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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. ****

    37 vote(s)
  3. ***

    26 vote(s)
  4. **

    4 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Its a 45 jacket from Argentina featuring Don't Cry For Me outta Brazil. Has the front cover PASSAGE Carpenters logo.
    Mark-T likes this.
  2. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Don't get too excited, it's just a picture of the sleeve for the 1983 single Don't Cry For Me Argentina.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member


    's--- October 8,1977--write-up regarding Passage
    still makes for delightful reading:
    I Just Fall In Love Again....
    " features thick strings, and a big angelic chorus effect. It is a tribute to Karen's
    expressive, emotional vocal and to the excellence of Steve Dorff's melody that the song never becomes
    lost in the production."
    Country in two of the Album's best numbers....
    Sweet ,S weet, Smile.... "fast paced, punchy, sly vocal" and,
    Two Sides ...." a sound much like their 'Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You' "
    B'Wana She No Home..." a tasty rhythm number "
    "impeccably crafted"..... All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Given the recent Grammy Awards being handed-out,
    I thought--again--about this album, Passage....

    What could have been done--at that time-- to get this album noticed ?
    Could anything have been done ?

    I know the Tan LP won a Grammy Award,
    but, I (still) believe Passage is a better album !
  5. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Active Member

    Passage certainly has its moments but is a very uneven album with a couple of real clunkers in there too. The Tan album, 'Druscilla Penny' and (to a lesser extent) 'Saturday' aside, is pretty much perfect.

    They were certainly up against it when Passage was released and the comparative failure of 'All You Get From Love is a Love Song', which sounded like it should have done much better, signalled that they were going to have their work cut out in making it a success.

    I think to some extent they were paying in 1977 for taking their eye off the ball with the A Kind of Hush album and releasing some poor single choices from it, as this just accelerated the resistance to their output that had started during the Horizon campaign - had Passage appeared in 1976 in Hush's place, I'm sure it would have performed much better. But then sometimes the market for whatever just won't take to a product, even if it's reasonably presented and well-judged. They didn't do much to promote it though - no TV spots, no international trips to Europe/Japan, the TV special wasn't shown until the album had already fallen off the charts in 1978...

    It's a shame the singles sales and airplay charts that Billboard started to publish from the mid-1980s weren't made available for this period so that we could see whether the singles were falling down due to a lack of sales, lack of airplay or both. I recall reading that 'Calling Occupants' did reasonable business sales-wise, but was hampered from climbing higher on the charts to a lack of broad support from radio stations.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Thanks for the input ! And, many good points.
    I do recall Billboard writing that pre-release sales for Passage--in Japan--exceeded 250,000 copies.
    Richard Carpenter was also Grammy-nominated for arrangement on Calling Occupants.
    And, of course, the album did reasonably well in the UK.
    Even so, the lack of attention in USA continues to baffle me.

    Interesting how we (fans) perceive these albums, differently.
    While the Tan album has the three Big Singles--
    Superstar, Rainy Days, For All We Know....I still believe that that does not make a perfect album,
    it does make three perfect million-selling singles, boosting profile and sales of that album !

    In any event, I hold Passage to be a better album,
    despite its flaws !
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    1977....Year In Review...Radio And Records Magazine,page 16,December .....
    "Top 40 really went to the movies in 1977..starting right at the top of the
    year -end chart with Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" from the movie of
    the same name, and continuing with Barbra Sbeisard's "Theme From A Star Is
    Born," Meco's "Star Wars" theme, Bill Conti's "Theme From Rocky'; Carly
    Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" from "The Spy Who Loved Me'; and Rose
    Royce's "Car Wash." Top 40 music played a major part in other movies of
    1977 including "Saturday Night Fever" containing two hits for the Bee Gees.
    Lights, camera and plenty of retail action!"
    "Performers relatively new to Top 40 listeners crossed over from a primarily
    AOR audience in 1977 continuing a trend of the last few years. Artists like
    the Atlanta Rhythm Section, Al Stewart; Randy Newman, Jimmy Buffett; Rita
    , Kansas and Dave Mason broke into "power rotation" at Top 40
    stations all over the country."
    "Country superstars scored well on the chart this year with big hits for
    Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Crystal Gayle."
    "And some friends of Top 40 radio returned in 1977...Johnny Rivers, Bob
    Seger, Manfred Mann and Marvin Gaye went top ten. And of course, Stevie
    Wonder's long silence was broken to the critical acclaim of a/most everyone."
    "In 1976 only one female soloist was in the top 20. This year's Top 77
    has five females in the top 20 with Debby Boone, Catty Simon, Barbra Sbeisand
    and Mary MacGregor all having number one records. Both of Rita Coolidge's
    hits went to number two."
    "Disco music did not have nearly the impact in 1977 that it had enjoyed
    in the two previous years. K.C. and to Sunshine Band cranked out two more
    top five smashes and Thelma Houston and the Jackson each went top ten."
    "Overall 1977 took musical diversity one step further. All the music formats
    seemed to be getting closer together with AOR, Country, Adult Contemporary
    and Top 40 sharing more musical selections than in any previous year. There is
    no indication that this trend will cease anytime soon. And as playlists get
    closer and closer together, the real difference between the music radio formats
    becomes presentation and pacing rather than types of music played."
  8. adam

    adam Active Member

    Although Passage had pre advanced sales in Japan of 250,000 copies,what it actually sold was just 87,000 copies failing to achieve Gold status in Japan.But it did receive Gold status in UK for sales of 100,000 copies.
    Lack of promotion possibly a factor in low sales they should have made TV appearances or radio interviews.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^That is quite interesting, Adam !
    In that same vein,
    how much of their album product had higher "shipping" numbers, compared to actual sales numbers !

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