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Published on Oct 30, 2009
Karen & Richard Carpenter perform "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" on a 1974 Perry Como TV special (thanks to Ned Nickerson for the video). I have replaced the original 1974 audio with Richard Carpenter's 1984 remix of the song from the album "An Old-Fashioned Christmas."
The main difference between the original version and the remix is that Bob Messenger's peppy saxophone solo has been replaced by a slower, sultrier sax solo by John Phillips.
Also, Richard reportedly realized in 1984 that he and Karen had forgotten to record one whole part of the background harmonies, so he recorded the part by himself for this remix. I can't really hear any difference from the original, but it's an interesting bit of trivia.
The original 1974 single mix has never been released on CD. [UPDATE: the single mix is now available on the Carpenters Singles collection available from PBS.]
I had some trouble synching the video with the new audio, so I "remixed" the video somewhat by adding pictures to keep the audio and video aligned.
Richard Carpenter has written that Karen recorded this song in only one take. That was quite a feat, when you consider how Karen keeps dropping her voice into lower and lower tones, without ever bottoming out on the notes. This track is a fine example of Karen's vocal control and Richard's producing/arranging skills.
Song written by J. Fred Coots & Haven Gillespie Arranged by Richard Carpenter