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Official Review [Single]: 1. "TICKET TO RIDE"/"YOUR WONDERFUL PARADE" (1142)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, May 6, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "TICKET TO RIDE"

    24 vote(s)

    7 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter


    Ticket.jpg AM-1142-Ticket-Wonderful.jpg WonderfulParade.jpg
    Side A: Ticket To Ride [Mono] 4:10 (Lennon/McCartney)
    Side B: Your Wonderful Parade [Mono] 2:57 (Carpenter/Bettis)

    Catalogue Number: A&M 1142
    Date of Release: 11/05/69
    Format: 7" Single
    Speed: 45 RPM
    Country: US
    Chart Position: #54

    Produced by Jack Daugherty
    Taken from A&M SP-4205 album "Offering" (Reissued "Ticket To Ride")

    For more definitive information regarding each single, you can visit our Carpenters - The Complete Singles page in our Carpenters Resource.
  2. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    We have several wonderful threads here in the Carpenters forum dedicated to some of the duo's single tracks individually. However, in light of the recent release of The Complete Singles 3-CD set, this thread is an attempt to launch a separate and chronological single-by-single review of each, to include both A and B sides as they were originally issued.

    Please feel free to vote on your favorite "side", and offer any insight and feedback concerning each!
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  3. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    I honestly love this single so much! It's the first 45 I ever received, so it turned out to be a surprise for Ticket's shortened version. (I do prefer the '73 version lead, though) I always liked the B-side better just due to the oddity and very catchy melody. Those drum overdubs are amazing! And Richard's introduction is, uh, something else.... :wink:
  4. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Incredible talent on display here -- they always had it! I love "Ticket" and "Your Wonderful Parade". The former is dramatic and forlorn, presenting the Beatles track in a completely new light (since discovering it, I prefer the Carpenters' interpretation). The latter has an exciting drum track and those signature Carpenter dubs -- though I have to admit I only play Richard's intro if I'm listening on headphones, otherwise I get a ton of questions asking what it is :D
  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I really like the 1973 version of Ticket but not so much the 69 one. Your Wonderful Parade still sounds pretty fresh today.
  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I'm with you on this one. I don't care for the piano track, the mix and position of instrumentation sounds "clunky" to me and Karen is consistently out of tune. The '73 reworking of the whole thing is gorgeous IMHO!
    newvillefan likes this.
  7. Kyle Thomas

    Kyle Thomas Member

    I enjoyed listening to the shortened single version of "Ticket to Ride," and this alternate take of "Your Wonderful Parade" when I received the Complete Singles collection. But there is no comparing the '69 version to the '73 remake of "Ticket to Ride." The latter is stunning and features Karen at her vocal peak. The earlier version has the ingredients for what would become the Carpenters' magic but it doesn't "gel" yet. Karen's voice is huskier, perhaps even in a few places off rhythm and out of tune. Still, listening to both of these tracks, I can see what Herb Alpert saw in them - both in Richard's arrangements and Karen's vocal presence.

    I'm glad we're going through these, single by single.

    One of the things I noticed in listening to the "Complete Singles" was that a large number of the hit singles (with Karen on lead) have B-sides that feature Richard prominently. It made me wonder if this was intentional, to showcase both of them and re-emphasize them as a "band." (Otherwise, who can explain the dreadful "Druscilla Penny" making it onto a backside!) By the time Horizon rolled around, Karen was clearly the showcase and Richard's individual vocal contributions fade away...
  8. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Alternate take? Wow. Didn't catch that.
  9. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    There are apparently two different iterations of this first single. Member @Rick-An Ordinary Fool and I went through a bunch of mono singles a while back and his copy of "Ticket/Parade" is different from mine. His version has the alternate take shorter intro to "Your Wonderful Parade", while mine has the standard-length intro heard on the OFFERING LP. I'm guessing that when "Ticket" first appeared as a single, it had that shorter intro'ed b-side and that after completion of work on the album version of the song, that subsequent pressings had the longer intro album version, but in mono of course.

    I remember hearing "Ticket To Ride" as a single on the radio back in the fall of 1969. At that time I used to tape on reel-to-reel the songs I liked, and "Ticket To Ride" began to appeal to me a lot and I wanted to tape it. But it disappeared from the airwaves before I got the chance. But I remembered the name Carpenters and finally managed to get a copy of OFFERING at Christmas 1970.

    I'm not sure from where my copy of the single came - probably a former radio station copy that went unplayed.

    byline likes this.
  10. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    The first Carpenters record I ever heard was 'Close To You'. And it was also my first Carpenters single purchase (at age eight). I didn't get the 'Ticket To Ride' LP until my 10th birthday in 1972, so I was a late bloomer to their version of the song.

    I could play along with their records on the piano at that age, and I was very aware that Karen's lead was out of tune. Still wonder why. I'll bet the vocal track speed was off. Just makes no sense that she would sing the whole song 'off'.

    Anyway, I finally found a copy of the single around 1979 or thereabouts, and was blown away by the single mixes of both sides of the 45. I've mentioned this before, but years later, I bought a WLP 45 that features 'Your Wonderful Parade' on both sides of the single. I have no idea how that happened, but it was a pretty cool find. Could that have been intentional, and perhaps they changed their minds and went with 'Ticket To Ride' as the A-side? It could just have been a manufacturing error, but it's kinda cool nonetheless.
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  11. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I can't listen to the 1969 version of Ticket To Ride because Karen's singing is under pitch far too much. I can't actually believe this version was ever sanctioned for release and often wonder if it would have done better on the charts if the lead had been re-done like the 1973 version.

    Your Wonderful Parade is just a joy in every way. It always puts a smile on my face and summarises the energy and innocence of their early days. I'm surprised Richard has never released the alternate intro version as a bonus on one of the collections or box sets.
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    While looking for my 45-single of the song, I decided to listen to the CD of Ticket To Ride,
    then I listened to the MFP LP (UK) of the album. Big difference.
    Seems to me that the song Ticket To Ride, as heard on the MFP-LP ---while not being
    the (re-)cut version from 1973, also has none of the "pitch" problems mentioned by Newvillefan.
    Does anyone else have this LP ?
    In any event, the Ticket To Ride sparkles, to my ears.
    (The "B"-side, Your Wonderful Parade, I can live without. Yes, it's catchy. Simply a mediocre song to me.
    It suffers from the Mr. Guder treatment--great vocals, a good arrangement, but trying to
    strive to be a better song than the song itself is. IMHO).
  13. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    There has been a bit of theorizing on this matter. "Your Wonderful Parade" on all of the singles I've encountered, has a lower matrix number than "Ticket To Ride". It's as if "Parade" was at one point destined to be the a-side, with "Ticket" as its b-side. The fact that you have a double a-sided WLP promo adds weight to that theory.
  14. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    You know, this brings up an interesting discussion perhaps for another time. In '83 when the elder Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter were interviewed on Good Morning America, they were recalling the demo that Herb heard that ultimately got them signed. I always thought it was interesting that the one track that Agnes seemed to take note of was (as she called it), "Wonderful Parade".

    With all of the tracks that had Karen on the lead, obviously there was some influence to push to have Richard's vocals featured. We of course know more now with all that has been documented over the years since then.
  15. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I'd love to see any pictures you can provide - also any info on the matrix numbers in the runout groove.
    Rick-An Ordinary Fool likes this.
  16. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Ironically both songs lived on dual master tapes in their lifetime, as Ticket To Ride was cut initially in '69, then in '73 reworked around the basic, orchestration and backing vocal tracks for the (which included a new master lead by Karen, as well as re-recorded acoustic piano and Wurlitzer electric piano tracks).

    Your Wonderful Parade was cut on a Scully 4-track machine initially in Joe Osborn's garage studio in '68 for the demo the duo would shop to get their record deal. In '69, the basic track was lifted from the demo master and transferred over to the 8-track machine at A&M, and a new lead vocal track by Richard, along with strings and a new mix were created. The tape was VSO'd to be sped up for the new version, and the end result is what we're left with today.
  17. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Here is my WLP for Ticket to Ride b/w Your Wonderful Parade, interestingly the DJ or radio station must have stamped Ticket with the date Nov 18, 1969. Just like my regular single for Parade with the Ochre label this WLP also has the same edited intro from Richard, both 45's start with, "Ladies and Gentleman, don't forget to take your place in line, leave your mind behind....

  18. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    Rick, can you post your matrix numbers in the run-off groove?
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    WLP run off #'s
    TTR A&M 1881-17 then I can see what looks like the letters MR (no other #'s in the groove)
    Parade A&M 1882-17 and again what looks like MR (no other #'s in the groove)

    My ochre label run off #'s
    TTR A&M 1881-15 then the MR then farther down the groove it has this ∆78673
    Parade A&M 1882-15 then the MR then farther down the groove shows ∆78673-X
  20. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    My only copy has the longer, standard intro to "Parade"

    My ochre label run off #'s
    TTR A&M 1882(over"1")-16, circle MR, ∆78673 (the 2 in 1882 is heavier in order to cover up the 1)
    Parade A&M 1881-18, circle MR, ∆78673 (it's clearly a 1881 as opposed to Rick's two copies with 1882)

    The labels also indicate 1882 for Ticket and 1881 for Parade.
  21. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    So this seems to indicate from your copy that Parade "could" have been considered the A side while TTR the B side. I don't think it's too far a stretch to think that Parade could have been seriously considered as the A side I mean we're talking about 1969.

    Do you have any idea why the X appears on my run off for Parade (for the ochre label) ∆78673-X
  22. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    "X" marks the spot?

    Record promoters and radio program directors would often mark labels with a big "X" to indicate the side that the disc jockey was to play. I don't know if this would be anything in that regard.

    But evidence is mounting that Parade could have been considered an a-side. @A&M Retro above has a two-sided Parade single, and mine has a lower matrix number on both the run-off groove and the label.
  23. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I was wondering why this first single never had an official sleeve with artwork or photo? The sleeve that came with my 45 single is the one shown above with the A&M circular logo. The Carpenters logo had not yet been designed but was 1969 too early for 45 photo sleeves to appear? Or was it a cost cutting decision?
  24. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    It was likely a case of an unknown act, so no need to spend money on picture sleeves. And 1969 was a tough year for A&M.
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    From The Top.....
    Richard Carpenter:
    "I happened to hear the Beatles Ticket To Ride being played as an oldie one day in early 1969.
    And, upon hearing it at this particular time decided the tune would make a nice ballad.
    We chose the resulting recording as our debut Single.
    Released in October 1969, it remains one of my favorite Carpenters recordings.
    In 1973 Karen re-recorded her drums and lead vocal on the track for its inclusion
    in the Singles album.Guitars were added at the same time"

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