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Official Review [Single]: 15. "PLEASE MR. POSTMAN"/"THIS MASQUERADE" (1646-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 24, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "Please Mr. Postman"

    19 vote(s)
    46.3%
  2. Side B: "This Masquerade"

    22 vote(s)
    53.7%
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    “PLEASE MR. POSTMAN"/"THIS MASQUERADE"

    Postman.png PleaseMrPostman SINGLE.png Masquerade.png
    Side A: Please Mr. Postman 2:48 (Holland/Gorman/Bateman)
    Side B: This Masquerade 4:50 (Russell)


    Catalogue Number: A&M 1646-S
    Date of Release: 11/74
    Format: 7" Single
    Speed: 45 RPM
    Country: US
    Chart Position: #1


    Arranged & Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
    Produced by Richard and Karen Carpenter

    For more definitive information regarding each single, you can visit our Carpenters - The Complete Singles page in our Carpenters Resource.
     
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    My fondness for Postman is well-known.
    Great as the flip side song is, I listen to Postman far, far more often !
    Will be interesting to see if I remain the solitary vote for the song over& above This Masquerade !
     
    BarryT60 likes this.
  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I love both but chose Postman. In a career filled with outstanding and numerous ballads, Postman remains one of the few joyous hits in their career. Always makes me smile and sing along.
     
    BarryT60 likes this.
  4. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    I voted for Masuerade. I simply love everything about that song. Don't get me wrong, Postman is good too, but for me, Masquerade is sublime.
     
  5. I'd go with "Please Mr. Postman" on this one too. I've always considered "This Masquerade" a nice album track, and a great arrangement, but it never "wowed" me like it seems to do for some fans.
     
    Jeff likes this.
  6. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    For the first time in these polls, I've voted for the B side - "This Masquerade". I've always liked Postman - when I was younger I absolutely loved that track - but I like to think that my taste in music has become a little more sophisticated over the years, and Masquerade just oozes sophistication! :laugh:
     
  7. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    As much as I love both This Masquerade and Please Mr. Postman, I went with Please Mr. Postman. I have always been amazed by that song from the second I heard it.
     
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This Masquerade for me. The epitome of class and sophistication, musically speaking.
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  9. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    US
    I chose "This Masquerade" because it is so hauntingly beautiful. Karen's lower register really shines. However, "Please Mr. Postman" is definitely a lighter, more upbeat song for contrast. It never fails to make me happy!
     
  10. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    I voted for Postman. I agree with Richard that it is a magical song!

    I like the single version because Karen's voice seems so much more prominent compared to the album version. I assume it was mixed and EQ'd this way to make it sound great on the car radios of the day.
     
  11. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Active Member

    I reckon this is probably their best ever A and B-side combo, or certainly the one that best demonstrates the full range of their abilities. They ended up recording too many oldies, but 'Please Mr Postman' is so much fun and catchy - it's not their greatest ever single, but it's easy to see why it became their biggest seller worldwide.

    That said, 'This Masquerade' is even better and is one of their finest ever tracks. The match between them and Leon Russell's songs was just magic. Karen's vocal is just mesmerising and it's a great arrangement. This could easily have been a single in its own right (indeed, George Benson would go on to have a big hit with it a few years later) and is better than any of the songs that were released from Now & Then. Thankfully it's been a staple on most greatest hits collections since the early 1990s, so it's belatedly received the exposure it so thoroughly deserved.
     
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  12. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Along with the rise of the TV series Happy Days and other pop culture awareness of days gone by, there was no doubt in my mind that the magic formula of Karen and Richard would make this a hit! Please Mr. Postman came shouting over my transistor radio early one morning during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1974, and I was on top of the world for I knew this song would sail to the top! It just has assorted magic all through it and the overdub play is suburb! It's a true example of what a remake can become and is also one of a few Motown original hits that also hit number 1 by its remake artist!
     
  13. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    Like both, but I think there's a lot more going on in "Postman" than it's usually given credit for. One of songs that maybe sounds "simple" until you start listening to all the layers. "Masquerade" is great, a fine showcase for Karen's voice, but "Postman" wins by a nose.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  14. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    US
    "This Masquerade" by a mile. I am no fan of the formulaic Motown hit-factory songs, so that's one strike against the A-side--really dislike the original, dislike this one (perhaps a tiny bit less).

    "This Masquerade," though, is a far more "intelligent" tune lyrically, and far better crafted in terms of songwriting. I like any version I've heard of it. This song also launched George Benson's pop vocal career. It just has that certain "something" that clicks for me.
     
    Bobberman likes this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    My favourite part is towards the end. In the remix especially, listen out at 2:15 for the drum cadence by Karen which is eerily reminiscent of her work on Your Wonderful Parade.
     
    GaryAlan likes this.
  16. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Never been a fan of Postman, so This Masquerade wins by a country mile.
     
  17. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    'This Masquerade" is top-notch class all the way, and it still sounds contemporary. But, as a single, "Please Mr. Postman" wins. I was in the 6th grade when it was released, and it was far and away the 'hit' of the school year. I remember girls from the junior high drill team borrowing my 45 to record it and they did a routine to it. Lol.
     
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    It's to bad that "This Masquerade" never charted, as this seems to be a Double-A side single, and Masquerade shows up on comps nearly as often as Postman. Even here in Canada it showed up as a Greatest Hit as early as 1978.
     
  19. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    I can't decide. I like both equally. Postman is a better single track and fun to sing along to. Masquerade is a better turn off the lights and become emersed in the song track. I'm spoiling my ballot paper on this occasion.
     
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I am listening to the
    Sweet Sixteen CD,
    and, of course, the stellar
    .....Please Mr. Postman......

    I realize I've brought this up before, but this entire version--the Single--
    sounds like an entirely different Lead vocal than that found on the Horizon LP.

    As I compare each version through and through, side by side,
    it still seems as if--to my ears--these are two entirely different Lead Vocals.

    But....apparently not....
     
  21. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Just the first two lines are different. Karen sings the first two lines with much more gusto on the single mix. She also uses the Matt Munro style of vocalizing on the album version when she sings the word, 'Postman' in the first line. The rest the vocal track sounds the same to me.
     
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I agree that the opening lines sound like a totally different take.
     
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Please Mr. Postman is interesting !

    So, when would a decision have been made to re-cut the first line ?
    Presumably, the Single was cut and finished long before release of Horizon.

    Had the duo always intended to re-cut the first line ?
    Or, did the finishing of the entire album (finished sometime after March 1975)
    necessitate a revision to the song ?
     
  24. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    This one's easy for me...."This Masquerade." It's a better song and a better performance,in my book.

    "Postman" is too repetitious and while it was nice (at the time) to see the Carpenters get a hit with an uptempo track, it has not worn well for me. I probably haven't listened to it on purpose in about 25 years.

    As a single, though, I can see where "Postman" would be a hit and "Masquerade" would work better as an album track. It's just a matter of hooks..."Postman" has them, "Masquerade" does not. It doesn't have a singalong-type chorus the way a song like "Hurting Each Other" does... the only hook is the last line of the verses and it just sort of blends with the rest of the melody without standing out.

    This is sounding like I'm dissing on "Masquerade," but I'm not... it's one of my favorite songs on that album. It's just not a radio-single type song.

    Very interesting that, with my vote, the results on this poll are tied. Probably a first in these polls, eh?
     
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Passings: Robert Bateman, Writer of "Please Mr. Postman", "Playboy", First Motown Engineer ~ VVN Music »
    R.I.P. Robert Bateman Composer of Please Mr Postman »


    "Robert Bateman
    , one of the first employees at Motown and writer of Please Mr. Postman,
    died on Wednesday morning after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 80.
    he partnered with Holland under the name Brianbert to write and produce the labels first number one record,
    Please Mr. Postman for the Marvelettes.
    The song later went on to become an even bigger hit for the Carpenters in the 70's."
     
    BarryT60, Eyewire and theninjarabbit like this.

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