Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by From This Moment On, Apr 14, 2019 at 4:02 PM.
I was watching The Carpenters: Their Greatest Hits and was surprised to learn this.
Nope ! Surprisingly !
Yesterday Once More and Please Mr. Postman came close at #2.
Their singles performed better in the US whilst their albums were performed better in the UK
I was also surprised when I first heard this. It seems a shame considering how popular they are over here.
It always surprised me too that they never had a #1 single in the UK. Their albums did well though.
Well the did have “Calling Occupants” go to #1 in Ireland, which is probably their highest in the Isles.
This used to be a popaular question in British pub quizes back in the 90s. 'How many number one singles did the Carpenters have?' People would then say anything from 2-10. It was interesting as it showed how much the songs had taken hold of the nations consciousness - and so of course the then post quiz twist was they infact had none much to the shock of the crowd.
But its worth remembering Richard and Karen did not do all that much UK promo in relation to their gigantic success. Singles were a hugely competitive game back in the 70s and had Richard and Karen showed up on key shows like Top of the Pops they might well have scored much higher placings.
They were a bit hard done-by on the UK single chart, particularly as none of the tracks that kept those two singles off the #1 spot (Gary Glitter's 'Leader of the Gang', Donny Osmond's 'Young Love' and Pilot's 'January') aren't particularly significant or well-remembered songs. Greg is right to note that singles by US artists tended to need a bigger push up the UK charts to really do well, as shows like Top of the Pops were very UK-heavy in terms of the acts shown, if for no other reason than they were available to appear on them.
What is interesting is that although they did make a few visits to the UK (1971, 1974, 1976 and 1981), for most of these, they didn't have a single out in the marketplace at the time while they were here, so there was nothing to promote up the charts. The exception was 1971, as the 'Superstar/For All We Know' single had just been released a couple of weeks before they did the BBC concert.
We've had a Japanese Single Box.
We've had the COMPLETE SINGLES set for the US from Public TV.
How about a box set of a- and b- side UK singles?! (THE NATION'S FAVOURITE was a good start...)
Wow ! That's a nice idea - let's build it up ! Here's every UK a/b side I can think of:
-Close To You (#6)
-I Kept On Loving You
-We've Only Just Begun (#23)
-All Of My Life
-Ticket To Ride
-Someday & Merry Christmas Darling
-For All We Know (#18)
-Rainy Days And Mondays (#53)
-Hurting Each Other
-Maybe It's You
-It's Going To Take Some Time
-Goodbye To Love (#9)
-I Won't Last A Day Without You (#49)
-Top Of Thr World (#5)
-Your Wonderful Parade
-Yesterday Once More (#2)
-Jambalaya (On The Bayou) (#12)
-I Won't Last A Day Without You (#32)
-Please Mr. Postman (#2)
-Only Yesterday (#7)
-Love Me For What I Am
-Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (#37)
-Merry Christmas Darling
-There's A Kind Of Hush (#22)
-I'm Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You
-I Need To Be In Love (#36)
-All You Get From Love Is A Love Song (#54)
-I Have You
-Caling Occupants (#9)
-Can't Smile Without You
-Sweet Sweet Smile (#40)
-B'Wanna She No Home
-Touch Me When We're Dancing
-Because We Are In Love
-Those Good Old Dreams
-Want You Back In My Life Again
-Beechwood 4-5789 (#78)
-Somebody's Been Lyin'
-Make Believe It's Your First Time (#60)
-Look To Your Dreams
-Look To Your Dreams
-Merry Christmas Darling (#25)
-Close To You
-Something In Your Eyes (#84)
-Rainy Days And Mondays (#63)
-Maybe It's You & Ordinary Fool
-Let Me Be The One & Still Crazy After All These Years
-Tryin' To Get That Feeling Again (#44)
-Close To You & Sing
Thanks - now we can assemble our own.
That covers nearly everything. A few extra details are as follows:
Some early copies of the 'Sweet Sweet Smile' single had 'Two Sides' on the B side.
I'd have to double-check this, but I think the 1990s 7" singles were 'Rainy Days and Mondays'/'Goodbye to Love' and 'Trying to Get the Feeling Again'/'Sing'. There was also a 1990 single 'Close to You'/'Only Yesterday' released alongside the Only Yesterday compilation, although it didn't chart.
The 1971 EP was 'Merry Christmas Darling', 'Saturday' and 'Ticket to Ride' - 'Merry Christmas Darling' was treated as the A side.
There's also a rumoured promo single from 1971 featuring 'Love is Surrender'/'For All We Know'.
I guess we'll need picture sleeves too...
That's relatively easy - of the 1970s singles, only the two Christmas singles had a picture sleeve. Everything from 'Beechwood' onwards had a picture sleeve I think.
Yeah, though I think weren't some the same as the US like Only Yesterday?
The cover for Now is nice and the intersting piece is the UK sleeve for MBIYFT reads: "Make Believe It's THE First Time" opoesd
I don't think any of the regular 1970s UK releases originally had a picture sleeve. For some reason the UK was behind other markets like Europe, Japan and the US in terms of doing so - it only became standard practice in the early 1980s.
The 'Now' single sleeve was I think the first place that now the well-known photo from the Only Yesterday and RPO album covers was used.
It’s strange that Make Believe It’s Your First Time and Now had the same B-sides on the UK singles. Interesting that we got Now, when it wasn’t released as a single in the US but we didn’t get I Believe You.
There are also the twin three-track CD singles of Rainy Days And Mondays (Radio Remix), which went with the box set in 1991. The title was misleading because it wasn’t a brand new remix, just an existing remix, retitled. One of the singles featured Still Crazy After All These Years and Ordinary Fool, which I thought made a lovely combination.
The UK also didn’t get “(Want You) Back In My Life” as an A-Side, and “Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore”/“Sailing On The Tide”, “Honolulu City Lights” or “If I Had You/The Uninvited Guest”.
It’s also interesting how “Ticket To Ride” was issued with “Someday/Merry Christmas Darling” as the “B” Side (was the TTR UK 45 the 69 version or the 73 version?) and “Your Wonderful Parade” showed up with “Top Of the World”.
One thing I prefer in the UK singles over the US is that the B-sides aren't as repetitive (expect MCD) in the US Mr. Guder and I Have You were used multiple times - why? They had plenty of other songs so why were they used more than once?
'Ticket to Ride' was never an A side in the UK; it appeared as an extra track on the 'Merry Christmas Darling' EP in 1971. Given the date of its release, the original 1969 album version was used.
My guess on "I Have You" is that they used it on both "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song" and "Sweet Sweet Smile" to give the previous album (A Kind Of Hush) a little extra promotion since it hadn't done as well as the previous albums. With only a few exceptions, Richard always had at least one side of each single feature one of his compositions (for financial reasons). So, if pulling from A Kind of Hush, that only leaves "I Need To Be In Love" (already an a-side and hit), "Sandy" (already a b-side) and "I Have You" to pick from. (Also remember, there were no Carpenter/Bettis songs on Passage.) Since A&M were marketing "Sweet Sweet Smile" to an entirely different market, it was probably easier (and cheaper) to just reuse "I Have You" as its b-side.
"Mr. Guder" was the b-side in the US only on "Merry Christmas Darling" unless I am missing/forgetting another one.