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Official Review [Album]: "PASSAGE" (SP-4703)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Aug 6, 2013.

How Would You Rate This Album?

  1. ***** (BEST)

    7 vote(s)
  2. ****

    42 vote(s)
  3. ***

    25 vote(s)
  4. **

    5 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Long story short, it hit me how many of these songs I really liked and how alive and invested K&R sound on the disc.
  2. They were much more rested before starting this than AKOH, and the arrangements (even if they aren't the richest) have more energy and inspiration than many on HUSH.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    That the song
    Two Sides
    was not on the flip side of any of the
    Passage Singles,
    boggles my mind to this day.

    Still, one of my all-time favorite Albums.
    Perhaps its placement--between Hush and Made In America
    (not including Christmas Portrait)
    plays a part in my more favorable assessment.

    Then, too, I recall really loving
    All You Get From Love is A Song, Calling Occupants and Sweet,Sweet Smile
    when they were played (however infrequently) on the radio.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    They used a Carpenter/Bettis composition for the singles All You Get From Love Is A Love Song and Sweet Sweet Smile but it did finally make it to the B-side of the Beechwood 4-5789 single in 1982.

    Beechwood 4-5789 - Wikipedia
  5. The one thing more than anything that I'm grateful for is that "You're the One" wasn't included in the end. If it was, it would have gotten the same mucky sound mixing treatment the rest of the album got, and it's far too amazing a song to be stuck with that. I'm glad that Argentina and Calling Occupants got a clarity remix, but IJFILA deserved one as well. A soaring ballad like that needs crisp clarity and it didn't get it. What was the story exactly on the albums poor mixing?
    goodjeans likes this.
  6. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I too feel that IJFILA is the overlooked opportunity in the Passage treatment and if Calling Occupants can have a short radio mixed version so can IJFILA. It has the power that the others don't have and would have been a great first in the Spring of 1977 off of Passage. And I wish All You Get From Love would have had the phrase...they say that it's a shame or once again, it's just a shame...instead of ...its just a dirty old shame. I love these songs and I love Passage and it's concept that music travels in all genres and who in 1977 could do it better than the Carpenters!! As Horizon, I just felt it needed 2 more songs! Ordinary Fool would have fit on Passage. So would have Coming Through The Rye, or Dance in the Old Fashioned Way, or Dancing in the Streets! But the entire album did not need the "live" sound for their studio sound was unique! Passage showcased their musical strengths and it made me proud to be a Carpenters fan. When my friends asked why I liked them all I just said who else can perform any type and style of music with effortless perfection. Plus, Karen can sing any style with precision! I loved it and craved more!
  7. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I've never thought of it that way but I agree, I'm also glad You're The One didn't end up sounding like the rest of Passage. I'm sure we've talked about the muddy sound mixing on the album as we have with MIA, but I once bought the remastered version of the album and was so disappointed to hear it sounded just as bad. A song like B'Wana She No Home could sound magical with the proper mixing.
  8. While it *is* possible to edit "I Fall In Love Again" to around 3:00, the result is not advantageous to the song nor Karen's vocal. The edit - the part that is discarded - would all be Karen's vocals near the start of the song. Because of the key change for the guitar solo, it's really the only place that you can edit the song.

    I just played around with it and after the first "Baby..." verse, you chop everything out until "Magic..." This keeps her in the same key, although she now sings three iterations of a verse before getting to the chorus. You also have to boost the opening of the song a couple of db to match the later "Magic..." verse. Then I sped the whole thing up by 2% and the result times out to exactly 3:00.

    Not something I'd want to listen to.
    goodjeans likes this.
  9. Yes! That's such a fun, colorful, and oddly compelling track that it deserved to be opened up more and given more dimension. Supposedly one mix later on sounds brighter and I need to get my hands on it. It's a vocal where Karen's melancholy takes a back seat to some sexy fun in terms of tone and phrasing, and you can really hear she's not phoning it in like she did with some tracks on HUSH.
    goodjeans likes this.
  10. Actually it's probably an "earlier" mix - it occurs on the older A&M CD of PASSAGE. It's EQ'ed just a bit brighter, but it compares favorably to the later, muddier mix on the Remastered Classics version.
    Mary Beth likes this.
  11. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    IJFILA would have to have been an alternate recording for changing keys in editing software does not change the orchestral arrangement so an alternate would be needed to have been recorded. I once gave myself a headache trying. Karen's voice sounds better slower than faster in the days we suffered with only belt driven turntables.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I listened to the entire Passage, today--from the UK 12 CD-Box Set.
    Sounds fantastic to my ears.
    The Keyboards (Pete Jolly) on B'Wana : outstanding !
    The harp (Gayle Levant) on Argentina: beautiful !
    Drums (Ron Tutt) on Occupants: clear as a bell !
    Karen's vocals throughout are stunning !
    The Cover Art is a Winner !
    Oh well, I Love this album.
    LondonRobert likes this.
  13. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    "Calling Occupants" gets more and more awesome with every listen. Took a little bit to get used to the song -- I used to avoid it for a while -- but then I realized how fun it is! It's catchy and unique. They certainly played off Klaatu's "Beatlesque influences" very well. :D
    Mary Beth and K.C. Jr like this.
  14. I was also disappointed that the Remastered Classics version wasn't much clearer. However, this evening I was listening to the "At Last" album in the "Sweet Memories" series from Japan and it features "B'wana She No Home" and it sounds really "opened up" to my ears. I quickly took out my cd of Passage to compare it and the "Sweet Memories" version is indeed far less "muddy".
    Harry likes this.
  15. This is correct. The SWEET MEMORIES mastering of the song appears to be the equal of the old A&M CD's version.
  16. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I gave the album 3 stars. Certainly not a disaster. I admire them trying to go in another direction with it. When I first heard B'wana She No Home, I was thinking; what?! But the more I hear it, the more I like it. There is a playful sensuality in Karen's reading of the song. And I love that lyric "I don't care if you drive my 350 honey" knowing later that Karen owned a Mercedes 350. I Just Fall In Love Again should have been released as a single. They could have eliminated Tony Peluso's guitar solo to make a shorter version to meet the requirements of Top 40 radio; and kept the longer version for the album. IMHO Karen's version is superior to Anne Murray's released a year later. Calling All Occupants I still cannot get into, though Karen's voice is lovely as always. Don't Cry For Me Argentina seems a little overproduced.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ....Two Sides....what a fantastic song,occurring on only four compilations outside of Passage
    (and, that scarcity is really too bad....)
    this leads me to ask if anyone has seen,or heard, or possesses,
    a copy of a promo-EP "--supposedly, 2000 copies pressed:
    includes the songs
    (1)Reason To Believe,
    (3)Top of The World,
    (4) Sweet ,Sweet Smile

    I have never seen a copy.
    Surely this is more than a mythical product !
  18. I do not own one, but saved the pictures that a member sent to me.

    CountryCollectionA.jpg CountryCollectionB.jpg
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
    GaryAlan and Jamesj75 like this.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I'm amazed the song has not featured more on compilations over the years. It really is one of their most beautiful album tracks and quintessential Carpenters, with a beautiful melody, great lilting arrangement and stellar performance from Karen. Her last, long note on "goodbye" is pure heaven.
  20. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree more. In my adoration of I Just Fall In Love Again, I have "overlooked" Two Sides (possibly because it is on side 2 of the record which I played infrequently) however with multiple plays, I am becoming a BIG FAN of this track. You are correct, that final "goodbye" is definitely a Karen OMG moment. Definite single material in hindsight.
    GaryAlan and newvillefan like this.
  21. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    When Passage was released, the song Torn Between Two Lovers by Mary MacGregor was still fresh in the minds of many and Two Sides sounds very similar to it. It could be a reason it was not chosen as a single. But it is a great song with a great arrangement.
  22. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    B'wana sounds awful on my Japanese box set, my original CD, and my LP. It sounds really muddy in all of them. Is it improved here?
  23. "B'wana She No Home" is a little brighter on the original A&M CD than on the Remastered CD, which suffers from a bit of muddiness.

    The COMPACT DISC COLLECTION version of PASSAGE sounds brighter on "B'wana...", about like the old A&M CD. The COLLECTION version of PASSAGE also has the '89 remix for "Occupants".
  24. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Just realized I had the "Remastered Classics" version of "Passage" and not the original CD. It's a dynamic tune and it deserves to sound better. Glad it does on something. Now, to track down a copy of the original A&M CD.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Oh, I forgot to mention--forgive my lapse--that the UK Passage LP sounds
    the best of everything I have played....but, I am going to cycle through all of the
    B-wana's I own (today ) to give you more detail regarding that song !

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