the Carpenters' special abilities and interests.


"We really had fun with this album," Karen says.


- Tom Nolan
=============================================================


Don't Cry For Me Argentina:


For their second rock opera, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice - the creators of Jesus Christ Superstar - have chosen another story of a controversial historical figure whose popular appeal, dramatic flair, and social impact give an added dimension of emotional complexity to their music. Maria Eva Duarte Peron, the second wife of Argentine dictator Juan Peron, was born in the small town of Los Toldos into a poor family. At the age of 16, she came to the capitol city of Buenos Aires and rapidly achieved stardom as a radio and motion picture personality. Her Cinderella story background and her personal charisma helped her establish an enormous popular following in Argentina. She used this popularity to help her husband be elected President of Argentina in 1946. The Maria Eva Duarte de Peron Welfare Foundation, which she founded in 1947, provided millions of dollars for poverty relief, in a fund-raising effort clouded by scandals. When she died of cancer in 1952 at the age of 33, she achieved national status of virtual sainthood.


The musical selection from Webber and Rice's opera which appears on Passage, On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada / Don't Cry For Me Argentina, captures Juan and Evita Peron in their victory appearance at the Pink palace (Casa Rosada) after the 1946 Presidential Election. In Don't Cry For Me Argentina, Evita assures the crowd that she has not forgotten her lower class origins. She asks her beloved Descamisados (shirtless ones), as she referred to the poorest of the poor, to continue to love her: "Don't keep your distance." At the end of this emotional plea, she offers as proof of her sincerity the statement, "But all you have to do is look at me to know that every word is true." This line embodies the themes of Evita: the deceptiveness of political imagery, the persuasiveness of her personal warmth, and the irony of her life, which is inextricably intermingled with the history of Argentina.


- Digby Diehl
=============================================================

haradelorme
 29 de octubre de 2016

"This album is a ton of fun to listen to, and was completely unexpected. It's a smorgasbord of musical genres and a potpourri of sound. From Jazz to pop, and easy listening to rock, it has everything. (And this daring duo even threw in some musical theater to round it all off.) Their collective sense of humor shines through with a larger-than-life cover of Klaatu's Calling Occupants ... preceded by a wacky intro by their guitar player and finished off by a sweet and massive orchestral outro. If you're a Carpenters fan I highly suggest taking a listen. If you're not necessarily a fan you ought to give this album a try; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. (This comes from someone who grew up listening to this group on the a.m. stations in the 70s but who owned not one song or album until this one.)"
=============================================================

Mark Harrington
August 11, 2016

"An instant pleasant surprise from the opening jazzy rock textures to the opening B'wana She No Home, is then followed quickly by slight disappointment by the heavy processing of Karen's voice. The one great asset of any Carpenters album is that voice, as unadorned as possible. One very good thing about it though in retrospect is the lower than usual cheese/goofy factor (Man Smart being the weakest link). Fortunately this continues, and as can be seen by the amount of voters here on AMG giving it an average 4 stars compared to the Bruce Eder measly 2, the material is stronger overall than on the majority of their lps, and the sleeve notes quite rightly proclaim the divergence of musical styles adopted. Don't Cry for Me Argentina is going to be hard to improve on for anyone singing it in future, because she has already blown every previous version out the water on here. Calling occupants is a bit dated, and has their monkeying around to it, but then there is a strong vocal performance after that. If I reissued it, I would cut the intro off, or at least have a version without it on the record. The interplay between her and the oboist Earl Dumler bought to mind similar passages in the Bach Wedding cantata, a work three hundred years older, baroque to the future, you might say.


The thing that never happened though, to mine and presumably thousands of others regret, is that the right person never came along, and sweet talked her in to making a solo album of strong jazz material. If she had a voice good enough to make Ella Fitzgerald cry tears of pleasure on national tv in front of millions, she was good enough to make that album we never got. At some point maybe even just an anthology of the stronger songs without her voice processed will be the album we have been waiting for (in other words, produced by someone who is not Richard Carpenter)".















jueves, 14 de septiembre de 2017

283º-Still Yesterday Once More-







JANIE LAWRENCE
WEDNESDAY 1 OCTOBER 1997 23:02 

FOR RICHARD CARPENTER THERE'S NO ESCAPE: FOURTEEN YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF HIS SISTER KAREN HE'S STILL HER CAPTIVE. "CAN SOMEBODY WHO WROTE AND ARRANGED `GOODBYE TO LOVE' REALLY BE SQUARE?" HE ASKS. TO WHICH QUESTION, SAYS JANIE LAWRENCE THERE IS ONLY ONE ANSWER.

THE WAITER IS BECOMING EXTREMELY STROPPY. NO, THE AMERICAN GENTLEMAN REALLY CAN'T SIT AND HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN OF HIM PLAYING ON THE LOUNGE PIANO. HOTEL POLICY. ANYHOW WHO DID WE SAY HE WAS AGAIN? CLEARLY IT'S TIME FOR THE DEFINITIVE VOCAL REMINDER. "EVERY SHA-LA-LA, EVERY WHOA- OH-WHOA..." DOES THE TRICK. THE PENNY DROPS IMMEDIATELY. OH, THAT RICHARD CARPENTER. GINGER WITHOUT FRED. WISE WITHOUT MORECAMBE. RICHARD WITHOUT KAREN. SAD, SAD, SAD.
"I ALWAYS FELT THAT MY ROLE WAS TO BE IN THE BACKGROUND," HE SAYS, RECALLING THE HEADY DAYS WHEN THE CARPENTERS RACKED UP TWENTY HITS AMNOG THE TOP 40. SHE WITH THE FLICKED BACK HAIR AND THE MAXI DRESSES, HIM BOBBING BEHIND THE KEYBOARDS. SO APPLE-PIE WHOLESOME, SO VERY SQUARE.
OVER 20 YEARS ON, HE MINDS BEING CALLED "SQUARE". SURPRISINGLY HE STILL MINDS. "I'M NOT SQUARE" HE COUNTERS IN NERVY FASHION. "ANYBODY WHO CAN COME UP WITH, NOT ONLY THE SONG, BUT THE ARRANGEMENT TO `GOODBYE TO LOVE' ISN'T SQUARE. I THINK THOSE CHEEK TO CHEEK SHOTS OF US DIDN'T HELP THE IMAGE WHATSOEVER."

NOW, APPROACHING 51, RICHARD CARPENTER LOOKS - WELL - SQUARE, IN HIS DIAGONALLY PATTERNED ACRYLIC JUMPER AND GREY FLANNEL TROUSERS. HIS HAIR WITH ITS INCIPIENT BALDING PATCH IS NEATLY PARTED IN PREP SCHOOL FASHION. AND FOR A MAN WHO NEED NEVER DO ANYTHING, EVER AGAIN, EXCEPT PICK UP THE CONSTANT STREAM OF ROYALTIES CHEQUES, MR CARPENTER APPEARS REMARKABLY LACKING IN CONFIDENCE. HE IS POLITE, SUSPICIOUS AND PALPABLY VULNERABLE. HIS AMERICAN MANAGER HOVERS PROTECTIVELY ONLY TWO FEET AWAY. MY QUESTIONS BRING ON THE SAME EYE-SWIVELLING ANXIETY DARREN OF BEWITCHED HAD WHEN HE FEARED HIS WIFE WAS ABOUT TO TURN HIM INTO A PLANT. RICHARD IS UNCANNILY LIKE DARREN.

WHEN HIS SISTER KAREN DIED OF A HEART ATTACK BROUGHT ON BY HER ANOREXIA NERVOSA IN 1983 THE CARPENTERS HAD SOLD OVER ONE MILLION RECORDS. THEIR POPULARITY HAD DIPPED BUT IF KAREN WERE ALIVE THEY WOULD STILL BE RECORDING TODAY. OR THAT'S HOW RICHARD SEES IT. "WE'D BE MAKING MORE ALBUMS, SPEND MORE TIME IN THE STUDIO AND DO AN OCCASIONAL TOUR. SUMMER TOURS, A WEEK PER VENUE, EVERY OTHER YEAR A UK TOUR." IT SOUNDS SO PLANNED AND PRESENT TENSE, IT'S AS IF RICHARD HAS NEVER FULLY ADJUSTED TO WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

NOW MARRIED, HE HAS FOUR CHILDREN BUT STILL LIVES IN THE SAME LA SUBURB OF DOWNEY THE CARPENTER FAMILY MOVED TO WHEN RICHARD AND KAREN WERE TEENAGERS. MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN AND HINTED AT ABOUT THE DISTURBING CLOSENESS OF THEIR BROTHER-SISTER RELATIONSHIP.

EVEN NOW THE INTEREST IN THE CARPENTERS PHENOMONEN HASN'T ABATED. THERE ARE THREE NEW AMERICAN DOCUMENTARIES CURRENTLY IN THE PIPELINE.

"WE SPENT A HELL OF A LOT OF TIME TOGETHER," HE SAYS UNCOMFORTABLY. BUT WEREN'T THEY UNCOMMONLY CLOSE?

"WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE OCCASIONAL SQUABBLE WE ALWAYS GOT ALONG VERY WELL AS KIDS AND GROWING UP. IT WAS A DAMNED GOOD THING, CAUSE WE WERE TOGETHER IN THE STUDIO AND TOGETHER OUT ON THE ROAD." PERHAPS IT'S A LOSS HE WILL NEVER GET OVER? "HAVE YOU EVER LOST A BROTHER OR A SISTER?" HE ASKS.

DESPITE THE MILLIONS OF TIMES HE'S TALKED ABOUT IT OVER THE YEARS, THE PAIN STILL SEEMS RAW. "I HEAR THE ONLY THING THAT'S WORSE IS LOSING A CHILD, WHICH I CAN WELL IMAGINE. THAT GREAT VOICE, THAT GREAT LADY, GONE AT 32. I DON'T SEE ANY RHYME OR REASON FOR IT." HE MUST HAVE KNOWN HOW SERIOUSLY ILL SHE WAS. "I COULD SEE IT IN HER EYES. BUT EVEN THOUGH YOU SAY TO YOURSELF `YOU CAN DIE FROM THIS,' YOU NEVER REALLY BELIEVE IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN."

UNPROMPTED HE VOLUNTEERS THAT HE STILL FEELS GUILTY ABOUT THE OTHER EMOTIONS HE WENT THROUGH AFTER HER DEATH. "IT WAS A LITTLE BIT SELFISH OF ME. IN ADDITION TO EVERYTHING ELSE I THOUGHT OF ALL THESE SONGS YET TO BE RECORDED WHICH SHE WAS NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO." IN RECENT YEARS HE HAS SPENT MOST OF HIS TIME PRODUCING OTHER PEOPLE'S RECORDS. NOTHING HE HAS COMPOSED HAS ENJOYED THE SUCCESS OF THE CARPENTERS IN THEIR HEYDAY.

HIS "NEW" ALBUM - RICHARD CARPENTER, PIANIST, ARRANGER, COMPOSE, CONDUCTOR - IS (BAR TWO NEW TRACKS) AN INSTRUMENTAL REWORKING OF ALL THE OLD SONGS. WHY GO OVER OLD GROUND? "IF I JUST TOOK THE ORIGINAL ARRANGEMENTS THAT WOULD BE A TRAVESTY TO KAREN'S MEMORY, BUT THIS IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT ANIMAL FROM THE CARPENTERS RECORDS." YOU MIGHT SAY HE'S CASHING IN. "THEY'RE MY SONGS YOU KNOW" HE RETORTS DEFENSIVELY IN PARTICULARLY DARREN-LIKE FASHION. "I HAVE AS MUCH RIGHT AS ANYBODY TO RECORD THEM, I KNEW AS I WAS MAKING IT THAT PEOPLE WOULD BE POPPING AT ME. BUT IF I TRIED TO SPEND MY LIFE PLEASING EVERYBODY I'D BE IN A LOONY BIN." WOULD KAREN APPROVE? "ABSOLUTELY - I CAN'T STRESS STRONGLY ENOUGH HOW MUCH SHE WOULD. SHE WAS MY NUMBER ONE SUPPORTER. SHE WOULD LOVE SOME OF THE CHANGES I'VE PUT ON. SHE IS IN IT IN SPIRIT WITHOUT A DOUBT."

IN NOVEMBER THERE'S ANOTHER COMPILATION ALBUM, CARPENTERS: THE LOVE SONGS. WITH SO MUCH ENERGY STILL DEVOTED TO SONGS THAT HE WROTE MANY YEARS AGO PERHAPS HE WORRIES THAT'S HIS LOT?

"OF COURSE I DO. I GUESS KISMET HAD ME MAKING IT AT A YOUNGER AGE. I DON'T KNOW. I DON'T THINK THE WELL'S RUN DRY. YOU SEE I HAVEN'T REALLY TRIED A GREAT DEAL. WHEN I DO SIT DOWN AND TRY IT TURNS OUT TO BE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T REALLY SATISFY ME. I THINK A NUMBER OF PEOPLE GO THROUGH THAT THOUGH. TCHAIKOVSKY HAD IT."

THAT HE SAYS IS ABOUT TO CHANGE. HE'S NOW WORKING TO A DEADLINE AND HAS A NEW SONG "RATTLING AROUND" HIS HEAD. "IT'S A TRIBUTE TO KAREN - AS A HUMAN BEING AND AS A SINGER." HE HAS NEVER WANTED TO WORK FULL TIME WITH ANOTHER SINGER. "I'VE WORKED WITH THE BEST," HE SAYS SIMPLY. "IF PEOPLE ARE REALLY TALENTED IT COMES OUT SOUNDING EFFORTLESS. BUT IT'S NOT EASY." DEMONSTRATING THIS, HIS EYES FOCUSED ON SOME POINT INTO THE MIDDLE DISTANCE, HE SINGS THE WHOLE OF THE FIRST VERSE OF "GOODBYE TO LOVE", POKING THE AIR AS HE REACHES "ALL I KNOW IS HOW TO LIVE WITHOUT IT".

WHEN THEIR BIOPIC WAS BEING MADE RICHARD INFORMED THE PRODUCERS THAT, AT THE SAME TIME KAREN HAD BEEN STRUGGLING WITH ANOREXIA, HE HAD BEEN ADDICTED TO QUAALUDES. "IT WAS A BIG DEAL FOR ME SO THEY REVISED THE SCRIPT AND THE WORD CAME BACK, `IF RICHARD FEELS HE HAS TO HAVE THIS IN HERE THEN WE'LL PUT IT IN.' THERE WAS NOTHING I WANTED MORE THAN NOT HAVING IT IN THERE BUT I FELT IT WAS THE HONOURABLE THING TO DO. I WAS COMING OFF LIKE A BOYSCOUT AND I WANTED TO BE AN UPSTANDING GUY AND NOT HAVE EVERYTHING BLAMED ON KAREN."

RICHARD CARPENTER: PIANIST, ARRANGER, COMPOSER, CONDUCTOR IS OUT NOW. CARPENTERS: THE LOVE SONGS IS RELEASED ON NOVEMBER 10TH

miércoles, 13 de septiembre de 2017

282º-Cover versions of carpenters songs-



Trust Us, This Is Real : Fourteen alternative-rock groups have recorded versions of their favorite Carpenters songs. : Is this a joke? Not to them. The dark side of the Carpenters' American Dream isn't joke material.


September 11, 1994|Paul Grein | Paul Grein is a Los Angeles free-lance writer who specializes in pop music. He interviewed the Carpenters for Calendar in 1981.

The Carpenters were called a lot of things in the '70s, but hip was never one of them. The brother and sister from Downey were known almost as much for their squeaky-clean image as for their poignant ballads.
But a lot of certifiably hip acts have been singing Karen and Richard's praises lately.
And now 14 alternative rock acts--from Sonic Youth to the Cranberries--have recorded an album in which they perform Carpenters hits in their own styles. "If I Were a Carpenter," which is set for release Tuesday on A&M Records, was conceived as a heartfelt yet irreverent tribute.
Alternative acts liking the Carpenters? The same Carpenters that the Rolling Stone Record Guide long dismissed as "bubbly and bland"?
That incongruity is what intrigued Matt Wallace, who has produced records by such acclaimed alternative acts as Faith No More, the Replacements and Paul Westerberg.
"That was the interesting rub about this project, taking very commercial, pop, melodic songs and marrying them with bands that don't tend to do very melodic songs," said Wallace, who served as executive producer on the album with music journalist David Konjoyan.
Konjoyan notes that, despite the obvious musical differences, the Carpenters have a lot in common with these alternative acts.
"In their own time, the Carpenters were probably as alternative as any alternative band is today," he said. "They were certainly taking their own path. I think anybody who bucks trends, anybody who does their own thing despite what's going on around them, earns respect for that."
Larry Hamby--vice president of artists and repertoire at A&M Records, which released all the Carpenters' records--agrees.
"I think Karen was sort of emblematic of an alternative type of soul," he said. "It's there in her story, her presence, her voice. There was always this sad, melancholy quality in her voice--even on the happiest, most up-tempo songs that she sang. And I think a lot of these alternative artists have picked up on that."
Do these acts really like the Carpenters--or is this some kind of a sendup?
That's the first question people invariably ask when they hear about this album--which also includes performances by Babes in Toyland, Shonen Knife, Cracker, Sheryl Crow and Johnette Napolitano with Marc Moreland.
Richard Carpenter and executives at A&M acknowledge that they were concerned that the album might be "tongue in cheek" when Konjoyan and Wallace first presented the idea a year ago.
They needn't have worried. The artists' affection for the Carpenters seems genuine. There may be some nostalgia at play here, but the attraction isn't camp.
The second question people usually ask is more complex: How much of this fascination is due to the tragedy surrounding Karen Carpenter? The singer was just 32 when she died in 1983 after an eight-year battle with anorexia nervosa.
Even Konjoyan says, "I don't think we can extract the Carpenters' lives from their music and have it really mean the same to all these bands. I mean, there is a very tragic story behind their career, and I think that's added a lot of depth to what they're about."
Alternative acts seem to be especially intrigued by the disparity between the Carpenters' sugarcoated image and the darker reality of their lives. Some even see the Carpenters' story as a metaphor for the dark side of the American Dream--the underside of success, beauty and family ties.
"They're so American--they have the light and the dark," said Kim Gordon, bassist and singer for Sonic Youth, a leading underground band that performs "Superstar" on the album.
"I just find the whole family aspect fascinating," she added. "It's like the Beach Boys family. They're supposed to be the ideal American families--the success dream, and all that."
But underneath were problems and conflicts, as in any family--only magnified by the pressures of stardom.
Sonic Youth co-leader Thurston Moore added that those undertones of darkness come across in the Carpenters' music--and are part of what makes it so alluring.
"There's a certain sort of dark mystery to the music that we always found so potent," he said.
John Bettis, who teamed with Richard Carpenter to write such hits as "Goodbye to Love" and "Yesterday Once More," said that what Moore and others hear in the music was real.
"The dark side, the melancholia, was as real as they feel it was. They're responding to the emotional truth, not the image, which is what I always wanted."
W hen Karen Carpenter died on Feb. 4, 1983, many pop fans hadn't given the Carpenters much thought in years. The duo's last album, in 1981, and last TV special, in 1980, had both bombed.
Karen's death drew heavy coverage, in part because it was so unexpected and she was so young. But an album of previously unreleased material released later that year met with only modest success. When producer Dick Clark included a brief tribute to Karen on his American Music Awards program in January, 1984, it was like remembering someone from another era.