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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Apr 12, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    38 vote(s)
  2. ****

    12 vote(s)
  3. ***

    3 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Nicely said!
    I wonder how the Rolling Stone magazine, in terms of circulation and musical prestige, competed with the other
    overseas UK magazines ? (say,for example, Melody Maker).
    It appears to me that the Japan and British tours/concerts were extremely well received in Feb and June 1974,respectively,
    --coupled to the exceptional performance of the Horizon LP on those charts--not to mention the Live in Japan LP---
    so, the downturn in USA sales/chart position saw an upturn for overseas sales/chart position.
    Probably a good thing that the duo's product continued to sell feverishly outside of American soil.
    Needless to say, in the 1978 interview they were keen on "getting the American market back--back to it's previous heights".
  2. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I don't think being on the cover of Rolling Stone ever hurt anybody. Carpenters included! My brother was NOT a fan, and even he was impressed to see them on the cover of his favorite uber-hip magazine.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Another Review:

    There is always a time and place when this will be the perfect record to put on. Many could use a little Carpenters in their collection, and this hit-studded near-concept album is their best work. You have to let down your guard and forget what you know about this group; they sound a little slick, sure, but they perform good honest songs, aren’t afraid of a little humor, and that voice…

    My god, Karen Carpenter slays them all. American Idol losers and winners alike have never approached this type of talent, and I always think of Karen, somehow, when comparing the wannabes. There is a flippancy in her wide range, a lazy accent or something, as she didn’t care, we’ll act formal later. Listening to her sing Leon Russell’s A Song For You, the opener on this record, has become a ritual; could anybody top this version?? I’ll take it any day, sax solo, over-the-top affected chorus and all.

    The first five tracks on the record represent the stages of a love-gone-wrong relationship. You can tell just by the titles: 1. A Song For You, 2. Top Of The World, 3. Hurting Each Other, 4. It’s Going To Take Some Time, 5. Goodbye To Love. Wow, what a great set of tunes. It’s worth noting that Top Of The World went to #1 and is a great, fun song with smooth country stylings. You will most likely recognize a few of these gems from scattered radio play and other recordings.
    After a goofball ‘Intermission’ we have Side B, featuring a less serious set but still top-quality stuff. Richard Carpenter gets to shine a bit on this side, with his instrumental Flat Baroque and lispy vocals on Piano Picker. Piano Picker is hilarious, I must say, an ode to Richard Carpenter’s dedication to “banging on the keys” in lieu of “playing with the football.” This is the kind of song you put on as a joke, though I can’t explain why I know all of the words. If you want to try on some classic soft rock, this is the record for you.

    Source :
    Tapdancer likes this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Finally a reviewer that really champions 'A Song For You'. It really is the definitive version in my book. I loved reading his comments about Karen's lazy way of singing - it reminded me of 'Boat To Sail'. That ease with which the words trip off Karen's tongue are really disarming.
    Tapdancer likes this.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Re-reading the Liner Notes from the MFSL A Song For You CD (1989);

    Richard Carpenter October ,1989:

    Recording for the album started in November 1971.
    (1) Flat Baroque composed in 1966--"recorded for RCA in 1967"--rerecorded for this album.
    (2) Crystal Lullaby composed 1968--recorded for this album. ("Another College Song")
    (3) Road Ode written by Dan Woodhams in Carbondale, Illinois 1971 (on concert tour)
    (4) Piano Picker "..introduced to us in 1971 by Randy Edelman."
    (5) Bless the Beasts and Children, "..contacted by Stanley Kramer in early 1971, released on the 'flip' of Superstar." (Aug 1971).
    (Soundtrack Album of that name released September 24,1971)

    My personal feelings:

    One of my favorite albums, even though I prefer the soundtrack version of "Bless the Beasts and Children" (beginning/ending)
    and the single version of "I Won't Last A Day Without You" (guitar fills).
    The Book-ending/Concept utilizing A Song For You is brilliant. (as is the full song).
    Intermission sounds incredible, yet playful.
    Pop Brilliance: Top of The World , Crystal Lullaby , Road Ode, Hurting Each Other,
    and, the always Stunning
    Goodbye To Love.
    Don Malcolm and Tapdancer like this.
  6. Tapdancer

    Tapdancer Active Member

    Excellent review, but goofball 'Intermission'?? There has to be a better adjective than that!
    Jeff likes this.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    April 29,1972
    It's Going To Take Some Time makes its debut
    at#79 on the Hot 100.
    (rel. April 13th,1972 , Peaking at#12 June 17th--eight weeks).

    My question:
    Sandwiched as it is chronologically --as a single--between Hurting Each Other and Goodbye To Love,
    and knowing how he (Richard) felt ,initially, about Close To You being "so soft, so quiet",
    What possessed him to believe in this song as a hit single?
    Of course, he expresses misgivings now, but, what initially compelled him to release this song as a single?
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    God only knows!
  9. Probably an attempt to ride the Carole King Hit Express. No-one was hotter than Carole in those immediate post-TAPESTRY days.

  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Richard Carpenter (Liner Notes MFSL October 1989):
    "Carole King was recording her Music album at A&M Studios at approximately the same time that Karen and I were
    recording A Song For You. This led to our hearing 'It's Going To Take Some Time'.
    This became our second single release from the album."

    Be that as it may, and I've heard the original,
    it does not give me any 'chill' factor--let alone impetus to release (or, record) as a Carpenters' single.
    But, I am being a bit harsh--I know.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Quite frankly, I simply adore the
    Soundtrack Mix of
    Bless The Beasts And Children,
    thanks for all of the information regarding this song
    on the A&M Resource Site!
  12. I bought the A&M Masters CD of "A Song For You" some years ago from where I live in the UK. On the CD rear/side card the catalogue number is 393 511-2 which was modified to CDMID 139 on the outside of the plastic casing of the CD. The CD itself has CDMID 139 on the disc but the catalogue number etched in the CD is CAR CD 4 which refers to the Carpenters 4th CD in Carpenters Compact Disc Collection. Does this mean this CD is actually the MFSL version?
    Many thanks.
  13. Yes. The audio on the UK Compact Disc Collection, Disc 4, A SONG FOR YOU, is identical to the MFSL version. Richard liked that remastering and had it issued there and probably in select issues in the early 90s around the world.

  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Well this one took some time to find.....
    Billboard Promo Ad for Hurting Each Other found in Jan 1, 1972 edition

    BarryT60 likes this.
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Here is a nice full page ad placed for the album A Song For You...I like this one.
    Billboard issued July 08, 1972

    BarryT60, goodjeans and GaryAlan like this.
  16. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I remember this picture. Seeing this ad makes me realize why Richard referred to the album as looking like a *!*!* Valentine card.
  17. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    do we know if there was an It's Going to Take Some Time or a Goodbye To Love ad? For that matter - I don't recall the single artwork for those particular songs...
  18. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few missing ads and I'm not sure whether the Billboard issue is just missing online or if A&M never placed an ad in Billboard for these tracks.

    It's Going to Take Some Time (72)
    Goodbye to Love (72)
    Top of the World (73)
    I Won't Last A Day Without You (74)
    Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (74)
    Only Yesterday (75)
    Solitaire (75)
    There's a Kind of Hush (76)
    I Need To Be In Love (76)
    Goofus (76)

    I'm currently up to year 1977 and didn't see any of those ads above....so if anyone has those above feel free to upload them, I'll continue on and maybe go back and look again at a later time.
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I was just thinking that ad I posted above that looks like the Valentines card is probably the Billboard ad for both Its Going To Take Some Time and Goodbye To Love. If you look at the fine print at the bottom there are promoting both singles in the same ad.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  21. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    That's cool, thanks Gary, so the hunt is on for more....
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Billboard album review for A Song For You July 01, 1972

    song4u likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    One of my favorite Posters ( size 24"X 36" from the Fan Club)
    sports the Photograph of Karen and Richard, as above.
    I rather like it, not to mention liking the message:
    " A Song For You from us "
    (Not too syrupy, rather matter of fact.)

    While on this album,
    I have a Live cut of Piano Picker which
    is quite a deviation from the Album piece.
    Normally, I skip the song when listening to the Album,
    but, the Live cut that I have is nothing less than Brilliant.
    (Much more adventurous.)
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As I re-read the Liner Notes on "Sweet Sixteen", I see that Richard Carpenter composed
    Flat Baroque
    in 1966, recorded the song in 1967 and,then,
    re-recorded for the Song For You Album.
    Richard makes reference to "Karen's excellent brush work" on the song,
    which elicits my question:
    What is 'brush work'?
  25. Brushes[edit]
    Brushes in use on a snare drum
    Brushes are a set of bristles connected to a handle so that the bristles make a rounded fan shape. They are often used in Jazz, Swing, or Blues music. The bristles can be made of metal or plastic; handles are commonly made of wood or aluminum, and are often coated with rubber. Some brushes are telescoping, so that the bristles can be pulled inside a hollow handle and the fan made by the bristles can be of variable length, width and density. Retracting the bristles also protects the brush when it is not being used. The non-bristled end of the brush may end in a loop or a ball.

    The above from Wikipedia


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