• 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
Puzzling to me that I remember no other instance where it was revealed through Billboard Magazine,
or any other trade paper, how much A&M was spending for the promotion of a Carpenters' album.
Why would this information, at the time, be available for publication?
While The Singles 1974-1978 ended up a UK Chart success, one does wonder how much was profited.
Had Karen Carpenter not flown over to Britain for the Bruce Forsyth performance, would the album
have charted as high? If Richard Carpenter was aware of that dollar amount being spent for promotion,
would he have decided to accompany Karen ?
(The Vinyl LP, by the way, merits much more listen than the substandard--much later-- compiled cd .)
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
I remember ordering The Singles 1974-1978 through a mail order company (this was before the internet) and all I could see were these titles of Carpenters CD's and I saw this UK Singles and I also saw a title called The Radio Years (which ended up being a bootleg of the Horizon album so I bought both of them, funny how I got them all the way from Canada but hey being a fan I thought I hit some rare CD's :laugh:

I believe this is Karen in the UK promoting "The Singles 1974-1978" of which I posted above about A&M UK spending $600K as promotion for this album. If you look closely you can see the foil album cover in the window behind Karen and the logo above that almost looks like The Singles 74-78....also doesn't it look like the Christmas Portrait album cover on the far left side about in the upper middle area?

Karen%20UK%20Promote%20Singles%201974-1978.jpg~original
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Thanks, Chris !
The above stunning photograph is interesting, not only because Karen is such a beauty !
The banner behind her reads "Personal Appearance of The Carpenters".
Had it always been the intention of A&M Records that Richard would accompany Karen to
this promotional event? Was this a previously planned commitment for both of them?
Nice to see the Christmas Portrait 'plug' and the wonderful Carpenters' Logo.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
It also looks like that banner says from 1 to 2....I wonder if that was Karen signing albums inside this record store??
This stunning photo above of Karen outside....since the clarity is so great, I zoomed in on her necklace and it really looks like a Mickey Mouse gold face charm you can see the Mickey ear...she really did love Disney stuff.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
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.

Wow, the value of that promotional campaign in today's money would be $2.2 million!

http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=600000&year=1978
 

Cordell

New Member
Finally, my vinyl copy arrived to England! It is very beautiful! This collection is very good, the songs are great and more uptempo. Whoever put this compilation, he/she did a very good job. Hearing the new version of 'I Can't Smile Without You' was a big suprise ! The single cut of ' I Need To Be In Love' was also a good choice!Almost all my favourites are on this record, so I am very happy!
It should have been included the single cut of 'Solitaire', which is my favourite Carp song!

I may be mistaken, but 'Postman' sounds a little odd for me. I know that according to the records and reviews, the standard album version can be heard here, but I listened this version and the original one on 'Horizon' and I can say that this one is slightly different. The vocal is more yielding and the brass in the background is more audiable. Maybe is this the single cut?
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
Finally, my vinyl copy arrived to England! It is very beautiful! This collection is very good, the songs are great and more uptempo. Whoever put this compilation, he/she did a very good job. Hearing the new version of 'I Can't Smile Without You' was a big suprise ! The single cut of ' I Need To Be In Love' was also a good choice!Almost all my favourites are on this record, so I am very happy!
It should have been included the single cut of 'Solitaire', which is my favourite Carp song!

I may be mistaken, but 'Postman' sounds a little odd for me. I know that according to the records and reviews, the standard album version can be heard here, but I listened this version and the original one on 'Horizon' and I can say that this one is slightly different. The vocal is more yielding and the brass in the background is more audiable. Maybe is this the single cut?
I always felt the single cut highlighted the cymbal crashes much more than the album cut....
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
I remember ordering The Singles 1974-1978 through a mail order company (this was before the internet) and all I could see were these titles of Carpenters CD's and I saw this UK Singles and I also saw a title called The Radio Years (which ended up being a bootleg of the Horizon album so I bought both of them, funny how I got them all the way from Canada but hey being a fan I thought I hit some rare CD's :laugh:

I believe this is Karen in the UK promoting "The Singles 1974-1978" of which I posted above about A&M UK spending $600K as promotion for this album. If you look closely you can see the foil album cover in the window behind Karen and the logo above that almost looks like The Singles 74-78....also doesn't it look like the Christmas Portrait album cover on the far left side about in the upper middle area?

Karen%20UK%20Promote%20Singles%201974-1978.jpg~original
600K in Great Brittan and it wasn't even released here. This is just nuts to me. Why one of these unreleased gems - couldn't have been included and released that fall is amazing... or was I Believe You out then? It could have been the single for this album...
 

LondonRobert

Well-Known Member
Finally, my vinyl copy arrived to England! It is very beautiful! This collection is very good, the songs are great and more uptempo. Whoever put this compilation, he/she did a very good job. Hearing the new version of 'I Can't Smile Without You' was a big suprise ! The single cut of ' I Need To Be In Love' was also a good choice!Almost all my favourites are on this record, so I am very happy!
It should have been included the single cut of 'Solitaire', which is my favourite Carp song!

I may be mistaken, but 'Postman' sounds a little odd for me. I know that according to the records and reviews, the standard album version can be heard here, but I listened this version and the original one on 'Horizon' and I can say that this one is slightly different. The vocal is more yielding and the brass in the background is more audiable. Maybe is this the single cut?

I 'think' i may be right in saying that the postman on the vinyl is the single version and on the cd it isnt. The uk version of yesterday once more 2 cd set definitely has the single version of postman.

I agree - 74-78 is a great release. I also prefer the slightly sped up album version of 'wont last a day', i find the guitars on the single version a bit overpowering. ( dont get me started on the level of vocal reverb on the remix!!)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I 'think' i may be right in saying that the postman on the vinyl is the single version and on the cd it isnt.

You sir are absolutely correct. And it's a fact we overlooked on the Resource - which I'm about to correct in mere moments!

Harry
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Had it always been the intention of A&M Records that Richard would accompany Karen to
this promotional event? Was this a previously planned commitment for both of them?

This is the visit in which she performed alone on the Bruce Forsyth Show, so yes it was planned for both of them to be at this personal appearance. I wonder what people thought when they turned up and only Karen was there?
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
This is the visit in which she performed alone on the Bruce Forsyth Show, so yes it was planned for both of them to be at this personal appearance. I wonder what people thought when they turned up and only Karen was there?

Thank goodness she decided to go, this must have been a big decision because Karen has said in prior interviews that she always wanted to be home for Christmas so to go alone across the country during the holiday....just goes to show how much she wanted to please the fans and not disappoint anyone.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I respectfully disagree with some of the opinions of the cover art. I didn't like it. To me - no matter Richard's thoughts on some of the covers, I always felt Carpenters albums were very tasteful looking, and unique in many ways... with the exception of AKOH - which as mentioned earlier, I felt looked dated with the wood trim and the big cheesy grins... very MOR.... (but even with Hush, the printed inner sleeve was cool...

This one looked - just not as understated and classic. To me, it looked like a TV compilation thrown together - - I even dislike the font on the words: The and Singles. Just not as refined in my estimation. Hard to imagine the same label that produced the Passage package - produced this one.
Actually this album was issued with almost the exact same cover as the 1969-73 album, the only difference being that the colors were reversed. Instead of dark brown for the main color, the dark brown was used for the outline of everything, while the beige used on for the outlining on the 69 album was used as the main color.

As far as I know, aside from the Yesterday Once More compilation and it's various album covers (including the retitled Classics 2), this one of only two Carpenters albums with 3 cover designs (the other being A Song For You), since I have all 3 covers, the 69-73 remake cover, the foil-embossed cover and the cover that's on the current CD.

But one question that I have for this album is, were "Happy" and "I Can't Smile Without You" issued as A-side singles (either as 45's for sale in stores, or as just promo 45's for radio/DJ's) elsewhere in Europe, or were they maybe issued as EP releases in the UK or Europe?
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
I'd give this a good, solid 4 stars. While being a good sequel collection with gorgeous, eye catching artwork, I felt that it was a little unnecessary. Plus, why include Jambalaya, a '73 track, or Happy, a b-side? I hate to use "filler", but honestly what else were these? (Unless they were singles in the U.K. and I'm just unaware of such)

Still, the singles included were pieced together quite well and represent the Carpenters work in those 4 years very well. I found it enjoyable to have more 'bouncy' songs included like "Please Mr. Postman", "A Kind of Hush" and "Sweet, Sweet Smile".

Oh, but why is Goofus excluded? Hmmm...:D
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I Won't Last A Day is clearly the oldest track on the collection dating from the A Song For You album in 1972, but not being pulled as a single until 1974.

But with the track listing, I wonder if whoever was sequencing the album had maybe just ended a relationship, since Side 1 seems to be how 1 relationship seemed to be going somewhere, and someone was trying to get it to work, but ultimately it ailed. And then Side 2 starts with "Solitaire" about the peson ho has given up on love, and then continues to where they are"Happy" and there seems to be "Akind Of Hush", with Occupants being tagged on because it was a Top 10 single in the UK.

But my absolute favorite track from this album in All You Get From Love Is A Love Song. It is one of the Carpenters signature tunes, and it to bad that it didn't crack the Top 20. I wonder, had Karen lived and the Carpenters maybe done another recording in the late-80's or early-90's, and manage to get the song in a movie or TV show, would it have finally cracked the Top 20? Kind of like Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World"!
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Too bad this Album was not given the treatment of the previous "hits" collection (Singles 1969-1973).
Imagine an opening instrumental segue into the first song....
Imagine some nice artwork/photos and lyric booklet.....
Imagine worldwide distribution....I remember seeing it in an 'import' section of the record store....
Some loving attention to the sequencing and minor details would have been worth the effort,
as I love most of these songs.
 

masqueraded

Well-Known Member
I have a UK radio interview where the host actually asks her about her Mickey Mouse pendent so that recording must've been from that day that photo was taken. :)
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
As far as I know, aside from the Yesterday Once More compilation and it's various album covers (including the retitled Classics 2), this one of only two Carpenters albums with 3 cover designs (the other being A Song For You), since I have all 3 covers, the 69-73 remake cover, the foil-embossed cover and the cover that's on the current CD.
QUOTE]

I was aware that SFY had multiple covers...I have them all, but wasn't aware that the Singles had more than one cover. I have the gold foil cover. would love to see the other two
Jonathan
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Trevor Thurlow Productions »

I just uploaded some shots of all 3 covers of the 74-78 album. As you can see the yellow CD version from the 80's/early 90's is at the top (my CD is from A&M Records Canada), the gold tinfoil one is from A&M UK, but I picked it up here in Canada, and then the 1969-73 remake cover in the bottom left is from Columbia House/A&M Records Canada.
 

Eyewire

Well-Known Member
Trevor Thurlow Productions »

I just uploaded some shots of all 3 covers of the 74-78 album. As you can see the yellow CD version from the 80's/early 90's is at the top (my CD is from A&M Records Canada), the gold tinfoil one is from A&M UK, but I picked it up here in Canada, and then the 1969-73 remake cover in the bottom left is from Columbia House/A&M Records Canada.

Wow, that "1969-1973" style cover for the 1974-1978 album must be pretty rare. First time I've seen it. I prefer the gold tinfoil one. I wish they had done the tinfoil treatment for the CD as well.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Wow, that "1969-1973" style cover for the 1974-1978 album must be pretty rare. First time I've seen it. I prefer the gold tinfoil one. I wish they had done the tinfoil treatment for the CD as well.
As far as I'm aware, all copies of "The Singles 1974-1978" LP that were sold in Canada, were pressed by A&M Canada. The earlier pressings were packaged in the gold foil jacket, which was printed in the UK, and imported by A&M Canada. At some point, they must have run out of the foil jackets, and substituted the 1969-1973 style jacket, which was printed in Canada.

After Karen passed away, I made a point of buying all the LP's that were still missing from my collection. I ordered 1974-1978 from Sam the Record Man, and it arrived in the foil sleeve, so they were still available in 1983. A&M Canada pressed their last vinyl LP in 1989, so the later sleeve couldn't have been on the market for long. I found mine in a used record store a few years ago. It's the only copy I had ever seen. It's a regular retail copy (not from Columbia House).
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
With the tinfoil one, it seems to have been printed on a lighter stock than than the 69-73 remake version. (And just to clarify one thing, my tinfoil version is completely British as both the jacket and vinyl say A&M UK, it not a case where the jacket says A&M UK and the vinyl says A&M Canada).

Also does anyone know when the CD cover was released, since I have seen it in LP size with an LP inside it.
 
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