Sunday, 7 April 2013

The Magic of "Goodbye To Love"

Who hasn't heard the Carpenters' hit "Goodbye to Love"?

Quick, listen to it here:

"Goodbye to Love" owed its special magic to the combined genius of Richard Carpenter (composer), Karen Carpenter (she of the inimitable dulcet voice) and Tony Peluso (lead guitarist)

There are a couple of historical aspects to this number that are as enthralling as the song itself.

Richard Carpenter got the idea for the song when he watched an old Bing Cosby movie. The movie was about a songwriter, and throughout the movie, they would keep referring to the greatest song that this writer had ever written (called "Goodbye to Love", of course), but the movie's audience never actually got to hear this song. Richard thought "Goodbye to Love" was a great title for a song, and he set about composing it! With his creative genius inspired, the words and the tune flowed forth naturally.

The other interesting aspect was Tony Peluso's bravura guitar performance. He had to fill in a spot between Karen's lines, and what began as a bit of bold improvisation turned out to have started a cultural trend in pop music. Pop songs thereafter began to feature "power ballads" with "raging guitar solos", as he put it in an interview. Peluso was charmingly modest about his role when he said he took "a tiny bit of credit for being there and playing it", but he gave all credit for the idea to Richard Carpenter, calling him "the guy with the great ideas".

This clip has those interviews:

Listen closely to see how Richard's voice melts and dissolves so smoothly into Karen's

As the latest (and hopefully not final) piece of "Goodbye to Love" magic that I have had the pleasure to experience, I came across this work by the famous graffiti artist Banksy:

What else could this be saying?

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