Karen Carpenter.

I was originally going to title this blog entry “Karen”, but with the connotation associated with the name these days it would have led would be readers in the wrong direction and I didn’t want to do that.

In 1979 Richard Carpenter went into recovery for his addiction to quaaludes. During that time, his sister Karen, the other half of “The Carpenters” went into the studio with some pretty famous producers and recorded her first solo album, to be simply titled “Karen Carpenter”. The story goes that when the album was recorded, the suits at A&M Records took a listen, along with Richard, who was now out of recovery, and absolutely hated the record. Richard was particularly harsh, saying the record didn’t fit her vocal style at all and that producer Phil Ramone was using the opportunity to try to imitate Richard’s polished vocal productions. A&M Records leaned on Karen to not release the album and it went into the vault. Bits and pieces of the album were released after her death, but it wouldn’t be until 1996 that the intended album was released, following her mixing and arrangement requests.

Richard Carpenter has said in interviews that ultimately he was supportive of his sister Karen recording her own album, he just advised, “whatever you do, don’t do disco”.

There’s a pretty kick-ass disco track on the album. It’s called “My Body Keeps Changing My Mind” and it is bell-bottom swishing disco from beginning to end.

Now, I find Karen Carpenter to be one of the greatest female vocalists of all time. I could listen to her sing all day long, and my recent love affair with the TIDAL Music service and its non-compressed music tracks has pumped her album in high fidelity to my ears for the past several days while I’ve been out doing my daily exercise.

I found an extended version of “My Body Keeps Changing My Mind” that is without 21st century remix; it’s simply an extended version of the original disco track, and I’ve been bopping to it all week. So for your listening pleasure, from 1979 here’s Karen Carpenter with “My Body Keeps Changing My Mind”.

I Want You.

June is Pride Month and no one has been out dancing in ages, so I’m going to feature some obscure dance track videos from my very early days of DJing in gay bars in New England and Upstate New York.

God knows what auto-tuned crud they’re playing in gay bars these days, but I’m sure isn’t nearly as happy as the stuff we had in the 80s and early 1990s.

From 1989, here’s Shana with “I Want You”. The question is, did I end up gay because of the music I liked or did I like this music because I’m gay?

Monday Jam.

I was listening to a Yacht Rock radio-like playlist on Spotify when Andrew Gold’s “Never Let Her Slip Away” from 1978 came up. I didn’t really remember the track but it sounded very familiar to me. I knew the lyrics but the syncopation on this original version was all wrong from what I knew.

It turns out I forgot about a track I had spun a lot back when I was a club DJ in the first half of my 20s. In 1992, British dance group Undercover had released a cover of this track. I spun the heck out of this record, always had a great response, and I remember getting a bunch of requests for “that slip away” record. I probably still have the 12-inch single in storage in the basement.

I found it on YouTube, here’s Undercover with “Never Let Her Slip Away”.

Klymaxx.

I don’t know why this song popped into my head but I’m happy that it did! From the summer of 1986, here’s Klymaxx with “Man Size Love”.

Funk.

I remember loving this song in the early 1980s but thinking folks would think I was gay if they knew I liked this music. Irrational thoughts at age 15, I guess.

From 1983 here’s “The S.O.S. Band” with “Just Be Good To Me”.

The Main Event.

I’ve had this song going through my head this morning, so I thought I would share. From 1979, here’s Barbra Streisand with “The Main Event”.

This is a special VJ dance edit that gives the beginning a little more punch.

Anyone want to tell me why I waited 41 years to realize how hot Ryan O’Neal is?

The Deadbeat Club.

I’m watching a lot of older music videos online this week. I do this to remind me of happy times and jam to some great music. I also do this from the comfort of our couch, feet up, lying down in comfort.

Such a deadbeat.

Tonight I’ve been grooving on The B-52s (I can’t bring myself to put the apostrophe in there, thank god they changed that a while back). I’ve been listening to everything from “Rock Lobster” to “Good Stuff”. I usually skip over “Love Shack” because that’s been overdone for 30 years.

I have three favorites from “Cosmic Thang”: “Roam” (not the abbreviated radio version), “Follow This Bliss”, and “The Deadbeat Club”, the latter having amazing lyrics and amazing harmonies.

Enjoy my journey back to simpler times.

Get Up, Stand Up.

This is still one of my favorite dance tracks of all time, and I find Brandi Emma quite endearing.

Here’s Stellar Project with “Get Up, Stand Up”.

Everything Changes.

I can’t believe this song is nearly 30 years old. I found myself singing it this morning as I was out for my morning walk.

Originally written for Taylor Dayne, who subsequently turned it down, Kathy Troccoli recorded the song for her debut secular album “Pure Attraction”. Like “I’ll Be Your Shelter” by Taylor Dayne, which Kathy sang backup vocals on, “Everything Changes” was written by Diane Warren. It peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Top 100 and number six on the Adult Contemporary chart.

I played the heck out of this song when I was first on the radio.

Kathy has continued her career as a Christian recording artist. I enjoy this song for what it is, a track full of happy energy.