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"I Won't Last a Day Without You" - a rediscovery

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by ThaFunkyFakeTation, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo Thread Starter

    So I'm sitting here doing an album cover you'll be able to see by the time you read this and my brain started playing this song back in my head. I started singing it a capella (my brain put it in B) and then I decided that my voice just wasn't good enough to satisfy me so I went to Karen's (Carpenters is in D if you're curious). Richard's arrangement is pretty much perfect on this tune. The strings are there but they aren't heavy-handed like they would be years later. Karen's vocal is intimacy personified and I totally believe her - especially in the bridge. It's just chill-inducing. Every bit as good is Richard's spare vocal arrangement. When his tricks do bubble up (at the very beginning, "When your near, my love" coming out of the b-section, and "won't last a day without you, without you" at the end), they perfectly accentuate the lyrics.

    In short, I always liked this tune but forgot how absolutely amazing it was until I heard it again tonight. It's still playing right now. I've literally lost track of how many times it's played...and I'm not sick of it in the least bit.

  2. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

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  3. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    I love this song! Especially the bridge, like you mentioned. Paul Williams said that an angel sung his songs, and he was right. I enjoy the 45 version of "I Won't Last A Day..." with the added guitar parts... but this song is great any way you slice it.

    Thanks for your re-evaluation! I may go back and listen a few times myself. I've been on a similar kick with "Merry Christmas Darling"-- I can't get enough of that :)
  4. To me, this is THE quintessential Carpenters record; it’s got all their signature things that make their songs so Carpenteresque. That it almost cracked the top 10 a full two years after it was available as an album track on A Song For You (as well as released as a single by other artists in the meantime...) is a testament to it’s greatness. I always add this tune to my “Singles 1969-73” Amazon playlist, even though it was released as a single in 1974: it just fits that collection so well.
  5. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    It is a terrific song and one of their most overlooked. Really it deserved to take the place of 'It's Going to Take Some Time' on The Singles 1969-1973 album as it's a much stronger song and should have been a single much earlier.

    I have only two caveats to my appreciation - the first is that I reckon the chorus would have been even more effective if they hadn't doubled Karen's vocals on it, and the second is that the 1974 single remix, which to my ears is far superior to the original album version and the watered-down later remixes of 1991, has not been used on many compliations, which is a shame as the other versions don't quite hit the mark in the same way.
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    The thing that really annoys me about this song is that it’s been remixed to death and it’s always the remixes that seem to be featured on the compilations. None of them beat the single mix that has the extra guitars in the chorus. I don’t know why Richard didn’t just stop at that. After Karen’s death, he had too much time on his hands and this song shouldn’t have been revisited over and over again for remixes.
    Rumbahbah likes this.
  7. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. They did start to over-use Tony Peluso's guitar breaks on some songs from Horizon onwards, but on the single remix of 'I Won't Last a Day Without You', it provides that essential extra punch to give the song a bit more impact. On the 1991 remix, the guitar's been toned down so much that it's barely audible, and the song is all the worse for it.

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