Live at the Palladium is an entirely different live album from Live in Japan. There are very few similarities at all, in fact.
To start with, at under 45 minutes, it is more than 20 minutes shorter than Live in Japan. It also does not sound as good; while the sound is quite acceptable, it is not as crisp as the sound on Live in Japan. Where the albums really differ, however, is in the song selection.
Live at the Palladium represents a revamped Carpenters' live show, designed to better show off their talents and move them away from being a band that just plays their hit songs. Hence, there is more of Richard showing off at the piano and Karen showing off at the drums here.
The album opens with a brief bit of Richard's "Flat Baroque," which becomes "Only Yesterday" as Karen takes the stage. This leads to pretty straightforward readings of "There's a Kind of Hush" and "Jambalaya." After this, though, things get different. Richard starts off with "Piano Picker" (with different lyrics from the album version), which leads into Karen at the drums for an instrumental Gershwin medley. Richard follows this with the "Warsaw Concerto," a classical piece for piano with orchestra. Side 1 is completed with the amazing "From This Moment On," which combines Cole Porter with one of the Bach preludes from "The Well-Tempered Klavier." (But, as amazing as this performance is, a superior studio version of the song can be heard on Interpretations).
Side 2 is almost entirely a medley of Carpenters' hits. Packing ten songs into 14 minutes, however, does not allow for much of each song to be sung. Some songs are heard in more complete forms than others; "For All We Know," "Ticket to Ride," "Only Yesterday" and "I Won't Last a Day Without You" are really only heard as fragments, and all the other songs are shortened somewhat.
Aside from the brevity of the album, the new material and variety of songs make it enjoyable. It is really quite a nice companion to Live in Japan, which covers the more standard Carpenters' fare.
In 2009, a new SHM-CD edition was released in Japan with the title Live In London. It is the same mastering as the original CD, but with new packaging. Some photos of the booklet contained within the new packaging:
Produced by Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer: Karen Carpenter
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.