• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 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 January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Compilation]: "THE SINGLES, 1974-1978"

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 17 23.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 35 47.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 28.4%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    74

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
A third album would have been a bit less full, if things had been different and they had continued to have singles and hits they could have continued to release "The Singles [Inset Years]" for the last 30 plus years but just using the stuff after this album and into the posthumous stuff and we could have one like this:

The Singles III

  1. Touch Me When We're Dancing
  2. I Believe You
  3. If I Had You
  4. Make Believe It's Your First Time
  5. Something In Your Eyes
  6. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again
  7. (Want You Back) In My Life Again
  8. Now
  9. Honolulu City Lights
  10. Beechwood 4-5789
  11. The Rainbow Connection
  12. Those Good Old Dreams
 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
If those were combined as a two-disc set, what's missing in terms of hits?

From their active career as a duo, the only bona fide chart hit missing would be Touch Me When We’re Dancing. Any singles after that ultimately end up in the category of compilation material because of their off-radar chart performance.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
From their active career as a duo, the only bona fide chart hit missing would be Touch Me When We’re Dancing. Any singles after that ultimately end up in the category of compilation material because of their off-radar chart performance.
Even that is not really a bona fide chart hit. Outside of the US, Touch Me never really hit. For example, Canada, it didn’t even hit the lower parts of the pop charts; it’s only action was as an A/C #4 hit. (Whereas “I Believe You” was a Pop #81 and A/C #22.) And then the only other country where it saw action was New Zealand where it got to #22.

Really the only single that came close to being a hit in multiple countries after “Sweet, Sweet Smile” was “Make Believe It’s Your First Time”. It saw chart action in the US (#101 Pop/#7 AC), Canada (#2 AC), Ireland (#20), UK (#60) and Australia (#80).
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^I can't resist saying I love this compilation !
I notice that that particular vinyl includes these words on the record itself: "Volume 2" .
I like that subtitle.
 

Alan71

Member
You are so right Harry, it makes it harder to be a fan!

But, I do like the look of the variations in the singles album. Sure it wasn't as big sales wise as its predecessor (17 weeks at number one, 63 weeks top 10 and a consecutive chart run from Jan 1974 to March 1976) but it did still reach #2 over Christmas (#1 in Melody Maker) and was certified Platinum almost immediately. One striking thing from reading the promo is where it describes it as having more hits than the Singles 69-73 which as incorrect as that may sound (considering the American and other global charts) it is technically true for the British market with 9 Top 40 hits compared to 7:

The Singles 1969-1973

  1. We've Only Just Begun #28
  2. Top of the World #5
  3. Ticket To Ride N/A
  4. Superstar #18
  5. Rainy Days And Mondays Non-Entry
  6. Goodbye To Love #9
  7. Yesterday Once More #2
  8. It's Going To Take Some Time Non-Entry
  9. Sing Non-Entry
  10. For All We Know #18
  11. Hurting Each Other Non-Entry
  12. (They Long To Be) Close To You #6

Singles 1974-1978

  1. Sweet, Sweet Smile #40
  2. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) #12
  3. Can't Smile Without You N/A
  4. I Won't Last A Day Without You #32
  5. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song Non-Entry
  6. Only Yesterday #7
  7. Solitaire #32
  8. Please Mr. Postman #2
  9. I Need To Be In Love #36
  10. Happy N/A
  11. There's A Kind Of Hush #22
  12. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft #9
Singles 1974-1978 pretty much does what it says on the tin. Looking at their discography on Wikipedia, almost all the singles released in that period are on this album, the only exceptions being Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (left off presumably because it’s a Christmas song), Goofus (not much of a hit anywhere) and Breaking Up Is Hard to Do (a minor hit in Japan). I’m assuming I Believe You was released too late for inclusion on this album.

I’m trying to make sense of the two non-singles. Happy comes from Horizon which was their only number one studio album in the UK. It was also the b-side of Only Yesterday, their second biggest UK hit of the period. They could have included This Masquerade, the b-side of Please Mr Postman (their biggest UK hit of the period). However, as This Masquerade dates from 1973 (and therefore outside the period) they went with Happy instead. *

Can’t Smile Without You was the b-side of Calling Occupants, a recent big UK hit for them. Perhaps they thought this track would therefore be familiar to buyers of the album. It certainly wasn’t because of Barry Manilow’s version which, although well known, wasn’t actually a top 40 hit in the UK.

( * Though that isn’t entirely a logical reason as I Won’t Last A Day Without You dates from 1972 and was merely a bigger UK hit on its 1974 re-release).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I’m trying to make sense of the two non-singles. Happy comes from Horizon which was their only number one studio album in the UK. It was also the b-side of Only Yesterday, their second biggest UK hit of the period. They could have included This Masquerade, the b-side of Please Mr Postman (their biggest UK hit of the period). However, as This Masquerade dates from 1973 (and therefore outside the period) they went with Happy instead. *

There isn’t really much else to it other than A&M wanted to replicate the 12-track format of the first compilation, “1974-1978” neatly replicated “1969-1973” as a time period, but the problem is that the duo simply hadn’t amassed enough single material by that point to fill it. The compilation was released too early and the album tracks don’t belong there. It’s no great surprise it was never released in the US.
 
Last edited:

Alan71

Member
There isn’t really much else to it other than A&M wanted to replicate the 12-track format of the first compilation, “1974-1978” neatly replicated “1969-1973” as a time period, but the problem is that the duo simply hadn’t amassed enough single material by that point to fill it. The compilation was released too early and the album tracks don’t belong there. It’s no great surprise it was never released in the US.
I’d say it was definitely the right time for the UK market though. Calling Occupants had been a recent big hit and they wanted to keep that momentum. They had no further top 40 UK hits after Sweet Sweet Smile, with only Make Believe It’s Your First Time (number 60) making the chart at all. They definitely went in at the right moment here.

The two non-singles do make some kind of sense in that they were b-sides of their second and third biggest hits of the period (the first one excluded because it was an earlier recording) but I agree they’re really just there to make up the numbers.

I do like the fact they had a greatest hits volume 2 though, even though it was a limited release. Not that many acts get the honour of such an album as record companies rarely see it as commercially viable (“Volume 2” never does as well as the first one). In most cases, updated compilations covering an act’s entire career are released instead.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I’d say it was definitely the right time for the UK market though. Calling Occupants had been a recent big hit and they wanted to keep that momentum. They had no further top 40 UK hits after Sweet Sweet Smile, with only Make Believe It’s Your First Time (number 60) making the chart at all. They definitely went in at the right moment here.

The two non-singles do make some kind of sense in that they were b-sides of their second and third biggest hits of the period (the first one excluded because it was an earlier recording) but I agree they’re really just there to make up the numbers.

I do like the fact they had a greatest hits volume 2 though, even though it was a limited release. Not that many acts get the honour of such an album as record companies rarely see it as commercially viable (“Volume 2” never does as well as the first one). In most cases, updated compilations covering an act’s entire career are released instead.

They had the advantage in the UK of 'Calling Occupants' going Top 10 a year earlier, which had raised their profile a bit (even though they'd only scored three singles in the UK Top 20 for the period covered by this compilation). By the end of 1978, their commercial profile in the US was the lowest it had ever been and they'd not scored a Top 20 single since 'There's a Kind of Hush' almost three years earlier. There would have been little hope of a release in the US meeting with any success at all at that point.

The UK is also for some reason generally more receptive to greatest hits compilations than the US. Look at the performance of the first Singles album - 1 week at #1 in the US compared to 17 weeks at #1 in the UK.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I Won’t Last A Day Without You was a 1974 late Spring early Summer hit if memory serves. It was the end of 7th grade for me at its peak. I always wished it was on The Singles ‘73 album.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I Won’t Last A Day Without You was a 1974 late Spring early Summer hit if memory serves. It was the end of 7th grade for me at its peak. I always wished it was on The Singles ‘73 album.
Don’t forget, IWLADWY was first released on ASFY in 1972, and then was only released as a single due to radio request. Otherwise, in 73, it was an album track, not a single.

But with “HAPPY” & “Can’t Smile”, could they have been AOR hits in the UK? Could radio have been placing them in heavy rotation, and they were included because of that?
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Don’t forget, IWLADWY was first released on ASFY in 1972, and then was only released as a single due to radio request. Otherwise, in 73, it was an album track, not a single.

But with “HAPPY” & “Can’t Smile”, could they have been AOR hits in the UK? Could radio have been placing them in heavy rotation, and they were included because of that?
It reminds me that in my view, Horizon is the only LP in which every song could have been a hit on one chart or another. They could all stand alone. A Song For You was like that with exception of one song. Many albums came close, but that formula faded after Horizon. Although, a lot were good as to what their purpose was intended. I don’t want to disparage anything. After all, I listen to all of them.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Don’t forget, IWLADWY was first released on ASFY in 1972, and then was only released as a single due to radio request. Otherwise, in 73, it was an album track, not a single.

But with “HAPPY” & “Can’t Smile”, could they have been AOR hits in the UK? Could radio have been placing them in heavy rotation, and they were included because of that?

'I Won't Last a Day Without You' was briefly treated as an A side in the UK in 1972 before being promoted as a AA side with 'Goodbye to Love' (although once the record was promoted as an AA side, 'Goodbye to Love' got most of the attention).

Stylistically, 'I Won't Last a Day Without You' would fit much better on The Singles 1969-73 than The Singles 1974-78, where it feels rather out of place. But of course the first Singles album was compiled based on US single releases, so it was never up for consideration on there.

I've never heard anything about 'Happy' or 'Can't Smile Without You' receiving any level of radio play whatsoever in the UK at the time. I know some fans seem convinced that these songs must have been a 'single' somewhere or in some sense have been treated as a single in order to have been included, but I think this is a clear Occam's razor case: they were B sides from two of the three biggest UK singles included on the 1974-78 album, so that's why they were picked by A&M UK. I don't think A&M were worried about falling foul of the Trade Descriptions Act! In any case, both tracks had been on a single - just not as an A side.

Both songs also had the advantage of not being straight ballads, so added a bit of variety to the tracklist. Barry Manilow's version of 'Can't Smile Without You' had also been released by then and had gotten quite a lot of radio play (even though it was only a minor UK hit), so A&M may have thought adding the Carpenters' version on the album might trade on the familiarity of the song with the public.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
It reminds me that in my view, Horizon is the only LP in which every song could have been a hit on one chart or another. They could all stand alone. A Song For You was like that with exception of one song. Many albums came close, but that formula faded after Horizon. Although, a lot were good as to what their purpose was intended. I don’t want to disparage anything. After all, I listen to all of them.

I'm not sure that every track on Horzion was a potential single, but they certainly had a number of potential options on there.

Contrast that with the situation on A Kind of Hush, where there was no potential smash hit and they were already running short of options after just two singles...
 

LondonRobert

Well-Known Member
The first CD I ever bought in around 1984/5 , before i even had a CD player.
Very fond memories of this album.
Was SO pleased when a family friend ( who knew i liked them so much ) gave me the original run of LP covers which was actually a real gold foil cover rather than a photograph of it.
Exciting times - Can't remember the last time I had that out and out pure excitement and enthusiasm for music ( ABBA was my other HUGE love from young childhood )
I feel youngsters these days ( and us oldies too ) miss out on the thrill of buying an album, taking it home and placing the needle on it and just LISTENING, while reading the lyrics printed on the album sleeve.
Very happy and nostalgic times.
Goodness me at 52 years old I suddenly feel like it was all a lifetime ago!!
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I recently purchased a Canadian CD pressing of this compilation and scanned the front of my booklet. I uploaded my scan to MusicBrainz:

mbid-174d7d6b-2710-4a6f-9c91-736037d7f794-30277275325.png


Please feel free to use if you have this compilation and want to assign album artwork in your music library. :)
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a Canadian CD pressing of this compilation and scanned the front of my booklet. I uploaded my scan to MusicBrainz:

mbid-174d7d6b-2710-4a6f-9c91-736037d7f794-30277275325.png


Please feel free to use if you have this compilation and want to assign album artwork in your music library. :)
What company does it say released it? Is it an A&M Records of Canada (Cinram) or a later printing from the Polygram/Universal era?
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
What company does it say released it? Is it an A&M Records of Canada (Cinram) or a later printing from the Polygram/Universal era?
Disc is Mfg. by Cinram, per the matrix!

Full matrix reads: #910618BB VPCD-19748 MFG BY CINRAM

Cat. No. is VPCD 19748
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Full matrix reads: #910618BB VPCD-19748 MFG BY CINRAM
I just realized this--I am hoping that the pound/hash sign indicates the date of either manufacture or release: 91-06-18. Maybe it's a bit farfetched though. :)
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I just realized this--I am hoping that the pound/hash sign indicates the date of either manufacture or release: 91-06-18. Maybe it's a bit farfetched though. :)
I just checked my copy, also by Cinram, but it might, since my data’s all the same, except for the # marking having 900323B. March 23, 1990 maybe? The “B” might be the line.

But what does your CD say on the back cover for Distribution info?
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I just checked my copy, also by Cinram, but it might, since my data’s all the same, except for the # marking having 900323B. March 23, 1990 maybe? The “B” might be the line.

But what does your CD say on the back cover for Distribution info?
Distributed by / Distribué par: A&M Records of Canada Limited, 939 Warden Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M1L 4C5.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I bought my copy at the Virgin Store in Hollywood, Ca. No. CDA19748, manufactured by Nimbus Records, England. I like Nimbus pressings. Very clean. No cd release date, just 1978 A&M Records, the year the vinyl was issued.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Distributed by / Distribué par: A&M Records of Canada Limited, 939 Warden Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario M1L 4C5.
Ok. I’ve never seen copies that have a Polygram/Universal Distribution credit on them, even though I would assume that they exist (I’ve seen Columbia House/A&M Canada hybrids).
 
Top Bottom