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Official Review [Single]: 23. "CALLING OCCUPANTS OF INTERPLANETARY CRAFT"/"CAN'T SMILE WITHOUT YOU" (1978-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jul 15, 2017.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft"

    24 vote(s)
    92.3%
  2. Side B: "Can't Smile Without You"

    2 vote(s)
    7.7%
  1. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I also like the 'Now and Then' DJ spots but especially like the way the alien intentionally or accidentally intercepts radio transmission at the beginning of 'Calling Occupants'. Clever and funny. A very astute way to capture the attention of prospective teenage buyers / listeners - humour and sci-fi - on the promo video and if DJ's played the album version on radio. A good way to grab the interest of DJ's, too, to get the record played. It worked with some, by the sound of it.....
     
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    My sister once borrowed my cassette of one of the greatest hits collections and when she got to this song she thought she'd recorded over the music with something random from another radio show.
     
    Brian likes this.
  3. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Active Member

    This is a fairly strong A and B side combo for their late-period singles and the reworking of 'Can't Smile Without You' is a subtle but clear improvement over the original album version, but my vote has to go for 'Calling Occupants'. As dated and melodramatic in as it is in some ways, as someone else has already noted, it's like their 'Bohemian Rhapsody' - in part genius, in part ridiculous, but overall a very satisfying artistic piece of work. And it was one of their only post-1975 singles that was a decent-sized hit in a number of territories, even if its performance in the US was only middling. It also features one of the best shared vocals between Karen and Richard on the 'And please come in peace we beseech you' section of anything in their entire catalogue.

    Due to its limited availability I haven't heard the single edit of 'Occupants' for a while. It would be nice if this were more readily available, but I suspect that it's one of those songs that should really be heard in its entirety.
     
  4. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Occupants for me. "Smile" is one of my least favourites of theirs.
     
    djn likes this.
  5. djn

    djn Well-Known Member

    However didn't Karen select that song?
     
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I love all our differing opinions! Smile is my third favorite cut from the album after Bwana andAYGFLIALS.
     
  7. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Karen used many different singing techniques in Sweet Sweet Smile not heard in other songs and expertly! It’s not an easy song to copy! Whether it was practiced, taught or just came out, the result is flawless as the contrasting techniques used in Solitaire. She showcased more vocally than most of her contemporaries. There are reasons Karen sang with intimate expertise other than desire. She had technique unique to any genre that in turn could make it internally her own. SSSmile is one of my favorites, too!
     
    Mark-T likes this.
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Louise Fletcher also played Kai Winn on Star Trek Deep Space Nine.
     
  9. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    She could have made a good alien in the video for "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", except she probably would have been a scary one, not a friendly one as mentioned in the song. She definitely would have played a much better alien than those silly, high-kickin' leotard wearing ones in Carpenters' TV special,, 'Space Encounters'.
     
  10. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    When I said "Smile" I was referring to the flip-side song on this thread "Can't Smile Without You". "Sweet Sweet Smile" I love.
     
  11. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    OH :wink:
     
    ullalume likes this.
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    I haven't seen that video. The only one that I've seen are the two on the YOM/GOLD and Interpretations DVD.
     
  13. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    No contest - "Occupants". Prior to the release of "Passage" I'd written to the fan club asking about upcoming singles. Ev (or Rosina, don't remember which now) replied that the next single would be "Calling Occupants". Never heard of it; had no idea of what to expect. Certainly did not expect this! Was very excited when our local Peoria Top 40 station picked it up even though it wasn't doing any better nationally than the excellent "All You Get" had done. Went Top Ten for that station (WIRL). Gotta believe it would have done better on the Hot 100 if more programmers had been open-minded, but I suppose it had been awhile since Carpenters had a hit and they were considered over no matter what they came out with at this point. Pity.
     
    Brian, newvillefan and GaryAlan like this.
  14. David A

    David A Member

    Calling Occupants, hands-down. This work stands out as one of the most unique pieces of music done by the C's, and it actually had some chart success to boot.
     
    Brian likes this.

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