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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

Jeff

Well-Known Member
Jonathan, have you watched the Song For You intro to MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC? I swear Karen shines. When that contralto of hers plunges into the mesmorized and oft lauded lower register...there are few words to describe my intoxication.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
^^^ I LOVE the MMM version of the song! With they had rerecorded it. I like the original too, but there's something about the "older and wiser" version that gets to me.
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
Jonathan, have you watched the Song For You intro to MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC? I swear Karen shines. When that contralto of hers plunges into the mesmorized and oft lauded lower register...there are few words to describe my intoxication.
Yes I have seen it. Love it!!!!!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^^^ I LOVE the MMM version of the song! With they had rerecorded it. I like the original too, but there's something about the "older and wiser" version that gets to me.
I love that version as well, really wish they'd re-recorded the full song.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Here is another interesting promo ad used to promote the single, "I Won't Last A Day Without You"
So do you feel the marketing worked? Do you feel it did just as well as the other 2 singles it mentions in the ad?
(special thanks to Harry for his photoshop skills, ad was in pretty bad shape, I could not have done it any better!!)


Cashbox April 20, 1974
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Here is another interesting promo ad used to promote the single, "I Won't Last A Day Without You"
So do you feel the marketing worked? Do you feel it did just as well as the other 2 singles it mentions in the ad?
(special thanks to Harry for his photoshop skills, ad was in pretty bad shape, I could not have done it any better!!)


Cashbox April 20, 1974
Maybe highlighting that Carpenters were releasing a third Roger / Nichols composition in quite a short space of time wasn't such a good idea. Actually, it was a fourth, because originally, 'I Kept on Loving You' was listed as the 'A' side of 'Close to You'. Richard has said that he also could have released another - 'Let Me Be the One' - as an 'A' side.

Having said that, 'I Won't Last a Day Without You' had a meteoric rise on the Billboard charts and looked like it was going to be a massive smash, up with their biggest. It went from Number 70 to 50 to 35 to 21 to 15 to 12 to 11 and then started to drop. Leaping 14 places within the Top 40 was fairly unusual back then and probably gave indications of an upcoming blockbuster.

The fact that Carpenters had released the song two years before, on the 'A Song for You' album, would have diminished its chances of being a huge success. Apparently, it had already had airplay over the two years, without being available as a single.

Maureen McGovern had heard Carpenters version and released her own single of the song in the meantime. Her version was on the charts only six months before Carpenters' version, which would have taken a bit of the sting out of Karen and Richard's version. It might have made it less likely for DJs to play the song, if they'd only just been spinning Maureen McGovern's version, even though hers only touched the lower end of the Top 100.

Nevertheless, Number 11 isn't too measly as a peak.

Source for chart positions:- 'Joel Whitburn Presents the Billboard Hot 100 Charts - The 70s', ISBN 0 89820 076 8.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Maybe highlighting that Carpenters were releasing a third Roger / Nichols composition in quite a short space of time wasn't such a good idea. Actually, it was a fourth, because originally, 'I Kept on Loving You' was listed as the 'A' side of 'Close to You'. Richard has said that he also could have released another - 'Let Me Be the One' - as an 'A' side.

Having said that, 'I Won't Last a Day Without You' had a meteoric rise on the Billboard charts and looked like it was going to be a massive smash, up with their biggest. It went from Number 70 to 50 to 35 to 21 to 15 to 12 to 11 and then started to drop. Leaping 14 places within the Top 40 was fairly unusual back then and probably gave indications of an upcoming blockbuster.

The fact that Carpenters had released the song two years before, on the 'A Song for You' album, would have diminished its chances of being a huge success. Apparently, it had already had airplay over the two years, without being available as a single.

Maureen McGovern had heard Carpenters version and released her own single of the song in the meantime. Her version was on the charts only six months before Carpenters' version, which would have taken a bit of the sting out of Karen and Richard's version. It might have made it less likely for DJs to play the song, if they'd only just been spinning Maureen McGovern's version, even though hers only touched the lower end of the Top 100.

Nevertheless, Number 11 isn't too measly as a peak.

Source for chart positions:- 'Joel Whitburn Presents the Billboard Hot 100 Charts - The 70s', ISBN 0 89820 076 8.
Williams / Nichols, I meant. :)
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I don't get the message - what 'happens' exactly? None of these songs went to #1, so that's not what 'happened' and the last one didn't even fare as well as the first two when it was released. Confusing campaign idea...
They could be talking about the magic or the million-selling status of the first two songs or the gold or the perfect flow from songwriter to artist to sublime recording or the success of the creative partnership, trying to will the same level of success onto 'I Won't Last a Day Without You', (which didn't quite happen). The energy released from these recordings is still out there. It's still happening.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I don't get the message - what 'happens' exactly? None of these songs went to #1, so that's not what 'happened' and the last one didn't even fare as well as the first two when it was released. Confusing campaign idea...
UK people tend to be hyper-focused on the number 1 position in their charts, far more so than we do here in the States. I've seen past campaigns by fans to get their favorite song to #1 in the UK and feel like they've failed if it only makes #2.

It's not that way in the US. A record that reaches the top 10 gets significant airplay here and is considered a big hit. The two prior Carpenters Nichols/Williams records made it to #2, the almost-equal of a #1, but without the beauty-pageant-winner prestige. So wishing for that kind of success again from the same songwriters would have been a valuable promotional point. Those songs "happened".

And being from a year-or-more old album, "I Won't Last A Day Without You" still pushed its way to #11 Billboard, #9 Cashbox, #1 Adult Contemporary - real close to that magic top 10 and number 1 status.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Buried among so many compilations, I have neglected to listen to the CD-Compilation:
Treasures (Pickwick, UK-16 tracks,1990--my copy "Made In France").
As already documented in the Resources on the Forum, here we get to listen to the
special mix of Road Ode.
And, too, another favorite:
Bless The Beasts and the Children.

This Compilation, UK-Treasures is interesting in other respects:
4 songs taken from Close To You (but, not inclusive We've Only Just Begun !),
3 songs taken from Voice of The Heart (Look To Your Dreams, Now, Make Believe),
2 songs from A Song For You,
2 songs from Passage (good ones: Argentina (no Balcony) and I Just Fall In Love Again).
One song from each of:
Offering (Eve) Horizon (Desperado), Made In America (Because We Are In Love) ,
Tan (Let Me Be The One) and Hush (I Need To Be In Love).

And, a quick search shows ready availability at very minimal expense !
In short, an interesting one-disc compilation that I believe is well worth owning.
Apparently, there is a 1992 cd release from Spain.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I Won't Last A Day Without You is one of my favorite songs. The fact that it went as high as it did considering it came almost 2 years after the album release when the single before was also derived from this prior album (understanding the exact version is from The Singles album) while it had the same sound as The Singles album is a feat in my book. Other artists had moved toward a developed sound while the Carpenters seemed to have been stuck in 1972. It's highest number achievement does not diminish the value of the song compared to the others.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I Won't Last A Day Without You is one of my favorite songs. The fact that it went as high as it did considering it came almost 2 years after the album release when the single before was also derived from this prior album (understanding the exact version is from The Singles album) while it had the same sound as The Singles album is a feat in my book. Other artists had moved toward a developed sound while the Carpenters seemed to have been stuck in 1972. It's highest number achievement does not diminish the value of the song compared to the others.
Me too, absolutely love this song. When Karen sings that chorus (the "hook" if you will) there is power behind that voice. She sings powerfully without sounding overpowering, if that makes since. Very similar to the hook on Bless The Beasts...It seemed to be a quality to her vocals that unfortunately, she got away from as her career progressed :sad:.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Me too, absolutely love this song. When Karen sings that chorus (the "hook" if you will) there is power behind that voice. She sings powerfully without sounding overpowering, if that makes since. Very similar to the hook on Bless The Beasts...It seemed to be a quality to her vocals that unfortunately, she got away from as her career progressed.
Karen's lead vocal was doubled in the choruses of both these song, I think that's what you're hearing here. On the former, she had sores on her vocal chords the day they recorded it, so she struggled to match her "other" voice when it came to doubling up the vocal.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Ok, that might explain the sound that I was liking. As I recall, She sang this song on their first TV special during the medley and I was kind of disappointed that I wasn't hearing that same "sound" that really got me to sit up and take notice, like was on the LP. But I figured it was just the particular way she was singing the medley (slowing it down a bit). I am quite novice about all the technical nuances that go into making a recording:hmmm:...but I'm learning a lot from this forum:)!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
She sang this song on their first TV special during the medley and I was kind of disappointed that I wasn't hearing that same "sound" that really got me to sit up and take notice, like was on the LP.
Yep it's two of Karen that you're hearing on the album version. She obviously couldn't do that live on the TV special unless her voice was pre-recorded and she sang live over the top of it. That rarely works live because you have to match the phrasing and diction exactly to pull it off. In the studio they had plenty of time to get that right :)
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
So just listened to my vinyl again. Purchased new in 84 it has the white label. Got to Intermission. It begins VERY softly. And then the actual track begins at normal volume. Anyone ever hear this???
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
So just listened to my vinyl again. Purchased new in 84 it has the white label. Got to Intermission. It begins VERY softly. And then the actual track begins at normal volume. Anyone ever hear this???
Two possible causes:
1. Magnetic print-through or pre-echo on the master tape. Tape that is wound for a long time can sometimes magnetize the next or previous layer of tape to what it contains. So a really quiet passage between tracks would be susceptible to picking up the magnetic alignment of the particles on the start of the next track.

2. Pre-echo can occur on a tight-grooved vinyl album too. A completely blank-walled groove next to the start of a track can sometimes pick up a tiny amount of the groove vibration of the groove that it's sitting next to.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Just listening to this album the last few days in preparation of my next blog review of Revisiting the Carps' albums. I'm pretty knocked out by so much of it!
 

jaredjohnfisher

Active Member
A Song For You was the first album I ever received (for my 13th birthday). I remember loving "Goodbye To Love" and begging for the album! My mother wrapped it in cheap white tissue paper which I could see through. I was so excited when I saw the red center and white border through the tissue paper.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Given all the hype surrounding the term 'genius,'
I have often wondered Why
Richard Carpenter did not see the potential in the Instrumental
Nadia's Theme(Cottons Dream) ?
We got Heather on Now & Then, but.....here is a great song:
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Given all the hype surrounding the term 'genius,'
I have often wondered Why
Richard Carpenter did not see the potential in the Instrumental
Nadia's Theme(Cottons Dream) ?
We got Heather on Now & Then, but.....here is a great song:
Beautiful tune! I’ve never heard that before.

I wonder if Richard had any involvement in its arrangement because it has his style all over it. The piano chords pattern and riff at 0:14 is reminiscent of the intro to Close To You as well as the brief piano section just before the second verse of Hurting Each Other. The harp swell and chord at 0:59 sounds like the beginning of the second verse of Bless The Beasts And Children.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I guess it might be normal for a non-US member to have not heard of "Nadia's Theme" or "Cotton's Dream" as it was titled on the BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN soundtrack. There actually wasn't a whole lot to that soundtrack album. There are a couple of compositions that seem to be used over and over in different forms. This "Cotton's Dream" song also had a vocal version called "Lost". To sing the vocals, the producers got hold of another A&M artist, Renee Armand, to sing the song for the soundtrack.


In 1973, CBS-TV used the same music as the theme for its soap opera, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. A slightly different orchestration was recorded for the TV version of the theme.

Several years later, in the 1976 Olympics, ABC-TV in the United States used that "Cotton's Dream" track in their coverage, in particular, for gymnastic phenom from Romania, Nadia Comănici. As a result, A&M decided to reissue the popular record and call it "Nadia's Theme". The single was lengthened a bit by repeating a bridge. Then an album was released, also called NADIA'S THEME and was placed with a bunch of other instrumental songs that been released from the A&M stable of artists.



I suspect that Richard's sensibilities probably told him to stay away from the song, since it had already been performed by DeVorzon/Botkin. Still it would have been interesting to hear Karen's take on the song that Renee Armand did.

But since the track was part of an obscure soundtrack, was the theme to an American soap opera, and part of the US tele-coverage of the Olympics, it wouldn't have gotten as much exposure elsewhere in the world.
 
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