One-sided (double A-side) singles: an explanation

Harry

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This one always puzzled me. In nearly all cases, matrix numbers for A-sides are a lower number than for the B-side, which is one way of determining the intended A-side if in doubt.

But when A&M and Carpenters released their monster opening salvo of "(They Long To Be) Close To You", you can find it as the higher-number matrix on the single, with "I Kept On Loving You" as a lower-number in its matrix.

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"I Kept On Loving You" is number 1961-S
"(They Long To Be) Close To You" gets 1962-S
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
This one always puzzled me. In nearly all cases, matrix numbers for A-sides are a lower number than for the B-side, which is one way of determining the intended A-side if in doubt.

But when A&M and Carpenters released their monster opening salvo of "(They Long To Be) Close To You", you can find it as the higher-number matrix on the single, with "I Kept On Loving You" as a lower-number in its matrix.

Ny04NjAzLmpwZWc.jpeg


Mi0xNTk0LmpwZWc.jpeg


"I Kept On Loving You" is number 1961-S
"(They Long To Be) Close To You" gets 1962-S
I wonder if there was some contemplation of going with "I Kept On Loving You" as the A-side? It's Paul Williams, catchy and only 2:20.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
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Kiss' "Beth" was the B-side to "Detroit Rock City" until CKLW MD Rosalie Trombley flipped it and told Casablanca they had it wrong.
Interesting side note--it was Rosalie Trombley's daughter Diane who kept pestering her that "Beth" was the potential hit. Casablanca even awarded Diane with a gold record.

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I uploaded an excerpt of the Big 8: Radio Revolution video about the "family" influence:




And a nice remembrance from the Juno Awards in 2016:

 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
Another monster hit b-side was Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”, to A-side Substitute.
The British all girl band Clout beat her to it, and had the hit with that song. Good thing some played the B-sides in those days of 45’s.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I wonder if there was some contemplation of going with "I Kept On Loving You" as the A-side? It's Paul Williams, catchy and only 2:20.
Even on the Carpenters first single, apparently Your Wonderful Parade (and supposedly at some point John Bettis even confirmed that is was originally intended to be) the A-side release by the scratched out matrix numbers with Ticket To Ride being the B-side.
 

jfiedler17

Well-Known Member
I wonder if there was some contemplation of going with "I Kept On Loving You" as the A-side? It's Paul Williams, catchy and only 2:20.

That would make a whole lot of sense. I've always felt that "I Kept on Loving You" could have been an A-side in its own right. It's both significantly shorter than "Close to You" and just as catchy - actually, it's my favorite track on the entire Close to You album to sing along to - so it strikes me pretty ideal material to market to radio, even if it would have been a bit atypical from their other A-sides in that Karen doesn't sing lead on it. It's certainly an extremely commercial song and one of Paul Williams' more underappreciated compositions.
 

Harry

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Richard often has repeated the story that Herb Alpert urged Richard & Karen to tackle the "Close To You" song, and that he felt and told Herb that the song would either be a big hit or a total stiff. So I can envision the decision-making process about the record and which would be the A-side flipping back and forth but ending up with "I Kept On Loving You" as the lower-numbered matrix, but then "Close To You" winning out - perhaps with Herb's urging for the song to be the A-side.
 

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
I had some time to go back through the interview regarding the "I Kept on Loving You"/"Close to You" single.

Richard said he was so nervous about whether "(They Long to Be) Close to You" would be a hit or not, that he instructed Jack (Daugherty) to send it out with "no A-side," leaving it up to the jocks and PDs to decide on which side would be the hit.
 

Mike Blakesley

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Listening now with 20/20 hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer of a choice. I mean, "I Kept on Loving You" is catchy for sure, but "Close To You" had so much more in its corner. It was a Bacharach tune, and Bacharach was red hot right then; and of course it had a Karen lead vocal. I guess at that time, Richard was still sort of thinking of himself as the lead singer for the group, and Karen as "the drummer who sings sometimes." So maybe he was listening with rose-colored headphones, so to speak.
 

Michael Hagerty

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Contributor
Listening now with 20/20 hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer of a choice. I mean, "I Kept on Loving You" is catchy for sure, but "Close To You" had so much more in its corner. It was a Bacharach tune, and Bacharach was red hot right then; and of course it had a Karen lead vocal. I guess at that time, Richard was still sort of thinking of himself as the lead singer for the group, and Karen as "the drummer who sings sometimes." So maybe he was listening with rose-colored headphones, so to speak.
Yeah, but if you’re a radio programmer who either watched “Ticket to Ride” stiff at #54, or who was unaware of it because it stiffed at #54, an uptempo song that only runs 2:20 is pretty attractive.

Don’t get me wrong—-“Close To You” is absolutely the better choice, but there were a lot of ways this could have gone the other way.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Yeah, but if you’re a radio programmer who either watched “Ticket to Ride” stiff at #54, or who was unaware of it because it stiffed at #54, an uptempo song that only runs 2:20 is pretty attractive.

Don’t get me wrong—-“Close To You” is absolutely the better choice, but there were a lot of ways this could have gone the other way.
I wonder what radio programmers would’ve thought if “Help” had been released as the lead single like it was originally planned.
 
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