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Poll: Your Favorite Least Favorite Carpenters Track

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by John Adam, Mar 4, 2019.

Which Is Your Favorite Of These (3) Carpenters Tracks?

Poll closed Apr 3, 2019.
  1. Goofus 1976

    17 vote(s)
    34.0%
  2. Man Smart, Woman Smarter 1977

    11 vote(s)
    22.0%
  3. I Believe You 1978

    22 vote(s)
    44.0%
  1. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I also like ‘Muskrat Love’, Rick. Any song about animals back then was a winner for me. And I liked Toni Tennille’s voice - and the deep voice that I thought was The Captain, but wasn’t. (The deep voice isn’t on ‘Muskrat Love’). I like America’s version of ‘Muskrat Love’, too.
     
  2. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Brian, I also wanted to say thanks for sharing your recollections of these songs to your growing up in Australia. I was going to ask what a "trannie" (lol) was, as in my generation that has a different meaning, but that has been clarified! It's amazing how different radio play was in different countries/continents. Did they also play AYGFLIALS from Passage? Also is the single version of "Occupants" featured on the album or in a reissue? Wow "Believe" was actually played on the same station that played Occupants? That is truly remarkable. It's kind of corny, but I also like IBY, lyrics and all. Not sure what I hear in it, as it is not a big favorite (here) overall. I was very happy to hear an underdog on the RPO collection. Again thanks for contributing to this thread. :)
     
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  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I love America's version of Muskrat. Their background vocals are heavenly. LOVE the photos and artwork on Hush (see avatar) and most of the music on it.

    Regarding I Believe You- I think the famous line in question is a funny one. I'm sure that it's meant figuratively. :wink:
    I am a spiritual guy but not in the least bit prudish. (You'd have to know my sense of humor to get it- something that doesn't translate in the written word very well.) But I just think the song is not as good as some others think it is. I grew in appreciation of it because of the RPO album, however.
     
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  4. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Maybe sometime I will try this approach with some earlier songs??? But I don't know, that part of the catalog is pretty sacred? I wish I had been young enough to remember and enjoy the 70's especially, and hear some of these great songs on the radio when they were released. The first song (I remember) hearing that was "new" by the Carpenters was Honolulu City Lights. I recognized that "Voice," as I had heard many of the 1970-5 hits on the oldies station that my Mom listened to. And that song was recorded in 1978, along with I Believe You and "others."
     
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  5. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    Could Goofus be making a comeback? Only 2 vote difference now!!!
     
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  6. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I asked this question earlier and no one touched it.......maybe that's telling me something. So I will broaden the possibilities. What songs from 1976-1977-1978 do you think could be resurrected for another RPO album?

    Goofus anyone? :)
     
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  7. I've never cared at all for Gufus or MSWS, so I Believe You is my choice. If I were doing the list, I'd replace I Believe You with Strength of a Woman. However, I understand why I Believe You is on a list like this. I love everything about the song, but the lyrics "jump the shark" of sappy for me.
     
    John Adam likes this.
  8. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    Obvious choices would be Only Yesterday, Solitaire, There’s A Kind if Hush, All you get from love, Calling Occupants 45 version, maybe Happy, You, and B’wana would be nice too. These are most of my favorites from those years that haven’t been done yet. A second volume? I can dream can’t I?
     
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  9. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for voting! The (poll) songs are just from the later 70's, so that why a song from "MIA" 1981 would not be present.
     
  10. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    B'wana and All You Get From Love Is A Love Song are hard to imagine. It would be fun to hear these with the Royal Philharmonic. The others you mentioned I can almost imagine. I also would like to hear Karen's 1978 vocal take on "I Need To Be In Love" set to a symphony. I think it's one of her finest takes on that song.
     
  11. GDB2LV

    GDB2LV Active Member

    He did it with Top of the World and Please Mr. Postman as well as GDB2LV so anything is possible I guess. Those are just the songs I like best that are in that era. He could make B’wana more salsa or Latin sounding and not sure about AYGFLIALS. Strings would be an interesting addition for sure. A second volume would sure be nice someday.
     
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  12. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Richard's arrangement is pretty much a copy of this one. Why this copy was okay but the Abba one isn't eludes me. Still, that's not what I voted out.

    I voted out "Goofus". I can't imagine why they thought this was a good idea. I don't hate the tune but I hate the fact that they did it. It has the prerequisite "ear candy" that Richard is known for. It drives me nuts because I should have total disdain for it but he won't let me. It's truly a horrible lyric for Karen as she can't sink her teeth into it at all. A vocalist of her caliber should never have bothered with claptrap like this. It's novelty schlock that was better left an idea or perhaps better left for their TV specials where shlock is not only acceptable, it's almost expected. This never belonged on a proper album.

    Maybe it wouldn't have been so silly had Richard sung it but, as I've said before, there really shouldn't be Richard leads anywhere. This is Karen Carpenter we're talking about - the single best female Pop singer the world has ever known. He never should have sung leads on albums on albums with Karen Carpenter. The idea of her doing backgrounds for his leads is universally ludicrous to me...but I digress.

    Ed
     
  13. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Ed, 'Goofus' is your favourite least-favourite track of the three then? If so, I'm not sure what you'd have to say about the other two!
     
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  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I largely agree with everything Ed wrote.
    However, I am reminded of two songs which frequently get placed into the category of
    "shouldn't have been recorded." That is, 'Sing' and 'Please Mr. Postman.'
    I love both of those songs, and, I mean really LOVE those songs !
    They are brilliant examples of arrangement, melody, vocals. It does not matter that they are
    not love-ballads, or that they are not particularly "worthy of Karen Carpenter's once-in-a-lifetime voice."
    Goofus, I agree, is almost pure novelty. However, I feel it is a most brilliant piece of novelty !
    When one has already scored memorable hits such as:
    We've Only Just Begun, Close To You, Superstar, Rainy Days and Mondays, For All We Know,
    Goodbye to Love,Yesterday Once More, Hurting Each Other...etc...

    those which precede Goofus, I understand the criticism for the song choice as a SINGLE.
    However, as an album cut, Goofus is perfectly fine.
    I have never heard an ALBUM that consisted of ten perfect songs.
    They can't all be great !

    Solitaire had been the PERFECT song for Karen's incredible VOICE,
    and, even that song did not get the respect it deserved in its own time (or, even NOW!).
    In my view, Solitaire is the PERFECT SINGLE.
     
  15. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    And as an album cut I think it is fine. It's the fact that the crazy decision was taken to release it as a single which prompts so much debate.
     
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  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^My point is this:
    If a fantastic choice, such as Solitaire--which does emphasize everything about Karen's VOICE,
    does not do well...and, Postman hits #1, and, I Need To Be In Love only #35 (?),
    then, what were the duo supposed to DO at that point in time ?
    Nothing chosen, in 1976, would have mattered.
     
    John Adam likes this.
  17. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    I know 'Solitaire' has its fans (even if I'm not one of them), but even if it you rate it as a good performance, it doesn't sound like a sure-fire hit single to me at all - it's just far too slow.

    We've discussed this before, but I think the Carpenters were facing two problems in 1975/1976, one of which was somewhat out of their control, but one of which definitely wasn't. The first was that radio and the market was starting to turn against their product. This might have been a natural development after five years of non-stop hit single, although their adherance to not rocking the boat in terms of seriously trying to challenge their sanitized image through their music probably didn't help either.

    The second problem was that they recorded and released a whole album in 1976 that went too far towards the middle of the road and lacked songs with real hit single potential. 'There's a Kind of Hush' was lightweight and safe, and 'I Need to Be in Love' was completely hobbled by its MOR arrangement and the choir backing vocals. If they'd have come up with something sharper - and I think even if they'd have turned out something at least a bit more catchy like 'All You Get From Love is a Love Song' - in early 1976, they might well have been able to achieve bigger hits than they managed, or at least the drop-off wouldn't have been as sharp as it turned out to be.

    The decline wasn't completely inevitable. They were facing a much tougher market, but unfortunately at just this point, they turned out an album and chose a number of singles that only exacerbated matters.
     
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    They'd already enjoyed two moderately successful singles with There's A Kind Of Hush and I Need To Be In Love. For me it's simple: there should have been no more single releases from the album. They had a live tour and album planned for later in the year and a TV special, so there was more than enough exposure. Solitaire is of a completely different calibre to Goofus, and a very well known song, so I can understand them trying that one out. But Goofus? To even think that was worthy of single release was... well, goofus :laugh:
     
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  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    FL
    I actually like some of the early songs like Turn Away and What’s the Use with Richard leads and Karen doing backing vocals. I’ve always felt they compliment each other regardless of who is the lead although it’s obvious Karen is the star. I feel the same way about their Christmas music with Richard singing lead. So to say it should never have happened well I disagree :)
     
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  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    There are many very good points being made by everyone !
    I do have one point I would like to accentuate:
    Goofus is not a 'hit' single, but, it is a very good song.
    But, by 1976, I believe the duo were allowed mistakes in choice of single !
    Especially, since the entire landscape of pop music in the USA had completely changed by 1976.
    As the People Magazine issue (July 1976) makes quite clear, Carpenters were already out-of-favor.
    Goofus had absolutely nothing to do with the turn against their brand of music.
    Solitaire should have been big. It was not. Even given Karen's preeminent VOCALS emphasized in that recording.
    What if Ordinary Fool had been released in 1976 ? Any chart action there ? I bet not.
    I support Goofus, not because it is a perfect choice of single,
    but, because it breaks away from the NORM the duo was known for at that time.
    I still say Goofus has a great arrangement (yes, brilliant) and great harmonizing.
    So, I can not "throw the baby out with the bathwater."
     
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  21. Jarred

    Jarred Active Member

    I agree on both fronts - the pop landscape was changing drastically (though the early 70s music in general def holds up better now), but they didn't help matters with releasing a subpar album that didn't have any singles that really sparkled, say a "Superstar" or "RD&M". Not even a single that had to be on the level of those two iconic hits but something that was fresh, distinctive, and hooky.
     
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  22. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I’m glad you enjoyed my ramblings, John! Yes, my local radio station used to thrash ‘AYGFKIALS’. That station was like the general stores in the area - full of a mis-match of everything but with a lot of important stuff missing, as well. That station used to play pop, soul, country and, later, reggae and rap, all in the same programme. In regard to ‘Calling Occupants’, I meant that I now like the single version a lot more than the album version. I have never seen any CDs with the single on them, (I realise that the recent American collection has it), and no special editions of ‘Passage’ with single mix exist, I’m sure.
     
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  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    The single mix is also available on the Japanese Singles Box Set.
     
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  24. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks guys! The single mix (on CD) is one of the things that is missing from my collection. But I have it on three American 7" singles from my collection.
     
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  25. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I just listed some of the biggest hits of 1976 in the USA on the ‘Goofus’ / ‘Boat to Sail’ thread. A lot of them were very soft, just like ‘A Kind of Hush’ and ‘I Need to Be In Love’ were. However, there were almost no remakes amongst them - if any. (‘Love Hurts’ and ‘I Write the Songs’ were exceptions but the originals hadn’t been hits. Well, actually, a version of ‘Love Hurts’ by Roy Orbison had been a hit in Australia only and a version by the writer had been Top 5 in the UK - and there had been a single by The Everly Brothers - so ‘Love Hurts’ was the only oldie being revived amongst the top hits of that 12 months. Oh, and ‘Fifth of Beethoven’ was technically a couple of hundred years old - definitely an oldie). Apart from those, the smashes of ‘76 were almost all songs that would have been new to the listeners’ ears. Therefore, ‘A Kind of Hush’ was nothing like the biggest hits. Many of the blockbusters of the year were written or co-written by the performers. Of the big, original softer hits, unlike ‘I Need To Be In Love’, most were very insistent in their hooks, (e.g. ‘Silly Love Songs’, ‘Take It to the Limit’, 50 Ways to Leave your Lover’), or quite dinky and repetitive, (like ‘Moonlight Feels Right’). Apart from all the soft pop hits, a lot of the big hits that year were disco, and very repetitive disco at that. So to get a big hit, I think K&R could have kept their soft pop sound - that light AC sound was very ‘in’ - but written something original, but insistent and repetitive, (or have successful writers create something new and repetitive for them). However, then they would have been recording disposable Top 40 ear candy. Instead, they recorded music with longevity that is being listened to and talked about 45 years later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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