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I Believe You. No promotion

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by adam, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    I know I probably fall in the minority with this one, but I'm really not a fan of this song. Never have been, from the melody and lyric itself, to the arrangement - all of it. Not sure what the hype is, but again beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure there are tunes/arrangements I LOVE that others can't stand LOL
     
    CraigGA and GaryAlan like this.
  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I'd flip up the order a bit and replace it with "Kiss Me".
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  3. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I’d disagree. I think “Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night”, “Slow Dance”, “Prime Time Love” and “The Rainbow Connection” are far superior to “I Believe You” and would’ve been better on MIA.
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and David A like this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Quite an interesting selection....Amusingly one of my least favorite songs is
    Rainbow Connection.....seems as if the arrangement was totally botched (imho)....
    And, as is rather well known in these parts, Slow Dance eludes my interest....
    Now, both lead vocals are fine, but, overall neither arrangement "hits" me....!
    Really, the most irritating thing about I Believe You is the lyrics (imho),
    and, for 1978, I fail to see why the lyrics were not re-written....
     
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night is far too similar in structure and style to Touch Me When We’re Dancing to ever have been included on MIA.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  6. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    That is true. I'm reading these posts and shaking my head at mentions of "Rainbow Connection," a song that's great for a frog puppet but sounds really awkward to me in the Carpenters' version (understandably so, since Williams wrote it specifically for Kermit's speaking cadence). Another one of those "I'm glad it's available for those who like it" situations.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  7. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I don't like "Rainbow Connection" either and see why Karen didn't. I love the original song and I have heard a few other versions of it I like. The toy piano in the intro is just hokey and unnecessary. Karen clearly didn't like it and she gave it a very standard performance without really digging in. It's all surface and nothing else. I'm also not digging the "who said that wishes" instead of "who said that every wish" line being altered. There's a reason it was as it was. The arrangement as a whole is all the "everything but the kitchen sink" thing Richard made his stock and trade. He had a real tendency to put too many instruments into a tune and to over-produce. He wasn't much for subtlety most of the time. He's kind of a softer Jim Steinman in that sense. Lastly, the choir (the darned choir) most of don't like finishes the push right onto the elevators. While I am glad I heard this (I want to hear it all!), Richard was right to hold this back.

    "I Believe You", to my ears, is light years better than this. Karen is completely involved with it and, in contrast with you, I have little problem with most of the lyrics. "Fill my body with your soul" is cringe-y but I'm fine with the rest of it. It sings well and it's a very nice sentiment of total devotion.

    Ed
     
    GaryAlan and Jamesj75 like this.
  8. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    The instrumental arrangement used for I Believe You borders on a music box treatment of the song. The vocal harmonies Richard used and the soulful clarity Karen applies is the strength of the song. With this said, I still liked it in 1978. The lyrics have little to parallel with respect to the vocal melody unless you give it some dance moves in the rhythm. I do like the fill my body with your soul lyric, however.
    Karen recorded well in 1978.
    I like At The End of A Song, especially (although that sounds like it’s from MIA sessions) and would like a light boss a nova behind it without the chorale singers, but I like having it as it is better than not having it at all.
     
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Ed does make a good point--and, I can hear it--
    Karen is "completely involved" with it, when she sings
    "I Believe You,"
    her lead vocals, her nuances, are beautiful here.

    And, too,
    CraigGA,
    I've Always loved "At The End Of A Song."
     
    CraigGA likes this.
  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    It probably would’ve done really good as a single in 80-81. As I said in the past, MIA was missing in action, and Kiss Me would’ve added action.

    I first heard “I Believe You” on the 69-81 CD in 2000, and while it was nice hearing a new Carpenters track, I was wondering why it had been included when there was a superior track in “If I Had You” and “Honolulu City Lights”.
     
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Richard has said that it went unfinished at the time because of the limitations of the studio technology, so it would never have been ready for inclusion on the 1981 album anyway. The story goes that it wasn’t until the late 1980s that technology had moved on and Richard was able to finish it. To this day, I’m still not sure what is meant by this whole story...what was so complicated about the track that meant it had to be held back?

    The set was intended represent the singles released during their active career, those two tracks didn’t come until after Karen had passed away.
     
  12. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator

    The issue as I recall was that they were running two 24-track tape machines in order to record everything 48-track, in order to accommodate all of the orchestration and overdubbing. The syncing technology was new at the time and there were constant issues with the gear, putting them way over budget.
     
    newvillefan likes this.
  13. I too am grateful for the posthumous release of "Rainbow Connection", but I never really cared for the song (by anyone). I can see why Richard held it back; probably feeling about it the same way he felt about "Thank You For The Music"; that their version didn't really improve upon the original.
     
  14. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I just love Rainbow Connection! Karen sings it with warmth and innocence with a tough of wistful nostalgia.
     
  15. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I'm not much of a lyric guy but how can you not love "I believe you / when you say your love will keep on going strong / and that forever isn't long enough to love me / like you need to / Baby, I believe you"

    What women wouldn't want to hear their man say that to them? Gorgeous stuff! On top of that, Karen is all there for it. "Long enough to love ME", as I've said earlier in this thread, just kills me.

    Ed
     
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Thanks Chris - that’s answered a question I’ve had in my head for years!
     
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Ed, I totally understand where you are coming from !

    And, in large measure, I agree, the lyric is not all askew.
    That being said--two(underlined) items--in my opinion, could be altered a bit:
    "I'd live in a cave if you wanted to..."
    and,
    "And love will grow into a freckled little girl
    Who looks like we do..."

    I reiterate, Karen sings everything in the song, "I Believe You," beautifully,
    I have absolutely no problem with how she pulls those lyrics off, she sounds mesmerizing.
    I still believe the entire song would "flow" better if rewritten.....

    You bring up some excellent points about the song, Ed.
    Any thoughts as to Why ? then, this Single performed so poorly ?
     
  18. The phrase "live in a cave" is one that has had some use over the years. It implies that a person living in a cave is out of touch with societal norms. As used in "I Believe You", it means that the narrator would drop everything for this love of his/her life.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This is a great song to "dissect" !

    Now, given that the song was on Billboard's Chart for four weeks, peaking at #68,
    I still need to ask--or, at least, understand--
    Why the chart action was so abysmal !


    In other words, while I believe we can agree that the song is a fine vehicle for Karen's vocals,
    and, the song itself seems to be in the vein in which the public and fans have grown accustomed to,
    there still lacks a compelling reason as to Why the Single performed so poorly.
    After all, Fans had to locate a copy from the Fan Club !
    So, radio was not playing it and stores were not stocking it !

    Goofus and Beechwood--I fully understand the lack of public response
    (in that, neither was single-worthy material)
    but,
    I Believe You,
    what happened ?
     
  20. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    All subjective, of course, but I think Karen's vocal on the "freckled little girl" line is spot on. And the semantics work for me as well...it's very obvious what that whole verse is about, but the lyrics suggest something that's transcendent, not just a momentary thrill.

    So why did it tank? Any number of reasons. None of their previous four singles had cracked the Top 30. Their previous album was the first since "Ticket" not to go gold. I'm sure radio considered them in the past tense by then. The TV specials didn't help. And it wasn't the sort of song that was going to catch fire while everything else was disco. But I think it's one of their more mature efforts, and as others have said, nicely captures Karen's voice at its peak form.
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation and GaryAlan like this.
  21. ^This!

    I worked at a soft-rock station in Philly, the kind that *should* have been playing Carpenters records. But by this time, none of their music was played anymore. Not "Superstar", not "Rainy Days And Mondays", not "Close To You", and not "Please Mr. Postman". After the prior failures that *were* at least briefly played, Carpenters no longer tested well and were relegated to "has-been" status.

    The quality of a recording, the superlatives in a vocal reading - none of that mattered at all. I don't think our program director even gave the 45 a spin. I found it in the throwaway pile - and never heard it played on a radio station - any of them. To this day.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    By the way, I forgot to ask--for those more in the industry--
    Did the AM/ FM dichotomy play into this lack of Carpenters' radio play ?

    I recall the 1975-1979 period,
    AM- WDBO, AM- WLBE (Orlando and Leesburg, respectively) and AM-WROK (Rockford),
    All three were still playing many Carpenters' hits at that time.
    But, I am only familiar with the AM stations for that time.
     
  23. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I remember the DJ’s making fun of the lyrics calling this the Carpenters Disney like cinderella song with an apple being the only thing missing. But then again, apples don’t grow in caves. Each time it seemed there was something similar. So, I’d have to agree with GaryAlan’s point. In its best light, (the cave dwelling) it’s submissive woman’s role is certainly not part of today, and even in the 5 years from when Dorothy Moore first did it, that phase was getting tired. It does have its points, but so does Another Song but it was not released as a single. I think the time was crying for another original. Groups like the Carpenters already had a catalog of quality love songs and to buy another record meant it had to be better than before. Nothing after 1975, except for the Christmas album, was better than before, just a sweet addition. It seems those that songs were left off, like Ordinary Fool, had what the buying public would have lifted an ear to. I Just Fall In Love Again May might have faired well with a tempered arrangement, but it was also missed. I believe the pressure of the music business was certainly felt during this time. They had proven success, top management, and a fan base. But not an song that represented all three.
     
  24. I think there was even a case of urban versus rural. In a big market like Philly or New York, Carpenters were seen as un-hip a lot faster than they were in smaller markets. Large market stations would be reading stats in Billboard and Radio & Records which published lists of what the big stations were spinning. So if a station in New York or Boston hadn't jumped on a record, then they would hold back as well.
     
    Bobberman likes this.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, too, when I look at the Carpenters' "what ifs" for 1978:
    (1) Trying To get The Feeling Again
    (2) Ordinary Fool
    (3) Your'e The One
    (4) Where Do I Go From Here
    (5) I Just Fall In Love Again
    I would not discount any of the above as Single-worthy (between 1975 and 1978)....

    Then, again, going with From This Moment On
    (no matter how well Karen sang it)...
    on the Tonight Show...not a smart choice at that time....

    Didn't Rita Coolidge score some her biggest Hits between 1977 and 1980 ?
    There we have a similar voice scoring some big hit singles in the time period.
     

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