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

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 15 24.2%
  • ****

    Votes: 28 45.2%
  • ***

    Votes: 18 29.0%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    62

Murray

Well-Known Member
(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).
That's interesting. My tinfoil version says "manufactured and distributed by A&M Records of Canada" on the LP label, and the jacket says "Sleeve printed and made in England by Robor limited. Country of manufacture of record as stated on record label." It's possible that the album was released earlier in the UK, and some stores in Canada were selling import copies before it was released in Canada.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
My foil covered version is exactly as Murray describes it. Outer sleeve from England/Robor. Inner sleeve and record label stating Canada.
 

John Tkacik

Active 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.
My copy is also 100% British (jacket & vinyl). When I inspected my LP, I found an interesting "item". On the run-off to side 1, to the right of <23773, there is a very faint written engraving of the word "England".
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
That's interesting. My tinfoil version says "manufactured and distributed by A&M Records of Canada" on the LP label, and the jacket says "Sleeve printed and made in England by Robor limited. Country of manufacture of record as stated on record label." It's possible that the album was released earlier in the UK, and some stores in Canada were selling import copies before it was released in Canada.
Or with that statement "Country of manufacture of record" it could mean that Robor would ship covers and copies of the instructions on how to print the covers at first, to the Canadian and other international distributors, but then once the other international distributors were up to speed, then the record cover would be from the same country as the the LP.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
I just inspected my LP and it matches to what John T and Tom S said above. The outer LP jacket says printed and made in England by Robor Ltd, the inner jacket says UK and the vinyl label also says UK.

As a side note, every time I touch this LP cover I feel like I'm touching "gold" lol seriously it's a really nice cover for an LP, love the embossed feel.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
While researching any info regarding the choices of songs on SINGLES 1974-1978, I happened upon the John Tobler COMPLETE GUIDE and he states something curious. Under SINGLES 1974-1978, he writes:

John Tobler said:
Both Singles albums include piano links between tracks,...
I've re-checked the CD of SINGLES 1974-1978 and can't find any segues or piano fillers. This COMPLETE GUIDE was published in 1998, so the 2000 version of SINGLES 1969-1981 had yet to be released, so he can't be referring to that little piano part before "(They Long to Be) Close To You".

Does anyone's LP version contain anything extra?
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
While researching any info regarding the choices of songs on SINGLES 1974-1978, I happened upon the John Tobler COMPLETE GUIDE and he states something curious. Under SINGLES 1974-1978, he writes:



I've re-checked the CD of SINGLES 1974-1978 and can't find any segues or piano fillers. This COMPLETE GUIDE was published in 1998, so the 2000 version of SINGLES 1969-1981 had yet to be released, so he can't be referring to that little piano part before "(They Long to Be) Close To You".

Does anyone's LP version contain anything extra?
That sounds like a mistake on Tobler's part. The original 1978 UK album release doesn't feature any interludes between tracks - given the state of Richard's health at the time and the fact that A&M UK created the album themselves, I can't imagine that anyone would have gone to the extra effort of doing this.

The original album does feature the single versions for 'Please Mr Postman' and 'I Won't Last a Day Without You', which annoyingly were replaced with the album versions when it was released on CD in the 1980s.
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
.
As I recall, the CASSETTE version of this album includes the RADIO EDIT of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft," which is unavailable anywhere else besides the 45.
I bought this CD quite a few years ago, hoping that it would have the single edit of 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' on it, seeing as that was a big hit in the UK. Unfortunately, it only has the LO-O-o-onnngg album version on it. However, this 'Singles 74 - 78' album is still a good listen. My favourite single from this period would definitely be 'Solitaire', followed by 'Only Yesterday', 'I Need to Be in Love' and 'I Won't Last a Day Without You'. 'Calling Occupants' was another of my favourites as a kid. I also remember hearing 'Jambalaya' played a bit on the radio when it was a single, (Australia), when I was about nine. I loved it at the time, but it's not a favourite anymore.
 

KentTeffeteller

Active Member
The LP version of this for me is essential, it has the best of the post Singles 1969-1973 output in singles versions free of styrene, and also in a convenient form. It has UK Singles not issued here in that format. So, it's a nice bookend and worthy alternative to a few less than great albums late in the Richard and Karen oeuvre.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Too bad the cd-version of this title lacks the (better) mixes found on the original 1978 LP.
I've been playing the LP lately, and, I really enjoy this album.
While it lacks the Big "hits" from the 1969-1973 era,
there is much here that I really Love (Only Yesterday, Occupants, I Need To Be In Love)
I almost like the spruced-up "Can't Smile Without You"
(which I consider the weakest cut outside of Jambalaya).
Whereas The Singles 1969-1973 is the unquestioned leader of the two "Singles" LP's
(even if I merely tolerate It's Going To Take Some Time...)
The Singles 1974-1978 --the LP--is well worth a listen.

Interestingly enough, I'm not thrilled with the Colors of either LP Cover,
the former too bleak, the later too sparkly !
 

ars nova

Active Member
it's odd to find this link revived, because recently, I have been searching for the album with the alternate cover. I have only seen one photo, I can't recall where, and I REALLY, REALLY WANT IT !!!!
 

jaredjohnfisher

Active Member
My main complaint is that “Occupants” wasn’t the single version. The album version is quite long to endure (but has its place on Passage); the edited version would have been a better fit on this “singles” collection. Also, even though it flopped, they should have included “Goofus” over “Happy”, as the latter was never a single! At least “Jambalaya” was an international hit single for them.
 

ars nova

Active Member
My main complaint is that “Occupants” wasn’t the single version. The album version is quite long to endure (but has its place on Passage); the edited version would have been a better fit on this “singles” collection. Also, even though it flopped, they should have included “Goofus” over “Happy”, as the latter was never a single! At least “Jambalaya” was an international hit single for them.
I agree. the major aspect of 1969-1973 was that it contained 12 single releases, 11 of them chart successes. even though the songs on 1974-1978 did not have as many chart successes, there was no need to use album tracks as filler.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Was “Goofus” ever released in the UK as a single? “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” could’ve been included as that was released overseas.
 

ars nova

Active Member
My main complaint is that “Occupants” wasn’t the single version. The album version is quite long to endure (but has its place on Passage); the edited version would have been a better fit on this “singles” collection. Also, even though it flopped, they should have included “Goofus” over “Happy”, as the latter was never a single! At least “Jambalaya” was an international hit single for them.
it was also irritating that the album version of IWLADWY was included rather than tony's guitar licks enhanced single version.
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Reading this made me listen to it..
I have (I'm in UK) the gold foil LP and the more yellow LP that is the same as the CD cover. I think all of you guys from the US are not energetically loving this album, due to their decline. But you've got to remember whilst you probably consider A Kind Of Hush, Passage, Made In America and Voice Of The Heart as flops but in the UK they were hits:
-A Kind Of Hush #3 Gold
-Passage #12 Gold
-Made In America #12 Silver
-Voice Of The Heart #6 Gold

I would love to see this represented on a graph: From 1970-1975 they were huge in America, their singles edging slightly over their albums. Whilst in the UK the albums were much more successful than their singles. And that UK success took off from about 1972-present day.

In terms of Singles 1974-1978 if it wasn't for the timings (Grease being at #1 like it obviously would have been) I have no doubt that it could have been #1.

I too wish that Happy had been replaced by Goofus, and Can't Smile Without You with I Believe You to make it an actual singles collection. Other than that I think it's a perfect companion album to 69-73.
Here's how the singles did in the UK:

-Sweet, Sweet Smile #40
-Jambalaya #12
-I Won't Last A Day Without You #32 *
-All You Get From Love Is A Love Song #54
-Only Yesterday #7
-Solitaire #32
-Please Mr. Postman #2 Silver
-I Need To Be In Love #36
-There's A Kind Of Hush #22
-Calling Occupants #9

*Won't Last A Day Without You was released on the back of Goodbye To Love in 1972 and peaked at #9
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Is that true? I either didn’t know that or had forgotten. I too consider that another glaring error.
The original vinyl album contained the single mixes of both 'Please Mr Postman' and 'I Won't Last a Day Without You', but for some unknown reason, these were replaced with the album versions when it was released on CD in the 1980s. This is a shame, particularly as it's made the single version of 'I Won't Last a Day Without You', which is superior to the album version and all the subsequent watered-down remixes of it, quite tricky to find on CD.

'Goofus' was never a single in the UK (good call for once!) so wasn't included for that reason. Nor was 'I Believe You'. I guess the compilation was created by the UK branch of A&M, so they weren't looking to include non-UK singles from the era like 'Breaking Up is Hard to Do' either. 'Happy' and 'Can't Smile Without You' had been the B-sides to two of their bigger UK singles from this era, so were presumably included for that reason.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
"The second hits compilation by the Carpenters wasn't dealing from strength nearly as much as its predecessor -- The Singles 1969-1973 represented tens of millions of radio plays, and songs that were impossible to avoid (nor would most of us have wanted to avoid them). The years covered on this album, by contrast, represent the point where the Carpenters' really big hits had stopped coming, though what is here comes off today as perfectly good, eminently listenable soft rock -- it's hard to get through their version of "Jambalaya" with a straight face, and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" is still an unfortunate artifact of its time (which, ever more so, as the decades roll on, requires an explanation for listeners who weren't around at the time). But otherwise, it is great fun, even if the best material here isn't much more than an echo of the convergence of music, moment, and talent represented by the duo's first four years of work."
"Biography
Bruce Eder is a writer, journalist, critic, and film and music scholar whose film commentaries and supplements have appeared on DVD (and, earlier, on laser disc), specifically through The Criterion Collection since the late '80s; additionally, his articles on film and music have appeared in newspapers and periodicals, including The Village Voice, Newsday, Current Biography, Interview, and Video Magazine. "

Singles 1974-1978 - Carpenters | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
But otherwise, it is great fun, even if the best material here isn't much more than an echo of the convergence of music, moment, and talent represented by the duo's first four years of work.
That’s the perfect way to describe this album.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The Review by music-critic Bruce Eder misses a few points in the comparison:
Had the attention to detail presented on the first Singles LP been duplicated on the second Singles LP,
there would be more cause for celebration. For example:
imagine if Richard had bothered to do an introductory instrumental segue (as we got on The Singles 1969-1973)
or, if a few songs had been re-recorded (as was Ticket) or, if --say--three songs had been strung together
(in the manner of Superstar/ Rainy Days/ Goodbye To Love).

1. Sweet, Sweet Smile
2. Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
3. Can't Smile Without You
4. I Won't Last A Day Without You
5. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
6. Only Yesterday
7. Solitaire
8. Please Mr. Postman
9. I Need To Be In Love
10. Happy
11. There's A Kind Of Hush
12. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft

There is a lot of diversity on this second Singles LP. Many of the arrangements are Superb.
Karen's vocals are incredible--of course, yet more expansive on this second offering.

Again, had it gotten due attention from Richard (or, A&M ?), as a true "second-Singles" LP,
the LP would be much more competitive with the former 1969-1973. But, the aim was for the UK market.
(Besides, Jambalaya was 'tracked' in 1972, as was IWLADWY ).
 
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