Sunday, 13 February 2011

An Apology to Karen & Richard Carpenter. Yours Sincerely, A Musical Snob.

I must admit it. I'm a musical snob.

For those who know me, this revelation won't come as a surprise. For those who have merely seen my blog posts here that have been dedicated to musical heroes of mine such as Queen, Sam Cooke, John Lennon, Pulp, Elvis, The Shadows, Billy Joel, Beethoven or the music from the 50s and 60s or from Christmas time you have only scratched at the surface.

I'm a very middle of the road, easy going kinda guy but when it comes to music, I am an obsessive. Obsessed with the music that I adore because I have found from a young age that music for me is one of the great 'stress busters'. It's a release valve which I can rely on to lift me, no matter what mood I'm in.

My wide-ranging and eclectic taste in music will cater for any state of mind that I may find myself in and I have found that over the years, I have become very protective of the music that I have called my own.

But when it comes to music that I don't like - I've never been afraid to show it. Whether it's a genre like Rap or a specific artiste like Duran Duran or David Bowie, if I'm not a fan, then the whole world will know about it. If it isn't good enough for me then how can it possibly be good enough for anyone else?!

An Apology
Well, for years I must admit, I have never listened too or cared to consider The Carpenters to be a bone-fide musical act of note. I allowed myself, quite sloppily I must confess, to believe that the only songs that they did of any worthiness were Please Mr Postman and Close To You - songs that I've never taken too.

But somewhere along the more recent line, I've realised just how talented and worthy this brother and sister act really are. Karen's life of course was tragically cut short but their recording career as a duet spanned enough time for them to leave an indelible mark on the music industry and in the public consciousness. Here are just a few examples of what I'm talking about...

Firstly, the wonderfully, infectiously cheerful 'Top of the World'.

Then, the beautifully melodic 'Yesterday Once More'.

My personal favourite though has got to be 'There's a Kind of Hush'.

This song simply blows me away. It's one of the smoothest, easy on the ear pieces of music that I have ever heard. It's absolute magic in motion.

Finally, a cover of the ABBA hit, 'Thank You For The Music'.

Because in fact, I must apologise now to Richard and Karen Carpenter for over-looking them for so long and thank them for the music that they produced.

I'm not one to relent easily when it comes to music but in this case, I'll happily admit that I was wrong.


  1. I loved them back in the 70's.

    I have since become attached to the music of Andy Williams.

    If you havent bothered to listen to his music, get an album or 2 of his greatest hits and see how easy he makes it sound.

    The Carpenters make it sound easy, as well.

  2. I'm an Andy Williams fan too.

    'The Impossible Dream' is a personal favourite of mine.

  3. You mentioned some of their hits in your blog, which I consider to be their sappiest... as much as I love Karen Carpenter "Yesterday Once More", "Top Of The World" and "There's A Kind Of Hush" are some of their most lightweight "fluff" tunes.

    Their best music - are their album tracks such as "B'wana She No Home", "Road Ode", "I Can't Make Music", "Desperado" and "Only Yesterday".

    Karen's solo album was also outstanding with songs edgy songs such as "Guess I Just Lost My Head" and "If I Had You".

  4. Karen's solo album is a hidden gem. Some so-so songs, but most are worth checking out.

    My fav: "All Because of You."

  5. Desperado, yes! Oh, and you can't miss A song for you or This masquerade, or even Solitaire... magic! You have only scratched the surace, my friend. Some of what she did solo was indeed very good, but the magic is when they go together, not just vocally but Richard's music arrangements and playing.

  6. I have been a Carpenters fan from the beginning and have always known that if you only listened to the "Hits" you miss so much of the richness their music contained. In light of Karen's passing one listen to "I can Dream can't I" can break your heart knowing that she never found what she searched for. The shear insight into the male psyche in "Strength of a Woman", the loneliness of touring in "Road Ode", the delicacy of "Crystal Lullaby", "Where do I Go from Here", "Last One Singin' the Blues", "All of My Life", "A Song for You", her final recording "Now"...Karen sang emotion, no one could "read" a lyric better.

  7. I'm glad for your apology to Richard and the one some call "The Voice." Karen has one of the best voices in history, and while many singers can "play innocent," Karen actually is. Not bad on the drums, either. I'm glad you realize she and Richard are a treasure.