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Subject: The Carpenters

Written By: AL-B Mk. III on 11/12/20 at 2:40 am

I was listening to some old Carpenters songs the other day and was doing some research on them, and I found that although they had great commercial success, they were also considered to be the most uncool musical act of the 1970s.

Certainly this discussion is open to all our members but for those of us who grew up in the 70's, what did you think of the Carpenters back then? How do you feel about them now?

I'll add my own opinions as the discussion goes on.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: CatwomanofV on 11/12/20 at 2:06 pm

I have always liked the Carpenters. (My dad gave me a teddy bear for my 7th birthday that I named after them-sort of. I had a hard time saying "Carpenter" so the bear's name turned out to be "Carpenger." And yes, I still have him even though he is now in the attic with many of my other stuff animals.)

My favorite album of theirs have never changed over the years which I have on CD today: A Song For You. Some friends of mine & I used to act out some of the songs from the Now and Then album (along with other songs like the Monster Mash, When the Deep Purple Falls, etc.)

I still LOVE this song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI4Bz450A_0

This one they tried to add humor.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q41xZF3EOIQ


Of course, I can't think of the Carpenters without thinking of the tragedy of Karen. It was such a shame that she couldn't get the help she needed.


Cat

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: wagonman76 on 11/12/20 at 6:28 pm

I don’t think I ever listened to them in the 80s. What turned me on to them was the movie Tommy Boy. Lately I learned that Karen played the drums which is cool.

I think they are one of those guilty pleasures like Air Supply. People say they are so lame but they sure were successful.

I agree you can’t think of them without thinking of Karen’s struggle with anorexia.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: yelimsexa on 11/13/20 at 12:32 pm

I can see where the "uncool" factor came from: they were much more of a family-friendly act with their material that teens/early twentysomethings would make fun of. One of their first big hits, "We've Only Just Begun", was a common first dance at wedding receptions throughout the decade. Many fans described them in the same "timeless" manner they thought of with the Frank Sinatras and Barbra Streisands of the time. But they have some of the most beautiful melodies out there, a refreshing pace from the acid/glam rock that gets so overhyped from that era. "Yesterday Once More" is my personal favorite as it relates to the early rock/pop oldies of the 1950s/60s.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: robby76 on 11/16/20 at 5:49 am

My family definitely liked The Carpenters. Like any pop act, some stuff was cool (well cool'ish) and some was lame (eg Please Mr Postman). As a young kid, they were well known, but it wasn't til 1990 that I re-discovered them properly. They had a big resurgence in the UK in 1990 with the release of a hits album which went to #1 in the albums chart. I think that was spurned by "Close To You" being used in a tv advert which became really popular. Since then the UK has used their songs for more adverts.

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As for being labelled uncool - a lot of popular acts nowadays could be classed as uncool, but still wildly popular - Justin Bieber, Bckstreet Boys etc

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: robby76 on 11/16/20 at 5:53 am

Karen's unreleased solo album which was shelved by her record company / brother, is also a magnificent gem of an album. I know disco was out at the time, but I feel good music will be received no matter what.

Here are my faves from that...

SpLhEME3z8U


t3ASaxDEJuI

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: whistledog on 11/22/20 at 8:44 pm

Here's an interesting Carpenters fact that's an eerie co-incidence:

In 1977, they had a hit with a song called Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.  The song had previously been a hit earlier that year for Klaatu, a Canadian band who named themselves after the alien character in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still.  In the film, when Klaatu arrives on earth, he adopts the surname Carpenter.

I really liked that "last" album the Carpenters released in 1981.  It had a few hits including a neat cover of that 60s telephone song Beechwood 4-5789

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 11/22/20 at 8:57 pm


Here's an interesting Carpenters fact that's an eerie co-incidence:

In 1977, they had a hit with a song called Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.  The song had previously been a hit earlier that year for Klaatu, a Canadian band who named themselves after the alien character in the 1951 film The Day the Earth Stood Still.  In the film, when Klaatu arrives on earth, he adopts the surname Carpenter.

I really liked that "last" album the Carpenters released in 1981.  It had a few hits including a neat cover of that 60s telephone song Beechwood 4-5789.


The original 1951 "The Day the Earth Stood Still" is one of my favorite movies. And it carried a quite important message for the time.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: nally on 11/26/20 at 10:51 am

My parents liked them (and even had a record album or two of theirs). I sorta liked them too as I was growing up. Even now, I can say that I like some of this band's songs. :)

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: violet_shy on 11/26/20 at 12:32 pm

I find most of their music to be very soothing. Very nice to listen to on a rainy day. "Close to you" is beautiful.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: loki 13 on 11/26/20 at 12:45 pm

Another Carpenters fact, odd as it is. They signed as Carpenters, without the definite article, yet everyone calls them The Carpenters
which is the way I think it should be, it is very hard to say it without the word "The".

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 11/26/20 at 12:49 pm


I find most of their music to be very soothing. Very nice to listen to on a rainy day. "Close to you" is beautiful.


I remember when that was a new hit in 1970 and they sang it on the Ed Sullivan Show with Karen playing drums. There were actually two versions. The single version and the album version which featured a longer ending with a little drum break and a reprise. Sometimes the AM stations would play the longer version as a special "treat". When Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote the song they offered it to Herb Alpert who was having hits at the time ("This Guy's In Love With You"), but he didn't want it. He thought it was a bit too feminine to sing "they sprinkled moon dust in your hair and golden starlight in your eyes of blue". So The Carpenters got it and had the hit with it. I bet herb Alpert wishes he had taken it when it was offered. Full disclosure, I am not a Carpenters fan. Don't like them, they're just not my cup of meat. But I don't mind giving the history of how it was  for those who weren't there.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: nally on 12/04/20 at 4:55 pm


Another Carpenters fact, odd as it is. They signed as Carpenters, without the definite article, yet everyone calls them The Carpenters
which is the way I think it should be, it is very hard to say it without the word "The".

The same can be said about other bands that have plurals as their names (whether it be a single word, like (the) Eagles, who didn't use the definite article... or multiple words such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, who I believe don't use it either).


On the other hand it does kinda sound awkward to say "...by Carpenters" when referencing one of the band's songs. "...by the Carpenters" flows more freely.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: AmericanGirl on 12/05/20 at 8:20 am

I'll admit to having mixed feelings on the Carpenters as I grew up with them.  On the one hand, Karen Carpenter had the voice of an angel; I always admired the Carpenters because of her beautiful voice and thought their music was top notch.  On the other hand, given their long string of slow tunes at the outset of their career, pre-teen me sometimes found their music boring.  As they mixed it up later in the decade, I enjoyed their later hits more.  Like everyone else I was crushed to learn of Karen's untimely passing.  The upshot of all this is, I'm glad I grew up in the Carpenters' era.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Howard on 12/05/20 at 1:28 pm


I'll admit to having mixed feelings on the Carpenters as I grew up with them.  On the one hand, Karen Carpenter had the voice of an angel; I always admired the Carpenters because of her beautiful voice and thought their music was top notch.  On the other hand, given their long string of slow tunes at the outset of their career, pre-teen me sometimes found their music boring.  As they mixed it up later in the decade, I enjoyed their later hits more.  Like everyone else I was crushed to learn of Karen's untimely passing.  The upshot of all this is, I'm glad I grew up in the Carpenters' era.


Did you like Karen's disco song?

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: AmericanGirl on 12/05/20 at 3:10 pm


Did you like Karen's disco song?


Don't remember it  :-\\

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Howard on 12/06/20 at 8:17 am


Don't remember it  :-\\


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxXxc9H1TjY

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Contigo on 01/25/21 at 6:20 pm

The Carpenters were a favorite. Karen could sing so beautifully.

Subject: Re: The Carpenters

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 01/28/21 at 10:10 am

I just fund out that Richard Chamberlain, the actor who played "Dr. Kildaire" among other things, recorded "Close To You" as far back as 1963. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXAZvxyXh4c




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