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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. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    It’s like a fine wine! Taste and value gets better with age.

    I was thinking the other night that if From This Momemt On would have been ready in 1974 it would have fit great in The Boston Pops Special, and the Strike Up the Band routine from the ‘76 Live shows. I think all these adaptions later in their career was to grow with fans as musicians since KC and the Sunshine band had disco covered for fun music. Karen’s solo songs fit better during 1978-79. But I feel Richard wanted something more than a trend. Passage was a great album of growth as creative musicians. We can’t say if only, but we can be thankful as fans that we now almost have it all. I wish that trend had continued. And the speciality albums for the classic songbook like the tv show Music Music Music would have been a great compliment to another experimentation album. But, I remember that in those days the record stores wanted to keep you classified into a labeled style. Today it is more diverse. Online avenues have really opened trends.
    Jeff likes this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    That Olivia Special was outstanding for the musical segments. Here's the 20 minute version of the musical finale with ABBA and Andy Gibb (including the sections at the beginning and end which didn't get aired on the special) which is an absolute joy to watch. The notes on the Youtube post mention the fascinating story behind how the clip came to be obtained:

    ONE OF A KIND - FIRST GENERATION AUDIO. This is the concert segment IN TRUE STEREO from the 1978 special "Olivia!" Just prior to shooting this segment with a live orchestra, the audio guy asked if I would like a stereo feed of the sound. Of course I said yes and fed two three-quarter inch VCRs with the special feed. Stereo TV was not available widely until the mid-1980s. After completion of the special, I manually synced the 2" master of the show to my ¾" master and, voila, a stereo version of the concert with Andy Gibb, ABBA, and Olivia! Shot just days before it aired, the ABC-TV special "Olivia!" was the marathon of all television specials I edited while in Hollywood. For 36 nonstop hours, director Steve Binder (my all time favorite) and the post-production crew dashed toward an unbelievable deadline and beat it. This is the entire concert segment. The air version begins at 3:01 and ends prior to "Thank you for the Music" (which was used for closing credits). Please select 480p and full screen (and don't forget headphones!); the quality is matchless!

  3. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Wow, just wow! Olivia, ABBA, and Andy Gibb... music royalty on stage together, singing live, in front of a real audience, and done in one take! That folks, is how it should be done! :bowdown2:

    Contrast that with the Carpenters "Space Encounters", which aired right before the Olivia special... while Olivia got A-list guests, including the hottest act in the entire world at the time, Carpenters got John Davidson, Suzanne Sommers, and Charlie Callas... lip-synched performances, canned laughter and applause, and cringe-inducing shtick. :rolleyes:
    Jamesj75, GaryAlan and newvillefan like this.
  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I can't for the life of me understand why they were given such crap "artists" to work with. Georgia Engel? Suzanne Somers? John Davidson? Victor Borge? I mean, come on. Where were all the stars of the 70s that could have been a part of the Specials? Granted Olivia was a hot act at this point in the decade but Richard and Karen must still have had plenty of pulling power when it came to guest stars. The specials should have been chock full of music as that's what Richard and Karen's world revolved around. And it should have been with top class acts like those on Olivia! The Carpenters really scraped the barrel with most of the 5 specials they made. Again, I put that squarely down to Jerry Weintraub. They deserve better than what they got.
  5. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    To go off topic for a moment, there's a really cute moment in this Olivia! video at 3:00, where they're leading up to the first ABBA song. Olivia makes her way down the catwalk and as she walks past Agnetha, who is still singing away to the audience, Olivia taps her on the shoulder as if to say "you're up next!" :laugh:

    What also amazes me is that, for the first time ever, you can hear Agnetha and Frida on Dancing Queen in true separated stereo: Frida lead vocal in the left headphone (or speaker) and Agnetha in the right. That was really awesome to hear. Benny's piano and backing vocal also to the right. Olivia provided some awesome backing vocals on the choruses of Fernando.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2017
    theninjarabbit likes this.
  6. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Apparently the audio we hear in that OLIVIA! video is the raw audio that was heard in the studio, coming from the soundboard, as they performed. People who own the LaserDisc of that show (not me) say that the actual audio tracks were "sweetened" for on-air and disc purposes with some overdubs and different takes.
  7. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    And, my gosh, Olivia is just beautiful!
  8. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    This is great to listen to. I would like to hear the sweetened version for as it is it feels like it almost fell apart on the entrance of Take A Chance On Me, (I think that was the one they sang next and a slap on the leg carrying the beat from Abba got it back on track.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    That was amazing!! Did you see Benny? I think he really liked Andy Gibb :) Did you also see the stage during Take A Chance On Me? It was moving back and forth from them jamming. This reminded me of the Carpenters ending of MMM, it was just about the music. Karen and Richard could have done this same live stuff, I don't know why they didn't do stuff like this. The live versions make the audience feel the artists are human and it endears us closer to the artist. Yeah I'm with Benny, I love Shadow Dancing too. I personally believe that out of all the Gibb brothers, Andy had the best voice!!
    newvillefan likes this.
  10. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    It must have been devastating for Karen (though I am sure she was happy for her friend) to see ONJ secure the part of "Sandy" in Grease, considering that Karen always wanted to star in a movie. That part "blew-up" Olivia's career and she was successful in creating a new path with her music and transitioned the end of the decade and into the 80s quite well. Her star was on the rise while The Carpenter's careers were ebbing, even though ONJ had been on the music scene about as long as the duo had at that point. As far as "Space Encounters" go, to this day I cannot watch it without getting gooseflesh (in a bad way). It is truly "cringe-worthy". It looks like they didn't even rehearse the dance numbers. Richard is so out of step on that disco number it is almost comical (but it's not). And 28 year old Karen, thin and frail doing the sexy veil dance to Man Smart, Woman Smarter, she looked as uncomfortable doing it as I felt watching it. And all those snow puffs dancing around - ugh! Jerry Weintraub, Executive Producer of that disaster.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2017
    newvillefan likes this.
  11. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I remember it for its music which had some good moments. It was just a hokey way to promote Passage: almost He-Haw ish in humor. Yet, Passage was a clear cut adult type album but somehow was fashioned for a much younger crowd on TV. The first special and the last were the best.

    Karen always rooted for Olivia from what I understand and was as excited for Karen as if it was happening to herself. It was a great friendship. The Carpenters had some great moments in their career and I believe they under

    Karen had a glow about her in ‘74 that Olivia had that year of the special in ‘77. It’s funny, but Karen’s outfit on the ‘78 tonight Show was similar to that of Abba in the Olivia special.

    And referencing outfits, that one Andy Gibb was wearing sure could get a few knocks. So, anything can be picked apart so I try to focus on the music.

    Funny, their disco numbers, in the cosmic invasion opened me up somewhat to listen to it in a different fashion with more acceptance in mind.

    Because Karen can’t speak for herself and Richard continues to say she was a happy person who always thought of others and shared a good sense of humor with a positive character we should also focus on the good. She was under constant pressure being the focus of the group. She was a perfectionist. And she sang with that perfection and delivered it effectively and gave all music she sang a new purpose. And I believe that is the message she would want people to treasure.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    1978 Interview:
    Karen Carpenter (at 8:53),
    " We spent more time on Occupants than we did on our third album...."
  13. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Great interview! Love that she refers to "The Carpenters". Guess it's okay to refer to them as such now...LOL!

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  14. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Turns out there's more to that 1978 Karen interview... here's part two:
  15. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Love these interviews! Thanks @GaryAlan and @Murray!

    The interviewer does have some fine moments. However, it always bugs me when an interviewer doesn't do his homework. I know that Karen is appreciative of this radio station, but the interviewer states (in first part), "From 74 til now...a void of Carpenter material" and "Why the gap?" Was he completely unaware of Horizon (and its #4 single "Only Yesterday" and its #1 single "Please Mr. Postman")? Was he further completely unaware of A Kind of Hush (and its singles)? Or how about Passage (and its singles)? Karen did say that, "We kept putting out product." These "products" (this trio of albums) constitute my favorites. Was the interviewer further completely unaware of @Jamesj75 et al.?! :)
    Jeff likes this.
  16. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I was watching 70's ABBA videos the other day, and though their stage outfits are cringingly 70's, I couldn't help to think of the comparison to the C's Pepsodent Twins image.
  17. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    For some reason he wanted to group them with Bread. I think Seals and Crafts has a new one that year too, and Helen Reddy. Why not just join them with Anne Murray and America too? Now Bread has those years of absence but you are correct about 74-75. Maybe he meant the two singles albums by comparison and got tongue tied over embarrassment over incorrect facts. I thought it was noble of Karen to move on and focus on moving forward and not embarrassing him. She expertly went back to Occupants and Passage!
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Oops, I am a little late, but,
    Happy Birthday,
    Passage !
    Released 9/23/1977

    My Passage stash...
    The Promo Poster
    The Press Kit
    Three (!) Plastic Mugs
    The US, UK, JP releases on LP, US Tape cassette,
    The USA Promo LP
    Sweet, Sweet Smile... Japan Single
    Calling Occupants USA Single

    Suffice it to say,
    Love this Album.
    Don Malcolm and theninjarabbit like this.
  19. When it came to their TV specials, I sensed the Carpenters never wanted to be upstaged (remember the Neil Sedaka debacle). I got the feeling they wanted to present themselves as the A-list stars; selecting lesser stars (except for John Denver) and even non-musicians on purpose.
  20. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    That didn't work so well for them either, look at Olivia she always had A list stars on her specials and for the viewer it was al about having fun and just enjoying each artists music. There shouldn't be a competition about who is the better artist as each one brings something to each viewer.
  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    So beautiful to hear this for the 1st time.I particularly enjoy Karen Carpenter interviewed solo. Shes really talking like an artist and its good to hear her speak of herself as Associate Producer. Usually its a CarpenterS interview.
  22. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Gary I'm impressed. This is a top drawer keepsake stash. I love it. Makes me giddy.
  23. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Over the past two days I was updating my resume reel, and while this is not the version that I'm going to use to send to potential employers, just to cut the reel together I used All You Get From Love Is A Love Song. I've actually picked out a close sounding track from my Digital Juice collection for sending to replace AYGFLIALS.

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  24. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    GaryAlan likes this.
  25. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    ^^ What is it? I don't have a fb account.

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