• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy 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 available for ordering here.

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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 17 22.4%
  • ****

    Votes: 37 48.7%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 27.6%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.3%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    76

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Well, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, while not on a Carpenters' album prior to 1984's Old Fashioned Christmas,
was issued on the Henry Mancini Selects Great Songs of Christmas (RCA Compilation,1975).
The version is incredible to hear on this vinyl album, and does differ from the 1984 mix.
Absolutely stunning mix.
Singles 1974-1978, which I luckily came across in the import section in 1979 (of K-Mart Store, I believe!)
is a wonderful complement to Singles 1969-1973.
It should have been marketed as a double-LP set in the states...half price, perhaps.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Well, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, while not on a Carpenters' album prior to 1984's Old Fashioned Christmas,
was issued on the Henry Mancini Selects Great Songs of Christmas (RCA Compilation,1975).
The version is incredible to hear on this vinyl album, and does differ from the 1984 mix.
Absolutely stunning mix.

The mix on the Mancini album is the original single mix, but the good thing about it is that it's not got the CSG processing on it that the A&M stereo single did.

Harry
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
Is the Mancini lp the only place to find the non-CSG processing? BTW what's CSG processing? So the all the A&M singles of Santa Claus are CSG'd? I'm wondering what am I hearing on my 45's that I won't find on Mancini?

Jeff
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
CSG processing was an invention of Howard Holzer. In order to combat the phasing of stereo records when played on mono radio stations (or just mono radios), Holzer's gizmo turned the phase of one channel slightly off (usually 90°), so that when it combined in mono, it wouldn't phase out. Back then, if radio station channels were out of phase, mono listeners could lose the center vocals - and it happened more than anyone in the industry would care to admit.

A&M released a number of albums with CSG processing and many singles. All copies of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" that I've encountered all had the processing applied. I suppose it's possible that a later Christmas single pressing might have done away with the CSG processing - I'm not sure, as I don't own anything but the original.

The Mancini album though, proved that there was a stereo version without the CSG processing. That may have been the source used for the Japanese Single Box, since that version had no CSG processing.

How to tell? Look in the runoff groove of the vinyl. If it's an A&M release, it'll have a "CSG" somewhere in the numbering scheme. And if you're good at reading grooves, CSG processed singles look different. They have a duller component to the groove structure than regular stereo discs.

Harry
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
The Mancini album though, proved that there was a stereo version without the CSG processing. That may have been the source used for the Japanese Single Box, since that version had no CSG processing.
Harry

The Japan Single Box set were singles released in Japan, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" appears as Disc 17, Japan single sleeve green cover with Santa Claus on the front and b/w Merry Christmas Darling.

I don't have the Mancini album but wouldn't it be strange for them to lift the stereo version from the Japan Single 45? or why would the Japan Single Box Set use the version from the Mancini album? was the Mancini album a Japan import album? Sorta confused on that.
 
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Jeff

Well-Known Member
Harry, I'm holding a SANTA 45 and reading the run-off groove the imprint I see is [email protected] in print. Down the way is a circular stamp with the letters MR in the center. Further round the bend is printed: -A(or a triangle figure)96229 and that's it. The flipside is a rereleased Merry Xmas Darling. The picture sleeve is of a juke-box. The cover says CarpenterS Juke-box special. The pic of said 45 jacket is at

HTTP://newbergjeff.carbonmade.com/projects/5288155#1

I do have other issues of single in different pic sleeves. I'll check those later. BUT, am I missing it? Your instructions are clear enough however I might be blind.

Jeff
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Like I said, it's possible that other, later issues of "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" might have avoided the CSG processing, but the original ones are all CSG'ed. In the case of Carpenters singles that had CSG, it was done after the song was mixed and before it was committed to vinyl. That way, they could go back to the un-fuzted-with version, which is exactly what they must gave done with the Mancini album. RCA was probably compiling the album, called A&M and they sent over the un-fuzted-with master.

I have no way of knowing what Japan did in the '70s with their singles as I've never collected them. It's possible they used non-CSG'ed masters, and just as possible that they largely mirrored whatever A&M US was doing. As some might remember, the Japanese Single Box was held up numerous times as they were having difficulty locating the right masters. We've been told that A&M stored their single masters on large reels, intermixing artists, and making it difficult to locate those masters, particularly after many years. If A&M Japan did the same, then locating the single masters could have been problematic.

We've heard from those who claim to hear record noise on some of the Japanese Single Box tracks, and "Santa Claus..." is one of them. My suspicion is that they either needledropped that track from one of their own clean singles, if non-CSG'ed, or they sought out a copy of the Mancini album or some other album on which the track might have appeared in its non-CSG'ed state.

Harry
 

A&Mguyfromwayback

Well-Known Member
Industry Member
I sure wish the 5th Dimension could've put out a larger Greatest Hits on Earth-set, as it was released "prematurely", but their run on their Record Label, Bell, kind of ended unexpectedly...Dave

I know I'm responding to a post from nine years ago.....but Dave, if you're still out there, there's a great 2-CD 5th Dimension compilation called "Up Up & Away: The Definitive Collection" - contains every song they ever released as a single, and then some - all the hits and cool obscure stuff. Honestly, the 5th Dimension might just win over the Carpenters in the category of 'most underappreciated hit pop group'.....at least Richard & Karen have all of you guys keeping the flame alive for them......
 
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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
We've heard from those who claim to hear record noise on some of the Japanese Single Box tracks, and "Santa Claus..." is one of them. My suspicion is that they either needledropped that track from one of their own clean singles, if non-CSG'ed, or they sought out a copy of the Mancini album or some other album on which the track might have appeared in its non-CSG'ed state.

Harry

Yes, this would be cool to know what source they used on the Single Box set. I have a few Japan 45's with pic sleeves but sadly Santa Claus is not one of them.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
The mystery got the best of me....I've ordered the Japan 7" of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" A&M AM231 complete with picture sleeve that matches Single Box Set mini replica. Japan to US.....I anxiously await it's delivery from Mr. Postman.

I wonder where I should post my results as this is really the wrong thread. :laugh:
 

JeffM

Well-Known Member
I know I'm responding to a post from nine years ago.....but Dave, if you're still out there, there's a great 2-CD 5th Dimension compilation called "Up Up & Away: The Definitive Collection" - contains every song they ever released as a single, and then some - all the hits and cool obscure stuff. Honestly, the 5th Dimension might just win over the Carpenters in the category of 'most underappreciated hit pop group'.....at least Richard & Karen have all of you guys keeping the flame alive for them......
Interesting you mentioned the 5th Dimension (I like them too)...I have a very good 2-LP Rhino anthology of their hits; the liner notes refer to the success of the Carpenters as a factor in the 5th's decline in popularity in the 70's and also compare the 5th's "One Less Bell To Answer" with "Rainy Days and Mondays" as outstanding examples of pop music.
The 5th always suffered from music critics' constant referral to them as 'the black Mamas & The Papas' (Ron Townson=Cass Elliot??) and remarks that their music was plastic and "soul-less." And of course, the public made them stars without their (the critics') help, so obviously there can't be anything to them...
This is tangential at best, but as this thread does have something to do with what's inscribed on the run-out grooves of records, the funniest comment of that kind I've ever seen is on another Rhino LP, "The World's Worst Records" (the album that came with an actual barf bag.) On the inner "dead wax" of side A is marked: IF YOU MADE IT THRU THE SIDE, REWARD YOURSELF WITH AN EGG.
 

Dave

Well-Known Member
Well, make mine FRIED...! :razz:

Some writing on Run-Out-Grooves I've seen, were: Is It 6 O'Clock Yet? On the Eagles' Hotel California and Love From Honnah Lee on a Heart album (Magazine, I think)...

-- Dave
 
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JeffM

Well-Known Member
If I only get one, make it hard-boiled for me. Remember the film in which Stan Laurel visited Oliver Hardy in the hospital and brought him a "present" of a bagful of hard-boiled eggs and nuts?
 

FreddieB

Member
I bought this hoping it would have the single version of 'I won't Last a Day Without You', but it is missing the bass/guitar that is in the US single version. Didn't Richard and Karen try to sue A&M over putting this part in without asking them? I wonder if I can find the original US single on cd.

Otherwise, what a great package of cool songs.


Freddie
 

arthowson

Well-Known Member
I am also a huge fan of this particular compilation! I happened to come across it (labeled an import) in a record store in the United States sometime in 1979. As is the habit of many of us at this website (and, for me in particular, a habit of a few decades), every time I visit a record store, I must check out what, if any, CDs (formerly albums) are available by the Carpenters. And, also a habit of mine---maybe others?---if the Carpenters' CDs are behind another artist, I move them so that they are better prominently displayed, even moving other CDs to keep the alphabetical listing undeterred. But I digress...

This CD has many pluses going for it:
  • It includes my personal favorite C's song, "Solitaire," although I wish it were the single version (which later became available on Gold).
  • It contains another favorite, "I Need to Be in Love" (as well documented, Karen's favorite).
  • Most of these hits are up tempo (e.g., "A Kind of Hush," "Sweet Sweet Smile"), so it's a fun listen.
  • It features "Happy," to me an unsung hero in the C's repertoire (and for my money, another song that should have been released as a single).
  • It features my favorite version of "Can't Smile Without You," with Karen's vocals beginning "aah-aah aah-aah."
So, as others have stated, in total, the songs were not as hugely successful as in Singles 1969-1973, they still shine brightly---and sweetly...

can someone write the lyrics to both versions of Can't smile? Seems a little different, more than just Karen's intro.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Happy, coupled with Sailing on The Tide, would have made for an interesting 45-single release--
If I recall correctly, both written by Tony Peluso around the same time.
However, I do not know when Karen's lead vocals were recorded.
Great songs, though.
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
HAPPY never struck me that way. Much in the same way as WHEN YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES. Especially in hindsight. Love WYGWIT but HAPPY was too reminiscent of SING save the lalala's. I've always tried to wrap myself around it but I find it out of place on HORIZON. Rather TRYIN TO GET THE FEELIN er somethin. Where SAILING ON THE TIDE I love start to finish. Why's HAPPY on this comp anywayz ?
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
HAPPY never struck me that way. Much in the same way as WHEN YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES. Especially in hindsight. Love WYGWIT but HAPPY was too reminiscent of SING save the lalala's. I've always tried to wrap myself around it but I find it out of place on HORIZON. Rather TRYIN TO GET THE FEELIN er somethin. Where SAILING ON THE TIDE I love start to finish. Why's HAPPY on this comp anywayz ?

It's probably to do with the fact it was a B-side to a single Jeff, same as 'Can't Smile Without You'. Their inclusion always made this feel like a 'forced' compilation. Almost like someone said "hey, let's do a sister compilation to 69-73! We don't have enough singles? Ok let's just throw a couple of B-sides on there to pad it out".
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Well, I noticed in the Liner Notes of the Treasures (Japanese Compilation CD )
that Happy was written first , and , Sailing On The Tide
was composed sometime afterward (Richard Carpenter--No specific dates noted, though).
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
It's probably to do with the fact it was a B-side to a single Jeff, same as 'Can't Smile Without You'. Their inclusion always made this feel like a 'forced' compilation. Almost like someone said "hey, let's do a sister compilation to 69-73! We don't have enough singles? Ok let's just throw a couple of B-sides on there to pad it out".

Absolutely. You can see why it might have been thought a good idea to bring out a 'Volume 2' of the singles collection after the monster success of The Singles 1969-1973 (Richard is quoted as saying that he originally thought that this would be 'Volume 1' is a series of such compliations). However, in the UK, they hadn't released enough singles to fill up the tracklisting - neither 'Goofus' nor 'I Believe You' got a UK release, so two B-sides were included instead.

Strangely, I think the inclusion of 'Happy' and the remixed 'Can't Smile Without You' actually lifts the compilation a bit - it falls a long way short of the first Singles album, but as neither of these songs is an out and out ballad, they help to balance out the tracklisting a bit.

I still can't understand why 'Solitaire' was again placed as the opening track on Side 2 of the album like it was on Horizon though - it is far too slow and draggy a track to open any side of an album.
 

Dutch

Member
The singles 1974-78 basically came out in the UK in 1978 because christmas albums don't go down too well over here, they certainly don't sell anywhere near as well as the States, but that seams to be changing and I noticed the last couple of years, the UK charts full of xmas songs and albums from November onwards. A&M in the UK put the album together. Also the CD version of the singles 74-78 is different from the original vinyl version, it has different versions on it. 'Please mr postman' and 'There's a kind of hush' used to be the singles versions not the album versions as they are now. It often makes me laugh how people assume something and it gets passed around - like the album has piano interludes between tracks. It doesn't, on the original LP some of the songs overlapped and sequenced into the next one. Infact 'the singles 69-73' doesn't have piano intro's either. 'Happy' was never released as a single in the UK as is sometimes mistakenly stated, it was just a b side. I do wonder though why 'I believe you' wasn't included on the album, and why it was never released in the UK until the Made in America album. And also, do we have a point out again that 'Jambalaya' was a sideable hit in many countries: UK, Holland & Japan.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Billboard Magazine, March 24,1979:
"A&M Records has recently experienced tremendous success with its latest TV campaign.
This involved the company laying out $580,500 on a four-week, across-the-country advertising
venture in connection with the release in Britain of the Carpenters' LP, The Singles 1974-1978.
The result of the campaign--the biggest undertaken by A&M (UK) thus far--was a top five album
by the third week, and an impressive best-seller up to the present."

Source:
books.google.com/books?id=MCUEAAAAMBAJ
 

adam

Well-Known Member
Billboard Magazine, March 24,1979:
"A&M Records has recently experienced tremendous success with its latest TV campaign.
This involved the company laying out $580,500 on a four-week, across-the-country advertising
venture in connection with the release in Britain of the Carpenters' LP, The Singles 1974-1978.
The result of the campaign--the biggest undertaken by A&M (UK) thus far--was a top five album
by the third week, and an impressive best-seller up to the present."

Source:
books.google.com/books?id=MCUEAAAAMBAJ
Hi
If it cost A and M 580,500 to promote Singles 1974 to 1978 in the UK .I wonder how much profit the Album made ?

Singles 1974 to 1978 UK no 2. 100,000 copies plus sold.Gold disc award
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Perhaps some of our UK friends remember this massive $600,000.00 campaign ad that A&M UK spent for The Singles 1974-1978

Billboard issue Nov 11, 1978

LONDON -A &M -U.K. is to spend around $600,000 on a television advertising campaign for the Carpenters "Singles, 1974 -78" package....... The Carpenters' package receives national tv exposure from Nov. 15, along with 750 in -store window displays, commercial radio action, trade press advertising, posters and a mass of merchandising material.
 
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