Carpenters Christmas Portrait

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by cnzsystem, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. anduandi

    anduandi Well-Known Member

    :D
    I just got Christmas Portrait and it is the rare 17-track disc printed in West-Germany. Haven't listened to it yet. You know..it's warm and the sun is shining :laugh:
  2. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Let us know when you give it a spin.

    Harry
  3. cnzsystem

    cnzsystem New Member

    Location:
    Auckland
    Still waiting for the CD to arrive from Germany, can't sleep well in the night : )
  4. cnzsystem

    cnzsystem New Member

    Location:
    Auckland
    Got my CD today. Yes No chorus. The CD is made in France by PDO - that's the only shame though.
  5. The Wanderer

    The Wanderer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Their catalog has become too complicated.
  6. cnzsystem

    cnzsystem New Member

    Location:
    Auckland
    The CD looks like new, no scratch but I did notice a lot of digital "clicks" or "pops". Can Keith confirm this?
  7. brotherkei

    brotherkei Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I've wanted to buy a WG copy of this album too. Seems there's none of them on ebay currently. Guess I could remain patient.
  8. For The Love

    For The Love Active Member

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    This is one of the most beautiful Christmas albums ever recorded in my opinion.

    I've only owned this on vinyl.

    Is the CD version different?
  9. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    --> The original shouldn't have digital clicks and pops. <--

    Uh-oh! I hate to say it, but from this, it sounds like this has hit the counterfeit market.

    Harry
  10. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    The vinyl and cassette both contain the original mix that most fans tend to prefer. When it came time to release the CD, Richard and A&M expanded it to include some of the songs from the second Christmas album and labeled it the "Special Edition". That version contained many original mixes but also fell prey to some of Richard's tinkering.

    In the late '80s, PolyGram in West Germany pressed the original LP mix onto CD - allegedly either by mistake or without Richard's permission ore knowledge. Once he found out about it, the disc was withdrawn and quickly replaced with the Special Edition.

    In the '90s, Richard remixed the whole thing, dousing it with a liberal dose of reverb all over Karen's voice and the record company released the Christmas Collection, 2 discs containing both full albums.

    When it came time to do the anniversary box set release in 2004 (in Japan), Richard claimed that his intention was release the original mix on CD, but that the master tapes had deteriorated to the point of unusability. So for the CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT portion of the 35th Anniversary Box Set, the remix from the '90s was used.

    This highlighted the rarity of the withdrawn West German release and has sent collectors searching for it ever since. My copy of the West German release was made in W. Germany by PDO, silvered all the way to the hole, and can be sonically recognized by the lack of a choir on "Ave Maria", not to mention the lack of heavy reverb on Karen's leads.

    Based on the "clicks and pops" message above, I've begun to wonder if it's now being counterfeited like so many other rare discs.

    Harry
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I don't recall clicks and pops on my West German pressings. Perhaps you are correct about there being counterfeits. Maybe such counterfeits, if they exist, are needledrops.

    cnzsystem's posts are from over a year ago, but if he's still around, perhaps he will post a scan of his disc.
  12. brotherkei

    brotherkei Member

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    I wouldn't mind to pay for a counterfeit WG pressing just to hear the original mix in clean sound. But needledrops? Then it won't be a good idea at all. I could make my own needledrop. :sigh:
  13. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I was reading this thread and realized that my copy of Carpenters Christmas (West Germany press) is not silver to the center, but has a clear disc hub. The perimeter print reads "Made in West Germany" without the "by Polygram". I wonder if this is a counterfeit.
  14. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    The disc plays "Ave Maria" without the choir and contains 17 tracks. Anyone?
  15. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Could be counterfeit, I suppose. Can you provide us with a picture of the disc?

    Harry
  16. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Thanks. This is the disc. The inserts look pretty authentic, with the cover slightly thicker stock than the pages, and the reference to being manufactured by Polygram in Hanover, West Germany.

    Attached Files:

  17. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery Picture Member

    Looks exactly like mine except for the center hub area and the missing "...BY POLYGRAM" around the ring. Otherwise all the text and logos look proper.

    What's the information around the hub ring? Someone here might recognize something from that.

    Harry
  18. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I have another copy of this disc. It has the "Made in West Germany by Polygram" perimeter print, but the hub area reads "Made in Germany by PMDC" If there were pressings done both before and after unification, it may very well be that this disc is not quite as rare as people think. It certainly seems that it was not "pulled immediately" after initial release.
  19. ClausH

    ClausH Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    I don't think the disc is particularly rare either. Copies can often be found on Amazon de for less than 10 Euros.
  20. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I've considered this as well, as I have occasionally encountered a later pressing in the past year or so (e.g., German PMDC, French MPO). At some point, I would guess the 17-track version was replaced with the 21-track Special Edition in Europe.

    It's odd that the 17-track version stayed in print in Europe for awhile when it was never offered in the U.S. or Japan.
  21. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Location:
    Beaver Stadium
    I think there is limited interest. As much as I like Carpenters, they are hardly mainstream anymore. Plus, it's a Christmas CD.
  22. BeatleStair

    BeatleStair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    I just purchased a copy from Amazon de - $20 including shipping - and it's the 17 track version with a disc that says Made in West Germany on the front of the disc and on the inner hub it says made in Germany by PDO on the inner ring just like the disc mentioned above. My disc is also not aluminum to the center.

    The funny thing is that it has a sticker on the front of the jewel case celebrating The Carpenters 25th Anniversary - 1969-1994! It seems that the original mix version was in print until at least 1994!!!

    Funny, this disc must be more common that previously thought or was repressed at some time from the original mix? This is the first time I actually found the correct version so it must be rare but how rare?
  23. BeatleStair

    BeatleStair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Update:
    Here are two scans -sorry, the second scan isn't the best but you can see the disc. I was mistaken - I opened it quickly at lunch. It is aluminum to the center and says made in Germany by PMCD on the inner hub and made in West Germany on the front.

    Here are the photos:

    Attached Files:

  24. BeatleStair

    BeatleStair Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Sorry again, fast typing. It says made in Germany by PMDC and 394 726-2 03 + on the inner hub and made in West Germany buy Polygram on the front of the disc. Back cover also has made in west Germany printed on it. Just thought people would be curious.

    It is also a slightly different aluminum to the center disc as it has a ridge near the middle like the non-aluminum discs but it solid aluminum to the center. Seems slightly different from my other aluminum discs.

    This disc must have gone through many pressings. How many though?
  25. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Uh Huh

    Location:
    Northeast Ohio
    The other day, I received one of those 25th Anniversary editions of Christmas Portrait with the original mix, but when I put it in iTunes it comes up as "Christmas Collection - Disc 1". It's definitely the original mix as it matches the LP I have (which comes up as "Christmas Portrait" in iTunes)

    I've only had this album for a couple weeks but it is quickly becoming my favorite Christmas album ever.

    And whoever "misplaced" the tape with the "Ave Maria" choir when the original album was being mixed has my eternal gratitude.

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