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Official Review [Album]: "LOVELINES" (SP-3931)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Oct 31, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    13 vote(s)
  2. ****

    37 vote(s)
  3. ***

    11 vote(s)
  4. **

    8 vote(s)
  5. *

    1 vote(s)
  1. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Oh, I forgot to ask:
    What is the release date of the Single (from Lovelines LP)
    If I Had You ?

    A reading of Carpenters' fan club Newsletters for 1989 fails to mention the Single.
    Only the Lovelines Album is referred to as a Fall Release.

    I'm still puzzled as to why it did not chart higher.
    Great Song.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I don’t know the date but there was a great radio interview I heard with Richard, recorded in 1989 to promote the album and the host absolutely raved about If I Had You, saying it sounded terrific and could have been recorded yesterday. Richard was cool in his response to the presenter (despite the fact he’d remixed it for the album they were reviewing!). To this day, I think the song is very, very underrated. He’s asked on the official site’s Fans Ask page to recall his thoughts on Karen’s vocal work on the track when he heard it back in 1980, and his response was similarly cool. That was a great disservice to her. I’ve never understood that, other than to assume he was jealous she’d achieved something so vocally ambitious without him.

    When you first heard "IF I HAD YOU" from Karen’s solo sessions…were you amazed at the intricate harmonies? Was Karen pleased by it?

    Not quite amazed, but certainly impressed and yes, she was pleased.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  3. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I wonder if it's because it was a cassette-only single in most of the world? I know that I've got cassette-singles of songs by other artists from the 80's, but I also know that a lot of times the singles seemed to be issued on CD, 45 and cassette, with, from what I can tell, the cassette being the weaker seller.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I notice that February 8, 1990, is the date of the very favorable Review ,
    of LP Lovelines, presented in Rolling Stone Magazine.

    That is a timing of over one year after the airing of the (highly-rated) CBS-Movie.
    How interesting to compare that 1990 review to the treatment (a footnote) given in
    the 1995 Coleman (Authorized) Book/Biography.

    I reiterate, for many a reason, this is a great album.
  5. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    LOVELINES was in the racks of a record store on "Black Friday", Thanksgiving weekend, 1989 (November 24th). I know this because my wedding was the very next day, and I passed up buying it because we were heading to a Caribbean Cruise for our honeymoon, and there just wasn't room in the luggage. Since I had no way to play it anyway, I rationalized that buying it when I got home was a better option. But that was the very first time I saw the CD in the racks, in a store in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL. (Upstairs from the Sears entrance). I don't recall if it was Musicland or not.

    So this was still at least 10 months after the airing of the CBS-TV movie.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  6. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    Gary, this may shed some light on when the single made it's way to the public. Here it shows when it actually debuted on the charts as a single. I'd bet it was in stores to buy as a single sometime just before this or right around this time give a week or so.

    Karen Carpenter
    If I Had You Debut Billboard Nov 25, 1989
    Hot Shot Debut at #41

    John Adam, Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  7. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    Paul Grein was always a champion for Karen and the Carpenters.

    This confirms the above Debut Chart
    Billboard If I Had You Nov 25, 1989
    Chart Beat

    John Adam, goodjeans and GaryAlan like this.
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    According to From The Top and The Essential Collection liner notes, Lovelines the album was released on October 31, 1989. So it would be safe to assume that the single If I Had You/The Uninvited Guest (Lovelines - Japan) was probably released somewhere between the summer of 1989 and Christmas 1989.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    I love this one, another Chart Beat.
    Karen moving up the charts big time.
    What a fascinating time for Karen to be back on the charts.

    Billboard If I Had You Jan 20 1990
    Chart Beat

  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I just looked I the PBS liner book. In 1969, Ticket To Ride hit #19 on the AC chart. Then in 1978 Calling Occupants hit #18, and in 1981 (Want You) Back In My Life Again Hit #16 on the AC chart. Their lowest charting AC hit was Bless The Beasts and the Children at #26.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Thanks for the information and the great scans.

    Notice that Karen Carpenters' If I Had You
    is one of the BEST songs on that AC-Chart.
    I hardly remember most of those other artists' songs !

    I am willing to believe that the chart performance of
    both LP Lovelines and (especially) Single If I Had You
    would have been significantly better/higher had they both been released
    around time of the CBS-Movie being aired.
    Notice that If I Had You has peaked better than a year after the Movie first aired.
    There were multiple airings that year, so I wonder the impact, if any.
    (That first CBS airing boosted Carpenters' sales 400 %).

    Now, another question (incidental) is how Want You Back In My Life reaches #16,
    whereas Bless The Beasts reaches only #26, on the AC-Charts !
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  12. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I would have to guess as to whether it charted from the soundtrack or the flip side of Superstar? Maybe Rick can help us with some old clips of info. It is one of my album cut favorites but it's topic is not necessarily single material, but the music is superb. I actually think Disney could do an animated version of this movie.
  13. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    'Bless the Beasts' charted due to it being the flip side of the 'Superstar' single. It wouldn't have been eligible to chart simply by appearing on the soundtrack. Its lower peak is likely down to it only getting a relatively small share of the airplay (presumably most stations were hammering 'Superstar' instead) rather than it not performing well per se.

    The AC charts aren't the most reliable indicator of success, as the way they were compiled was a bit haphazard and I think was based mainly on airplay rather than sales. Nevertheless, for 'If I Had You' to be charting at all at that time, with essentially no promotion, was quite an achievement (remember, the 'Honolulu City Lights' single of a couple of years earlier didn't even make the AC chart).

    When you look at the other songs on the AC chart at the same time as 'If I Had You', it perhaps helps to explain why Lovelines didn't sell that well on its release - it was out of step with what was popular then, even within the softer pop genre, and it was essentially before the era of nostalgia/repackaging in the 1990s when people might have been more receptive to older artists who weren't around to promote the music.
  14. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    It would indeed have been cassette only in the States - I don't think it received a release in any other territory. By 1989, many singles there were only being released on cassette. The US was the leader in terms of trying to kill off the vinyl single (particularly the 7") but for some reason was much slower to adopt the CD single than markets like Europe or Japan. Which is a shame, as cassettes were a horrible format for singles, but for the period 1989-1992 in the States, that's largely all there was for most releases.
  15. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I don’t think the CD single ever really took off in North America. The 3-inch sure didn’t.
  16. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    newvillefan, GaryAlan and CraigGA like this.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I love it, thanks for the scans, Rick ! Perhaps a release date of November 21 ?
    This looks like it is a 3-inch cd, for instance like the more common
    I Need To Be In Love/Top of the World and Top of The World/Desperado.
    (As they have the same "cd-single" insignia on the back).
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Very cool, thanks for posting the link! As GaryAlan says it’s one of those small 3” CDs in a long flip tray. I’ve got a few of the others that were released in Japan but have never even heard of this one until now.

    I love how they’ve singled out Karen for the credit on the A-side, rather than just “Carpenters”. Remix aside, it’s still very much her song.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  19. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I'm sure this has already been discussed on this thread, but Jennifer Warnes recorded "You're the One" as "You're the One I Love" on her album, 'Jennifer Warnes', a couple of years before Carpenters. Karen and Richard wisely sang slightly different lyrics in parts of the song when they recorded it. Their version also includes a bridge not on Jennifer Warnes' recording, which lifts the song from a slightly directionless-sounding piece to something extra-special. I presume it was Richard who, additionally, changed the piano chord progression at the end of each couplet, giving the song more flow than Jennifer Warnes' version has. Finally, Richard worked magic with his arrangement and production and Karen turned in a vocal performance beyond outstanding. In short, Richard and Karen transformed what was originally a very average song into something brilliant.

    Incidentally, Karen and Richard's friend, harpist Gail Levant, played on Jennifer Warnes' version of "You're the One". Although the 'Jennifer Warnes' LP was released on Arista, Bernie Grundman mastered the project at A&M. so there were a few Carpenters connections with the album.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  20. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    If it’s the same Jennifer Warnes, if Karen had lived I think she might’ve been asked to do the duet that Warnes did on “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” From The ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack. For years I thought it was Karen singing on that track until I finally saw the music video on TV and saw the credits.
  21. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Yes, it's the same Jennifer Warnes.
  22. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I was a bit harsh on the original arrangement of "You're the One" on Warnes' album. You can hear the potential in the song. I can see why Richard made this selection. On Warnes' version, it's just those halting chords a couple of times each verse that interrupt the flow of the song and make it sound as if it's not quite fully conceived. The chords in the rest of the song flow as on Carpenters' version.

    However, Jennifer Warnes' vocal performance is not a patch on Karen's and it was not until Richard arranged, performed and produced the song with Karen that it became magical.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    You're The One...
    what a beautiful song !
    This is a long-time favorite.
    As I listened to the Lovelines album this morning,
    I appreciated the album all the more.....

    You're The One
    appears to employ the doubling of Karen's vocals ("all I need to know for tomorrow..."
    The song's credits read: "background vocals, Karen & Richard"--is Richard's voice there ?
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    That line isn't Karen's voice doubled, the lead vocal is supported by multi-layered harmonies sung by Richard and Karen. He's definitely there.

    It's one of the rare instances where we get to hear outtakes that are complete with Carpenters vocal overdubs. The others that spring to mind are Slow Dance and Sailing On The Tide. Think how different Voice Of The Heart would sound if Karen and Richard were on background vocals on every song.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^My ears must be missing something,
    as the actual background harmonies on You're The One
    do not "sound" like the usual K&R multi-harmony background.

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