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Carpenters In 20 Songs...

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Must Hear This Album, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Link: The Carpenters In 20 Songs - uDiscover »

    So google alerts sent me this link where udiscovermusic listed “Carpenters In 20 Songs,” where they attempted to post the 20 definitive Carpenters recordings, in chronological order. They invited readers to suggest the same, so I did so, below. Here are some things I considered:

    I sought to select 20 songs that were a fair representation of their total contribution to popular music. Difficult to do in 20 songs, I know, and I gave myself the following parameters: my list is fairly chronological, in terms of appearance on albums, and I wanted to include every studio album, both hits and deep cuts, the songs selected were representative of their singular talents, and yes, I included a holiday tune, but in my defense, it’s their original addition to the Christmas canon, and as such, it deserves to be in the list (even if it makes the playlist a bit awkward in the months between January and November). I’d be interested in hearing others’ selections.

    So here’s my Carpenters In 20 Songs:

    1. All Of My Life: Over the years, I’ve grown to love this tune more and more. The Voice is clearly apparent on this one from their debut.

    2. We’ve Only Just Begun: Their signature song. It had to be included.

    3. Maybe It’s You: I always believed this one could have been a third hit single from Close To You and demonstrates Karen’s remarkable instrument.

    4. (They Long To Be) Close To You: The one that started it all.

    5. Merry Christmas Darling: See above.

    6. Rainy Days And Mondays: My 3 year-old son’s favorite. One of their best.

    7. Let Me Be The One: The would-have-been-a-hit-single.

    8. Superstar: The Hall of Fame honoree and definitive recording of this classic rock song.

    9. Bacharach/David Medley: Love this jazzy, little slice of sunshine.

    10. I Won’t Last A Day Without You: The definitive Carpenters single. The contemplative piano, Karen’s milk chocolate voice, the sumptuous multi-harmonies. It doesn’t get more Carpenters-esque than this.

    11. A Song For You: This oft-covered tune was never done better.

    12. Road Ode: Classic deep cut.

    13. Yesterday Once More: One of their biggest selling singles and pulls out all the Carpenter-stops.

    14. This Masquerade: Fan favorite and another classic deep cut.

    15. Only Yesterday: One of their lesser-known hits.

    16. One More Time: Heartbreaking, deep cut.

    17. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song: Should have been a much bigger hit.

    18. You’re The One: Should have been included on Passage.

    19. Touch Me When We’re Dancing: The last time the magic happened on the pop charts.

    20. Make Believe It’s Your First Time: Much prefer Karen’s reading with Richard that Phil.
  2. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Yes, a great and difficult idea. I've tried it myself multiple times with varying degrees of failure, but it's still fun thinking about.

    I usually can't help but add in earlier tracks and tracks not on the albums to show what the public missed when they were not paying attention.

    Iced Tea
    Dancing In the Streets(live)
    Can't Buy Me Love
    Crescent Noon
    Another Song
    And When He Smiles
    I Fell in Love With You
    Bacharach Medley(full version)
    A Song For You
    Goodbye To Love
    Road Ode
    This Masquerade
    Only Yesterday
    Bwana She No Home
    Two Sides
    Calling Occupants
    Merry Christmas, Darling
    Ave Maria
    Karen/Ella Medley (MMM special)

    Well, at least for now. Tomorrow? Who knows.
    K.C. Jr likes this.
  3. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Big thanks for your list; it’s full of unexpected and unfamiliar (at least, to me) songs! Actually, just one unknown song for me: “I Fell In Love With You.” I’ve never heard that one. Can you give me any details? I see, like mine, your list skews to the early stuff, but I’d be interested in hearing about why you selected: "B’wana,” and “Occupants.” Many thanks!
  4. Here's a slightly different version of "Sacre Bleu, I Fell In Love With You" recorded by me live at Philly's Academy Of Music in April of 1972:

  5. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    I think those songs show a different side that many (most?) don't know about. I love the way Karen and Doug sound together. She really was a great back up singer too, and she's just having so much fun behind the kit. It also shows that the band was really good live, and everybody in it was integral to the whole. I don't think they get enough credit. Plus, they were all loyal to the end which is never to be taken lightly either.

    B'Wana and Occupants do the same thing for me. They just sound like they're having fun making Passage even though we now know Richard maybe wasn't at his best.

    My faves definitely skew to the earlier music. Hush and MIA leave me rather cold and even a bit sad, especially when you take into account they made Passage and Christmas Portrait in between which are both great.
  6. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for this. Very helpful. I like how your list shows the range and scope of the duo (i.e., what unexpected turns they could convincingly take); mine focused more on representing the “quintessential” Carpenters sound. Great stuff. And thanks for introducing me to a new “Carpenters" tune!
  7. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Big thanks for this, Harry. Had never seen this before.
  8. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Thanks for the great idea. It was fun to come up with this list.
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  9. ScottyB

    ScottyB Active Member

    Difficult, indeed. I had posted a list of songs that I created on a double CD on the Personal Compilations thread (which I have listed below). However, 42 selections seems to be a bit overwhelming. I'm in the process of putting together a collection of MP3 Cd's from several artists and I have limited the number of songs to 25. I believe I will soon be revising my list to a simple 25 selection set.

    Personal Favorites

    Disc One
    1) All Of My life
    2) All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
    3) At The End of A Song
    4) Bless The Beasts and Children
    5) Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft
    6) (They Long To Be) Close To You
    7) Don't Be Afraid
    8) Eve
    9) For All We Know
    10) (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You
    11) Goodbye To love
    12) Happy
    13) (A Place To) Hideaway
    14) Hurting Each Other
    15) If We Try (KC solo)
    16) I Just Fall In Love Again
    17) I Need To Be In Love
    18) It's Going To Take Some Time
    19) I Won't Last A Day Without You
    20) Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night
    21) Little Altar Boy

    Disc Two
    1) Love Me For What I Am
    2) Maybe It's You
    3) Now
    4) Only Yesterday
    5) Rainy Days and Mondays
    6) Road Ode
    7) Solitaire
    8) A Song For You
    9) Superstar (all-time favorite)
    10) This Masquerade
    11) Those Good Old Dreams
    12) Ticket To Ride (1973 version)
    13) Time (RC solo)
    14) Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again
    15) Two Lives
    16) The Uninvited Guest
    17) We've Only Just Begun
    18) When It's Gone (It's Just Gone)
    19) Yesterday Once More
    20) You're The One
    21) Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
  10. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What an expansive list! Thank you so much for sharing. I particularly like how you alphabetized the songs, which creates an automatic “randomization” in terms of chronology and timeline. Unexpected songs follow familiar hits. As I glance down the list, it’s fun to think about how these songs would play-in to the next song. For instance, I bet “Superstar" is a great lead-in to the opening drum licks on “This Masquerade.” Same with “All Of My Life” and “All You Get...” A nice approach. So I’m surmising the 20 song assignment is just not gonna happen for you? :)
  11. K.C. Jr, ScottyB, Guitarmutt and 3 others like this.
  12. One Love;
    Goodbye to Love;
    Love Me For What I Am;
    One More Time;
    Where Do I Go From Here;
    Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night;
    You're The One;
    Strength of a Woman;
    Rainy Days and Mondays;
    I Need to be In Love;
    Ordinary Fool;
    Solitaire (single version):
    Crescent Noon;
    Another Song;
    When It's Gone;
    I Can't Make Music;
    Ticket to Ride (1973);
    A Song For You;

    Not in chronological order, but these are the definitive songs for me. I think these represent some of their finest recordings, showing off both Richard and Karen's talents individually and collectively. Just limiting them to 2o was hard; however, if I could bump it up to 25, I'm sure "Let Me Be the One" and a couple others (possible more "hits") would end up on the list. Fortunately, my list of least favorite songs would never come near to the number 20 (probably less than 10).
    K.C. Jr and Must Hear This Album like this.
  13. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    Cheers for this MustHearThisAlbum. Always great to have an excuse to do a list.


    2)Close To You
    3)We've Only Just Begun
    4)Another Song
    5)For All We Know
    6)Rainy Days and Mondays
    8)Let Me Be The One
    9)Hurting Each Other
    10)Bless The Beasts
    11)A Song For You
    12)Goodbye To Love
    13)This Masquerade
    14)Yesterday Once More
    15)Only Yesterday
    17)I Need To Be In Love
    18)All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
    19)Touch Me When We're Dancing
    20)When It's Gone

    Not necessarily my favourites, but possibly the best and most diverse of their output.
    K.C. Jr and Must Hear This Album like this.
  14. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    1- We've Only Just Begun
    2- Baby It's You
    3- Rainy Days and Mondays
    4- Superstar
    5- Hideaway
    6- A Song For You
    7- Bless the Beasts and Children
    8- Goodbye to Love
    9- Yesterday Once More
    10- Our Day Will Come
    11- Top of the World
    12- Please Mr. Postman
    13- Only Yesterday
    14- I Need to Be in Love
    15- Boat to Sail
    16- All You Get From Love
    17- Merry Christmas Darling
    18- Touch Me When We're Dancing
    19- Now
    20- Ordinary Fool
    Runners Up:
    Where Do I Go From Here?
    Kiss Me the Way You Did Last Night
    When I Fall in Love
    K.C. Jr and Must Hear This Album like this.
  15. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  16. JBee

    JBee Active Member

    This is an interesting experiment. I actually found it very hard since there was an embarrassment of riches. This is the list I came up with -
    1. Ticket to Ride
    2. (They Long to Be) Close to You
    3. We've Only Just Begun
    4. Superstar
    5. For All We Know
    6. Let Me Be The One
    7. Rainy Days and Mondays
    8. Top of the World
    9. Hurting Each Other
    10. A Song for You
    11. Goodbye to Love
    12. Merry Christmas, Darling
    13. Yesterday Once More
    14. Only Yesterday
    15. I Need to Be in Love
    16. All You Get From Love is a Love Song
    17. Road Ode
    18. Now
    19. Ordinary Fool
    20. (A Place to) Hideaway

    This was the order that they came to my mind as "essential" Carpenters songs, until I started to get to the second half of the list, then started putting songs that had special meaning to me ("Now" - Karen's last song, "Ordinary Fool" - the best example of torchsong Karen, "(A Place to) Hideaway" - maybe the most soothing Carpenters song to me, "I Need to Be in Love" - the best Bettis lyrics, "Road Ode" - maybe the quintessential song of a touring musician, it is the number one song I give to anyone who says the Carpenters made "syrupy, overly saccharine" music, and "All You Get from Love is a Love Song", which is my favorite C song for some reason). That means a lot of songs I love/or are examples of the Carpenters' range had to go - "Calling Occupants", "All of My Life", "Someday", "Santa Claus in Comin' To Town", "Sweet Sweet Smile", "This Masquerade", "I Won't Last a Day without You" - none of them made the list.

    Putting the list together also made me realize how packed with great music the first 6 Carpenters albums (up to Horizon) were. I could get 20 songs just from them - and it also makes me reflect that perhaps one of the reasons for the C's later 70's decline is that they had SO MANY great hits/songs to fill concerts and personal appearances with old songs from their first 6 years that they rarely performed anything post that (except for maybe "Hush" and "I Need to Be in Love"). Also, the early albums had much less of the sub-par album cuts (even the Oldies and Bacharach/David medleys are fantastic) than the later album filler like "Goofus", "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" or "Man Smart, Women Smarter" (songs that wouldn't even have made the early Carpenters albums).
    K.C. Jr and Must Hear This Album like this.
  17. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

  18. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Many thanks for your list; it favors the later tunes to the early era. Great choices. Unexpected choices. Interestingly, “Kiss Me...” seems to be favored by so many fans, but I’ve always found it lacking (and the title always struck me as cheesy...). I must be missing something. I’ll have another listen.
  19. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Similar to my list, @ullalume. “When It’s Gone” is superb, and I so often forget it.
  20. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Great list, @mstaft. “Hideaway” is very under appreciated, and I didn’t even think to cherry-pick from the oldies medley. Great stuff. Oh, and I think your blog is terrific, by the way.
    Mark-T likes this.
  21. Must Hear This Album

    Must Hear This Album Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Couldn’t agree more with the last four, non-chronological choices. And great point about the first six albums. I’ve often wondered if things might have turned-out differently for K&R had they taken the rest of the decade off of work after Horizon, finished college, travelled, dated, and just enjoyed the fruits of their labors, possibly regrouping in 1980 to map-out their next move, musically. I realize that would have meant no Hush, Passage, or Portrait, but I suspect their 80’s output, after the extended rest, would have been superior to Made In America, and maybe if they hadn’t worked so hard and worried so much, they might still be active today. I try to reflect on this when I pressure myself to work harder, to take on more projects, to push-push-push...
    JBee likes this.
  22. JBee

    JBee Active Member

    I think if they had taken off the entire year of 1976 (after Karen collapsed) off things might have been different. What would we have lost? The HUSH album? No great loss I think if it could have prolonged their career/success (and the best songs on that like "You" and "I Need to Be in Love" would have made it to an underdeveloped - trackwise- Passage album). The first TV special? Again, as much as I actually like that special it too would be no great loss. Maybe they wouldn't have hooked up with Jerry Weintraub (who turned them into an old fogey Vegas act while still in their mid/late-20s!). Richard (who has said his problems, particularly in picking material, started then - as the mediocre HUSH album showed) might have gotten off the sleeping pills since there would be less stress for him, and Karen (who actually gained weight in '76 and admitted in interviews at the time that she lost too much in '75) might not have sunk deep into her disease. Maybe. Who knows. But it's obvious that much of the picked material itself - not just the public/radio reaction to it - was weaker after 1975 (minus Christmas Portrait).

    Also I think an experimental album like Passage would have been much better received had not A Kind of Hush (whose debut single and namesake was a cover song of a hit that had been done better by Herman's Hermits just less than 10 years earlier, the second single, INTBIL, though poignant was as MOR a ballad as it gets, especially with the chorale added, and the third single was..."Goofus") proceeded it and basically tarnished some of of credibility/respect the music press finally gave them after Horizon.
    Must Hear This Album likes this.
  23. Don Malcolm

    Don Malcolm Well-Known Member

    A fabulous idea for a thread—if it were somehow practicable, a poll where people could pick their 20 favorite songs from the master list of Carpenters’ recording would be the way to wind up with a “consensus list.” But that master list would have something like 300 songs on it! Too cumbersome, I suspect…

    So, for now, the best solution is to put the info into a spreadsheet and see how it evolves. We only have seven participants (including my ballot, and unfortunately not including Scotty’s 42-song list—hoping he will get it down to 20-25 at some point and re-post…) and this list could clearly shift a good bit, but this is how it looks right now:

    6/7 (5 songs)

    A Song For You, Rainy Days & Mondays, Superstar, Only Yesterday, Goodbye to Love

    5/7 (2 songs)

    We’ve Only Just Begun, Yesterday Once More

    4/7 (6 songs)

    Merry Christmas Darling, All You Get From Love is a Love Song, I Need To Be In Love, Close to You, Road Ode, Another Song

    3/7 (7 songs)

    Let Me Be The One, This Masquerade, Touch Me When We’re Dancing, Ordinary Fool, Crescent Noon, Hurting Each Other, Ticket To Ride

    That actually adds up to 20 songs, with 9 of the tracks (in bold) being Top 20 hits.

    Top 20 chart hits not in the “Top 20” right now: Please Mr. Postman (2/7), Top of the World (2/7), For All We Know (2/7), A Kind of Hush (0/7)…I’m probably missing several here.

    My ballot is very idiosyncratic, skewing heavily toward the early work:

    All I Can Do, All of My Life, Ticket to Ride, We’ve Only Just Begun, Maybe It’s You, Help!, Close to You, I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, Crescent Noon, Another Song, Rainy Days & Mondays, Superstar, Goodbye to Love, Hurting Each Other, Road Ode, Yesterday Once More, Only Yesterday, Desperado, Bwana She No Home, Calling Occupants

    Still, at this point in time, 12 of my top 20 are in the overall Top 20, though I suspect that Crescent Noon and Another Song would very likely be bumped from the Top 20 as more ballots come in.

    Hoping for more lists...will update!
  24. Guitarmutt

    Guitarmutt Active Member

    Actually, that's quite a bit different to my ears. It sounds like they really tried to have fun with this concert cut. I have a murky sounding version from Carnegie Hall that sounds like the BBC version but faster (?) if possible. I will try to post if I can figure it out.

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