- Thanks, OP.%0D\
By the way, do I look fat?
The Ghost Of Karen Carpenter
- I have a hauntingly beautiful voice, too....but I like to eat, Girl!
Aretha F., well...maybe not such a hauntingly beautiful voice,but....
- But so did Linda Ronstadt, Cher, Tanya Tucker, and they''re still around! Yes, Karen did have a beautiful voice, but she also had treacly material and was so messed up emotionally she offed herself.
- I agree OP, her voice was beautiful, sad she died so young.
- I love Karen Carpenter. \
The Carpenters version of Ave Maria is wonderful.
- I read a bio on her and what was interesting was that she was described as a "mike singer." She needed to sing with her mouth practically on the mike, because her voice had no volume or power without it. She barely sang above a whisper.
- Cher has a hauntingly beautiful voice?%0D\
It''s a voice, and at times it is loud- and she''s loads of fun, smart, and a damn good actress, but...
- My favorite Karen Carpenter song is hard to find:%0D\
I Can Dream Can''t I%0D\
I have it on an old scratched up cd. Play it once and it always leads to playing it over and over.
- Karen often belittled the musical talent of her contemporaries. It may be for the best that her voice haunts us instead of continuing to sling mud into the new millennium.
- Connie Francis could also make every song sound sad.
- R9 It is on you tube\
The book "Little Girl Blue" is about as good as any Carpenters fan will get in terms of a decent book about the Carpenters as near as I can tell.
- "Goodbye to Love"\
How can you get high on thoughts of suicide? But GOD that''s a beautiful song.
- R8 called that one right.
- Karen Carpenter had a great voice. It wasn''t so much the range, but the power and emotion that she put in it. There was a real haunting melancholy emotion to her delivery that people didn''t catch on to until after the fact. %0D\
- [quote]She needed to sing with her mouth practically on the mike, because her voice had no volume or power without it. She barely sang above a whisper.%0D\
Karen had amazing control of her voice in both volume and power. It wasn''t necessary to lean into the microphone, but by doing so, she created an intimacy that made it seem (as Herb Alpert said) "she was sitting on your lap and singing only for you." Which is actually kinda pervy, but gives one of the reasons for the Carpenters'' success.
- I adore the song "You" by The Carpenters. I agree, Op, Karen had a very special voice. Mike singer or not.
- [quote]Karen often belittled the musical talent of her contemporaries. It may be for the best that her voice haunts us instead of continuing to sling mud into the new millennium.%0D\
Actually it was more the reverse.%0D\
Bette Midler 1974 Grammy Awards.%0D\
- Amazing voice!" Looong ago, aaand not so far awaaay! I fell in love with yoooou. Beeefore the second shooow"!
- ... a song for you....\
- I always thought it was Helen Reddy Midler had issues with.
- Mama Cass was stealing her food. Poor thing.
- Some of you people are easily haunted.
- "Haunting?" Maybe. She always sounded so depressed, not matter what song she was singing; I guess that could be construed as "haunting." But "beautiful?" I never thought so. Karen Carpenter had a very distinctive voice, but it was a very dull voice. She always sounded like she was on tranquilizers or something; there was no passion, no feeling there. Her vocal style was soulless. %0D\
I read some of the biography "Little Girl Blue." It was boring as hell, but that should come as no surprise. Richard and Karen Carpenter were two deadly dull people. They tried to insist they weren''t, that it was just their "image", but they were in fact a couple of nonentities. The most interesting thing about Karen Carpenter was her anorexia. Well, that and her hobby of collecting Mickey Mouse memorabilia.
- I''m not normally one to defend Bette (although I loved her in [...], [...]), but I don''t know that she was dissing Karen Carpenter in R18s clip. I thought she was dissing the fact that the winners of the Best New Artist Grammy often go nowhere in their careers.
- If Karen had eaten Mama Cass''s sammich they''d both be alive today.
- Interesting pop talent in the vein of Warwick? Yes. Hauntingly beautiful to the point of being able to bring a person to tears? Well, apparently for some, but for me her and her brother's gifts were more about the processed pop smoothness of their production values, and that's not the sort of thing that feels authentic or spontaneous enough to elicit strong emotions. She was like processed cheese - meltingly good but it doesn't deliver the sharp smack of a real Stilton.
I heard them in concert once, and every song sounded exactly like the recorded versions. Nothing different, nothing living about it. Controlled, buffed, and ultimately unsatisfying, for me. Unsatisfying because it lacked depth. Perfect for what it was, but 60s-70s pop is about being, in the end, a cool artifice, whatever may be the theme or point of view expressed. The performer has to convey the right kind of intelligence, wisdom and turmoil under the coolness of the surface for it to convey depth. Peggy Lee could do it. So could Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, and even Johnny Mathis. But Karen Carpenter sounded like a very, very gifted mimic of feelings who had a beautiful voice.
Her personal problems provided a curiously apt fit for the form, but no one knew about those problems until later.
Yeah, a know-it-all, but a good memory of how it was at the time
- "Karen had amazing control of her voice in both volume and power."\
According to many in the book "Little Girl Blue" that simply wasn''t true. They weren''t criticizing her voice, just stating that she needed the mike.\
I have to agree with R24. I found the book well written; the author got lots of interviews with close friends of Karen''s, but it was frankly, dull, because The Carpenters were dull.
- "Karen often belittled the musical talent of her contemporaries. It may be for the best that her voice haunts us instead of continuing to sling mud into the new millennium."\
What the fuck are you talking about? Both John Lennon and Streisand told Karen how much they loved her voice and Karen didn''t believe them--she didn''t measure her voice against anyone else''s talent because she had little self-confidence.
- Watch and listen and try not to cry--I dare you, motherfuckers:
- I''ll have to go back and reread LGB to see whom you''re talking about R28. But if you listen to almost any of Karen''s live performances, while she did sing close to the mike, she certainly didn''t sing in a whisper.%0D\
As for the Carpenters being dull, I actually found their issues and faults in contrast to the picture perfect image they projected somewhat interesting.%0D\
There''s more to the story than LGB told and we''ll probably have to wait until the death of Richard before it all comes out.%0D\
Perhaps we''ll hear from the husband since all main parties involved in the confidentiality agreement are dead - which you can''t slander....
- The first concert I ever saw was the Carpenters, when I was 17, oh so many years ago. \
Even in their heyday they were considered the antithesis of hip. \
Despite all the processed cheesiness there is a deep strain of melancholy in Karen''s voice that, like the OP, I also find hauntingly beautiful.
- ^True, that--even their "happier" songs like "Top of the World" and "Sweet Sweet Smile" still have that melancholy edge.
- None of the whores in the charts today can sing like this live:
- Not the greatest audio, but I like this Bacharach medley they did with Carol Burnett:
- Neither could she, r34.
- I was surprised when I was a party and someone put on an album of other artists performing Carpenters music. %0D\
I''d always hated the Carpenters'' music because it sounds like music to slit your wrists by, but when other artists cover it, there are some good songs.
- Dreary! Bland. Blah. Boring. She had the drearies.
- What''s wrong with music to slit your wrists by?
- Does anyone remember some show where fans went to the house where Karen Carpenter died because the lady currently living in it was having an estate sale? She''d really let the property decline but was selling off property that had been abandoned like Karen''s record collection. It was sad.
- [bold]Is Carpenter House headed for demolition?[/bold]
- I think she''s the drabbest singer ever, and the arrangements consistently make me guffaw.\
Honestly, it''s like listening to a machine sing - no affect, no soul.
- Don''t even think of saying anything negative about their music on youtube. The Carpenters are universally worshipped over there, and their posse will come after you like a pitbull stalking a defenseless grandmother.
- I've been so many places in my life and time%0D
I've sung a lot of songs I've made some bad rhyme%0D
I've acted out my love in stages%0D
With ten thousand people watching%0D
But we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you%0D
I know your image of me is what I hope to be%0D
I've treated you unkindly but darlin' can't you see%0D
There's no one more important to me%0D
Darlin' can't you please see through me%0D
Cause we're alone now and I'm singing this song for you%0D
You taught me precious secrets of the truth witholding nothing%0D
You came out in front and I was hiding%0D
But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together%0D
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding%0D
I love you in a place where there's no space or time%0D
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine%0D
And when my life is over%0D
Remember when we were together%0D
We were alone and I was singing this song for you%0D
You taught me precious secrets of the truth witholding nothing%0D
You came out in front and I was hiding%0D
But now I'm so much better and if my words don't come together%0D
Listen to the melody cause my love is in there hiding%0D
I love you in a place where there's no space or time%0D
I love you for in my life you are a friend of mine%0D
And when my life is over%0D
Remember when we were together%0D
We were alone and I was singing this song for you%0D
We were alone and I was singing this song for you %0D
- Leon Russell''s version was 100X better, R44.%0D\
Totally agree with R24''s post.%0D\
I just noticed something I didn''t notice 35 or so years ago, and that was that Karen wore a wig. That hair can''t be real, can it?
- I always think of her during the Christmas season because radio plays "Merry Christmas, Darling" a lot. Great song.
- She had a beautiful voice, but I cant help looking at her & thinking about how badly she needed a makeover,I think it would have helped her self esteem a lot,I know it''s shallow but she really had the worst clothes & hairstyle ever.
- Karen is back!\
Check out this asian chick who has Karen''s voice. The tone, timbre, vibrato. Scary at the same time. \
You are welcome!
- She''s from the Philippines -- Richard tours with her a lot over there...
- "Bless the Beast and the Children" is a lovely song and she is sublime- but being called a "motherfucker" kind of ruins any emotion.%0D\
Such are some classy posters on DL.
- John Lennon said he thought the Carpenters'' cover of "Ticket To Ride" was better than the Beatles'' original.
- [quote]John Lennon said he thought the Carpenters'' cover of "Ticket To Ride" was better than the Beatles'' original.\
It is my favorite song by Karen.
- ONJ was her BFF. \
Make of that what you will.
- "John Lennon said he thought the Carpenters'' cover of "Ticket To Ride" was better than the Beatles'' original."%0D\
John Lennon was an idiot. He and Yoko Ono posed naked on an album cover, so that other people could "share" in the great, undying love they had for each other. Yes, an idiot. %0D\
The Carpenters DID diss other artists of the era. They hated glitter rock in particular, couldn''t stand David Bowie and Marc Bolan and the like. They called the lead singer of Mott the Hoople "that thing with the boots and the shades." "Shades?" They called sunglasses "shades"; that must have made them feel very, very hip. %0D\
The Carpenters seemed very homophobic, despite the lesbian rumors about Karen. %0D
- "they" did, r55?\
Both Richard and Karen, as one, said simultaneously: "that thing with the boots and the shades."?\
Richard is an obvious closet-case. Ergo, a self-loathing republican freak.\
But Karen was not so easy to pinhole.
- "Bless The Beast and The Children" tends to make me cry.\
Especially with all the gay connected to the movie.
- They didn''t rock, they were both nerds, had crappy taste in everything, cover material, clothes, music. Most of their songs were covers, so they weren''t very good writers (although "Goodbye to Love" is a good song). No, they don''t deserve all this Gen X love that has happened for them, neither does Frank Sinatra.
- Barkley. Who possesses YOUR favorite voice?
- She got much more love after she died. They were never rock critic''s darlings. But starving herself was her best career move. Her death gave their treacly songs gravitas.
- I liked Karen''s voice, I just think her oeuvre is overrated. And I''m not gonna repeat who my fave singers are, I''ve done it ad nauseum.
- You actually haven''t; but you DO post ad nauseum anytime a Kate Bush or Karen Carpenter thread comes along....
- [quote]Most of their songs were covers, so they weren''t very good writers (although "Goodbye to Love" is a good song).%0D\
Richard either composed or arranged ALL of the music the Carpenters recorded/performed. They had several contributing lyricists and yes, did covers of both popular and classic songs.%0D\
And speaking of "Goodbye to Love", it was the first "pop" song to have a electric guitar solo which became very standard in later decades.%0D\
And here we are still talking about them almost thirty years after Karen''s death.%0D\
Certainly won''t happen with the majority of female recording artists of the past twenty years.
- How do you know we won''t, are you psychic, r63? Their biggest hits were written by Burt Bacharach, Paul Williams, and Barry DeVorzon. The crappy corny "Top of the World" was co-written by Richard and John Bettis. So their biggest hits and best songs were written by others, so I stand by my judgment that writing wasn''t their strong suit. And you''re SO wrong about the guitar solo being the first in a pop song. So you''re full of shit and you don''t know as much as you think you do about pop music. And to the person who says I haven''t posted my fave singers, are you new?
- If I was new, how would I know you are like a moth to the flame whenever Kate Bush or Karen Carpenter threads pop up every so often?
- [quote]How do you know we won''t, are you psychic, [R63]?%0D\
No Rose, I''m the same time-raveler that was at Chaplin''s "Gold Rush" with the cell-phone.%0D\
And I should''ve been a bit more specific when I stated that GTL with it''s ELECTRIC guitar solo is considered by many to be the first "Power Ballad" that combined a slow pop song with the unexpected "riff" solo.%0D\
Look Snarkley, we get it. You don''t like the Carpenters. So crawl back into your cave and listen to whomever you like.%0D\
But don''t be coming around and hatin'' on Miss Karen.%0D\
She had more talent in her smallest fart than you do in your entire body (thank you Walter Matthau.)%0D\
And witout being psychic, I know that thirty years after your demise, the Carpenters'' music will play on and you''ll be remembered by probably no one.
- Karen Carpenter was a great drummer as well as a great singer, IMHO. %0D\
She studied the work of Buddy Rich when she was young. And, Buddy Rich actually complemented Karen Carpenter on her drumming ages ago and all of that. %0D\
I''ve played the drums since I was a child and I really think that Karen Carpenter could play the drums really well and I am grateful for her being a lady who played the drums for sure. She was one of the first real female drummers of any merit. And, you guys can think whatever some of you want with regards to her voice, but she could out drum most any female drummers in this day and age like nothing and I am putting Meg White at the top of that list. %0D\
- The Carpenters will always hold a special memory for me, because when I was in 10th grade my best friend Martin V. had their new album (can''t remember which one exactly, but it was circa June 1973), which we played one side over and over by leaving the stacking arm up (remember that?)\
It was the night we (unexpectedly?) made love for the first time, all night, and I knew I had found my true love. (Our relationship lasted all through that summer and junior year, but we broke up before senior year and I have many regrets about things I could have/should have done differently.)
- "Both Richard and Karen, as one, said simultaneously: "that thing with the boots and the shades."?%0D\
One of them did. I can''t remember which one. But both of them hated glitter rock. They both made snide comments about it. I clearly remember the article where they talked about it. %0D
- "Most of their songs were covers, so they weren''t very good writers."%0D\
Coming from the person who praises Cher and Linda Ronstadt.%0D\
And don''t even get me started on Tanya Tucker. One good song, and Bette Midler ate that shit alive with her definitive cover.
- Was her husband gay? He sure pinged....
- ^More likely bi--he had a son from a previous marriage, so for a short time, Karen was a stepmother. Another little known fact is that Karen and that guy were still married at the time she died--she was scheduled to finalize the divorce proceedings at her lawyer''s office either the day she died or the day following.
- Wow. I didn''t know about the son. How old was he when they married?
- r18, I so loathe Betty Midler now. Big, cheesy, brassy hack with a hatchet face and a tendency to bloat.
She''s dead to me.
- I cannot hate on Bette Midler for snarking on the Carpenters back in the day, because she did eventually appologize for having done so in light of the passing of Karen Carpenter. %0D\
Maybe she was a little jealous? Fuck if I know. But she did appologize and so I cannot hate on her at all. I just cannot. %0D\
It is amazing to me how Karen Carpenter could paly the drums so well. Amazing. %0D\
- Karen was very underrated as a drummer. What''s amazing to me is that she could totally sing out of meter while holding a steady tempo on the set, fills, etc. with no problem. That''s what made her such a great musician overall.
- I love KC because it reminds me of when I was a young little queer in the chorus. In elementary school we sang a lot of songs from the Carpenters. Good times!%0D\
This was my favorite:%0D
- I can''t believe so many people here aren''t fans of her voice!\
Granted, there is no accounting for taste, but I think she has one of the most beautiful voices I''ve ever heard and she was well before my time. 25 year old here.
- Ms. Karen had a distinctive sound, a poignant, mournful cast to her voice, that gave some of her fluffier material more substance, for sure. The album with "I Can Dream, Can''t I", Horizon, is gorgeous, including her killer version of "Solitaire."\
But the best rendition of A Song for You--at Willie Nelson''s 70th birthday celebration, Leon Russell started it, then Ray Charles, not long before his death, took over. I bawled like a damn baby.
- I can''t believe that Karen Carpenter and Mark Harmon had dated for a while, long before Mark was voted "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine. Seems like such an odd pairing.
- Mama Cass Dream a little Dream Of Me
- It''s interesting that Todd Haynes directed "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" which deals with the destructive forces which contributed to Karen''s anorexia. It''s ironic that a gay man chose to address how her negative body image killed her, especially considering that no group has a greater obsession with body weight than gay men. Except maybe young girls.
- reply 39, very good.
- wasnt there something about the Carpenter''s father being anti-semitic? it was some awards show or SOMETHING where he said to a reporter something about streisand having ''that jewish thing,'' going for which, ''thank god his kids didn''t have.'' does anybody remember this?
- Re: your clip, R35. Ironic that Carol uses the term "Heavy" to Karen.
- [quote]wasnt there something about the Carpenter''s father being anti-semitic? it was some awards show or SOMETHING where he said to a reporter something about streisand having ''that jewish thing,'' going for which, ''thank god his kids didn''t have.'' does anybody remember this?%0D\
No, but I remember when Walt Disney said in something somewhere that he originally wanted the end song in Mary Poppins to be "Let''s Go Fry a Kike" but the Sherman Brothers objected.
- Mark Harmon always dated plain janes. And in the end he married Dawber, Pam, face like Spam.
- I''d love to know the identity of the Billboard reviewer who referred to Karen as "Richard''s chubby little sister" back when she was a teenager. He sounded like an evil Datalounger.
- She WAS chubby as a teen, poor thing. \
But yes, what a catty, queeny comment.
- I imagine fucking her must have been like sticking it in a discarded KFC box with chicken bones in it and hoping there''s enough left on the joints for some friction. \
Although of course she had the most hauntingly beautiful voice and was a wonderful drummer and still makes many people on this thread cry and make fun of Cass Elliot.
- It''s hard to separate the revision of the Carpenter''s work with the sad circumstances of Karen''s death. Her sad situation does seem to add more depth to their music. The same thing happened with Kurt Cobain.
- I get nostalgic for the old days when singers could actually sing! Good times!
P. Diddy Daddy Dollar Days
- Monday morning bump
- Ah come on, it''s easy to play soft-rock drums like she did. You people are deluded. Yes, she had a beautiful voice, I agree with you but she''s dead - move on, there are lots more talented women VLIVING singers out there (not that atonal twat Lorraine & The Machine who were embarrassingly bad on SNL this weekend)!
Barkley, singin''-songwritin'' hound dawg
She studied the work of Buddy Rich from the time she was a teenager. That is not soft rock drumming at all. %0D\
- [quote]there are lots more talented women LIVING singers out there..%0D\
- Another thing that bastard Reagan did was defund World Contact Day, for which Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft was the official anthem.
- R98 I am sure that Klaatu was pissed at that also. %0D\
I think that the late Karen Carpenter had a wonderful voice and was a great drummer. %0D\
Just listen to what she did with this melody of two songs she had sung to death by the time of this special...
Yeah, yeah, I posted before...
- After seeing all of those shitty performances at the AMAs last night, it makes me appreciate the real talent that was lost when Karen died.
- In "Little Girl Blue" a woman Richard dated talked about their relationship, such as it was. Seems everytime they went out on a date Karen came along. That''s right; he brought his sister with him went he went out on dates. Needless to say, the relationship didn''t last. I think the love of Richard''s life was Karen; I think he was the only man she ever truly loved.
- Richard should release an auto-tune remix greatest hits album.
- URF. SACRilege!!!
- R99 gets two gold stars: one for the link with that beautiful medley and one for the Klaatu remark.
- I''m prejudiced because I am one of the people that love her haunting voice and miss her talent...\
...but tis almost the season. If you haven''t ever heard it, the Carpenters'' Christmas album is superb. Brilliant. Probably the best Christmas album ever. Richard Carpenter gives me the creeps, but the arrangements on that album are genius.\
And Karen''s voice makes it all happen.
- Put your listening ears on, r8. The Way of Love, her obscure version of Superstar, A Song for You. Beautiful and haunting.
- Here is her last recording. Knowing her fate shortly after this recording makes the song especially poignant. \
While her voice is hauntingly beautiful, there is also a genuine warmth to it as well. The kind of voice that would comfort you in your darkest hour of need.
- Wait. Barkley thinks CHER has a "hauntingly beautiful voice"?????
- Yeah, but did she ever sing SONDHEIM???!!!
Thats all ATC queens care about
- I wish Richard would stop fucking with the mixes. The best collection came out in 1985, before he made tinkering with the masters his life''s work
- True that R110.%0D\
Compare "Make Believe It''s Your First Time" from her solo album (produced by Phil Ramone) which is pretty much Karen and a few instruments, with the version her brother rereleased.%0D\
- Richard''s version.%0D\
But with either version, what''s so amazing is that she was still in the grips of anorexia and yet it didn''t affect her voice at all.
- R105--the Christmas album is good, but I cannot stand "Merry Christmas, Darling," maybe the most depressing Christmas I can think of. I said so on the Christmas-song-you-hate thread.
- When she sings I''ll Be Home for Christmas I want to break down and cry right then and there.
- Not only was she tender to the touch in her final days but now in the arms of an angel.%0D\
- Maybe in 2041, you''ll be going on and on about my talents.
Ke$ha, starting my hunger strike
- [quote]Not only was she tender to the touch in her final days but now in the arms of an angel. %0D\
Good thing she don''t weigh much.
- The word you should be using is "doesn''t" r117, not "don''t".
Miss Manners, picking on r117
- [bold]FREEPER TROLL, beginning at R32.[/bold] %0D\
[italic]Also posting at...[/italic]%0D\
"Black Voters Will Help Re-Elect Obama" | R 15, R 26, R 33, R 35, R 39, R 45 (so far)%0D\
"If There''s A Democratic Challenger To Obama For 2012" | R 45, R 48, R 50, R 57, R 64, R 68, R 71, R 76, R 78, R 83, R 91, R 94, R 96, R 98, R 121 (so far)%0D\
"Our National Palin Obsession" | R 18, R 22, R 25, R 28 (so far)%0D\
"Two Of The Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies In George W. Bush''s Memoir" | R 12, R 14, R 16, R 19 (so far)
- [quote]But Karen was not so easy to pinhole.%0D\
- I liked the 1989 movie aired on CBS.\
- I''m always amazed at some of the negative comments left by people simply by going over the top in tastlessness to prove their opinion. Very sad. Everyone has different musical tastes. We all don''t have to "love" the same artist. That being said, I thought Karen had the most beautiful alto, melancholic, perfect pronunciation of words, effortless delivery and a dynamite lower register. Her strength really. "Only Yesterday" starts off in a low E flat as her voice is in prime shape in 1975. Her brother knew to start her in a lower key and that was her strength. The layers and overdubs and different instruments in their songs were great
- You really didn''t have to go back five months for that, R123. You could''ve started a new thread.
- Karen Carpenter had a tremendous gift whether some folks realize it or not. \
She studied th works of Buddy Rich to the point where he even complimented her on her drumming.\
She had a very unique vocal range and effortless talent with her singing. \
Who has those two things now-a-days at all? No one. That is why folks still carry on about her in the year 2011.
- In June 1981, Karen and Richard released "Made In America" and made a world tour to promote the album with appearances in Brazil and Germany. In November of that year, she and Richard returned home to California. Karen and her husband Tom Burris formally separated that same month. Shortly after Christmas, Karen moved to New York to begin treatment for her anorexia. She sought treatment with noted psychotherapist Steven Levenkron who was noted for his research into anorexia nervosa and self injury. %0D
In April 1982, she took a two-week vacation from her treatment and returned home to California. She and Richard returned to the studio and recorded several songs. At the time of this recording, Karen was heavily anorexic. Richard says she had lost even more weight since the last time he had seen her the year before. Karen returned to New York and stayed there until November 1982. During a two-month stay in a hospital, she was fed intravenously and gained 30 pounds. She returned home for Thanksgiving that year. Although she felt that she was cured, Richard says she just didn't look well and he told her so. The additional weight of 30 pounds added back suddenly on a body that had been underweight for so many years further strained her weakened heart, and she died of heart failure on the morning of February 4, 1983. She was just 32 years old, a month shy of her 33rd birthday. %0D
- Karen at the end. Yowzers.
- What most people don''t know is that Karen really loved the taste of cum. She thought it gave her pipes resonance.
- "she died of heart failure on the morning of February 4, 1983"%0D\
I was a big fan of The Carpenters (I must have a re-listen!) and I remember learning of Karen''s death on a radio news bulletin.%0D\
The other two music deaths that I recall learning of on the radio where John Lennon and Elvis Presley.%0D\
- I started this thread back in November; glad to see it still has life.
- Her voice is truly haunting. She is one of the very few singers who can make me tear up. RIP Karen.
- In the 1989 bio-pic, Cynthia Gibb played the role of KC while wearing pieces of clothes that mother Agnes has saved
- I was only about 7 years old when she died but I remember jokes about cat food surrounding her death. I was too young to have it explained to me. Anyone want to clue me in?
- [quote]I remember learning of Karen''s death on a radio news bulletin. The other two music deaths that I recall learning of on the radio where John Lennon and Elvis Presley. %0D\
Turn that damn radio off. You''re killing all these great singers with your jinxed radio. %0D\
- I always thought that there was something "off" about Richard.
- I remember when she died and I was in college.\
A really otherwise nice girl said: "She sang well. But those songs she did were so faggy."\
I was deeply closeted at the time; it was hard to listen to shit like that.\
Mostly, because she couldn''t just say she sang well. She had to tack on that "faggy" song remark.\
I remember thinking, well, there''s another person I have to check off the ''don''t ever talk to again'' list.\
Who cares? She was a great singer.
- For whatever reason, Merry Christmas Darling always provokes an emotional response in me, reminds me of Christmas with my late partner. Also love Solitaire and the rest. I agree Karen''s voice is hauntingly beautiful. RIP KC.
- If you want to experience Karen''s natural talent check this out. This was the first time she ever sang this song. If you listen closely, you can hear her turn the pages on the lyric sheet. From 1975 at her peak. She was 25 years old. Who has this kind of talent in 2011?\
The music tracks were added years later.\
- I''m not aware of any current performer who has that kind of talent. Thanks for that, what a great song.
- I disagree! If I hadn''t beat off the reaper as many times as I have, this thread would be about me!
Ms. Stevie Nicks
- "Trying To Get The Feeling Again" is one of my favorite Karen tracks. I agree that no current singer could sing like this.
Karen Carpenter was a fucking whack job--period.
- It''s not as if you''d have to deal with her personally, r143, so WTF cares? Most artists are whacked, what''s your point? Are you a little nuts?
- Corny song, but what a voice! This was apparently a demo as well:
- WTF? How did I miss this one?
- R146, here is the color version w/ a bit of German dubbing-
She had a beautiful, unique voice that can move me to tears when I''m in one of *those* moods.%0D\
What is so shocking is how in our world of plenty she starved herself to death because of some careless remark about her being tubby. It''s sobering to think that in our thoughtless moments (usually joined to humour) we can so deeply wound another so as to speed their demise. I am so glad I do not have the self hatred required to spend my life looking outside of myself for someone to criticise. (my remarks re: Jane Hill are observations not judgements)%0D\
PS. I know she got married but she didn''t ''arf ping.%0D\
- Eating disorders are bizarre, but they''re almost certainly more complicated than a single comment about being tubby.
- Karen Carpenter had a unique talent both with her singing and drumming. \
I am linking to a you tube video of The Dick Carpenter Trio at the "Your All American College Show" back in 1968 (before their fame). Karen Carpenter could quite honestly play the drums as well as she could sing and there are not to many ladies out there who can say that. \
There used to be this downright jazzy rendition of "Mr. Guder" that they did live in Belgium, but the only one out there now is on a Korean site which seems to have buffering issues so I did not link to that one. \
I always figured that Richard Carpenter or the father molested her and that is what sent her over the edge and everything. Could be wrong, though. But it is odd how Richard Carpenter has kept a tight hold over the Carpenters and just never really did all to very much past that again.
Gay ESL student
- Didn''t Richard Carpenter also marry his first cousin?\
I''m currently reading the bio, "Little Girl Blue" and the author seems to imply that Karen''s body issues came from being considered the least important member of her family. Richard was the golden boy, the genius, the one who was supposed to have a great musical career. \
Karen was the tag-along baby sister. Even though she was clearly the star onstage and on the record, the family never took her seriously, and were very controlling about every aspect of her career and personal relationships.\
And yeah, she totally pinged to me as well. Maybe a few years later, with a little more self-knowledge, she might have been someone who found satisfaction with a female partner.
- I wish they would just post R139''s song that is just Karen and the band and not smeared with Richard''s post production strings and gain.\
I know he doesn''t have anything else to do but fuck with the old recordings but, sheesh...
- Her BFF, Olivia Newton John
- When asked about the death of Truman Capote Gore Vidal replied: "Great career move by Truman." One might say the same thing about Karen Carpenter.%0D\
Of course gay men adore her--she is a victim, and so of course she is forgiven for the mediocrity that comprises her music. Bland pop that portends AOR and "American Idol." Trust me, if Kelly Clarkson clocks out from an eating disorder, we will find out here at DL about how "underrated" her music was. The right-wing politics? Hmmm. Let''s see. We can trash country singers for their conservative tendencies, but don''t go their with Karen. %0D\
Rondstat was always a better singer, and Joni Mitchell the genius of the decade. Carpenter? Boring.
- Ranger, your sweeping generalizations don''t hold water.
- Blah! Bland! Boooooring! %0D\
Some radio stations play her cringe-inducing crapola at Christmas time. I grab the remote right away.
- Karen did not have a hand in selecting the material. She performed what her brother or the record execs told her to - she had little to no creative control.
When she finally was able to strike out on her own and make an album (Richard was away in rehab at the time, so she had more freedom), she recorded a disco album that was very different than the Carpenters "sound". Not only did A&M Records refuse to issue it, but they also made Karen pay back the 400K it took to create the album. This woman made them millions and they couldn't even allow her one solo album. She apparently burst into tears when the execs told her it was being canned.
The album was reissued years later after Richard was able to "remaster" the original. Even in death, her creative wishes were ignored.
Eating disorders are closely linked to a perceived lack of control in one's life. Poor Karen had that amazing voice and much of the Carpenters' talent, yet she wasn't allowed to make any decisions for herself. In some ways, her story reminds me of other stars like Garland who were manipulated and milked for profit their entire life.
- Karen Carpenter''s voice was pure depression. \
One listen and you''d slit your wrists. Healthy people stayed away.
- I think her voice is dreamy.%0D\
Just heard Superstar yesterday for the first time in years. Still a wow.
- Well, Aretha can haunt a house with hers, r3.
- She was Madonna''s mother''s favorite singer. The song "Rain" is inspired by Karen Carpenter. %0D\
- r154, I am a gay man and I never particularly adored Karen Carpenter. Why make such sweeping generalizations?%0D\
r148, it wasn''t a careless remark that started her problems. People say things about other people all the time and it doesn''t lead the subject to self-destruction. There was much more wrong with her for a remark to be the catalyst to her problems.
- R161, Madonna''s mother died in 1963, long before Karen Carpenter was famous.
- Karen''s voice had a very thin quality to it.
- Karen''s solo album was finally released by A&M as it was recorded. This is the original version of "Make Believe" without all of Richard''s overdubbing.
- "Actually it was more the reverse.%0D\
Bette Midler 1974 Grammy Awards.%0D\
But you do realize she''s making the crack about winning the award itself, not about Karen Carpenter, right?
- Bette Midler did make jokes about Karen Carpenter''s anorexia after Karen''s death. She apologized later in a REDBOOK interview in 1990.\
When I asked Bette if she had any regrets, she replied: "TONS of things. I regret making all those Karen Carpenter anorexia jokes. I *cannot* tell you how much I apologize. From the bottom of my soul, I apologize to her and her family. My husband and I have a house in Orange County, and every time we drive by the area where Karen lived, I think of her. She had tremendous talent, and I was a jerk for saying those things. I was young and stupid and crazy and thought I was doing profound and enduring stuff. But I wasn''t -- I was adding to the ugliness in the world." \
- Wow. Good for Bette.
- I recall reading that audiences would gasp when she''d walk on stage at the point when her anorexia was at its worst because she looked so bad.
- It''s a pity she was never able to get away from that toxic family, particularly the mother and her brother.
- [quote]Of course gay men adore her%0D\
What a stupid remark. You sound like one of the idiots who asks "Why does everyone at DL hate (insert name)?" %0D\
Why do all the people who use the name "ranger" post ignorant messages on the internet?%0D\
- My voice is even more haunting.
- [quote]My voice is even more haunting.\
Frightening, not haunting.
- Bette Midler will be long, long forgotten (she kind of already is) while Karen Carpenter''s music lives on.\
Bette''s music is pure campy torch-song schmaltz. Ask one gay under 25 who she is and you''ll get a blank stare. Yet, I''m sure many young people recognize, and are awestruck by, Karen''s voice.
- What do we think of other pop singers of that era like Helen Reddy, Olivia, Frida and Agnetha?
- [quote]...while Karen Carpenter''s music lives on.%0D\
Just where does Karen Carpenter''s voice live on, outside of the few elderly Datalounge queens who pop in a well-worn 8-track as they fix lunch for mother?
"Treacly" doesn''t begin...
- Um, FM/AM radio, iTunes, Internet radio, Sirius ...
- And I''d add to R177''s reply that we hear her voice every holiday season--she recorded Christmas classics that are right up there with Bing Crosby and Judy Garland.
- I absolutely agree, r178.
- r161 got it partially right. Madonna''s Rain IS a tribute to Karen Carpenter. Liz Rozenberg confirmed when the single was released. \
I also came across this on a Karen Carpenter fan forum:\
"Madonna donated all the royalties from her single ''This Used To Be My Playground'' to the Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation (as it was then)."
Check out Agnetha''s Swedish recording of "I Don''t Know How to Love Him" (from "Jesus Christ Superstar"). Her voice is right up there with Karen''s as one of the most beautiful of the 70''s ...
- Couldn''t start a thread on this subject but I think I could ask the question here. Anyone know anything about classical voice training? Is it not conventional to train someone''s full vocal range as opposed to classifying him or her as one voice type and train him or her as such?
- It''s doubtful that Karen Carpenter ever had any voice training. It''s more like they handed her a microphone and told her to moan into it.
- r165, thanks so much for that lovely track, which I hadn''t heard, or heard of, before.%0D\
It''s like getting new songs from a cherished voice from the past.
- Jean Carn singing like Karen
- In honor of Karen, tonight I will be making a tray of ice cubes for dinner.
- Ooooh, R187, that sounds delish! Could you make me one? Actually, make two - I haven't eaten since Monday.
- Gay men and women are more prone to eating disorders. Karen pinged to high heaven and I can't help but wonder if she had survived, if she would have ever come out of the closet...?
Olivia Newton John's crotchless panties
- I cannot listen to a Karen Carpenter song without getting hungry. Go figure.
- r190 not too long ago I watched a Carpenters documentary on Youtube that went into great detail about Karen's anorexia and after I was done watching it I inhaled my fucking kitchen. It just made me totally ravenous.
- I'm still trying to get my mind around that post from page one that included Tanya Tucker among other "beautiful voices." Dafuq?
- The initial gut reaction of rockers to Carpenters music was that it was substandard and incestuous. The jokes never ended about Richard fucking his little sister. However, by the summer of 1970, the AM radio was flooded with Carpenters and that was the summer I spent building a fiberglass Soap Box Derby racer. Once I was forced to really listen to it, I became an instant fan. Other kids would come over to my crib complaining how much Carpenters blows and I would say no it doesn't blow... you need to listen to it again. It was the rich, deep-sounding female baritone that really blew everyone away. No one had ever heard a female sing like that before. We were just kids, knowing nothing about music but we knew what we liked and we liked Carpenters... just as much as Led Zeppelin.
- R189 I don't think she would have come out of the closet because, as I see it, she was very used to pretending. This is what I find a bit disappointing about her personality, that she was constantly hiding the truth about everything, about her illness, about her marriage, about her mother. The Carpenters fanclub newsletters were so unreal, like fairy tales. She was entitled to keep her private life private but, she made of her wedding a big circus, poor Karen, and poor those who believed her at that moment and still believe her now. She kept her fans wondering forever.
- I remember the post-punk Karen revival when people like Sonic Youth too up her flag.
It made me happy.
- OP, 'A Song for You' convinced me that Karen was indeed a magnificent singer.
- Just in time for Christmas someone has posted on YouTube, 14 Carpenters albums..from 1969 to 1983.... in one continuously playing 10 hour post.
I've listened to nearly all of it. Most of the stuff is mediocre and sounds like it's out of the Lawrence Welk Show ... but then you come across a gem. And when they were good, they were very good.
- We love Karen and the Carpenters!
- Karen's voice was orgasmic
- Her voice is magic...
- I needed some new Christmas music and have grown tired of being disappointed with the latest Christmas CD's. I decided to buy the Carpenter's two disc set even though I had never been a real fan of their music. Her voice IS hauntingly beautiful. This stuff really put me in the Christmas spirit and is in constant rotation around my house along with Bette Midler, Tony Bennett and Al Jarreau's Christmas CD's.
- R196 My favourite version of "A Song for You" is the one by Morgana King. She takes that song to a completely different level. It gives me goosebumps. I remember getting really mad at Karen Carpenter when I discovered Morgana's version, I felt as if Karen had been cheating me all the time with her all too simple superficial version. But Karen was a great singer. Her rendition of "This Masquarade" is really beautiful, it is very haunting indeed.
- R89, it looks like it started early -- the man credited w/discovering them (Joe Osborn) apparently made the comment as well.
I really didn't see it. I did see her sitting at a drum kit w/the long peasant dresses so that certainly doesn't make you look like a string bean.
I don't blame rude comments to be the cause, maybe the catalyst.
But I don't get why reviewers and others made these comments, or how accurate they were since I didn't see it. She looked normal to me.
it just seems bizarre to me.
And it wouldn't have happened to a male singer.
- didn't Karen marry a gay man? As in, he came out later?
- I think Karen was bi
- I think Karen was clueless for a long time, then realized she was a lesbian.
- R197 the beginning of that compilation sounds awful. The exaggerated overdubbing, Richard's horrible voice and all that tasteless oversaturated orchestration makes we want to throw up. I liked them when they kept things more simple.
- r207 -- Richard hasn't had much to do for the last 30 years except remix the old tapes. Try to find original pressings of the albums that came out before she died, or get the 1985 compilation of all their songs, which he cleaned up and rebalanced, but didn't ass all the extra stuff you hear on most GH releases now.
- You sort of wonder why Richard didn't get rid of the lisp he had when he sang. Or thang.
Not quite true. He re-recorded the piano part on Yesterday Once More in 1985, for example.
- R210 LOL
- R207 I think that the excessive orchestration, the abuse of musical resources was a sign of greediness, they wanted to eat up the world with their "music". They were talented people but at some point they became too ambitious and that was reflected in their music.
Are you kidding? They were the height of commercialism, riding the nostalgia bandwagon for all it was worth.
- R213 Sad but true
- R206 Keren didn't have time to think, she was too busy making money
What has Bananarama got to do with Karen Carpenter?
- A big Mary moment but I just listened to this after that NRA ass gave his gun speech yesterday.
- R216 Unfortunately a lot, towards the end of her career, that's what she seemd to be heading for
Are you suggesting she lost the ability to sing?
- R219 Oh, no. I was just referring to some of the material she was singing.
- WTF, r218? I'm absolutely sure "Keren" wanted to have a successful personal life when she was well enough to have one. Don't be so nervous, she didn't reject gay men -- she married one.
- I meant R215.
- R201, the Carpenters' Christmas album is fantastic. It's one of my all-time favorites, along with Nat King Cole's, and Andy Williams's.
- "...but I still have one special wish to make, a special one for you. Merry Christmas, darling..."
- Every time I hear "greeting cards have all been sent" on the radio I leap to change the station. Hearing Karen Carpenter droning in her lifeless voice "Meeeery Christmas, daaaaarling" make me want to puke.
- At least you have Beyonce, R225.
- Richard became angry when he learned the actor who played him in the CBS movie was gay.
- Tomorrow is the 30th Anniversary of Miss Karen's death!
Not an Eldergay, but love Miss Karen!
- She was better than Olivia Newton John.
- Was Karen Carpenter a lesbian? I had a teacher (female) in high school who basically told the class one day that they had been longtime companions, then she started crying and had to leave the room for awhile. Not kidding.
- I grew up not far from where Miss Karen and Richard lived. There was something going on in that family is the rumor... Whether it was the dad molested her or not, I dunno.
I like to pretend that Richard was in love with his sister and still grieves her to this day. It just gives me a nice disturbing image.
- Oliva Newton John is not in KC's league. She couldn't hold her microphone.
- r230. Many think she was gay but not able to deal.
What high school did you go to?
- [quote] Oliva Newton John is not in KC's league. She couldn't hold her microphone.
I don't see how they're comparable. Too very different voice types.
- R234. KC and ONJ = two equally boring musical providers from the '70s.
- Her most haunting song, and my favorite of hers, but not many heard it. She did it in 1940's style. I can remember when I played it for my Dad (Old Andrews Sister hit)
- r235, back to your Nicki Minaj doll collection.
- r230. What high school. Please. This is anonymous. Just tell us. Was it in/near Downey?
- No, R237, *NOT* Niki Minaj dolls.
I was there, right there in the '70s, suffering through crappy car radio music from ONJ and the Carpenters. Plus Barry Manilow and Bette Midler. Plus a zillion one-name bands and one-hit wonders.
Not everything about the '70s was fabulous.
- One of her most gorgeous, and melancholy songs.
Such depth to that voice:
- [R238] No this was in a Chicago suburb. It was my Spanish teacher, and she was from California, and I can't for the life of me remember her name (this was probably 1990).
- I was at the grocery store yesterday and one of her songs came on.
It struck me what a dead voice she has. It was pretty, but so listless.
- Oh I so wish you could remember her name. She might have been telling the truth, IF she went to Downey High....
- She died thirty years ago. Today.
- "Such depth to that voice"
Oh, please. Her voice had NO depth. Karen Carpenter always sang the same way: as if she were drugged or very depressed.
- Bullshit, R245.
Compare "Top of the World" to "Rainy Days and Mondays" to "One Fine Day". Different tempos, different phrasing, different emotions.
Go pull the wings off a fly, or kick your dog, douchebag.
- R245 - You are so wrong.
You don't even have to compare different songs. She sings different verses of Rainy Days and Mondays very differently.
- She purged via enemas. She was attempting to relieve herself of the sin and pain that someone had inflicted upon her.
How many of us feel the exact same way but cannot sing?
- "Compare "Top of the World" to "Rainy Days and Mondays" to "One Fine Day". Different tempos, different phrasing, different emotions.
Go pull the wings off a fly, or kick your dog, douchebag."
Oh go fuck yourself, you idiotic, tone-deaf Karen Carpenter fangurl. Even when she's singing "upbeat" drivel like "Top of the World" and "Sing" she sounds like she just took a Qaalude. Her singing was boring, middle-of-the-road pop pap. You wouldn't know good singing if it bit you on your pimply ass.
- "You don't even have to compare different songs. She sings different verses of Rainy Days and Mondays very differently.'
So what? She always sounded the same no matter what kind of phrasing she used: DULL.
- Karen Carpenter is such a melancholy person with an even more melancholy voice. Beautiful, but dreadfully morose. Even her happy songs sound sad. That is the reason why I can only listen to her songs in certain moods.
She has a Christmas album that I only ever hear on radio stations playing songs. I immediately change the dial. Nothing about about Karen is jovial, especially her Christmas renditions.
- That's why it is considered hauntingly beautiful!
- When I try to picture Bette Midler, I can for a moment. Then the image turns into Joy Behar.
- [quote]What do we think of other pop singers of that era like Helen Reddy, Olivia, Frida and Agnetha?
I know little of Reddy, she didn't break the UK. She is good though. I always confuse her with Helen Shapiro.
I loved when I found out that Karen and ONJ were friends, I often lump them together. Karen was the alto, Olivia was the soprano. Karen was better, but Dame Livvy had a similar kind of angelic clear voice.
ABBA, well they were like having Karen and Olivia in the same band. Not quite as good as those two, but both great singers. I give the edge to the poor neglected Frida, Agnetha tended to get the most anthemic songs. Ag seemed to dominate, but it was all about that vocal blend.
- Karen with Bette. Look who got the most cheers. A real "oh dear" moment.
- I was a huge Helen Reddy fan back in the days. I'm not really sure why though, it might have been the women's lib thing. I have always been a rock 'n roll lover.
- Her voice is melancholy...even when she's singing a happy song. To this day whenever I listen to The Carpenters, I feel a deep sadness...
- Karen Carpenter's cover of Mr. Postman is may favorite vocal performance of hers, and I'm always filled with sadness when I hear it.
- [quote]I was adding to the ugliness in the world
Well she's not wrong there.
- She was quite good. But most of you worshipers know nothing of music, and only rock-era vocalists. That's like comparing McDonalds and Burger King.
- @Anonymous you are indeed right when it coms to these people and their awful taste in music.However,i do think Karen had a beautiful voice and you don't have to agree with me but still....
- sorry comes not coms. sorry for being such an idiot.