Voice of the Heart (1983)
Voice of the Heart is the eleventh album by American pop duo Carpenters. It was released in 1983 after Karen’s death and contains the two songs from her final recording sessions, “Now” and “You’re Enough”, as well as previously unreleased tracks from sessions over the years. The album’s final cut, ‘Look To Your Dreams’, another Richard Carpenter and John Bettis composition, is a suitably sad, and low-key conclusion. It ends with a piano coda played by Richard and that only adds to our sense of loss. This is not the place to discuss Karen’s illness, but let’s just say, that if there is anyone that can say they have not been touched or cannot recognise the deep beauty in her voice, then there must be something wrong with them. Karen Carpenter’s singing is perfection, nothing more, nothing less.
“You’re Enough” is the other song on the aptly named Voice Of The Heart to come from the final session in April 1982, and is appropriately one written by Richard and John Bettis. The album, released on October 11, 1983, is made up of tracks from various sessions between 1976 and 1982 on what was the first record to be released after Karen’s death. Given the fact that the majority of the ten tracks are ones that Richard revisited to make up this record, it’s a much better album than you might think.
One of the best songs on the record is a ballad that had been a minor hit for singer Bobby Vinton in 1979. Karen recorded it first for a solo album she was making with producer Phil Ramone in New York. The version on Voice Of The Heart is more lush, whereas Karen’s recording for her solo album features mainly just a piano accompaniment. It’s a case of two sides of the same coin; both are beautiful. The version on Voice Of The Heart became the lead single to be taken from the album, making No. 7 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Video: Karen Carpenter Interview 1981
1. Now 3:46 (Nichols/Pitchford)
2. Sailing On The Tide 4:21 (Peluso/Bettis)
3. You’re Enough 3:46 (Carpenter/Bettis)
4. Make Believe It’s Your First Time 4:07 (Morrison/Wilson)
5. Two Lives 4:32 (Jordan)
6. At The End Of A Song 3:42 (Carpenter/Bettis)
7. Ordinary Fool 3:40 (Williams)
8. Prime Time Love 3:10 (Unobsky/Ironstone)
9. Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore 3:51 (Weiss)
10. Look To Your Dreams 4:28 (Carpenter/Bettis)