of the Week [Recordings
of Indeterminate Origin]
too long ago, they reissued all the studio albums by the toothsome
two less the live in London and Japan CDs. So it has been left to
the buggers at the other record company to look at the TV broadcasts
for rarities. More Offerings is a CD-R-type venture, thin on info
but surprisingly good looking. Where did they find this incredible
pic of Karen in her ultra-white undies? Must be Richard who took the
pic, the pervert.
What's on More
Offerings is even better. Despite the high generation tape used (hissy
throughout), you get some unusual covers. There's the opening duet
with Ella Fitzgerald. Karen sings This Masquerade, then Miss Ella
sings My Funny Valentine, then a couple more before they duet together
on Don't Get Around Much Anymore. While Miss Ella obviously has the
better voice, Karen's is so much sweeter and innocent. That's why
we adore her. This TV special also has Karen singing with John Davidson
(a '70s TV show host), John Denver and Perry Como (oldtime heartthrob).
Back in the '70s, new stars always appeared with their elders on TV
to illustrate camaraderie and to co-opt each other's fan base.
The unusual songs Karen covers include The Beatles' Can't Buy Me Love and Good Day Sunshine, the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations (with John Denver), The Monkee's I Wanna Be Free, Esther and Abby O'Farim's Cinderella Rockafella, Laura Nyro's When I Die and a snippet of I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.
It's good to
listen to Karen in happier times. Her cover of Abba's Thank You For
The Music is cheerful. And her medley of dancing songs (Dancing In
The Streets, Boogie Nights and I Could Have Danced All Night) will
set your feet a-tapping. Her cover of Boogie Nights is hilarious.
Karen was a disco dud.
Then all too
soon, it's over. More Offerings closes with the invocative When I
Die: "I'm not scared of dying and I don't really care/if it's peace
you find in dying then let the time be near."
We now know Karen Carpenter wasn't too happy about herself and she literally wasted away and died of anorexia. I guess More Offerings is a different Karen than the albums projected. On TV, she danced and sang happy songs. In the studio, she was heartbreakingly sad. A word of warning to the adventurous. These recordings are far from hi-fidelity and are meant for discerning fans of Karen. - Michael Cheah
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