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Merry Christmas, Darling & Bless The Beasts and Children - 7" UK Single

Billy Rees

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I've seen in 2 separate publications (one from 1973 and the other 1974) of the 7" single release in the UK of Merry Christmas, Darling b/w Bless The Beasts and Children - (Catalogue number AMS 868) but can find nothing at all about it online... Not even the catalogue number throws up anything?
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
This is a rumoured release that appeared in some record collector guides back in the 1980s that was supposedly withdrawn, so wouldn't have been easily available to buy. The catalogue number would place it as coming out in late 1971 in the UK after 'Superstar' (AMS 864), which is when the 'Merry Christmas Darling' three track EP came out, so maybe it was a planned release that ended up being replaced by the EP for whatever reason. I've never seen a copy of it for sale though, so hard to say if it was ever actually released or just a planned release that was pulled (Karen's solo album was assigned a catalogue number in the US for instance, so having one doesn't always mean it was physically released).

As it happens, there are a couple of other rumoured UK singles that have a catalogue number but may or may not have actually been issued:

Love is Surrender/For All We Know (AMS 832) in early 1971, so before the UK issue of 'Rainy Days and Mondays' (AMS 851) in May 1971

In Love Alone/That's What I Believe (Richard Carpenter solo, AM 417) in late 1987
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
In Love Alone/That's What I Believe (Richard Carpenter solo, AM 417) in late 1987
Wow - haven’t heard about this one before. Hard to see how the label could have credited this as a Richard Carpenter solo when neither the A nor the B side would have featured him singing lead vocals.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Wow - haven’t heard about this one before. Hard to see how the label could have credited this as a Richard Carpenter solo when neither the A nor the B side would have featured him singing lead vocals.
Well, think about it a little bit. Label-mate Sergio Mendes was always credited as the artist even though he only rarely sang the lead. In the Brasil '66 days, it was Lani Hall and Janis Hansen or Karen Philipp singing lead. Even in the 80s, Joe Pizzulo took the lead on big hits like "Never Gonna Let You Go".
 

Billy Rees

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
This is a rumoured release that appeared in some record collector guides back in the 1980s that was supposedly withdrawn, so wouldn't have been easily available to buy. The catalogue number would place it as coming out in late 1971 in the UK after 'Superstar' (AMS 864), which is when the 'Merry Christmas Darling' three track EP came out, so maybe it was a planned release that ended up being replaced by the EP for whatever reason. I've never seen a copy of it for sale though, so hard to say if it was ever actually released or just a planned release that was pulled (Karen's solo album was assigned a catalogue number in the US for instance, so having one doesn't always mean it was physically released).

As it happens, there are a couple of other rumoured UK singles that have a catalogue number but may or may not have actually been issued:

Love is Surrender/For All We Know (AMS 832) in early 1971, so before the UK issue of 'Rainy Days and Mondays' (AMS 851) in May 1971

In Love Alone/That's What I Believe (Richard Carpenter solo, AM 417) in late 1987
Thanks for the info... That was my first instinct, that it was a planned release that hot a Cat No but was pulled or changed for some reason. In those two discographies I mentioned, there was also the Cat No for the MCD EP, so thought it strange they would release it twice... Then again, look what they did in the UK with I Won't Last a Day Without You and Goodbye to Love on 45 singles!
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I know this is slightly off topic, (but related).

In Australia, we got a double 'A' sided single when 'Merry Christmas, Darling' was released here towards the end of 1971. (I don't think we got a 1970 release).

Interestingly, the double 'A' side consisted of 'Superstar' b/w 'Merry Christmas, Darling'.

While 'Merry Christmas, Darling' wasn't ever listed on the Top 100 charts, 'Superstar' reached Number 35.

This single was released through Festival and had the catalogue number of 4409.

Of course, later on, towards the end of 1978, 'Merry Christmas, Darling' was released again in its re-recorded form, on the 'B' side of the single, 'The Christmas Song, (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)'. (Neither of these songs charted on the Top 100).

'The Christmas Song' was also released through Festival, with the catalogue number of 7306.

Only eleven single releases by Festival, amongst all of their artists, separated 'The Christmas Song' and Carpenters' 'I Believe You', (7317).

Consider that 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' had been on the Australian charts for twenty-nine weeks in the first half of 1978, (that must have pretty much taken up the entire months from January to July - it debuted on the charts on 19th of December, 1977)), and you realise that it's probable that the company thought that 'The Christmas Song' and 'I Believe You' might have done something.

At any rate, it's interesting to think of the slightly different releases in the different territories.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I was going through my old singles yesterday and discovered that the Australian double 'A' sided single, 'Superstar' and 'Merry Christmas Darling' actually had 'Merry Christmas Darling' with the lowest matrix number, (usually indicating that it's the preference for airplay). Not surprisingly, (although 'Merry Christmas Darling' is brilliant), the DJs chose 'Superstar', which climbed to a peak of Number 35, slightly lower than Colleen Hewett's peak with her version of the song a few months earlier. However, 'Merry Christmas, Darling' was also played on my local radio station in the early to mid 70s.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I was going through my old singles yesterday and discovered that the Australian double 'A' sided single, 'Superstar' and 'Merry Christmas Darling' actually had 'Merry Christmas Darling' with the lowest matrix number, (usually indicating that it's the preference for airplay). Not surprisingly, (although 'Merry Christmas Darling' is brilliant), the DJs chose 'Superstar', which climbed to a peak of Number 35, slightly lower than Colleen Hewett's peak with her version of the song a few months earlier. However, 'Merry Christmas, Darling' was also played on my local radio station in the early to mid 70s.
With MCD the peak months for it would only be November & December, whereas “Superstar” was non-seasonal, so that might’ve been the reason. The stations could still play Super in January.
 
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