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Goodbye to Love: Missed Opportunity for New Direction?

LewisV

Member
Thread Starter
Hello everyone. I haven't logged in for a very long time though I read the threads.

Goodbye to Love is one of my all-time favorite songs: new sound, less sugary, continuation of harmonies and sadly, somewhat prophetic lyrics.

Now, I wonder what would have happened had the Carpenters used it as a new blueprint: edgier though melodic sound while still maintaining the layered background vocals and meaningful lyrics.

True, this single was not the most TOP selling for them but a new sound always demands attention, appreciation and acceptance.

Instead, they turned direction to the other way and of course, sales reflected that.

What does everyone think?
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
To be honest, I didn’t care for it the first few plays of the album. Then they released it as a single, with my favorite Carpenters pic on the sleeve. The song really grew on me, and now it’s my favorite song of all time. Hence my license plate/avistar. I think all the letters and complaints, made them hesitant to do that again. Their fans demanded more pop and love songs/ballads, which were hard to beat at that time. Unfortunately it didn’t last. They tried with the Passage album, but by then the music programmers and buying public were going a different route. They divided stations that used to play everything Top 40, to Top 40 rock, Top 40 soul and Top 40 dance. Carpenters didn’t fit any of those formats well, so they mostly got airplay on Adult A/C stations from the mid 70’s on. If they had thrown in another guitar laden cut on Now & Then, maybe that would have helped. Instead they opted to go with Sing and Please Mr. Postman, great Carpenters hits, but a further cause to slowly stop adding their singles on hit radio stations here. The British and Japanese markets didn’t give up, but the US market is tough to stay on top of for pop artists. I was really hard to be a Carpenters fan after 1977, until Karen passed, then the condolences….I mostly kept it to myself, unless I was asked. I even wore my fan club t-shirt after they. The Passage one too. I would be interested in Chris and Harry’s thoughts. Good thread.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The big "invention" on "Goodbye To Love" was having Tony Peluso's wild solo lead into a bombastic conclusion and - Voila! - the power ballad is invented.

I noticed a tendency to let Peluso go at least a little wild a few more times after that on the records - moreso in their live concerts. Meanwhile power ballads by all manner of artists followed into and through the 80s and beyond.

I recall my soft station faded the track out just as Peluso was beginning his solo, but then they also faded "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" just as Billy Davis was letting it all loose.

I liked "Goodbye To Love" then as now. I can't say it was ever a top favorite, but always welcome to hear.
 
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GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
If memory serves correctly, I rarely heard Goodbye To Love played on the radio back in the day (1970s).
Happy, though, that it was to appear on The Singles 1969-1973 album which ultimately sold over 7 million copies in USA.
Karen's performance of the song (indeed, the entire band's performance) on the Tonight Show, November 1973, was nothing short of spectacular.

From the official Carpenter website: "It was Karen's favorite of the Carpenters’ first dozen hits."
(Carpenters: The Singles 1969-1973)
I am torn between We've Only Just Begun and Goodbye To Love as being my personal favorite amongst those first dozen hits).

From UMG: "Released on June 19, 1972, it made the Billboard Hot 100 on July 15 as the week’s highest new entry at No.68.
By August 26 it had peaked at No.7 on the charts where it stayed for two weeks."
"Some Adult Contemporary radio stations refused to play the song because of the guitar solo, which probably kept it from reaching No.1 on the AC chart."
More:
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I always thought their overall style didn't really lend itself to anything in the rock idiom except power ballads. Of course they did "rock out" a bit on the oldies medley; but regular Carpenters tunes going that direction? It's hard to say if that would've worked or not.

I'm glad Richard didn't try to crank out "Goodbye to Love 2.0" though. It would have turned them into another Barry Manilow and might not have worked, anyway.

I have always thought that their best way of keeping on top would have been to double down on country music. They did so well with "Top of the World" and later, "Sweet Sweet Smile" -- they could have done a country power ballad and it might have been a smash, who knows?
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I noticed a tendency to let Peluso go at least a little wild a few more times after that on the records - moreso in their live concerts.

I’ve never heard his live guitar solo performances as anything other than a carbon copy (as close as you can get to that live anyway) of the record. Which was to their detriment as a live band, because it made the whole thing come across as stilted and slightly wooden. The only ones who ever let rip were Karen and Cubby.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
Hello everyone. I haven't logged in for a very long time though I read the threads.

Goodbye to Love is one of my all-time favorite songs: new sound, less sugary, continuation of harmonies and sadly, somewhat prophetic lyrics.

Now, I wonder what would have happened had the Carpenters used it as a new blueprint: edgier though melodic sound while still maintaining the layered background vocals and meaningful lyrics.

True, this single was not the most TOP selling for them but a new sound always demands attention, appreciation and acceptance.

Instead, they turned direction to the other way and of course, sales reflected that.

What does everyone think?
I was surprised that this single did not do better on the charts. I would have thought it would hit number 1. It flew up the charts but stalled quickly in the top 10 and then fell fast. I have always liked this selection.
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
I always thought their overall style didn't really lend itself to anything in the rock idiom except power ballads. Of course they did "rock out" a bit on the oldies medley; but regular Carpenters tunes going that direction? It's hard to say if that would've worked or not.

I'm glad Richard didn't try to crank out "Goodbye to Love 2.0" though. It would have turned them into another Barry Manilow and might not have worked, anyway.

I have always thought that their best way of keeping on top would have been to double down on country music. They did so well with "Top of the World" and later, "Sweet Sweet Smile" -- they could have done a country power ballad and it might have been a smash, who knows?
It's funny you use the term GTL 2.0 since that's how bettis described INTBIL, I think. Had Richard gone further and added a guitar solo and stacked harmonies I dare say that later track would have gone much higher.
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
I JUST FALL IN LOVE AGAIN morphs into a power ballad of sorts in it's later stages (although not to the length or degree of GBTL) and it had a more appealing melody and a much more uplifting lyric - all good reasons that A&M (in it's infinite wisdom) decided not to release it as a single! Another big time blown opportunity that the great Anne Murray did not fail to act upon...

I can take GBTL or not, depending on mood, but everytime I do listen to it I wait for and marvel at Karen's superhuman breath control on the phrases "Time and time again..." and "Surely time will lose..." which are amazing and almost make me want to breathe for her...she does the same incredible thing in SUPERSTAR on "I can hardly wait..." where you can almost hear her slightly gasp for breath at the end...
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
It's funny you use the term GTL 2.0 since that's how bettis described INTBIL, I think. Had Richard gone further and added a guitar solo and stacked harmonies I dare say that later track would have gone much higher.

Yep. Richard took INTBIL and put it firmly in the elevator with the chorale and the overly-square arrangement. It worked against any chance at huge success that song could have had.

Ed
 
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