Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Karen Carpenter lives (sort of)

I found this on YouTube and it's pretty remarkable. I've always loved Karen Carpenter's voice (even when it wasn't cool to like the Carpenters).  This Japanese singer has her DOWN.  Give a listen.  The quality of the video isn't great but close your eyes and Karen is back. 


For comparison, here's the real thing.

26 comments :

Fred Vogel said...

Maybe I'll stay believing more in reincarnation.

KLAC Guy said...

Truly amazing!

Janet Ybarra said...

Great video, Ken. But reaching back to remember Karen Carpenter, we really are dating ourselves.

Actually, this is the process Journey used to find their current lead singer. Members scoured YouTube videos of tribute and cover bands until they hit upon a young man in the Philippines who sounded uncannily like Steve Perry. They flew him to the States for an audition, and voila!

That's how Arnel Pineda became lead vocalist for Journey.

CarolMR said...

Unbelievable! I've always loved Karen's voice (and the Carpenters), too.

benson said...

I was fan of Karen's too when it wasn't cool to be.

You have to get past the early schmltz, and get to the songs like Superstar and Solitaire.

Am I the only one who hears just a hint of an accent in the Japanese woman's singing?

benson said...

Janet,

You are right. I saw Journey with Pineda in concert, and the "x-factor" (pardon the pun) is the youthful energy he brings to the show. He's thirty years younger than the old guys and still runs around on stage. And yes, when you close your eyes, it's Steve Perry.

And...the opening act was Heart. And Ann Wilson (at that time, 61 years old) could sing the pants off these teen and twenty-something pop tarts. She, too, was amazing that night.

Mike Barer said...

Always liked The Carpenters, but don't tell anyone.

Anonymous said...

A Superior talent wed to inferior orchestrations
Here are some Stripped down versions - some almost A cappella


CLOSE TO YOU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlgP3JYgFZw
GOODBYE TO LOVE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccl2lCNtpDo
YESTERDAY ONCE MORE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcuBrULLxjc
WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvhE2Xes1h8
RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wku6BRVjMMg
TICKET TO RIDE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OEgz-t5ZFg&list=

Daniel said...

At what point does Journey become a cover band of itself?

Mitchell Hundred said...

I can't watch the video because I'm at work, but in the same spirit, here is a shamisen cover of Smooth Criminal.

John Nixon said...

I think you'd like this artist...Rumer. She's been around for a few years and has a natural style similar to that of Karen Carpenter. Plus she sings a bunch of Bacharach/David songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb00pN1TVw0&list=RDcb00pN1TVw0&start_radio=1&t=56

estiv said...

At what point does Journey become a cover band of itself?

I'm a boomer who still loves that music, and thought the Stones gave a fantastic performance when I saw them in Austin in 2006. But the truth is, all old bands are essentially cover bands of themselves. Through a fluke, a couple of years ago I was sitting in a room next to a performance by The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra [sic]. They sounded great, and the fact that even the oldest member of the group was born after Glenn Miller died in 1944 was irrelevant. They did note-for-note performances of all the songs that the people who bought tickets wanted to hear, and did them well. That's what the Stones are doing, that's what Journey is doing, all of them. That's what their audiences want. Including me, I guess.

John Nixon said...

oh and P.S.--if you listen to 'Aretha' and 'Am I Forgiven' by Rumer you'll hear new songs she recorded that perfectly carry the Carpenter style forward to today.

MikeKPa. said...

Karen gets credit for a great voice. Richard for great arrangements. It's a sin she didn't live to see how appreciated she was. Imagine if she did an annual holiday tour now, how popular that would be. Sellouts on the scale of Manheim Steamroller.

Cowboy Surfer said...

Saw Journey at their peak summer 1983 during the Frontiers tour at the Forum.

Awesome concert!! Bryan Adams opened.

Janet Ybarra said...

Actually, no Journey continues to record new music with the current lineup.

Last year, when the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Steve Perry was there as part of the lineup being inducted.

However, when it came time to perform, Steve backed out and let Arnel perform with the band as recognition that he, Steve Perry, is no longer in the band but Arnel is.

I thought that was classy.

Craig Larson said...

Wow. And having Richard Carpenter there was amazing.

Janet Ybarra said...

By the way, the fan vote is now open for the Class of 2019 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Go to rockhall.com/fanvote

Mike Doran said...

I was an original fan of Karen Carpenter, in large part because she and I were the same age.
In 2018, Karen would be 68 years old, as I am today.
Dwell on that for a while …

Janet Ybarra said...

It's a real shame that the nostalgia over oldies acts appears to have passed Karen Carpenter and the Carpenters by so entirely.

PJ said...

The Carpenters are insanely popular in Japan. I've never heard their music as much as I did when I lived there. I think some businesses even used their songs for hold music.

Mike Barer said...

Paul Williams, the composer of Rainy Days and Mondays, is on you tube with his great rendition of that song.

Pat Reeder said...

She is very good, even more remarkable since she's not singing in her native tongue. But there are several really good Carpenter tribute groups around. I saw one recently called Carpenters Once More with Diana Lynn, and she is spookily accurate. Unfortunately, there's only one short, lousy clip on YouTube that doesn't at all capture the show as it is today. Live, Diana's impression of Karen is spot-on.

Harley Davidson said...

While I know they'll never get in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, there is an argument that the Carpenters belong there. The guitar solo on "Goodbye To Love" is one. This is another. No one remembers Klaatu, but the Carpenters take on this is great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teBV0EoJJY8

Pete Grossman said...

Stunning! And she doesn't speak English!!! She is a wonder.

Douglas Trapasso said...

It's been a couple of days, so I will take the downtime to get on my soapbox:

Karen was so unique as a vocalist; some others have come close to her total package (Gloria Estafan, Andrea Corr), but all of the Karen clones (I have seen videos of many of them on YouTube) have some missing X Factor.

But Richard, don't get me started. He is down there with Mike Love as one of the most evil SOBs in entertainment history.