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Only Yesterday Greatest Hits UK Release and Promotion

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Here are some articles to show how extensive the marketing push was back in 1990 in the UK for the release of Only Yesterday Richard and Karen Carpenter's Greatest Hits. Major High Impact TV Advertising Campaign, National Press Ads and Shop Displays. The UK release date was March 19, 1990 on Compact Disc~Cassette~LP~Video

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Images of this release can be seen on the Resource Site here

Images of the UK 1 LP release can be viewed here

Some additional UK past discussion of this release can be found here

Promotion and News Articles
Music Week UK
March 10, 1990
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newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
This collection brings back really fond memories for me. I was 16 at the time and had just discovered them. I had a stereo hifi system in my bedroom and one one of the matt black speakers I proudly stood the VHS, cassette and CD in their cases. My brother constantly annoyed me by deliberately knocking them over :laugh:. It stayed at #1 in the charts for what seemed like forever and the ads for the album were never off the TV. Looking back, A&M really gave this album a tremendous promotional push. For me - a new fan - I thought this was normal to see your new favourite group promoted on TV. Luckily I’d been told by my mother a couple of months earlier, when I first heard Only Yesterday on the radio and was mesmerised, that their singer had long since died and realised this was a big nostalgia thing going on with them in the UK. Nevertheless it was the start of a love affair that is just as alive today as it was back then. I collected every article I could find in the press...and there were lots of them. You have to remember back then there was no internet, no archive footage of them from their heyday, so when I found out there was a video collection to go with the album as well, I was ecstatic. I had no reference point to work from, no idea where each clip had originated, because the VHS notes gave little away other than the year each was recorded. I remember wondering why her appearance changed so dramatically from the first promo video (1973) to the second (1981). It was like watching two completely different singers.

P.S. And to this day, I maintain that German “red” cover was actually pink! At least in real life it was, because I found a copy in Munich two years later.
 
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Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
Thanks for sharing, it's fantastic how successful this album was:
-7 weeks at #1
-sales over 1,500,000 and a 5x platinum award
-107 weeks on the Top 100 chart between 1990-1997
-7th biggest selling album of the year

I guess this was the standard go-to Carpenters album for UK listeners in the 1990's and was soon replaced by Gold Greatest Hits which has almost sold the same amount as "Only Yesterday".

Another interesting note is that the Carpenters had 4 albums chart on the UK chart in the year 1990:
-Lovelines (#73)
-The Singles 1969-1974 (#24)
-Singles 1974-1978 (#42)
-Only Yesterday (#1)

All in all the Carpenters had a decent decade in the UK with six albums and three singles in the charts with gold and platinum certifications for "Only Yesterday," "Interpretations," "Love Songs," "Live At The Palladium" and "The Best Of Carpenters"
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I have the German Red CD which I believe I got from Best Buy when they use to have isles and isles of CD’s. They had a large section of import CD’s. I also have the VCD with the same Photo and Title Only Yesterday.

I would like one day to find a nice copy of the LP version shown on discogs. It sure has some nice photos inside used on the vinyl insert. I really like that promo flyer from the UK for this release, never seen that one before.

So this must have been seen all over the tv and music stores in the UK huh?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
There was also the VCD version released in Asia, which I find has very poor video. When comparing to the NTSC “Yesterday Once More” VHS, I would have to give picture quality to the VHS which is much sharper and doesn’t look like you are looking through a window with Vaseline smeared on it.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
This takes me back! I can remember reading those articles in Music Week back in 1990 in my local library (although it was the UK equivalent of Billboard, outside of London it was almost impossible to buy).

A&M won the best promotional campaign award for the album in 1990 in Music Week as well, although bizarrely I recall the magazine stating that the campaign was particularly impressive given the paucity of footage of the duo A&M had at its disposal to use in the TV ads etc, which was clearly nonsense.

I didn't realise the 'Close to You/Only Yesterday' single was released the same day as the Only Yesterday album, as I don't recall seeing it in the shops until a few weeks later. I'm sure it sold very little because everyone was buying the album instead.

I bought the Only Yesterday VHS and had the same experience as Stephen watching it - because I wasn't aware of the order of the tracks chronologically, comparing 'We've Only Just Begun' with 'Those Good Old Dreams', it looked like a completely different singer. The playing of Bacharach's version of 'Close to You' over the footage in the end credits was really poignant as well.

Supposedly it was the success of this compilation that led to From the Top being given the green light by A&M, so along with the 'The Karen Carpenter Story' TV movie, it was a key link in the chain that led to the release of all the subsequent albums/compilations.

The last lines in one of those articles where A&M's MD is asked about whether future compilations/releases might happen and replies 'I'd like to think there is room for further exploitation of this work' is quite funny in hindsight. That turned out to be a *bit* of an under-statement!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Question for you UK members: From reading the responses here about ONLY YESTERDAY, particularly the video, I'm wondering if you folks didn't get the earlier 1985-ish video called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. Other than the title, the two videos are identical. Here in the States, we got the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE video with the same ice-blue cover as the record and CD.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Question for you UK members: From reading the responses here about ONLY YESTERDAY, particularly the video, I'm wondering if you folks didn't get the earlier 1985-ish video called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. Other than the title, the two videos are identical. Here in the States, we got the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE video with the same ice-blue cover as the record and CD.
I can’t answer that but even if they had known about the 85 vhs video it wouldn’t have played over there right since they use pal format?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Well, of course it's true that they would have had to have a PAL version over there, but even here in the US we had both VHS and Beta.
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Question for you UK members: From reading the responses here about ONLY YESTERDAY, particularly the video, I'm wondering if you folks didn't get the earlier 1985-ish video called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. Other than the title, the two videos are identical. Here in the States, we got the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE video with the same ice-blue cover as the record and CD.
For what it's worth, the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE VHS video wasn't available in Canada until 1990. That's when I picked mine up, when I saw it on the "new releases" rack at HMV. The copyright notice on the back mentions Polygram.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Question for you UK members: From reading the responses here about ONLY YESTERDAY, particularly the video, I'm wondering if you folks didn't get the earlier 1985-ish video called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. Other than the title, the two videos are identical. Here in the States, we got the YESTERDAY ONCE MORE video with the same ice-blue cover as the record and CD.

The back cover of the 1990 'Only Yesterday' video says that it was previously released under the title 'Yesterday Once More', so presumably it did get a UK release in 1985 too, although this would have been several months after the Yesterday Once More compilation was released in the UK in October 1984.

I've never seen a copy of the original UK video though. Videos were still pretty expensive to buy here in 1985 and given that it wasn't released simultaneously with the UK compilation, doubtless it didn't sell many copies first time round and or stay in print very long.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I've never seen a copy of the original UK video though. Videos were still pretty expensive to buy here in 1985 and given that it wasn't released simultaneously with the UK compilation, doubtless it didn't sell many copies first time round and or stay in print very long.

I was still a bit young to be buying music in 1984 but to partially answer Harry’s question, I’ve been to many record fairs, record stores and second hand music stalls across the UK over many years in the hunt for the odd treasure but I can honestly say I’ve never seen a single copy of that earlier Yesterday Once More VHS video anywhere. The album itself made #10 on the UK charts in 1984 but I’d agree with the above that a) VHS was still a bit of a luxury to purchase here back in 84/85 (most people used VHS machines to record TV) and b) I don’t think it must have sold that well or stayed in print too long, as I’ve never seen one anywhere.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
That LP gatefold is also confusing in the ad, since while it’s not mentioned, the YOM video also got a Laserdisc release with the same cover (I don’t know if it’s a gatefold or just a normal single LP sleeve, but still 2 different items with the same title in LP sleeves).

But I also find it interesting that that ad shows both the double as well as the single flip-gate CD packaging!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Yeah, I have the Japanese Laserdisc of the title.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
So was the reason why they re-titled this from Only Yesterday to Their Greatest Hits because one was issued to the UK and the other issued to others parts of the world? I have the red one from Germany not the UK.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I have the beta hi-fi tape and the USA pressing of the laser disc. It says 1985 A&M Records on the LD.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
So was the reason why they re-titled this from Only Yesterday to Their Greatest Hits because one was issued to the UK and the other issued to others parts of the world? I have the red one from Germany not the UK.

The UK edition was retitled Their Greatest Hits in the mid-1990s - certainly by the time it was back on the UK charts in 1996 following the airing of the 'Yesterday Once More' documentary on the BBC.

Presumably it had been issued under that name in Europe (some European copies have a white sleeve like in the UK, some the red/pink sleeve like in Germany) and it was easier for the record company to standardise the name of the compilation across Europe so that they need only press one version of the CD for most markets, rather than having variants.

But the UK was certainly the first market in which the compilation was released, so Only Yesterday was always the original name for it.
 
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