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Can't Smile Without You 1976 Vs 1978

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Simon KC1950, Apr 14, 2017.

Which version of "Can't Smile Without You" is better?

  1. 1976 version (A Kind Of Hush)

    7 vote(s)
  2. 1978 version (Singles 1974-1978)

    11 vote(s)
  1. Simon KC1950

    Simon KC1950 Active Member Thread Starter

    There are 2 versions of "Can't Smile Without You".
    The two versions feature different lyrics.
    The first version, 1976, was first placed on the 'A Kind Of Hush' album
    whilst the 2nd version, 1978, was on 'The Singles 1974-1978' album.
    But which one is better and why?
  2. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    although the vocal on the redo are crisper, the overall effect is that it is an add-on. I was surprised greater care had not been not used in the update. when I first heard it as the b-side of CALLING OCCUPANTS,, I was underwhelmed, not Richard's finer moments,
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Just finished listening to these alternative mixes.
    The Singles 1974-1978 version is really good !
    Love the sax, I do believe piano is a bit different.
    Anyway, love it.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    The second singles album was my introduction to the song. When I first heard the AKOH version I was surprised at how different it was, it almost sounded unfinished and a bit half-hearted. I find the 1978 version more interesting. It just has more oomph, especially with the added jazzy bit.
    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  5. There are technically three versions of "Can't Smile Without You":
    - the original A KIND OF HUSH mix
    - the remix for when it appeared as the b-side to "Calling Occupants" - later placed on SINGLES 74-78
    - the remix of the remix for the Readers' Digest compilation, also appearing on the Japanese BY REQUEST

    The original mix starts with a buzzing sound underneath - the remnants of the bass note from the end of "Goofus" as the two songs were lightly segued on A KIND OF HUSH. Other than on an A&M GOLD SERIES, that mix has never been re-used.

    The re-record/remix for the single has the extra jazzy clarinet on the instrumental bridge, and as has been stated above seems to have more life to it.

    The re-remix in '97 has the typical reverb added to Karen's voice and added bass and kick-drum punch. The vocals tend to get a little buried in the arrangement as the song goes on.

    Put me down as favoring the single mix.
    Jamesj75, Jeff and Simon KC1950 like this.
  6. Simon KC1950

    Simon KC1950 Active Member Thread Starter

    thanks for the info Harry !
  7. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    "Hush" version. I don't find that the fruity flutes and additional sax bring anything to it but annoying distraction. It worked fine without them. The lyric change at the beginning is not as smooth as the original, nor does Karen sing it as well. For the record, I also disliked Manilow's version. I suppose I just prefer it as a gentler ballad.
    BarryT60 and Simon KC1950 like this.
  8. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    "Ah ah, ah ah" --- The addition at the start of Karen's vocal in the 1978 version is enough of a game-changer for me to prefer that version: "...into the new, leaving the old behind me."
  9. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I have never noticed the '97 Remix. I'm going to pull my Readers Digest CD out and hope I have the right one. The single mix does add more life, but Karen sings the AKOH one best. You can tell in the single mix when they spliced the two vocal versions together. It's almost as if they had to alter the speed of her voice to mesh them together. Now, off to CD hunting!

    Simon KC1950 likes this.
  10. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Did RC ever let us know why there is more than one version? I hypothesized that it was being considered as a single in 76 - and was jazzed up a tad for radio - then was shelved when Goofus didn't fly...
    Simon KC1950 likes this.

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