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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)

    8 vote(s)
  2. ****

    42 vote(s)
  3. ***

    28 vote(s)
  4. **

    5 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    So after all this Passage talk I decided to get out my vinyl versions, regular, acetate, test pressings,British and Japanese vinyl, promos,etc. The acetate was sent out on July 26th 1977, 2nd ref. in pen on the bottom. Only difference I can hear is the longer intro to Calling Occupants. Test pressing says ok 9/8. The typed sheet on the cover reads corr. 8/29/77
    Side 2, Band 4
    Change In Timin
    The g was left off.
    Acetate titles abbreviated and typed label. It says Carpenters at the top. No album title listed. The white cover the same. No mention of Passage. Test pressing is white A&M label blank, gives album title at bottom of the page on the typed page attached to the blank cover. The promo versions are the same as commercial release but says promotion copy
    not for sale in the musical notes area of the lp label. I have 1 in a plain white record jacket and one with the standard cover with a white promotional copy not for sale sticker at the bottom. A British import copy and the Japanese version has the large obi ribbon around it. Otherwise the same as American issues. I kind of forgot about all this until today. Glad you all got me excited about Carpenters again. Thank you.
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    So the promo copies to the stations were without artist name? If so, what a GREAT way to get them to at least listen to B'wana- and then be shocked (once AYGFLIALS comes on.)
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    It is curious that initial orders in Japan for the album Passage
    exceeded 150,000 copies (11/19/1977 Billboard Magazine).
    In UK, Passage was certified Gold (100,000 copies) on October 3rd, 1978.
    Yet, in the USA it never reached Gold status (500,000 copies).

    I would never refer to LP Passage as unsuccessful.
    The figures above (excluding USA) total to a minimum of 250,000 copies.
    What are the USA sales of Passage ? Surely it is time to be certified Gold.
    John Adam likes this.
  4. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    I never saw a gold certification in Billboard, but it must have gone gold by now. At least I hope so. It did not sell very well at all without a major hit single in the USA and only 8 cuts made it look short for a pop vocal album. By 1977 most record stores moved The Carpenters to the easy listening or vocals sections of the stores, away from the rock and pop areas or sections. It made them less visible and often hard to find when looking for their albums and CDs when browsing. So again less sales. I never did that. I gave them as much exposure as I possibly could, in the mainstream rock pop and soul sections , all in the same area alphabetically. They segregated R&B out as well, just like radio stations started doing around that time. End of the era.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  5. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    The white cover promos had no song listings or artist an the label and or cover. There often was a cover sheet taped or glued to the plain white album sleeve with that information. The promos that came later have the regular colorful Passage label on them, but say promotion copy not for sale written across the musical notes going across the center picture. I hope that’s more clear.
    I believe I have Kind of Hush and Horizon ones too in test pressing sleeves.
  6. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    It was unsuccessful at the time, failing to go gold. Its sales in the UK and Japan were OK, but still below those of their previous LPs.

    Certifying requires providing proof of meeting the sales threshold and also (I think?) the record company has to pay a fee to RIAA to do so. Passage, along with Ticket to Ride and Made in America, clearly hadn't sold enough to go gold by 1998, when a number of Carpenters albums were recertified. Maybe it has sold enough in the 20 years since to cross the gold threshold (although we don't know how much it needed to sell in that time), but my guess is by not enough for the record company to go to all the effort of trying to get it certified.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^I was baffled back in the day (1977/1978) as to the relative neglect of this album.
    I recall mentioning the album to a friend in high-school. I recall the friend's response:
    brushing the duo aside, before ever contemplating listening to the entire album !
    That has always been my issue: If there had been a number one hit single (or #two, or three),
    from the album, folks might have paid attention to the album.
    But, without that BIG hit, the entire album was eschewed.
    That is a travesty. It's a great album.
    It may not be a great collection of top-ten-HIT songs, but,
    what is there, is a beautiful example of Carpenters' diversity,
    and Karen's vocal nuances.
  8. CarpentersToYou

    CarpentersToYou What I feel has come and gone before...

    I remember when I became a fan back in early 1998 the PASSAGE and MADE AMERICA albums were long out of print and selling for a pretty penny on eBay. Then I heard that their collection would be remastered. That was a happy day going into the music stores and finding the golden "Remastered Classics." I was like a kid in a candy store!
    LondonRobert likes this.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is where Carpenters landed on the Radio and Records Magazine
    Year-end-issue (december):
    The Pop/Adult "77" of 1977
    #54 CARPENTERS /All You Get From Love Is A Love Song (A&M)
  10. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I remember that as well. Not even the cassettes were available (as I think of it, my first studio album by the Carpenters was “An Old-Fashioned Christmas” which I found on cassette during Boxing Week 1997 at the local Kmart). Otherwise I remember my local record store only having listings for compilations like “Yesterday Once More”, “Interpretations”, “Christmas Collection”, “Christmas Portrait Special Edition” and the Singles albums. Of course, I guess in 1997 Polygram was probably selling off and discontinuing the older stuff knowing full well that the “Remastered Classics” were on the horizon.
    CarpentersToYou likes this.
  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The always glorious sound of Karen Carpenter and
    I Just Fall in Love Again, taken from another vinyl album:
  12. LondonRobert

    LondonRobert Active Member

    There's something just so glorious about vinyl.
    Even the clicks etc, it's just so atmospheric. The experience of opening the record and removing the disc etc, i love it.
    Was always such a bonus when the lyrics were printed inside or on the sleeve - you could sit and read them.
    Always had a huge soft spot for passage ........
  13. Someday

    Someday Active Member

    The PASSAGE entry on Wikipedia lists "Somewhere Out There" as track 3!! :rolleyes:
  14. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    What LP is that?
  15. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

  16. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    I’m sure this has been posted before. Here is where “B’wana” came from

    Jeff S and GDB2LV like this.
  17. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    Michael Franks early stuff is great. Love B’wana and Popsicle Toes which Manhattan Trasfer covered. Classics!
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    Jeff S likes this.
  18. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Michael Frank's version is good - very subdued- but the Carpenters version just sparkles with life.
    goodjeans, Song4uman and newvillefan like this.

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