• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline for October 2021! The new book Carpenter: The Musical Legacy will be available on October 19 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released October 22, and is available for ordering here.

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

How Would You Rate This Album?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 10 9.9%
  • ****

    Votes: 53 52.5%
  • ***

    Votes: 31 30.7%
  • **

    Votes: 7 6.9%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    101

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
How interesting! Was the record like a sampler of sorts to give the DJ/radio station a taste of (almost) every song on the album? I imagine "All You Get From Love Is a Love Song" is not included because it was the lead single from the album and had already been released in its entirety before this sampler.

In any case, your photos show that all of your materials are in wonderful shape! Great to see a glimpse of how the radio/record industry operated in the late-1970s!
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
How interesting! Was the record like a sampler of sorts to give the DJ/radio station a taste of (almost) every song on the album? I imagine "All You Get From Love Is a Love Song" is not included because it was the lead single from the album and had already been released in its entirety before this sampler.

In any case, your photos show that all of your materials are in wonderful shape! Great to see a glimpse of how the radio/record industry operated in the late-1970s!
My 45 was posted on u tube a while ago but it's gone.
It was used here with a video overlay. If you listen closely you will hear pops and ticks confirming it's the "A Foreplay Special"
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
My 45 was posted on u tube a while ago but it's gone.
It was used here with a video overlay. If you listen closely you will hear pops and ticks confirming it's the "A Foreplay Special"
Wow, thank you so much for sharing. I find the idea of a 33 1/3 rpm 7" disc to be fascinating. Does this video have your audio transfer, or did @Billy Rees happen to get his hands on a different one?

The narration is hilarious too. Very 1970s. I notice that broadcasters of the 1970s have what could be considered a slight accent by younger people today. Everything was more precisely accentuated back then, à la Walter Cronkite.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Wow, thank you so much for sharing. I find the idea of a 33 1/3 rpm 7" disc to be fascinating. Does this video have your audio transfer, or did @Billy Rees happen to get his hands on a different one?

The narration is hilarious too. Very 1970s. I notice that broadcasters of the 1970s have what could be considered a slight accent by younger people today. Everything was more precisely accentuated back then, à la Walter Cronkite.
You would have to ask him but the placement of those pops and ticks sound exactly like my 45 lol
But really it doesn't matter to me ha...he did a great job on matching up the video on Calling Occupants and Sweet Sweet Smile to the Foreplay Special. Nice video.

Here is my original 33 1/3 45 rpm ( I posted this someone else before)
First is a scan capture w my sleeve it came with.
Second was taken with my camera to show the grooves a bit more.
It's a 45 and both sides are the same.
gwPUtS7.jpg

QqevGFc.jpg
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
In any case, your photos show that all of your materials are in wonderful shape! Great to see a glimpse of how the radio/record industry operated in the late-1970s!
I don't own this press kit, I only found these photos online. They are in great shape though and I wish I owned it but at least I got the 45 record from this press kit.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I just found a surprising record in a second-hand record and book shop.

The title:- "Disco Disco Double!" on EMS Records, Australia, probably from 1978 - a TV advertised album.

The advertising slogan on the cover proclaims, "Thirty Disco Greats!"

Some of the tracks include Staying Alive, Night Fever, Singing in the Rain, I Can't Stand the Rain, Everybody Dance, Fantasy.... and Sweet, Sweet Smile!

These are instrumental versions, not the originals, but these were obviously inspired by the originals, and the album was using the idea of the originals to sell the record.

Of the originals of these tracks, "Stayin' Alive" peaked at Number 1 in Australia, "Night Fever" at Number 7, "I Can't Stand the Rain" at Number 1, "Singin' In the Rain"at Number 23, "Fantasy" at Number 25.... and "Sweet, Sweet Smile" at Number 100.

Could it be that someone involved in the production of this album was a Carpenters fan and wanted to include one of their tracks somewhere... ANYWHERE.... no matter what its genre, style or hit status?

Maybe I wasn't so crazy proposing "Sweet, Sweet Smile" for the school disco as an early teen in 1978, after all!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I still love, love, love this album !
Well, here is one bandmember, Terry Draper of Klaatu, discussing Calling Occupants (and, Carpenters from 3:35-3:58):
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
I just finished watching this recent video, analyzing the Passage album. While I don't necessarily agree with all of the guy's opinions, at least he deserves some credit for doing a fair amount of research, and it's clear that he does have an appreciation for Karen and Richard's talents. I quite enjoyed it...

 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
I respect his review, although I don't agree with everything. But it was a hot mess in a sense! One I thoroughly enjoy for that reason.

He also acknowledged the safe and great pop single, All You Get From Love Is A Love Song, is. The genius of the Carpenters doing "Occupants." And some of the missteps. It was a fair assessment.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I was in high school, too. I don’t think many even gave it a listen. It just sat on a shelf, taking up space but looking colorful, which was a dirty ole shame. I liked the album for all the reasons given that he didn’t like. Whatever style was thrown at Karen, she could tackle, and for that, since I love her voice, they fit for me. I especially liked Sweet Sweet Smile and I’ll Just Fall In Love Again, even though the latter was a little long, but it was certainly worth the wait as it just gets better and better as it moves along the grove of the record. And, overall, that is how I will always feel about the Carpenters, they just kept getting better. I do wish the public would have listened. But, the Commodores and Earth Wind and Fire took their place on the hit shelf in 1977, and Queen carried the vocal harmony torch.
I understand his review, and it has its merit, and it is well presented. And, I agree with Newvillefan, Karen’s solo tracks do fit better and I will add that without them, you miss Karen’s eclectic side, as Passage shows Richard’s. After all, they were great musicians, not just formula hit presenters.
 
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Don Malcolm

Well-Known Member
Sorry to be so late...thanks for posting this--I really enjoyed it. Good schtick and his shadowy presence at the keyboard was well-handled. Sympathetic snark is hard to pull off, and I think he did it awfully well. I think most of us appreciate "Bwana" a good bit more than he does, but I do think Karen had become overly smooth with her delivery after the HORIZON album, particularly on up-tempo songs--and the Carpenters really needed a up-tempo hit in 1977. Also the song selection on PASSAGE strays from the "basement" sound that had served them in such good stead. I think she was struggling to find the emotional center on most of these tracks, and while she sings more deftly than ever, there's something missing (except "Two Sides," a truly beautiful, fully-realized higher-register vocal). As with the reviewer I love "Occupants," but I wish Richard had truly solved how to make it into a single, and more fully arranged the backing vocals. It could have been a hit if he'd been as sharp in the studio in '77 as he was in '70-'71. It was a bold idea that they tried hard to pull off, but just couldn't quite make it work.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^I don't know if anything the duo could have released in 1977 would have been a "hit."
It just would not have mattered.
I always felt Karen's vocals on Passage were quite incredible.
Of course, I'm hardly objective, as it's one of my all-time favorite albums.
I really love this album (no surprise there).
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
^When I read that post I immediately thought about Olivia, same year, same situation. Not a hit on her album, Making A Good Thing Better" but I still enjoy the album just the same. Vocally she was in top form. The single didn't chart well at all and even if her label had promoted it, I still don't think it would have done well. "Of course I'm hardly objective"

I always liked the single and prefer Don't Cry over Carpenters version and the ending track is pure Olivia, that track is mood altering. Love the album as I do Passage and both were from the same year.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I will never forget 1977, being in high school. I was talking with classmates one day and we began discussing music.
Dummy me, I mentioned how much I loved the Carpenters and the album Passage,
immediately one person exclaimed "I hate the Carpenters." Others followed, I was dismayed.
Imagine my shock--the use of the word "hate" when discussing Carpenters' music !
Same thing happened in the 90s, an acquaintance saw a Carpenters poster hanging my wall and shouted out "I hate the Carpenters."
(well, that person never did get past the acquaintance stage !). Point being, I never understood the "hate."
That is a strong emotion, where does that originate where Carpenters' music is concerned ?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
That is a strong emotion, where does that originate where Carpenters' music is concerned ?
Point being, I never understood the "hate."
It comes from the great division in popular music that occurred in the 70s. Loud, boistrous, rock and funky soul music started to become dominant and they were considered cool. In stark contrast was the "Pepsodent Twins" with their toothy smiles and lyrics about sprinkling moondust in hair and birds following someone around. They seemed very "Disney", saccharine in comparison to the long-haired hippy types, and the uber-cool soul music purveyors.

There were similar artists the fell upon the same kind of "hate", most often, groups like Bread, The Poppy Family, Donny and Marie, and artists like Anne Murray and Helen Reddy. All of those, just like Carpenters, managed to have big hits, but it was a tougher go in the image department as the "cool kids" would express "hate" for anything soft, just to continue being cool.

Many, many of those former cool kids have expressed a latter-day appreciation for these artists, and regret for their initial attempted coolness.
 
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