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Official Review [Album]: "A SONG FOR YOU" (SP-3511)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 44 71.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 14 22.6%
  • ***

    Votes: 3 4.8%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    62

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
“A SONG FOR YOU”


Catalogue Number: A&M SP-3511
Date of Release: 06/13/72
Chart Position- U.S.: #4; U.K.: #13; JAPAN: #5
Album Singles: "Hurting Each Other"/"Maybe It's You"
"It's Going To Take Some Time"/"Flat Baroque"
"Goodbye To Love"/"Crystal Lullaby"
"Top Of The World"/"Heather"
"I Won't Last A Day Without You"/"One Love"
Format: Reel/Vinyl/8-track/Cassette/CD


Track Listing:

1.) A Song For You 4:42 (Russell)
2.) Top Of The World 2:56 (Carpenter/Bettis)
3.) Hurting Each Other 2:46 (Udell/Geld)
4.) It's Going To Take Some Time 2:55 (King/Stern)
5.) Goodbye To Love 3:50 (Carpenter/Bettis)
6.) Intermission 0:22 (Carpenter)
7.) Bless The Beasts And Children 3:07 (De Vorzon/Botkin, Jr.)
8.) Flat Baroque 1:45 (Carpenter)
9.) Piano Picker 1:59 (Edelman)
10.) I Won't Last A Day Without You 3:47 (Williams/Nichols)
11.) Crystal Lullaby 3:58 (Carpenter/Bettis)
12.) Road Ode 3:50 (Sims/Woodhams)
13.) A Song For You [Reprise] 0:53 (Russell)


Album Credits:

Arranged and Orchestrated by: Richard Carpenter
All vocals: Karen and Richard Carpenter
Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Hal Blaine and Karen Carpenter
Tenor Sax, Flute and Alto Flute: Bob Messenger
Bass Flute: Tim Weisberg
Guitar: Louie Shelton
Lead Guitar: Tony Peluso
Steel Guitar: Red Rhodes
Oboe and English Horn: Earl Dumler
Bassoon: Norm Herzberg
Engineered by Ray Gerhardt, Assistant: Roger Young
Special Thanks to Ron Gorow
Intermission inspired by Crucifixus - Antonio Lotti ca. 1667-1740
Baldwin Piano, Ludwig Drums, Wurlitzer Electric Piano
Art Direction: Roland Young
Photography: Front Cover, Jim McCrary; Sleeve, Bill Hennigar
Produced by Jack Daugherty Productions


Additional Notes:

Shortly following the release of this album, the cover art was changed ever so slightly, much to the dismay of Richard Carpenter. It was then changed back to the original per his request. It is also notable that this album made the cut for Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's "Original Master Recording" series in 1989, available on 24-karat gold CD format, with the 2-channel mixes having been taken from the original source, thus improving the playback quality. Several of the tracks on that release were actually remixes, however the overall quality on the whole was superior to that of the previous
release(s).
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
If one considers audio variations only, there are three different iterations of A SONG FOR YOU on CD.

  • First was the original A&M CD, which included some single versions ("Top Of The World"; "I Won't Last A Day Without You") instead of the album versions. It also had a simplified insert, effectively removing all of the original liner notes.
  • Next came the MFSL CD, which added in some remixes (all of "Side 1" and "Bless The Beasts..." was different from the LP in one way or the other with remixes and single mixes). That MFSL mix was also used in mastering some CDs in the 90s, including in the UK box set, THE CARPENTERS COMPACT DISC COLLECTION. The original liner notes and illustrations were all restored.
  • Finally in 1998, the album was issued as part of the Remastered Classics series with all original LP mixes restored. That version has appeared in several box sets since that time.
Definitely the highlight of Carpenters career, the album spawned more singles than any other, including one that was released after another album had come out. If you don't own this one, your collection is woefully incomplete.

Harry
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Definitely the highlight of Carpenters career, the album spawned more singles than any other, including one that was released after another album had come out. If you don't own this one, your collection is woefully incomplete.
Well said! :agree:
 

RainyDays

Active Member
First off, I love the (original) cover; at the time it hurt their image, making them seem even more lovey-dovey, bland, and wholesome. But still today its bright, attractive, and it stands out -- much like the songs inside. It's a valentine, a love of music just for you.

It would be impossible to pick standout tracks because, really, they all are as we know. It's their most loved album for a reason. Six songs would figure as singles (even if they didn't all do so well).

A Song For You is an intimate, darkly resonant, Top of The World is a joyus, country flavored tune (though I do prefer the '73 remix), Hurting Each Other is a perfect single with an exciting hook that's somehow still sad, It's Going To Take Some Time is more low-key but very bright and pleasant (I have no problem with it being a single, though I might've perfered ASFY), Goodbye To Love is so original, heartbreaking and magically timeless,

Intermission is just genius -- "...after we go to the bahhhhtttthhhhrooooommm...". Who else but them would have a bathroom break?!

Bless The Beasts...is so warm and subtly powerful, Flat Baroque is good and Piano Picker is a fun, underrated "Richard" track, I Wont Last A Day...is so rich, full, and magnificent. Much better than the single remix, and the closing piano solo is breathtaking, Rode Ode is one of their best album cuts and is so full of prescence with darkness and hope, and it really holds up today, and that final reprise with its harp fade in is beautiful.
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
Overall favorite album...hence my name on here. :) Actually, sometimes back and forth between this and Horizon. Just depends on my mood I guess.

I do wish A Song for You had been a single, although I understand the length, etc. It is probably my favorite Carpenters song.

I do not own this on CD, although I do have 3 vinyl copies of it.....with both covers. This is a great album and I agree that every Carpenters fanatic should/must own this in some version. When I hear an "oldies" or a 70's station, I wish that songs from album would be played. Love it!!!!
 

CarpentersToYou

Somehow you brought the gambler out in me...
While this album contains many of my favorite songs, I don't pull this disc out that often. I remember the first time I purchased it, I loved the liner notes and discovering the reprise of the title track. You've inspired me to pull it out and give it another listen. :)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Just imagine an album where the magnificent tracks of "Road Ode" and "A Song For You" weren't good enough to be singles, but had to just be album tracks!

It staggers the mind...

Harry
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Far and away a supreme achievement from Carpenters. Perfect in every way. Just as magical now as it was when I received it as a birthday present on my 10th birthday, July, 1972. Karen's vocals are incredible and Richard's arrangements are top notch. What a record.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I really love this album. But -ready for the flames :wink:...- I always felt like Karen's performance on "Won't Last a Day" was "phoned in" compared to the other performances on the disc.
 

RainyDays

Active Member
I really love this album. But -ready for the flames :wink:...- I always felt like Karen's performance on "Won't Last a Day" was "phoned in" compared to the other performances on the disc.
SAY WHAT?! That's one of the tracks where I feel she's really into the feeling of the song. Without that it wouldn't be great. Crazy talk, Mark!
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
My first take on A Song For You was the original jacket. Made of some kinda fibrous cottony feeling paper. I remembering reading the inside sleeve noting that the packaging was made of recycled materials. I could be wrong, the actual lp's are entombed right now so I can't be certain. I managed to score each re-issue of art work. I favour the 1st. On a visit to Seattle in Dec of '72 my Aunt, Uncle and I were whizzing past a record store when in the window I saw a rather large 2'x3' heavy duty cardboard portrait of the A Song For You pose as displayed on the lp's inner sleeve. ALL STOP! Back up Unc, there's treasure afoot!!! Aunt & Uncle in tow, I trotted my 9 year old self inside looking for the person in the know. After proudly detailing my official fan club membership the clerk took the prize out of the window and placed it squarely in my hands. Over the portrait is the relatively new CarpenterS logo and below it reads On A&M Records. This record was everywhere. Hurting Each Other had already hooked my young heart. Then we were off to the races. Single after single. I like the format or the way the songs weave together. The book-ends were cool. I was surprised that someone as famous as KC even went to the BOTHROOM much less sang about it. The late late release of I Won't Last a Day was weird for me. That long wait we shared for a new release delay bugged me much the same as Xmas Portrait to Made In America did. At Tower Records I did snatch up one of four MFSL pressings. Had I known what I know now there would be four in my clutches. This isn't my vote for BEST lp. It falls second for me. Horizon, although off to a slow start has become my #1 in terms of performance and production.
 

byline

Well-Known Member
My first take on A Song For You was the original jacket. Made of some kinda fibrous cottony feeling paper. I remembering reading the inside sleeve noting that the packaging was made of recycled materials. I could be wrong, the actual lp's are entombed right now so I can't be certain.
You are absolutely correct, I clearly remember that being noted in the liner notes. I can't recall now if it was just the inside liner, or the entire cover w/liner, that were made of recycled paper, but at the very least the liner was.
 

Passenger

Active Member
Killer album, my #2 favorite behind "Horizon". I literally wore my original vinyl copy out and had to replace it, and of course, had to also eventually purchase it on 8-track, then cassette, then original CD, then remastered CD, in box sets, now digitally....how some of us same die-hard "Carpenter-ites" have supported them (and still continue to) by purchasing the same music in every available format, seemingly in every decade. But this one is especially worth it. Two of my favorite singles (Goodbye to Love and Hurting Each Other) and two of my favorite non-singles (A Song for You and Rode Ode). True story....I actually learned of it's release on TV, as departing contestants on one of the game shows (The Dating Game, maybe?) were also receiving a copy of the "brand new release from the Carpenters" with a screen-shot of the album cover on TV, in addition to their other parting gifts. Some consolation prize!
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
UNREAL!! I REMEMBER THAT GAME SHOW, TOO!! It was 'The Newlywed Game', and they were receiving a new console stereo, as well as a selection of hit vinyl albums of the time. And they focused on 'A Song For You'. I believe it also mentioned a few of the hits, too. And it showed the hype sticker on the album cover, as well. We both have exceptionally good memories.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Very cool, Harry. I was wondering what kind of scanner you use that will take a shot of a 12x12 image? I do photo restoration and scanning (as well as transfers of film and video to DVD), for work, and was curious.

Thanks!
Bob
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Very cool, Harry. I was wondering what kind of scanner you use that will take a shot of a 12x12 image? I do photo restoration and scanning (as well as transfers of film and video to DVD), for work, and was curious.

Thanks!
Bob
In actuality, I generally use a standard-sized scanner and will stitch two images together with software.

In the reality of this particular set of scans, my secret was to scan the Japanese CD reproduction of the inner-sleeve, which of course fit nicely on just one pass through the scanner.

Harry
 
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