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So, you think The Carpenters were just 1970s protoyachtrock?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by okcrum, May 4, 2021 at 6:13 AM.


  1. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Karen Carpenter was an amazing musician, who had to be coaxed out from behind the drums. Richard was a good composer and pianist. But they found what sold.
     
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Can’t say that I’ve given it much thought. In fact, I try not to think about anything that was later termed ‘yacht rock’. Yes, pretty voice, but the Carpenters always struck me as what Richard Nixon would have wanted youth culture to have been.
     
    kentiki, oldandbold, rmayer and 11 others like this.
  4. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    837DB21D-A38D-4763-9EF1-EC330CB1D535.png
    The Carpenters did not “rock”.
     
    Mili, ajkula66, RyanKinBK and 5 others like this.
  5. I was around when their hits were new records on the charts, and after Zeppelin, et al, like a lot of us, I tended to write them off as impossibly un-hip, square, etc.

    Over time, I have come to really, really appreciate her voice, Richard's craftsmanship on those exceptionally tight charts, and rue her unfortunate end with her eating disorder. That voice is one in a million. It's easy to take pot shots that they made 'commercial' records, but I don't think Page and Plant or anyone else was going to turn down 'the money' for, ahem, artistic integrity.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021 at 11:47 AM
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    They put out well-crafted songs and had amazing vocals (both Karen and Richard). Their harmonies were SO tight and, like Queen, Boston, et al, did them without autotune. Think about that the next time you listen to one of their songs.
     
    JimK, FilterFunk, SteveCS and 21 others like this.
  7. Ostie

    Ostie

    Aug 1, 2018
    Mid MI
    I think the Captain and Tennille were proto yacht rock. I mean, he was a captain. He had the hat to prove it.
     
  8. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Her voice was like none other — IMHO "Close To You" and "We've Only Just Begun" are her zenith. And damn straight she could k'nock them drums.

    Poor Karen never had a chance. I read the bio Little Girl Blue some years ago and cried pretty much all the way through it.
     
    design, JimK, Billyzoom and 22 others like this.
  9. Esteban Garcia

    Esteban Garcia bassist, arranger, aelurophile Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2018
    Portland, OR
    Yes, that is what they were.

    In the current era in which people are famous for being famous, without necessarily being talented or even nice to look at, it can be hard to imagine a time when entertainers mostly had both (the Monkees notwithstanding).

    The Carpenters undoubtedly had real chops, but so did almost every act at that level at that time. Imagine!
     
    JimK, Crispus, Ekulati and 6 others like this.
  10. As a teen I pretty much wrote them off as bad.

    But as I grew older and learned what it takes to get a good reputation, I realized you'd have to be clueless to not see the talent they had. And this was back in the "pre-tech" days before all the enhancements could be purchased relatively cheaply. Great harmonies, catchy songs, they earned the acclaim they got as musicians.

    They found what sells and put it out. Nothing wrong with that.
     
    bassdude51, Crispus, westrock and 9 others like this.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    All four of the tempos they played that song in were great. :D


    Seriously kinda cool though.
     
  12. Carolyn Stoddard:
    You're all stiff and proper and old-fashioned.

    Barnabas Collins:
    And Victoria? Is she not proper?

    Carolyn Stoddard:
    She likes to pretend she's rock'n'roll, but she's a Carpenters kind of chick for sure.

    Barnabas Collins:
    Do you mean to say that she has a penchant for woodworkers?

    Carolyn Stoddard:
    The Carpenters are musicians, stupid.

    -Dark Shadows, 2012
     
  13. ficelles

    ficelles

    Feb 28, 2010
    Devon, England
    I loved the Carpenters even back when it wasn't cool... Karen had a voice from heaven and the harmonies were awesome, as was her drumming. Such a shame she died so young. A real musical talent.
     
  14. arbiterusa

    arbiterusa

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Carpenters were one of my top three influences, the other two being Rush and Yes. And probably the best trained and knowledgeable musicians of the three.

    Fight me if you must.
     
    thmsjordan, Max, SteveCS and 9 others like this.
  15. thetaxmiser

    thetaxmiser Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2002
    Sonoma County, CA, USA
    My guilty pleasure while in high school in the mid 70s. Carpenter, Fifth Dimension, Burt Bacharach, Tijuana Brass...all good music. I still listen to music from that period on Spotify. Some great bass work on those recordings. Beautiful harmonies.
     
    thmsjordan, 3rdworlder, JimK and 14 others like this.
  16. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    The Carpenters pretty much defined what came to be known as "soft rock" between the end of the sixties and the advent of disco. It was its own genre, with many really good ballads by many good artists, which unfortunately can get lost under some of the syrup that also came out of that era.
     
    thmsjordan and BazzaBass like this.
  17. RichardW

    RichardW

    Feb 25, 2016
    near Philly
    how'd you like to be that bass player and have some idiot announcer butcher your name on television.
     
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  18. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe These aren't the effects you're looking for... Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Florida
    They also had that whole muskrat thing going....
     
    GregC likes this.
  19. dangevans

    dangevans

    Mar 26, 2014
    Yeah, years ago I viewed it as cheesy and too mellow. Now, it is really awesome music with such fine musicianship and great arrangements... Backed up by Joe Osborn on bass, of course!
     
  20. TheReceder

    TheReceder

    Jul 12, 2010
    Mn.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 9, 2021

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