MY FAVORITE CARPENTERS SONGS
Today reminds us the day when Karen Carpenter passed on in that morning of February 4, 1983. Together with the songs she had sung, we wept until those songs made her alive and well again for eternity.
Officially Karen Carpenter’s last recording of a song, eleven months before she passed away. The song, including 9 others, was posthumously released in 1983 as “Voice of the Heart” featuring only Karen’s face as the album cover. The recording of the song was supposedly just a “work lead,” because the song still needed further arrangements and accompaniments. Richard said Karen’s first recording of the song proved to be flawlessly rendered in one take.
MAKE BELIEVE IT’S YOUR FIRST TIME
Originally recorded by Bobby Vinton in 1979 which was initially a minor hit for the crooner, Carpenters’ version featured completely different musical and vocal arrangements. The penultimate stanza of the song served as the opening line, while a few lines were reworded to suit Richard’s new arrangement. However, this song would not be released until 1996.
ALL OF MY LIFE
First recorded in 1969, the song was originally written by Richard Carpenter for their very first album which was almost a complete commercial failure. It would become Karen Carpenter’s first exposition of her velvety vocals that would capture the hearts of legion of fans. The song would be released twice: as a B-side to We’ve Only Just Begun (1970) and as a remixed version in 1987 highlighting the crisper vocal recording of Karen. The debut album, though typically a misfire, featured 90% of Karen Carpenter’s drumming skills– just enough for her to be elevated as one of the greatest ever.
FOR ALL WE KNOW
Originally recorded by Larry Meredith for the film Lovers and Other Strangers, of which the duo first heard as a wedding track in the said feature they watched while on a tour break. Richard decided to record the song for their rpm album, Single by Carpenters (1971). It peaked at number 3 on US Billboard on the same time the song won an Academy Award for Best Song.
GOODBYE TO LOVE
Self-deprecating and a very sad love song, this was co-written by John Bettis with Richard Carpenter maneuvering the instrumentations and splashed on an amazing take at the end by adding an electric guitar solo. Perhaps, one of those brazen executive decisions Richard had to make in the name of his genius. Karen evens out her tone with a sort of fusion from smooth to moderately raspy in order to complement the song’s bald-faced arrangement.
WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
Before there were wedding songs, this was a quintessential hit and was initially a national TV commercial jingle for a Californian bank. Composed by Paul Williams, the song only featured two verses and was expanded upon request by Richard Carpenter. The duo considered this as their “signature song” and as such their biggest selling single ever. It was also critically acclaimed for having sealed their Grammy awards that particular year, and later deemed “historically significant” covering all possible considerations (including being one of the longest number one hit songs on Billboard 100). This song heavily highlights the duo’s overdubbed vocals.