Long Ago, and Oh So Far Away ...

What’s your favorite Carpenter’s song?

Mine are “Superstar”, and “Good-Bye to Love”.

The first was co-written by Leon Russell (dang, he was good!), and Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie fame. It was recorded by everyone from Peggy Lee to Rita Coolidge, Joe C*cker, Bette Midler, Cher, Chrissy Hynde, The Motels, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, and Megurine Luka (a vocaloid!). I heard it was actually performed in Wayne’s World 2, now I gotta watch that movie!

And, I couldn’t believe it, Richard Carpenter co-wrote “Good-Bye to Love”. AND arranged it. What a friggin’ amazing first few bars. I guess he was extremely talented. The guitar solo is great, but apparently to some guitarists of the era, it was universe-changing. And on my bucket list is to sit down and figure out the last chord. Wow. Final tidbit on Superstar - Karen Carpenter reportedly recorded it in one friggin’ take. Like Patsy Cline did on Willy Nelson’s “Crazy”. When I hear things like that I shed tears in appreciation of the beauty of the universe.

FInal bit: Karen Carpenter said Superstar, Rainy Days and Mondays, and “I Need to Be in Love” were the ones most emotionally difficult to sing. I can’t place the last one, I’m going to have to dig it up.

But these two - Goodbye to Love, and Superstar, are actually two of my favorite songs ever (though I do seek death metal radio stations in every city I visit, go figure!).

Anyone else?

Take a look at " This Diamond Ring " Gary Lewis and the Playboys early 1960’s ??? …Leon Russell…Producer

Cool song, ‘Diamond Ring’, it really shows the british influence of the times. ‘Merseybeat’ or ‘Liverpool Sound’ comes to mind and these guys do it very well.

Thanks and cheers :slight_smile: ,


I remember that song when it was in the charts. Never gave much thought to who made it, always sort of assumed it was Gerry and the Pacemakers. Then again I thought ‘Needles and Pins’ was a DC5 song.
Get this from Wkipedia:
“The hit record, which went to #1 on the Billboard chart, is attributed to Gary Lewis & the Playboys although none of the Playboys played their instruments on the recording and Lewis’s vocals were heavily supported by Ron Hicklin’s overdubs. Instead the music was performed by members of The Wrecking Crew. The session drummer was Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye played bass and Leon Russell both played keyboards and assisted with production.”
Carol Kaye, now there’s a legend.

Whoa, there’s Leon Russell again!

and Hal Blaine:
http://www.jazzwax.com/2012/05/hal-blaine-on-karen-carpenter.html .

Look up The Wrecking Crew, were there any American hits they *didn’t * play on?

a close thing between Ticket to ride and Close to you. both amazing. Richard often overlooked but as far as I know he did the arrangements which really lifted the songs above the norm… apart from the superb vocals of course!

Yep, great stuff!

For those that may be interested, Rainy Days And Mondays was written by Paul Williams. Another great song.

We’ve Only Just Begun is another classic written by Paul Williams. Good stuff.

My folks didn’t have a huge record collection, but they did have every record ever made by:

Tom Jones
Burt Bachrach
The Fifth Dimension
The Carpenters

So, in the days before I had my own money and could buy Maynard Ferguson records, that was all I listened to. I probably know every Carpenter’s song; I do in fact know that one “I Know I Need to Be in Love.” Of course, later on, true rockers professed contempt of the Carpenters, but mostly because they thought they were supposed to… because eventually they came to be highly regarded

Ah yes, Phantom of the Paradise (or Virgil (the orangutan)) :laughing: