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Back to MONO! Let’s enjoy monaural records! Chapter Two: fantastic vocal sound

2020-08-07

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This blog is about trying to enjoy the megaton class monaural records, whose titles are rarely introduced in music magazines. The first time I discussed the debut single from Led Zeppelin. This time, I'd like to listen to the monaural record of the hit single "Goodbye to Love" released by the Carpenters in 1972.

Carpenters/Goodbye to Love

This is a 1972 hit from the Carpenters, who are still popular all over the world.

An excellent chorus that compares favorably with the Beach Boys. An orchestration reminiscent of Phil Specter's Wall of Sound, and a singing drum by Hal Blaine himself who was drumming under the direction Phil Specter. It’s bold, and in fact, even amongst the works of chorus bands such as The Association, it has a guitar solo reminiscent of garage rock style... I think it's hard to find another masterpiece in the 70's packed with the essence of the '60s American pop culture.

This song, which has been heard virtually everyone, is found on most of the Carpenters Best Of albums released. It was released in 1972. The records sold in the market were mostly stereo.

I think there are many people who wonder if there are monaural records for hit songs of that era. In the US, it seems that AM radio, which mainly uses monaural audio, was an important marketing tool, probably because of the car-based society.

That’s why many radio and promotional copies were re-released in stereo versions for FM radio and the mono version for AM on the other side. We can find many promotional single copies like this at record shops in United States.

Depending on the title, it seems that the stereo mix is just monaural as is, but what about this Carpenters single?

Again, let's listen to what kind of monaural world you can enjoy with the audio-technica monaural cartridge, AT-MONO3/LP.

First of all, when I dropped the needle, I found that Karen Carpenter's vocals were further emphasized in the mix. It may be a difference in the reverb feeling, but it is a mix that makes you cry for Karen's great vocal sense. The oboe of the A melody sounds more subdued and smoother than the stereo, and more effectively comforts a world full of sad songs. This is probably because Richard (Carpenter) was looking mainly at the radio market. We can feel it especially from the song “Yesterday Once More”.

And it has a very impressive guitar solo. Former Paul Revere & Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsey's solo tour guitarist Tony Peruso's guitar playing was captivating many listeners at the time.

In an interview with a music magazine, Richard said that Tony used a big muff effector, cut his pick in half, and played with his fingers slightly touching the strings, and fluttering....

The timbre of the guitar mixed with the fluttering sound can be heard in this monaural mix with a heavier, richer sound.

At that time, it was often said that The Carpenters were heading for hard rock with the inclusion of this guitar solo. However, when I listen to the monaural mix again like this, it feels like an arrangement that can be heard in the old-fashioned American pop, including hit songs like "Mrs. Bluebird" from Eternity's Children, a group that played an active part in the 1960s....

A combination of the cool male and female chorus with the hard guitar solo. It is possible that the success of "Yesterday Once More" was due to the sound that captured the essence of the 60's pop in this song.

And Karen's vocals get sadder as it progresses to the second half. Drum fill-in by Hal Blaine with a deeper reverb than the stereo version. Then the organ that flows in the back of the chorus sounds more gospel-like in monaural. And that guitar solo, which appears again, has the squeaky picking sound. This evokes even more 60s essence.

In my mind, I can only imagine the American adults in 1972 who heard this this nostalgic 60's garage pop taste on the radio.

It's an AM radio hit song that you can hear over the roar of the American V8s through.

Well, unfortunately his Japan performance was canceled, but next time I would like to listen to Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" monaural single that hopefully will blow away the shock shock.... See you next time in Back to Mono!


An MC cartridge whose high output makes it easy to enjoy monaural records that can be played in MC-spec players and audio environments!
→ audio technica / AT-MONO3/LP

Ichihara

45歳にしてオヤジバンドにベーシストとして参加。バンドでサウンド・ハウスの存在を知りその勢いで入社。 趣味は英国ロックのレコードコレクション。ポール・マッカートニー、デヴィッド・ボウイとP.I.L.を愛する永遠の29歳。

audio technica / AT-MONO3/LP monaural cartridge

audio technica

AT-MONO3/LP monaural cartridge

¥14,680(excl. tax)¥16,148(incl. tax)

MC cartridge, record needle, monaural, for LP

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