Thursday, 13 March 2014


Today I am talking about music I love. Therefore I know you will be expecting me to bang on about The Carpenters again. Wrong.

This time I'll be talking about someone COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Karen Carpenter.

See? I do like to mix it up a bit. It is not widely known that Karen Carpenter did, in fact, record one solo album without her brother Richard. I'd like to focus on the solo album.

The story behind the solo is somewhat convoluted and often controversial among the Carpenters fandom. Although it was recorded in 1979 and scheduled for release in early 1980 it was ultimately shelved at the time. Karen Carpenter passed away in 1983 and the album was eventually posthumously released in 1996, 13 years after her death and 16 years after it was recorded.

Richard Carpenter has always steadfastly claimed that it was Karen's decision to shelve the album in 1980. All I will say is, I don't really believe this based on everything I have read. I think the decision was forced on her. The album should have been released at the time. Since it wasn't, I am grateful that Richard finally let the fans have the last part of Karen's legacy.

The album was produced by Phil Ramone with the bulk of the recording done in New York with Billy Joel's band at the time. . This is a great article written by Rob Hoerburger for The New York Times from 1996 regarding the album.

I just wanted to share one or two of my favourite songs from the album. I LOVE this one:

This is quite groovy too.

Don't you just love that 70's sound? No? Oh well - we can't all be groovy and have good taste.

Incidentally, this song was written by Rod Temperton who had also written the songs Rock With You and Off The Wall which he originally offered to Karen. She passed on them and the songs then went on to be hits for Michael Jackson. Useless trivia that my brain remembers instead of where I put my glasses or keys five minutes ago. Sigh.

There are also several out takes from the album floating around the internet. I like this one.

Oh, who am I kidding? I like them ALL. So I had better leave it there.

I should probably try to find some music I like that was recorded in this century by somebody who is actually breathing. Might be handy.  Any suggestions?

Linking up with Robomum for The Lounge.

                                                         What music do you  love?
                                                    Which artists do you recommend I listen to
                                                      to catch up with this century?


  1. I love that you love The Carpenters so much!
    You'll be proud - I know that song, If I had You.
    Her voice was just perfect. I think those sounds are making a comeback, but they don't compare, really. They try too hard,
    Cheers for linking. Robo X

    1. How do you know that song? I wish KC could really make a comeback. Sigh....

  2. Bless your loyal little heart :)

  3. Nice post Ness. Didn't expect you to talk about KC's solo effort.

    I have the album on CD. Never really heard a song with KC on it that sounds bad. This solo album is good, not her best work, but definitely worthy of release to her adoring fans like us.

    What would I recommend other than the Carpenters? You probably already know. Just about anything by Pink Floyd (esp. Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and absolutely The Wall). All of the six studio ablums by The Doors (esp. The Doors, Morrison Hotel, and LA Woman). There really are too many to go into here. I could add some greats from jazz, country, blues, and maybe classical.

    Sorry to break the news to you, but most of the greatest music was performed by people who are now dead or aren't together anymore. I do like Tony Bennett. The guy is 87 years old and sings like a guy much younger; I saw him perform live late last year and he was unforgettable, simply fantastic.

    I like Martina McBride. She has a nice, powerful voice. I would like to see her perform live.

    I could mention many, but I'm getting long as usual.


    1. I think you are right about the greatest music being in the past. I love Tony Bennett, he's amazing. I wish KC had been alive to do a duet with him on his duet albums. I'll have a bit of a listen to Martina McBride. Thanks.

  4. After watching the videos (which I really liked) you posted Ness, I discovered this great unreleased KC tune and video called Something's Missing (In My Life). You can hear it here:

    When I hear KC sing songs like this and I think of her life, I can't help think that she was singing from her experience and from that very place.

    I like the theme. You can have everything materially and not have someone to love on a personal level. Sadly, that was KC's life in the end.


    1. Yes, I've heard Something's Missing before. Love it. I wish she would have finished it for the album. It is sad how things worked out for KC but I think she'd want us to focus on the music. It's hard sometimes. Sigh.

  5. Hey, Vanessa, a propos of nothing, have you hear the theory, beginning to gain ground and be treated seriously, that people with Aspergers actually have too much empathy? Knowing a couple of people intimately who have Aspergers it makes much more sense to me than the bizarre notion that they don't have much empathy, that just never fit - and certainly doesn't seem to fit you. Here's a link I happened across. Have had a lot of time at home this week with a bug of some kind, so have been online a lot more than usual and thought of you when I read this again.

    1. Thanks for the link Ace. I too find it bizarre to say we have zero empathy. Sometimes maybe I don't express it or show it the way somebody else might but it's there. Meanwhile, I've met many non Aspies who seem kind of self-absorbed. I don't get it.

      Hope you've recovered from your bug. xo