As Time Goes By
The tracks in this collection span the years 1967-1980 and are culled from a variety of media: demos, outtakes, live performances, and television specials. The recordings encompass most of the Carpenters' recording career and are an eclectic mix, ranging from Dizzy Fingers to My Funny Valentine to Dancing in the Street. I feel my track-by-track notes will be more illuminating to the listener if they are prefaced with a capsule history of the Carpenters.
In 1966, Karen and I had occasion to meet pre-eminent west coast studio bassist, Joe Osborn. Osborn had recently had his garage transformed into a recording studio and outfitted it with state-of-the-art recording gear, including a Scully 4-track recording console, Neumann U87 microphones and Altec 604 studio monitors. He and a partner were also the founders of a fledgling record label, Magic Lamp. Already on the roster were Johnny Burnette and Vince Edwards, amongst others, but Osborn was still looking for new acts to sign. As Joe routinely worked in the studios until midnight, Karen and I did not meet him until the wee small hours of an April morning. It was of little concern to us. Karen sang, I provided the accompaniment and on May 9, 1966 Karen signed with Magic Lamp as an artist, with me signing two days later to the publishing arm. Lightup Music. (Actually - neither one of us signed; our parents did, as we were minors, Karen 16 and I, 19.) Karen and I cut a number of sides in Joe's studio, but due to the lack of promotion and distribution, only one single by each of the label's artists was "released" before the venture folded in late 1967.
Joe never lost faith in us, however, and in the early morning hours or on weekends, he would get behind the console and let us record; even playing bass on a number of tracks. By mid-1968, the "Carpenters sound" had been created, with all of us learning on the job. A demo tape ultimately found its way to Herb Alpert's desk in early 1969, and on April 22 of that year Herb's partner, Jerry Moss, signed Karen and me to A&M Records.
Richard Carpenter, 2000
1. Without A Song (Music, Music, Music)
3. Nowhere Man (Demo)
4. I Got Rhythm (Music, Music, Music)
5. Dancing In The Street (Space Encounters)
6. Dizzy Fingers (Music, Music, Music)
7. You're Just In Love (Music, Music, Music)
8. Karen/Ella Medley (Music, Music, Music)
9. Medley: Close Encounters/Star Wars (Space Encounters)
10. Leave Yesterday Behind (Outtake)
11. Carpenters/Como Medley (Perry Como's Christmas Show)
12. California Dreamin' (Demo)
13. The Rainbow Connection (Outtake)
14. Hits Medley '76 (Carpenters Very First Television Special)
15. And When He Smiles (Carpenters 1971 BBC Television Special)
Recorded and mixed at A&M Studios and Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA.
Mastered by: Bernie Grundman, Bernie Grundman Mastering. Design: Bill Merryfield,
Photography/cover: Ed Caraff, Photography: Annie Leibowitz
© 2001 A&M Records. All rights reserved.
Special Thanks: David Alley, Ron Gorow, John Henderson, Joe Orson
Last Updated June 4, 2008
May 2004 © Richard Carpenter