Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Carpenters: Superstar

One of the unexpected discoveries from the obituaries of Leon Russell was that he co-wrote Superstar, the song made famous by the Carpenters.

Wikipedia tells the story of the song's genesis:
Accounts of the song's origin vary somewhat, but it grew out of the late 1969/early 1970 nexus of English and American musicians known as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, that involved Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, and various others. The song's working title during portions of its development was "Groupie Song". 
In its first recorded incarnation, the song was called "Groupie (Superstar)", and was recorded and released as a B-side to the Delaney & Bonnie single "Comin' Home" in December 1969.
Some say the song was about Clapton: certainly he played on the Delaney & Bonnie recording.

Richard Carpenter heard the song sung by a then obscure Bette Midler on television and produced this famous arrangement.

Incidentally, has enough time passed for it to be allowable to say that you like the Carpenters? For years the cool kids had to pretend to hate them.

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