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Passage: An A&M Foreplay Special*

Lynda

Well-Known Member
I was finally able to find a copy of “A Foreplay Special” promo. It is the first time I have seen a 7” record with more than two tracks. This has the tracks from Passage with the exception of “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song.” Anyone know why this track was excluded?
 

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Wow! What a beautiful copy. Great find. I'm thinking the reason 'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' wasn't included was because it had already been a single prior to the release of the LP. It certainly should have been highlighted, though, because it's one of the best tracks on the album.
 
I was finally able to find a copy of “A Foreplay Special” promo. It is the first time I have seen a 7” record with more than two tracks. This has the tracks from Passage with the exception of “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song.” Anyone know why this track was excluded?


I had forgotten about A&M's "Foreplay Specials". A&M Retro is right about "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song"---that single was issued five months before the album. The purpose of these was a sampler, to whet the appetite for an upcoming album among record retailers and radio stations.


p795345014.1.jpg


If you pull the record from the sleeve, you'll see there is only one track. The seven songs from the album are excerpts, cross-faded if I recall, with a total running time of 7:12.


A&M usually issued the Foreplay samplers on 12-inch vinyl. This may be the only one released on 7-inch (it plays at 33 1/3).
 
Wow! What a beautiful copy. Great find. I'm thinking the reason 'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' wasn't included was because it had already been a single prior to the release of the LP. It certainly should have been highlighted, though, because it's one of the best tracks on the album.
This makes complete sense! 🙂
 
I had forgotten about A&M's "Foreplay Specials". A&M Retro is right about "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song"---that single was issued five months before the album. The purpose of these was a sampler, to whet the appetite for an upcoming album among record retailers and radio stations.


p795345014.1.jpg


If you pull the record from the sleeve, you'll see there is only one track. The seven songs from the album are excerpts, cross-faded if I recall, with a total running time of 7:12.


A&M usually issued the Foreplay samplers on 12-inch vinyl. This may be the only one released on 7-inch (it plays at 33 1/3).
I found it so interesting that it was released on 7-inch. Thanks for the additional information!
 
Is there a reason why these were named "foreplay special?" I mean was it a play with the word within the context of what most people would be thinking about?! I understand why it was used ("preview" to the main event. lol) but why choose that word??
 
Is there a reason why these were named "foreplay special?" I mean was it a play with the word within the context of what most people would be thinking about?! I understand why it was used ("preview" to the main event. lol) but why choose that word??
It was considered "edgy" I suppose, but consider that these records were only released to record stores and radio stations for auditioning future records that were coming their way - before play - "foreplay."
 
Is there a reason why these were named "foreplay special?" I mean was it a play with the word within the context of what most people would be thinking about?! I understand why it was used ("preview" to the main event. lol) but why choose that word??

Sex and sexual connotations were used much more freely in the 70s than they are today---especially in music marketing. There was quite a bit of innuendo and outright nudity in advertising and promotion pieces in trade magazines like Billboard and Radio & Records than was used to reach the general public.
 
My guess is $25-$50 for the single. Depends on how bad someone wants it. Ask Lynda what she paid for hers. I think it was about $100 for the set on EBay. It’s just a guess, as that was about a year ago. Cool keepsake, and definitely rare.
 
I was finally able to find a copy of “A Foreplay Special” promo. It is the first time I have seen a 7” record with more than two tracks. This has the tracks from Passage with the exception of “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song.” Anyone know why this track was excluded?
It should be noted that while the label lists seven tracks, they are really no more than excerpts from the album. Each "song" is generally no more than 60 seconds long with an announcer talking over part of each one.

The whole "program" is only a little over 7 minutes long. Think of it as a long audio commercial for the album.

Yes, it is a cool promo item to own, if it can be found.
 
If you listen to Billy's example above, you'll hear that the song snippets are not crossfaded, but rather hard-cut against each other. I used that fact to make my CD-R so that the disc will play just like the 7", and a CD player with text capabilities will list the titles as they go by.

I've only heard one other copy. Both are somewhat noisy with groove distortion. I ran my copy through click removal to clean it up a bit.
 
The later FOREPLAY records often included the full tracks. I don't own #44, so I can't say for sure.
 
If you listen to Billy's example above, you'll hear that the song snippets are not crossfaded, but rather hard-cut against each other.

It's been years since I heard this promo but I had forgotten the tracks were spliced together with hard cuts. Surely they could have cross faded and made it a better listening experience.
 
I found my "A Foreplay Special" in a used record store. I was literally going through boxes and boxes of 45's boxes specifically sized just for 45's. It took me hours and I found some really cool gems. I found the LLP's for Carpenters and Olivia and lots of mono promo's. I then ran across this Foreplay Special in it's original A&M sleeve (like above) and said to myself what the heck is this? I guess I was in the right place at the right time. It's definitely a novelty item.

They are hard cuts and with the words on the label not intended to be played on the air.

What's interesting is radio was sent this to get a taste of what the album is all about. However it doesn't make any sense to include songs like Man Smart Woman Smarter, B'Wana She No Home and Two Sides as these songs were never going to be singles. Was this sent to radio to help build momentum in saying to the public you must go out and buy this album today? Although already released, they should have included AYGFLIALS.

How many times did radio really sit down and listen to this all the way through?
Was this pressed so help the Carpenters get more radio play? Did it work?
 
I was curious so I googled, how many minutes can a 45 rpm hold?
Twelve-inch records played at 45 rpm can hold up to 10 minutes of music, with a recommended length of 8 minutes, extendable to 13 minutes.

So would this be the case for a 7" record as well? up to 10 mins?

Google also says
The longest playing single on a 45 RPM record is the live version of Incident on 57th Street, B-Side of the Bruce Springsteen 45 RPM Fire 10 mins 3 seconds.
But was that at 33 1/3 rpm?

Is there a difference in maximum running time allowed on a 7" record if mastered at regular single speed VS one mastered at 33 1/3 speed?
 
It's been years since I heard this promo but I had forgotten the tracks were spliced together with hard cuts. Surely they could have cross faded and made it a better listening experience.

Which is exactly what A&M wanted to avoid. This is meant for exactly two people---the guy at the record store who orders copies of the album and the guy at the radio station so that he's aware there's a new album coming and that there are some tasty (the label hopes) tracks on it.

That's literally it. Make it a "better listening experience" and the next thing you know, DJs are using them for bathroom records ("Hey! We've got a sneak preview of the next Carpenters album!").
 
I wonder why they used a photo from the ‘A Kind of Hush’ era. Doesn’t seem to suggest the team was forward-looking.

The album had no photos on the jacket, the inside gatefold or the sleeve. The singles didn't have any, either.

Most likely A&M didn't see the upside in paying for a new 8x10 for a sales/promotion piece.
 
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