I am a born-again Carpenters fan – the tribute album If I Were A Carpenter probably made more of an impact on me than the original songs (first time around). That changed rather quickly though…those original recordings by the Carpenters – pretty special. Maybe more so with the passing of time. As we get older and care less about cool…or something like that.
A couple of years ago in Las Vegas, I saw Paul Williams mangle a few of his well-written, best-known songs. It was a magical thing to be at. Car-crash good/bad. But then he closed the set with We’ve Only Just Begun. Me and my buddy Matt clinked glasses – partly at the absurdity of it, mostly at the magic. (There’s always magic in absurdity and most certainly vice versa).
I mostly only know the Carpenters through the many versions of a Greatest Hits album. I have a few on vinyl, a couple on CD still – but I have never gone deep into the albums. I think I might have to.
This, their second, is a stunner. Plenty of the big hits, but a few things I didn’t know so well – like Crescent Noon and Mr. Guder – proving that as good as all those Paul Williams, Beatles and Bacharach covers were – and are – this was a band that could write and arrange crackingly good originals too.
Their white teeth. Richard – probably a Ken-doll down there. I dunno…why am I even saying that, or thinking it…it’s all part of the music they made though. Magical. And absurd. Absurdly magical. Sublime.
And we’ve made it into the 1970s by the way; this is the first album from the seventies to feature in the book that I had previously not heard. This should be a fun decade to work through…