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Book Description

1 Oct 2012
With a string of number-one hits showcasing Karen Carpenter's warm and distinctive vocals and Richard Carpenter's sophisticated compositions and arrangements, the Carpenters were responsible for some of the most popular music of the 1970s, and this compendium collects more than 50 articles, interviews, essays, reviews, and reassessments that chronicle the lives and career of this brother-sister musical team. Writings from pop journalists and historians such as Daniel J. Levitin, John Tobler, Digby Diehl, Ray Coleman, Robert Hilburn, and Lester Bangs provide insight into the music and personalities of the duo who produced such timeless pop music. From serious musical analyses of the Carpenters' arrangements to lighter pieces in which Karen and Richard discuss dating, cars, and high school, this new edition has been revised and expanded to include nearly a dozen additional pieces, some of which have never been published.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Unknown; Exp Rev edition (1 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613744145
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613744147
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 280,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Unquestionably, the definitive historical recalling of the Carpenters ... Like the Carpenters' music, Schmidt's book about them delivers brilliantly, combining the talents of a gifted editor, the dedication of a devoted fan, and the admirable work of the writers he chose." -- New England Entertainment Digest "This narrative down memory lane proves to be a pleasant trip ... Yesterday Once More is a pastiche of mostly affectionate and warm portrayals of two talented people who, in spite of their human frailties, gave the world a lasting legacy of music." -- Amplifier "There was always something of the night about the Carpenters ... This compendium of interviews, concert reviews, and critical essays spans the duo's career and beyond." -- Mojo "Fascinating ... It's not just the 'behind the music' insights that make this book important... Yesterday Once More will make you want to dust off those old LPs and rediscover the Carpenters' pop magic." -- DISCoveries "What looks on the surface like an uncritical celebration of an American pop institution turns out to be a fascinating exercise in musical archaeology ... Endlessly intriguing." -- Record Collector "It's a good resource for Carpenters fans, allowing you to watch the duo's story unfold and see how the duo's legacy has been re-evaluated since Karen's tragic death." -- Goldmine

About the Author

Randy L. Schmidt teaches music in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He served as creative consultant for several television documentaries on the Carpenters, including the "E! True Hollywood Story," A&E's "Biography," and VH1's "Behind the Music." He is the author of "Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter." He lives in Denton, Texas.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday once more 5 Dec 2012
By Stewart
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a must for avid carpenter fans, interviews, reviews and much more about the duo if you didn't know something then this is a must for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Carpenters Reader 30 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very interesting book that shows how the Carpenters were thought of at the very start & how with the passing of Karen the views changed & the realisation of what the music world had lost. I recommend this book to both the ardent fan & anyone who has a keen ear for music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Companion to Schmidt's Brilliant Karen Biography, Little Girl Blue, Yet With A Twist 15 Sep 2012
By Greg New York City - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Okay, if you still believe you don't like the Carpenters OR have no interest whatsoever in the music industry or what stardom and its pressure means or in the creation and arrangements and production of recording itself, why are you even reading this review?

Now that we've cleared a few people from the room, Schmidt's Yesterday Once More (and there are some minor caveats below) is absolutely essential reading. Schmidt's brilliant and honest penning of Little Girl Blue: The Life Of Karen Carpenter has already been well established - through sales, through critical claim, and the author's meticulous approach to the subject.

This volume, with only the briefest of editorializing, takes a different tact altogether -- namely, it's a compendium of previously published reviews, interviews, op/ed pieces - even a musicologst's analysis of the arrangement of Richard's Superstar. There are many crucial pieces here -- the Rolling Stone pieces (Lester Bangs, and in particular. Tom Nolan's invaluable, revelatory "Up From Downey" piece, along with writings from Robert Hilburn of the LA Times, Digby Diehl, and Ray Coleman (Coleman, writing truthfullly and analytically before the Carpenter Family Monster buried him with their control over him in the first Carpenters biography). Schmidt's choices, time-line wise, run very much from the start to finish of the Carpenters' career. What's important here, and which bears out the not-pretty lives of the Carpenters (yes, Agnes, as always, does everything yet wield an ax with her quotes, is that the realities of Karen and Richard's incredibly complicated relationship comes through like a beacon, much of it in subtext (i.e., what they truly mean and yet won't say is a potent as what their actual quotes are). Even in the PR-arranged "puff pieces", the underlying competitiveness, jealousies, and hurt is incredibly palpable (and, as mentioned, there is Agnes hovering throughout like an older Mommie Dearest -- Harold must have been mowing the lawn a lot). Many things become apparent, but not the least of which is how incredibly young Karen was, singing with that incredible voice, creating hit after hit at age 20, 21, 22, 23, and then you hit an article where she's 26 and there's already this sense of where are we going wrong, this total fatalism, this sense of perfection that was impossible to handle with a jealous (yet crucially important and talented) brother. These same themes resonate throughout, and it's not one biographer's take on the duo, but many different perspectives. It's the perfect companion to LITTLE GIRL BLUE and, if you're focus is on the music, perhaps even more necessary.

Okay, the caveats -- there are some missing pieces to the puzzle, perhaps because of not being to get the republication rights. Robert Hilburn's review of PASSAGE (and similarly, Stereo Review's review of PASSAGE, where (I think it was) Peter Reilly actually made PASSAGE a "Recommended Album of the Month". Missing is the New York Times Magazine's article about Karen's Solo album upon its final release - a long, truthful piece which, with credence, demonstrated that Alpert's and Richard's reaction to Karen's solo release was essentially ripping the IV nourishing drip from her arm. I believe Paul Grein of Billboard wrote a wonderful piece on Karen, not present here. And, because, it's what interests me the most, I wanted more "the making of" x or y or z album (followed by thoughtful - pro or con - articles about the work. Perhaps that's the next installment, but then there's Richard, and so many crucial players/production team have been dying off, so that's unlikely and not the focus of this volume

The stickler of course are those music rights -- but this is a story for the big screen and if done truthfully and well, whomever is cast as Karen could make room on her mantlepiece for the Oscar (the tv movie, well, it just doesn't even count).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing back the Carpenters 16 Sep 2012
By S. D. Rowe - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a perfect read after Little Girl Blue...they go together nicely, and both put you right back in the Carpenters world. Thank you for your tireless work Randy Schmidt and for bringing the story of Karen Carpenter, and her music back to new generations!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge fan 27 Oct 2012
By Steven Nadolny - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Love the Carpenters, love this book. The stories and articles are really interesting. Nice to get another glimpse behind the music. Such a beautiful voice, such a tragic loss.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carpenters Articles....Rarely Found in Anthologies Nowadays 24 Feb 2013
By Ron Foley Macdonald , . - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides long-awaited context for the group, now considered far more seriously than when they were still around recording.
It's a wide range of material, from the 'Rock' press to the mainstream, all giving a much-needed human face to the Carpentes who
often sounded so perfect that they might have been mistaken for robots. A wonderful resource.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday Once More: The Carpenters Reader 20 Oct 2012
By Kenny Ingram - Published on
Let me start by saying, Randy, you hit it dead on. I never read the original, but you said the new one would be a lot better. IT IS GREAT! Now, I loved this book, but I also LOVED his Karen Carpenter Biography! Get them both! If you love the Carpenters, then you will LOVE these books! 2 of my all time favorite Non-Fiction books!

-Kenny Ingram
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