Wednesday, June 13, 2012

40 Year Itch: The Subversive Sounds of...


Though they may have since earned a reputation as the brother-sister act that could have performed on the Lawrence Welk Show without disturbing a single senior citizen, The Carpenters could be subversive. Yes, subversive. For "Goodbye To Love", the first single to be released after their fourth album , A Song For You , hit record store shelves on June 13, 1972, Tony Peluso records not one but two fuzzy guitar solos.

Peluso first played something soft and sweet, but then Richard Carpenter said "No, no, no! Play the melody for five bars and then burn it up! Soar off into the stratosphere! Go ahead! It'll be great!"

 Richard Carpenter has said it's the best guitar solo in recorded history.

 Then there is the 22 second "Intermission" that ends Side A.
The lyrics are, in full, "We'll be right back after we go to the bathroom"


 "Flat Baroque" anticipates the classical jazz sounds of Claude Bolling.


 But what makes A Song For You such a stand out are the songs (Six hit singles were pulled from the album including "Top Of The World" (US#1) , "Hurting Each Other" (US #2), "It's Going To Take Some Time "(US #12) and "I Won't Last A Day Without You" ( US #11) ) and Karen Carpenter's voice--an equal blend of perfect pitch, emotion and diction. I found myself enjoying this album in the car with the windows rolled down and my son in the back seat. Not what I expected from The Carpenters!

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