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New Q&As Edition 6 below - see Archive for previous Q&As

Subject No.  Fans Ask: Richard Answers:
DVD 1 What Carpenters DVDs have been produced and which are available? "Gold", "Interpretations", and "Close To You: Remembering The Carpenters".
DVD 2  Will Richard ever release another DVD of Carpenters songs…besides repackaging of Yesterday Once More and Interpretations? No, nothing much left!
Karen 3 After Karen came back from New York in 1982, did she do any singing at all, other than her last performance at Buckley School for her god children? With the exception of "Now", no.
Misc 4 I am very familiar with A&M Studios and it's layout and have heard different theories over the years while recording there as to where you and Karen liked recording certain things. How did you normally select your rooms (i.e. tracking, string dates, vocal overdubs, etc.)? Tracks usually in Studio B and later Studio D. Strings, horns et al, A or D. Vocals B, C & later D.   D was Karen's favorite as it had a vocal booth.   Looking back, however, I believe C was hard to match for vocals. It just had some noise problems with A/C rumble and hallway noise leakage as it had no airlock.
Misc 5 Did you think Akiko Kobayashi sounded a lot like Karen?  Did she remind you of it? Reminiscent at times; she wanted my production of her "City of Angles" album to be patterned after "Made In America".
Misc 6 Is it true that Frank Sinatra said he wanted to sing with Karen Carpenter? Not to my knowledge.
SACD 7 Just wondering if there is any likelihood of another 5.1 release as there are so many more Carpenters songs that would be great to hear in surround, ie, "Those Gold Old Dreams" & "Let Me Be The One". There are currently no plans for additional SACDs. The record company is the one to decide if the format is economically worthy to produce another.  I certainly hope it turns out to be.
Song 8 I have the original very first CD release of 'Singles 69-73' which came out on CD around 1985. I also have the remastered classic's version which seems to be the same except it's remastered. However, the Canadian release of this very same CD seems to use all the original mixes except for 'Yesterday Once More' which uses a remix. The original Singles album on CD came out in 1983. As far as all the versions on CD, there is the original version from the Now &Then album, available only on the Carpenters box set from Japan,  the single version which Karen and I did in 1973, and the 1985 remix.
Song 9 I noticed on the compilation from Japan entitled Sweet Memory, a song I am unfamiliar with.  It is on disc 5 selection 12 and is entitled "Turn Away".  Is this the only place this can be found?  I would like to know if it can be found elsewhere as I can't get a copy of this and anything "new" from the Carpenters would be wonderful to hear. Yes, there is one other place – the first album, Ticket To Ride, band 6 or track 6 on that album.
Song 10 On the song SOLITAIRE, (a) which I feel is Karen’s crowning vocal achievement, how come she didn’t like it?  And (b) did you ever sing this song in concert?  Summer of 1975?   (a) Karen never put it into words. (b) No, Karen did not like it.
Song 11 Upon first hearing the Master Karaoke remixes years ago, I noticed in Rainy Days and Mondays that the string line was mixed out during the sax solo. This has also been a common mix on most, if not all, of the subsequent compilations. What was your reasoning for this?  After repeated listenings to the original, I decided I did not like it and it wasn't needed.
Song 12 I know you wrote the piano arrangements for "From This Moment On" and "It's Christmas Time". Are they charted and if so, will you ever consider releasing them? Actually, I didn't; Mitzie and Ken Welch did the former and Peter Knight, the latter. They are charted for my use, not published, and no, I won't consider releasing them.
Song 13 (a) During the summer tour of 1975, when Richard and Karen sang with Neil Sedaka, did you ever do duets with him on Laughter in the Rain?    (b) And what are your thoughts on that song? (a) No.  (b) I think it is a terrific song and record.
Song 14 Did you and Karen sing a ‘LIVE” performance at the 1972 Academy Awards of Bless The Beasts and the Children? Lip-sync, thankfully; it was a chaotic evening.
Song 15 When you first heard "IF I HAD YOU" from Karen’s solo sessions…were you amazed at the intricate harmonies?  Was Karen pleased by it? Not quite amazed, but certainly impressed and yes, she was pleased. 
Technique 16 Due to your very close harmonies, I have always had a question concerning "We've Only Just Begun". Following the first verse featuring Karen/piano, you guys break into the rather large harmony "WE'VE ONLY BEGUN". How many parts/voices is this and what exactly is the voicing?  The four parts are tripled (12 voices - 6 Karen, 6 Richard) and pushed way up in the mix!
Technique 17 From around '74 on, I noticed that whenever Karen would double her lead vocal, the sound was a bit thicker than in previous years (i.e. song 'HAPPY' you can deal me in this time around"). Why is this? Did you have a particular effect or technique that you applied to the doubles during this time period that made them stand out more?  I don't hear this myself because nothing was different! No effect or technique (other than overdubbing) was used.
Technique 18 You and Karen fit well into the category of "GREATS" in the history of popular music. Will you consider writing a book similar to those published on the Beatles, etc. that is entirely based on the production aspect of the Carpenters' music, recording, arranging/production, etc.? Thanks, but no.
TV Special 19 On the Carol Burnett Show, where you are all singing the Bacharach medley, is it live, or was it prerecorded? Live to track, recorded at CBS Television City for the show.
TV Special 20.1 I know some of the video tracks on the two Carpenters music DVDs ("Gold" and "Interpretations") were taken from your television specials. But where are the other tracks from? Ticket To Ride is from a short-lived syndicated pop music program called “Where It’s At”, hosted by John Byner and they just did a marvelous job. We’ve Only Just Begun on the first one is from a Bob Hope Special, 1973.  A number of them are A&M promo films, the forerunners to the modern-day video. 
TV Special 20.2 (continued) They were filmed (there was no MTV at that time) and sent to foreign territories to promote our records.  Several are from our own summer replacement show, “Make Your Own Kind Of Music”. 
Video 21 (a) I was wondering what your opinion was on the "I Need to Be In Love" video. I appreciated the fact that there was some actual acting involved, rather than your typical lip-synched, performance video. (b) Who created the original concept for the video? (a) I loathe it; all those google eyes being made and everyone involved appearing to be in heat...  I call it the "Love Plane". (b) Ed Sulzer, who ran our office on the A&M lot from 1973 through 1979.  
Vocals 22 What is the lowest note Karen sang? D, below middle C, on A Song For You. Only Yesterday starts on a low E flat, below middle C. As a rule, I wouldn’t take her any lower than that. 
Vocals 23 I read that drummer Hal Blaine said he is the one who told you or Karen that she should sing in her lower voice.  Is that true?  Heavens, no! Don't believe everything you read.


Last Updated June 4, 2008
May 2004  © Richard Carpenter

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