• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Official Review [Album]: "A KIND OF HUSH" (SP-4581)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 5 6.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 19 25.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 41 54.7%
  • **

    Votes: 9 12.0%
  • *

    Votes: 1 1.3%

  • Total voters
    75

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Yes, 'Calling Occupants' had been the biggest hit in Australia since 'Only Yesterday', nearly three years before.

'Calling Occupants' peaked at Number 13 nationally but would have peaked higher if it hadn't taken off in different states at totally different times. For instance, in South Australia, (a state of Australia), it peaked at Number 5 in mid-January, 1978, whereas in Victoria, (another state), it didn't enter the charts until mid-March, 1978, eventually peaking at Number 10. In New South Wales, (where Sydney is), I think it peaked at Number 9, from memory, but I can't find anything at the moment to double-check. I'm not sure about the other states.

'Calling Occupants' hung around nationally long enough to become the 78th biggest hit of the year, eventually spending over seven months on the charts.

'Passage' had a similar story, peaking near the Top 10 in different states, but at different times.

'Very Best of The Carpenters' includes 'Beechwood' and 'Those Good Old Dreams', from 'Made in America', which was still a recent album, ('Made in America' mid-1981, 'Very Best Of' late 1982). Interestingly, no 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' on 'Very Best of The Carpenters' and no 'Want You Back in My Life Again' or 'I Believe You'. 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' only peaked at Number 78. 'Those Good Old Dreams' received some airplay, daily on some radio stations, and the video for 'Beechwood' received airings on some music shows but neither songs charted. 'Beechwood' had a picture cover, which was rare in this record market.

The TV promo for 'Very Best of The Carpenters' showed a snippet of 'Sing', from 'Live at the Budokan', in Japan, amongst snippets of a few other songs.

The promo poster was 36" x 24", showing the inner sleeve from 'Made in America', (which was the cover photo).
Beechwood hit #10 in New Zealand, so for an Oceania album it was probably included for that.

But in New Zealand it looks like they only hit the charts starting with Postman (#4) in May 1975. And TMWWD was their lowest charting at #22, otherwise the couple of other charting Singles were Top 20.
 
Last edited:

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I’m guessing he hadn’t seen or worked with them in recent months and was probably referring to Made In America.
I think you're probably right on this and Cubby was referring to 'Touch Me When We're Dancing'. The performance of the Australian greatest hits seems a bit of a stretch to fit this interpretation. Although they doubtless appreciated their overseas success, their primary focus always seemed to be on their success in the US market.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
I think you're probably right on this and Cubby was referring to 'Touch Me When We're Dancing'. The performance of the Australian greatest hits seems a bit of a stretch to fit this interpretation. Although they doubtless appreciated their overseas success, their primary focus always seemed to be on their success in the US market.
Does this work out time-wise? Cubby mentions that he saw Karen 4 days before she passed. That would be early 1983, when 'Touch Me' was released in June 1981?
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Does this work out time-wise? Cubby mentions that he saw Karen 4 days before she passed. That would be early 1983, when 'Touch Me' was released in June 1981?
The problem is Cubby's comment doesn't give enough context to be clear on this. They had no record out at the time in the US. Given how much more slowly information from overseas travelled back then, they may not even have been aware of the Australian compilation at this stage.

Reading it again, it's also possible that by 'action', Cubby was referring to plans for a new album rather than any chart action.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The problem is Cubby's comment doesn't give enough context to be clear on this. They had no record out at the time in the US. Given how much more slowly information from overseas travelled back then, they may not even have been aware of the Australian compilation at this stage.

Reading it again, it's also possible that by 'action', Cubby was referring to plans for a new album rather than any chart action.
So no one from Australia was able to make an international phone call to let the American A&M know that the Carpenters has the #1 record there in 1983?
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
So no one from Australia was able to make an international phone call to let the American A&M know that the Carpenters has the #1 record there in 1983?
It's possible but not very probable. The scenario you describe cannot have happened as the album didn't go to #1 in Australia until 21 February, over two weeks after Karen's passing.
 

Tom_P

New Member
OK People, trying to bring this thread back on topic! :)

I always felt that AKOH had a raw deal, being dismissed as a disappointment when in fact it's a pretty good album. My favourites are 'You', 'I Need To Be In Love', 'One More Time' and 'Boat To Sail', and I don't just like them, I think they're up among R&K's career-best tracks. I prefer the album version of INTBIL to the tweaked version that was used for the single. The Carpenter/Bettis compositions aren't among their very best, but they're pleasing, beautifully sung and wonderfully produced, as was the whole album. In 1976 I even liked 'Goofus' and still do, though I concede in retrospect that it's a bit corny. The only 'filler' I can see are the two oldies that bookend the album, especially the Sedaka track which seems completely redundant. Like many people I felt that 'Postman' was a blip on the otherwise sublime 'Horizon' and was a bit 'meh' about these two. I realise after having a US number one with 'Postman', there was probably pressure on R&K to produce more of the same, but in the UK, they'd had top 20 hits with 3 rather well-known oldies in the space of a couple of years, and were in danger of being dismissed simply as an oldies revival group. That's not to say they shouldn't have covered oldies, but maybe after 'Now and Then' and 'Postman' they should have focused on less well-known ones, or songs they could interpret in a completely different way.

I can remember also being impressed with the quality of detail in the 'A Kind of Hush' vinyl album sleeve and label. 'Horizon' and AKOH definitely were their best covers. I was always struck by the fact that A&M were prepared to spend a lot of money on Carpenters' album covers but somehow lacked the imagination to produce something that looked contemporary, but I think with these two they got it right.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the boards, Tom! I, too, like AKOH album and am a big fan of the three cuts that begin side two. The art direction is beautiful.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
A snapshot from August 7, 1976, CASHBOX (page 55), International Hits:
Japan LP's: A Kind of Hush #5
UK LP's: A Kind of Hush #8
Argentina Singles: There's A Kind of Hush #18.
 

Sabar

Active Member
I'll take advantage of this thread being revived to add my two cents. I'm among those who view this album as a disappointment. Of the ten tracks, I think only three are strong: You, INTBIL, and One More Time. Boat to Sail is okay. The rest of the songs are mediocre. In the case of Breaking Up is Hard to Do and Goofus, I'd say the choices were misguided. I know Richard said he had trouble finding good material at this juncture, but were there really no better options than this?
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I learned to love this album. So many great Karen performances on it (the hidden gems). One More Time, Boat To Sail, You. Even I Have You and Sandy have their "up side". This album deserves a lot more love than it gets.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Didn't 'A Kind Of Hush' sell over 500,000 copies in the USA, though? That's a LOT of people who bought it. It's listed in Joel Whitburn's 'The Billboard Albums' as a gold record. So it did actually have mass appeal at the time.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I Have You and Breaking Up Is Hard To Do are the only two tracks I really don’t like from this album so I’m glad they’re stacked at the end of it. The rest of the album is lovely, if saccharine. I still remember the review I read in one of the UK music magazines that ran with the headline: “Cool Carpenters Only Coasting”. That summed it up for me. Passage was a great, left of field comeback. They managed to rescue the downward slide from Horizon just in time, but this album was still a step too far into the bland for me.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This album suffers from having followed Horizon and The Singles 1969-1973, how to top those two predecessors ?
How does one top the stunning vocal beauty of Solitaire ?
How to create an album with songs comparable to: We've Only Just Begun or Superstar or Goodbye To Love ?
The threshold to top those songs is a very high bar indeed,
so I am surprised---given Karen's physical condition in 1976--that the Hush album was as strong as it was !
Granted, the title track is not as great a re-make as Please Mr. Postman was....how could it be ?
I Need To Be In Love, a lovely Carpenter/Bettis tune, still had those previous great C/B songs to compete with:
Caught Between Goodbye and I Love You, Only Yesterday, Yesterday Once More, Goodbye To Love, Top of the World.....
Happily, that one song--I Need To Be In Love-- has now sold over 500,000 copies in Japan alone (RIAJ/2020).
Then, too, we have Goofus--it's fun, it's imaginative and I have always liked it.
The expectations were high. Perhaps, too high.
It's a pleasant album. Not earth-shattering, but pleasant.
Sometimes, that is enough for me.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
This album suffers from having followed Horizon and The Singles 1969-1973, how to top those two predecessors ?
How does one top the stunning vocal beauty of Solitaire ?
How to create an album with songs comparable to: We've Only Just Begun or Superstar or Goodbye To Love ?
The threshold to top those songs is a very high bar indeed,
so I am surprised---given Karen's physical condition in 1976--that the Hush album was as strong as it was !
Granted, the title track is not as great a re-make as Please Mr. Postman was....how could it be ?
I Need To Be In Love, a lovely Carpenter/Bettis tune, still had those previous great C/B songs to compete with:
Caught Between Goodbye and I Love You, Only Yesterday, Yesterday Once More, Goodbye To Love, Top of the World.....
Happily, that one song--I Need To Be In Love-- has now sold over 500,000 copies in Japan alone (RIAJ/2020).
Then, too, we have Goofus--it's fun, it's imaginative and I have always liked it.
The expectations were high. Perhaps, too high.
It's a pleasant album. Not earth-shattering, but pleasant.
Sometimes, that is enough for me.
But still, I would’ve preferred Ordinary Fool over Sandy; that’s one cringe worthy track that should’ve been buried and burnt.
 
Top Bottom