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The Carpenters

Discussion in 'Music & Media' started by rootabaga, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    I was coming of age when "Close to You" took the charts by storm, and though I didn't follow them religiously or buy all of their albums, I was definitely a fan. Largely because of Karen's amazing voice, which remains one of the best ever, but Richard's arrangements were also very well crafted and usually designed to showcase Karen.

    Her untimely death was such a waste of talent.

    And for some reason every time the special hits the PBS beg-a-thon ("Close to You - Remembering the Carpenters") I manage to stumble across it and watch some, most or all of it. And I relive some of my best memories of those times in my life.

    I've always loved music and had varied tastes throughout the years, but there's something about the way their music endured, and still plays well today, so long after her death.

    Anyway, the PBS thing is on again, and that got me to thinking back...hence, the post. ;)

    Sorry if it was boring or maudlin...
     

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  2. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby Android Expert
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    Not at all. That was a great documentary and a great group.
     
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  3. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    The Carpenters are still very popular in China, and have been so for a very long time. Always gets me the number of people who try to sing Yesterday Once More in a karaoke room(KTV). Even if someone doesn't know much western music at all, they nearly always know The Carpenters! :D


    ...and guess what I'm watching this evening..
    IMG20160316214416.jpg
    ...it's not on PBS of course, it's on my USB hard drive plugged into the TV.
     
    #3 mikedt, Mar 16, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2016
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  4. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    So completely by happenstance I turn on the radio today and the beginning strains of "Rainy Days and Mondays" comes on, so I listen closely, marveling again at the talent and nuance in Karen's voicing.

    Later I'm wasting time on the 'net and cue up the first Carpenters' sing I ever heard, their first big hit, "Close to You." Reading about the song while I'm listening to it I learn it was a much older song than I'd thought; in fact, Richard Chamberlain recorded it in 1963, and it's such a dog of a recording it was the B side of another dog. ;)

    Anyway, here's what his version sounded like, and you have to come away stunned and impressed by what Richard and Karen did with it. Seriously, listening to his recording you wonder why it wasn't consigned to the musical cemetery.

    I'd say, "enjoy," but let's be honest: with this original version, that's simply not possible. Bleh...

    Oh, and be forewarned before you click play: you can't unhear it later.

     
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  5. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    ^-- Noooooooooo!

    I didn't see the warning! Now I *need* to listen to the Karen Carpenter version.
     
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Did William Shatner or Leonard Nimoy ever sing Close To You?
     
  7. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    If they did, that's a link I never want to click on :eek:
     
  8. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    I cannot imagine their versions would be worse than Chamberlain's. It's that bad. :D
     
  9. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    So the singing career of "Dr Kildare" was quite brief.
     
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  10. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    Yeah, he certainly never practiced the Hippocratic Oath when he was singing, that's for sure!! :D :D
     
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  11. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    This is not terribly impressive, but then I am not a fan of Harry Connick, Jr. Listen closely and see how many times he's not on the note or on the beat...not just in this song, but any of them. Musically this is kind of interesting, but otherwise...bleh.



    And how about Isaac Hayes (yes, *that* Isaac Hayes...):



    Similar, but better...Bobby Womack:



    And from Soul Train, Brenda Lee Eager and Jerry Butler...



    Which is pretty much the same as BT Express' cover...



    Soul version from the UK by Gwen Guthrie...um, no thanks (kind of how I feel about Hayes' version as well...)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRMYxp86mOU

    Ronald Isley and Lauryn Hill's version is pretty good...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1fMzEb5Ru4

    Paul Weller's version didn't do much for me...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLAJaYIlCdU

    Connie Stevens mostly left the song alone when she recorded it...okay, but a bit to breathy (her style anyway). The Muppets make it endearing, though:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSIxwK5uozk

    Speaking of breathy, there's Olivia Ong...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5wI5qt0cFo

    Mario Biondi with the Duke Orchestra is a better orchestral arrangement than Harry's...and he sings better, too. :D

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcXAbs3EXDs

    Even Ol' Blue Eyes, himself:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi9Mlbs6OPM

    Michael Bolton...never liked anything he did, and this is no exception:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-VCN5WIX4A

    Clearly there is still some interest, as Dami Im recently released an album with it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZIYDpXawrk

    Looping taken to an extreme by Jacob Colliers...um, no, but thanks (not!):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s1baxrxGHU

    Generally speaking I love Tommy Emmanuel, and while this is almost completely instrumental, it's terrific (no looping necessary when Tommy comes to play!):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoeuXk1j01c

    I'm not even sure what this is supposed to be, but, um, no...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=re-6eOhrejE

    Anyway, this is not exhaustive...there are several, as you can see. Enjoy? :D :D
     
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  12. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    It's swing style. He does it to the max. Not everyone's cup of tea, but at least he has a decent quality voice, with expression.

    I lost the will to live waiting for the intro to end!

    Too much messing around with the melody. Richard would not approve.
     
  13. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    Chamberlain or Carpenter? Or both, maybe? :D :D

    Go listen to Sinatra's version, I mean he was one of the pioneers of swing style. He's not having any trouble hitting the notes and timing. Deano was half in the bag when he recorded, and he was still darn good, too. ;)

    I like most musical genres, including swing, but whatever style it is, when you're supposed to be singing a note, you have to sing it, not miss it by a half-step. And if your orchestra is setting the beat (swing or otherwise), you're supposed to keep up with them. I do actually like his voice quite a lot and the other stuff is more stylistic, but skipping out on the musical basics are what grind at me. What do I know, the guy's really successful with what he does.

    OTOH, I don't understand the appeal of Kenny G, either. :p
     
  14. LV426

    LV426 I say we take off and nuke this place from orbit
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    It's called Rubato, but he's overdoing it.
     

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