I don't like The Carpenters very much, but I just heard Karen Carpenter's 1967 demo version of "California Dreamin'," which she sang when she was only 17 and I love it. Features brother Richard's cool keyboards, too!
Richard Carpenter: From Joe's Studio, circa 1967. This is the one tape, 4-track or otherwise, that survives, as, for some reason, Joe gave it to me.
Even though the most important ingredient on tape, the lead, is on its own track, the bass, piano, drums and string machine were all bounced to another track, leaving two open…for what, I can't remember.
As a result, in 1999, we transferred the 4-track to 48-track and re-did everything, including a reproduction of my original electric piano solo.
I finally got around to putting real strings on the track instead of those on the Chamberlain Music Master that was on the demo. This is one of my favorite tracks on this collection. Karen, at 17, is a marvel. I especially like the way she jumps an octave, from chest voice, to head voice on the letter (and note) "A" in the opening and then seamlessly back to chest on "Dreamin'".
There is some electronic noise on the lead track, we don't know why. And I realize now and I should have then, that we have an incorrect word in the second verse: "began to pray" should be "pretend to pray".