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Goofus vs BEechwood 4-5789/Worst single release

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by adam, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    After all that I didn't decide which was the least best as a single. Neither were a good choice and they should have gone back to Horizon and released Happy instead of Goofus and not released anything else off the Made In America album after Those Good Old Dreams. But I'll go for Beechwood as least best single as I like Goofus and its goofy charm and I think I'd have been more likely to buy it.
  2. adam

    adam Active Member Thread Starter

    I wonder why karen and richard did appear in bigger venues like Hollywood bowl rather than smaller capacity venues than only hold 3,000 people.If they appeared at larger venues they might not have had to tour as much.
    goodjeans likes this.
  3. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, "Goofus" was more of a novelty song, something that might bring back nostalgia.

    "Beechwood 4-5789" was based on Karen's feelings, and she seemed to think it would "bring back memories", if I recall correctly.

    The years between the two surely would have some effect due to the shift of radio and it's listeners. Ultimately, I feel that "Beechwood" is the better single if they had both been released the same year, whether it be 1981 or 1976. It's just more playful and peppy, but I suppose it really depends on the listener's taste. As far as my tastes go, either one is fine. I love both, and never really understood the opposition. But, as I said, it all depends on who's listening.
  4. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    Had some spare time today and so I took down my Joel Whitburn Billboard Pop Annual book...and found the likely reason the Carpenters recorded and released "Beechwood 4-5789" as a single.

    I had forgotten, but about the time the "Urban Cowboy" craze died down, there was a mini-boom in oldies remakes of various types. It began with "Stars on 45", a Dutch group that did a soundalike montage of The Shocking Blue's "Venus", The Archies' "Sugar Sugar", The Beatles "No Reply", "I'll Be Back", "Drive My Car", "Do You Want To Know A Secret", "We Can Work It Out", "I Should Have Known Better", "Nowhere Man" and "You're Going To Lose That Girl". It made #1 on the Hot 100.

    Manhattan Transfer's "Boy From New York City" was second, peaking at #7 in August of 1981, followed by The Beach Boys Medley , an edited 4-minute montage of "Good Vibrations", "Help Me Rhonda", "I Get Around", "Little Deuce Coupe", "Shut Down", "Surfin' Safari", "Barbara Ann", "Surfin' USA" and "Fun, Fun, Fun", which peaked at #12 in October. Then came Diana Ross with "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", which made #7 in December.

    In 1982, things cooled off a bit, but there was still action. Toni Basil's "Mickey" was an original, but it certainly had an oldies vibe. It made #1. Paul Davis' "'65 Love Affair" qualifies too, and it made #6.

    Joan Jett re-did "Crimson and Clover" and got to #7. And there were medleys again..."Hooked On Classics" got to #10 and "The Beatles Movie Medley", with the actual Beatles, mashed up the way the Beach Boys did the year before ("Magical Mystery Tour", "All You Need Is Love", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "I Should Have Known Better", "A Hard Day's Night", "Ticket To Ride" and "Get Back") , got to #12. And so did Van Halen's remake of "Oh Pretty Woman".

    Heck, Simon and Garfunkel released "Wake Up Little Susie" from the Central Park concert as a single and managed #27 (which is more of a miss than a hit, but still...).
    Among the other misses that year (unless you count album sales), Van Halen's "Dancing In The Street" at #38, Paul Davis' cover of "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely" (which didn't have LP sales to offset it) at #40, The Reddings' "Dock Of The Bay at #55 and Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" at #62.

    And then, "Beechwood 4-5789" at #74. Truth be told about Billboard's chart, in raw numbers, there probably wasn't much difference between what Karen and Richard sold and what Paul Davis' "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely", The Reddings and Bow Wow Wow did.

    Anyway, this suggests that no one had lost their minds. There was a wave that the Carpenters could have ridden---except they were too far gone in terms of image. If they'd had "Beechwood" ready to go in between Stars on 45 and Manhattan Transfer or Diana Ross, who knows?
  5. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    I agree and i Sure Remember all of the aformentioned oldies remakes and misses from that period as i was glued to my radio a lot in those days as a teen. Which was my primary music source at that time
  6. I sure remember that. In Philly, in 1981, the CBS-FM station, WCAU-FM, had been floundering with a disco sound and switched to Mike Joseph's Hot Hits format. This was an attempt to revive Top 40 radio, and this format played ONLY current records in the top 30. As a result, you might hear the same record repeated within an hour and a half depending on its position in the charts.

    Well, the oddity of timing here was that that Beach Boys mash-up had just peaked in the charts when this format came to be, so it was really odd to hear a station promoting itself as only playing current hits come on with this medley of then-ancient records. In actual fact though, because the station essentially played NO oldies, this Beach Boys record served to ease the audience into a station like that. It represented the entire concept - and library - of oldies in one record.

    As we listened, it sure seemed to play endlessly.
  7. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    It probably also sounded odd since the Medley was released in Mono (even though "Fun, Fun, Fun" was available in true stereo, so the Medley could've closed in stereo, but I've got the regular 45, not a promo, and it's in Mono) while all the other songs on the FM station would've been in stereo.
  8. Michael Hagerty

    Michael Hagerty Active Member

    If 'CAU was processed like KITS in San Francisco (another Mike Joseph "Hot Hits" station), the audio was so densely compressed you probably couldn't tell.
  9. Oh and it was!

    Here's a scoped aircheck someone put up on YouTube:

  10. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    Excellent points. While driving today, I heard "Daddy's Home" by Cliff Richard. I looked it up since Richard Carpenter performed it as part of their "Yesterday Once More" concert oldies medley. I was surprised to see that it made it into the Billboard Top 25 at the same time that "Beechwood" was released. Oldies covers could still do well in the early 80's but Karen & Richard's image with pop culture at the time seemed to have hit rock bottom.
    Michael Hagerty likes this.
  11. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I'm all about GOOFUS. The overdubs are spot on and showcase CarpenterS studio expertise. On Hush, I don't skip GOOFUS or Boat to Sail whereas on MADE IN AMERICA, Beechwood followed by the Wedding Song are seldom heard. Beechwood, again a top notch production but timing was off. For that matter so was MIA a little disjointed for me. Any chart action made me happy in my youth. All that said I feel GOOFUS to be the higher production with versality. Versatility may explain it's release. GOOFUS has been lucky for me.
    GaryAlan, natureaker and A&M Retro like this.
  12. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    I enjoy both songs, but I listen to 'Beechwood' far more often than 'Goofus'. But that's mainly because it's included on a number of compilations. 'Goofus' never ends up on any compilations I make for friends. It didn't help them in the 'hip' department. but it's a great recording, at least.
  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is a "plug" for Goofus....yah !.....

    POSTED: MARCH 2, 2016, 12:40PM BY: METV STAFF
    "Goofus" (1976)
    "The band's popularity was on the decline when its seventh album rolled around.
    The siblings were struggling with demons behind the scenes, but still managed to turn out silly, funky oddities like this.
    The single was their worst performing since their first."

    Remember Karen Carpenter with 8 overlooked Carpenters songs »
  14. Your whole analysis is spot on and this is a big part of why they stalled after '75, they did become, and cement their reputation as, a campy kind of act who began to stay anchored in the past and refused to look ahead artistically. Hearing their hits is great but they should have been focusing on more recording and staying fresh musically. In these Vegas-like shows they even dressed like old people who were playing for soley an older generation. I mean it's warm and delightful to still watch in clips and stuff but you still wish that they kept the edge they had before at least somewhat.
    goodjeans and BarryT60 like this.
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Spot on in every respect.
    BarryT60 likes this.
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I like both songs, really !
    But, Goofus is brilliantly structured !
    Beechwood 4-5789, not so much brilliance, but fun.
  17. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Some of the comments on this site were pretty great... some not so.... So - I HAD to reply.... with:

    <<I would imagine Karen and the act may have taken a hiatus to get their personal lives straightened out - and ultimately recorded some interesting LPs in the vein of Linda Ronstadt (with Nelson Riddle) or Natalie Cole, (Unforgettable) jettisoning them to the top again. Probably some thematic albums, maybe a country record... And as for pop music, I would imagine them potentially scoring or recording a song in either a James Bond Film, (similar to All Time High, Coolage), or one of those Disney 90's classics. There definitely would have been a place for them in popular music... Their library of classics and quality has assured them of that for all time -- already...
    As for today - finally a venue for them would have been Vegas - where IMHO they played way too soon in their careers, sort of placing them in much too mature of a venue - way before their time.>>
    Jamesj75 and GaryAlan like this.
  18. I think Weintrub or whoever began to mistake older, more outdated music with sophistication in terms of material. I mean, for the majority of their discography, in terms of arrangements and material, it couldn't be more classy and sophisticated; but it seems with their popularity slipping they went into panic mode and started basically becoming a group who plays medleys of their old hits (For the most part I don't like them and would rather hear the whole song) and repeatedly singing songs like "From This Moment On" in every place imaginable. The older we seem and the older music we play will be seen as the pinnacle of musical artistry. I take it for what it is now and enjoy their later performances like the Palladium and the like, but it seemed like they didn't realize how much more commercial potential they could have squeezed out and stayed truly contemporary.
    BarryT60 and GaryAlan like this.
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I always thought they "played" Vegas far too often in the later part of their career.
    But, and this is a claim I have read elsewhere--though unable to authenticate--
    That beginning the Weintraub era the duo were canceling many Concert venues because
    the ticket sales at large venues left many unfilled seats, which Weintraub would not allow;
    thus the reliance upon Las Vegas, that is smaller concert venues which were filled.
    After the Sedaka incident, I was surprised to see them playing Las Vegas so often !
    Happily, the European Market was much better in that regard--crowd filling--
    but, I cringe when watching those concerts (1976 Palladium & Holland) compared to (IMHO)
    the better earlier concerts (1971 UK, 1972 Australia,1974 Japan).
    Medleys--good as they are, I can do without !
    From This Moment On--especially for a 1978 Carson Show--wrong way forward. (IMHO).
    (I like the song alright, Karen's stylistics on the 1978 Program are great--but, what else is
    going for it ?).
    Warsaw Concerto on a Summer 1974 Boston Pops program,or in later concerts--
    good as it is, does virtually nothing for me. (Apologies to Richard Carpenter--I'm not saying
    the song is not performed well, just that it isn't my 'cup of tea' for a Carpenters' offering.)

    Again, I like both songs, Goofus and Beechwood.
    But, as a Single-45,
    Beechwood 4-5789,
    Karen at 31 and Richard Older than that--
    would classify as the 'worst' Single release in my eyes !
  20. How often did they play in Vegas in the later 70s? I lose track of all there live performances except the ones that we have known footage of. The shows in Holland and the Palladium have a Vegas-like glitz feel to them that gave them the appearance of some oldies act instead of a modern pop duo. I too really like FTMO but it further goes into that Vegas/oldies theme that was only hurting them.
  21. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    They played the MGM Grand right up until September 1978, these were their last professional live dates as a functioning band.
  22. goofus was wayyyy to silly of a song to record, they needed more solitaire and desparado type songs, soungs with meat.
    Mary Beth and Geographer like this.
  23. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I would have to say Beechwood is the worst of the two. Main reason is I cannot get that terrible video of the song out of my mind whenever I hear it. The one with an obviously emaciated Karen cavorting around the malt shop like a teeny bopper! At least Goofus had an interesting bassline to it. I believe Richard was surprised at the success of Please Mr Postman and was looking for a similar hit.
  24. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    I loved 'Goofus' when it was released as a single. I was 12, it was 1976 and the song got a lot of air play in the region of Australia where I grew up. I'm fairly sure it didn't make the Top 100, though. On 'Goofus', I love the harmonies and chord changes. Back then, I probably liked the fact that the song mentioned growing up on a farm and making up tunes, as well, because both of those things would have struck a chord with me. I still hold a certain affection for 'Goofus' today.

    I also loved 'Beechwood' when it was released, although I remember thinking that it sounded like an attempt to copy the success of 'Please Mr. Postman'. It follows the same prototype and has a similar arrangement.

    I still don't mind either song but I am probably fonder of 'Goofus'. I like it quite a lot.
  25. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Please Mr. Postman has excessive energy perfect for a remake. At the end of the song, you want to repeat it. I still do when listening to it. I can't just listen to it once. There is just so much happening for listening pleasure.
    Beechwood does not have that energy and sounds more of something in a medley built in for relaxation purposes.
    Goofus is an nostalgic song and fun for listening, but not over and over.
    All the big early hits we can listening to in repitation. I even still listing to I Won't Last A Day Without You at least twice before pressing next and it has been played since A Sonf For You, which always gets a second listen, too.
    I think they should have cut a version of If We Try! I think it would have fared well in 81-82. And, that is one I always repeat at least twice, sometimes three times. They always had the songs to pick from. Just some of the choices for singles were not the best. In the early years, almost anything could have been a single. Perhaps the "adult sound" penetrated in the end and the energy was absent. Now, I like the adult sound, just not for singles. Now, Karen was going in the hip direction with some of the solo selections and it would have been interesting to hear Rod Temperton and Phil Ramone and Richard work together. I know that that is just in my dreams.

    Last One Singing the Blues

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