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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. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I preferred the original mix. From memory, the re-mix is thumpy and overly heavy on the bass.[/QUOTE]
    In 85 there only was the original mix.
  2. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    In 85 there only was the original mix.[/QUOTE]

    I'm talking about now, (and back to when the remix was released). I prefer the original because the remix sounds thumpy. The aliens are attacking us with da bass.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Other interesting aspects of album
    For the song Sweet,Sweet Smile
    the tack piano performance is credited only Tom Hensley.
    On the song Man Smart, Woman Smarter
    the tack piano is credited to both Richard Carpenter and Tom Hensley.

    Synthesizer performance on
    Calling Occupants is credited to
    Richard Carpenter.

    Three songs get use of
    B'Wana She No Home
    All You Get From Love
    Man Smart, Woman Smarter
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    So, the more I listen to
    I Just Fall In Love Again,
    the more I like it.
    I am convinced it should have been a 1978 single--not, I Believe You.

    This is a great interpretation of the song by Karen.
    In fact, when she enunciates the lyric "Dreamin'..." and "Magic..."
    she possesses a dreamy-quality to her vocals !
    That seems to be how the entire song is arranged--
    as a dream-like sequence (choir, and all that).

    Of course, the more I listen to the entire album, the more I love it.
    So, as of today, my top five (non-Christmas)albums are:
    (#1) A Song For You,
    Horizon, Close To You, Passage, Lovelines
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

  6. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Most people I know who heard or bought this album agree with you and feel the song’s length make it all the more special. I feel that they could have arranged it differently for a single and let Karen re-record it in her usual studio setup and not this “live” formation. It would have made the album sell more by default for both versions would have been played by some stations.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^By the way, one of the things that does irritate me about this album, is this:
    I love that it is a "gatefold" cover--but, too wordy on the inside !
    I'm not so sure that too many music listeners would even bother to read
    Tom Nolan's survey of the album on the inside cover.
    Quite frankly, Karen's "We really had fun with this album" at the bottom, should have been
    at the top.
    And, Nolan's intro:
    "....will reinforce the conclusion that Karen and Richard's records
    have, of course, always had the qualities listed above." (daring, innovative, surprising, serendipitous, satisfying)
    is over-the-top in trying to sell to the listener all of the previous albums.....imho....
    (I agree with Nolan, but if you have purchased Passage, you already know this !)
  8. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I respectfully disagree. IMHO, while Karen does a nice job with the tune, Richard missed here. That oboe that he put on everything and the over-production (w/ sweeping strings and all) strips the lyric of its intimacy. He really goes for the gusto here and it wouldn't have been my choice. Anne Murray's version makes far more sense for the lyric, IMHO, and this would have died on the vine had it been a single. I think they were right to not release it as such.

    Brian likes this.
  9. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    I agree. All of his remixes are too "bass-y". He ups the bass and drowns Karen in reverb on each one and I dislike just about all of them for those reasons.

  10. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I think he was tracing how Karen showcases a different side to her voice on each album while giving credit to Richard for their creation.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^^I enjoy reading the comments regarding the song I Just Fall In Love Again.
    Even if they are dissenting from my opinion !
    I do note that the song--according to Treasures Jp CD--
    credits both Richard and Peter Knight for the arrangement.
  12. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    That's what I thought. The strings are more sweeping than Richard does on his own. I just think they were wrong for the tune.

  13. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I like the Orchestral Rock in the song. It just rather long winded for a single version, but perfect for an album version and could easily have been altered from the start. It was the song Karen needed and had not had with the Carpenters since Horizon, or really not since the golden hit years. The song had that potential but it was not constructed to give Karen that platform. Plus, it needed a regular studio vocal recording.

    Sometimes songs don't need to be hits to have recognition. Look at Occupants at what the arrangement did for Richard and at the time it was their least selling song, other than Goofus, which should have never been released as a single.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    According to the credits on From The Top,
    Calling Occupants
    was another for which the arrangement supplied by Richard Carpenter and Peter Knight.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  15. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I agree that Anne Murray and her musicians / producer really hit the nail on the head with their version of 'I Just Fall In Love Again'. Their version is timeless because of its simple arrangement and Anne's direct and very sincere delivery, whereas Carpenters' version is more a product of its time.

    Having said that, I do think that Richard's (and Peter Knight's?) arguably overdone arrangement, with the swirling, romantic strings, etc, does suit the over-sentimentality of the lyrics, ('...easy for you to take me to a star / heaven is that moment when I look into your eyes...'.....'I must be dreaming, or am I really lying with you?', etc). Karen's vocal delivery is fitting for that particular arrangement, as Anne Murray's delivery is fitting for hers.

    I'm sure that some, who view Carpenters' music as too romantic, could surely use 'I Just Fall In Love Again' in their argument, but didn't Carpenters do that style well, (although most of their recordings were more understated)?

    I like the idea of an album version and a single version of the song. Although 'Calling Occupants' had been a big hit in some countries, Carpenters sorely needed a pop hit in the USA and their version of 'I Just Fall In Love Again' was a missed opportunity.

    However, just because Anne Murray had a big hit with the song doesn't mean that Carpenters would have, even if they had released a more single-friendly version. Anne Murray was rebounding from her number one, 'You Needed Me'. DJs and the public may have reacted differently to what she was releasing, compared with what Carpenters released, no matter how good their output might have been.
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  16. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    The Carpenters version was on Passage 2 years before Anne Murray’s. Remember, most people and a good number of prior fans never heard Passage. It’s similar to This Masquerade in that when George Benson has his highly popular version, no one said that’s the song the Carpenters recorded 3 years ago on Now and Then or the flip side of Postman, and both of those were highly popular. In fact, several of the Carpenters’ contemporaries recorded This Masquerade, as Helen Reddy.
    The point is that both of the songs as recorded by the Carpenters were missed and the reason given was song length. And, Richard had one of the most fantastic piano features in This Masquerade that should have been heard along with Karen’s great vocals and drum feature. Both were missed opportunities. Would they have sold as much, probably not, but their reputation would still have been reflected from the featured talent in those songs that stepped outside the regular formula of their mainstream singles.
    I wonder if the demo version of I Just Fall In Love Again is still available on a recording somewhere. For the recordings recorded for the studio musicians: are any of them still out there?
  17. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    Wasn't Richard, by himself, nominated for a Grammy for his arrangement on 'Calling Occupants', though? This would suggest that he arranged the song single-handed.

    His arrangement was reasonably similar to the original on the Klatuu album, I think, except that they used the synthesisers of the day, whereas Carpenters used mainly traditional instruments.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^There is --at least--one interview where Richard specifically credits parts of the arrangement
    (for Calling Occupants) to Peter Knight.
    I'll dig it up.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Reading the Liner Notes for Passage,
    the only two songs---mentioned there--as being "live" cuts are:
    Don't Cry For Me Argentina
    B'Wana She No Home
  20. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I thought I read somewhere that it was the entire album. It makes sense especially on B’wanna She No Home. The entire album’s vocals certainly don’t sound like any other, but at the same time, I’m glad to be corrected! I hate repeating things in error, so you saved me from future embarrassment.
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^The interesting thing is that I went back and re-read the
    1977 Press Kit for the album Passage.
    Not one word devoted to anything being done "live."
    So, it is hardly surprising that confusion obfuscates
    what little information there is !
  22. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Another reason why I wish Richard had wrote a book (sometimes in the late 80's), title: "Carpenters: Album By Album" with detailed notes about the making of each album, what a wealth of information that could have been. For me, I'm always on the edge of my seat when Richard talks about their albums in detail. The book need not delve into their personal lives but provide technical perspectives that I know the fans would love to learn and be apart of that process. I say...could have, would have, should have...because I think this time has well passed for such a book.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    One of my "guilty pleasures" is watching the 1978 TV Special: Space Encounters (which I re-visited this morn).

    Is this really a step forward from the earlier Make Your Own Kind Of Music ?
    You can't place blame on Sherwin Bash, here !

    As a fan of most-things Carpenter, I confess that this 1978 Special would have
    been quite detrimental to the duo at that time--assuming anyone actually watched it.
    Richard--again--at the 'tack' piano for Sweet, Sweet Smile.....but, he does not
    perform same on the actual recording of the song.
  24. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member

    Anyway this is a highly unappreciated album I feel. I remember playing this album (RC) when I was 12 and what stuck out the most was Two Sides. GORGEOUS SONG. Calling occupants is one of those songs that should have been #1. Was probably the most ambitious thing they had ever done up until that point.

    I heard somewhere that Richard recorded lead vocals for this album that were cut. Is this true? I’d like to hear them as I’m a big fan of his leads. I’m sad that he stopped having his own lead songs after Now & Then.
  25. Kristopher

    Kristopher Active Member

    I think I’ll be using that for my computer and Apple devices for artwork. Good Job!!

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