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⭐ Official Review [Single]: 14. "I WON'T LAST A DAY WITHOUT YOU"/"ONE LOVE" (1521-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "I Won't Last A Day Without You"

    Votes: 43 78.2%
  • Side B: "One Love"

    Votes: 12 21.8%

  • Total voters
    55

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I remember someone mentioning the inconsistency of Karen’s voice, how the verses sound different than the chorus, I believe? We know that she was having a vocal issues at the time and likely why Richard double tracked her voice which I think takes a bit away from the performance. But it’s still a great vocal and a classic, heart-tugging song. I know Mark Taft thinks she phoned it in a bit and I can maybe technically hear that but I think it’s less about phoning-in emotion and just a different tone because of her issues then.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Was Karen having "vocal issues" in 1972? Did she redo the vocals at some point? I thought she was at the top of her game in 1972. Her health issues really didn't become apparent until 1975.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I remember someone mentioning the inconsistency of Karen’s voice, how the verses sound different than the chorus, I believe? We know that she was having a vocal issues at the time and likely why Richard double tracked her voice which I think takes a bit away from the performance. But it’s still a great vocal and a classic, heart-tugging song. I know Mark Taft thinks she phoned it in a bit and I can maybe technically hear that but I think it’s less about phoning-in emotion and just a different tone because of her issues then.
I guess I did say that, huh. :wink: Can we still be friends?
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I believe it was an ear nose and throat issue. Any throat difficulty would have been a sore throat. They were non stop touring at this time too. I need to go back and do more reading before I am quoted.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
I believe it was an ear nose and throat issue. Any throat difficulty would have been a sore throat. They were non stop touring at this time too. I need to go back and do more reading before I am quoted.

It's mentioned in the Ray Coleman book that Karen developed sores on her vocal cords during the recording of the A Song For You album. Richard wanted Karen's vocals on the chorus of 'I Won't Last a Day Without You' 'doubled' and Karen had trouble matching her first vocal (note that the doubling wasn't done to cover up any weakness in her voice - if they'd have gone for a single vocal on the chorus, which I'd have preferred, presumably there wouldn't have been an issue).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I remember someone mentioning the inconsistency of Karen’s voice, how the verses sound different than the chorus, I believe? We know that she was having a vocal issues at the time and likely why Richard double tracked her voice which I think takes a bit away from the performance.

I don’t think Richard doubled her lead in the choruses because of the vocal sores she was suffering from. It was a standard technique on many of their recordings. He did it on the choruses for We’ve Only Just Begun, Superstar and many other tracks.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I remember someone mentioning the inconsistency of Karen’s voice, how the verses sound different than the chorus, I believe? We know that she was having a vocal issues at the time and likely why Richard double tracked her voice which I think takes a bit away from the performance. But it’s still a great vocal and a classic, heart-tugging song. I know Mark Taft thinks she phoned it in a bit and I can maybe technically hear that but I think it’s less about phoning-in emotion and just a different tone because of her issues then.


She didn't have any long-term vocal problems. It was only during the 'A Song For You' sessions where she was dealing with the sores on her vocal chords. She also talks about losing her voice due to laryngitis once, which I believe was in 1975.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
In a radio interview with Roger Scott (I was going to post it but I can't find it on YT anymore) Karen goes into great detail about "being sick on the road is a miserable experience", and that she had "Tracheobronchitis where your throat bleeds". Maybe this was the "vocal issue" we're talking about.

If anyone can find this interview, please post it. I feel it was their best radio interview and maybe some of this forum's newer members would like to hear it. :)
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
In a radio interview with Roger Scott (I was going to post it but I can't find it on YT anymore) Karen goes into great detail about "being sick on the road is a miserable experience", and that she had "Tracheobronchitis where your throat bleeds". Maybe this was the "vocal issue" we're talking about.

If anyone can find this interview, please post it. I feel it was their best radio interview and maybe some of this forum's newer members would like to hear it. :)
It’s in Randy‘s Yesterday Once More book.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Great! Just so happens I bought a copy of that book from Randy at the 50th Anniversary event. I haven't been able to read as much of it as I would like, but I'll definitely look for that interview. Thanks.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I guess I did say that, huh. :wink: Can we still be friends?

Of course, I just remember that quote from you and I think it’s great when fans can honestly criticize something specifically and not just coat over something that genuinely doesn’t satisfy them.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I don’t think Richard doubled her lead in the choruses because of the vocal sores she was suffering from. It was a standard technique on many of their recordings. He did it on the choruses for We’ve Only Just Begun, Superstar and many other tracks.

But for some reason it stands out on this song, it doesn’t feel organic or needed. Hard to explain.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
She didn't have any long-term vocal problems. It was only during the 'A Song For You' sessions where she was dealing with the sores on her vocal chords. She also talks about losing her voice due to laryngitis once, which I believe was in 1975.

Yeah, I didn’t mean to imply it was for months or anything but that it effected her recording of this.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
One Love is a terrific song and I honestly love it just as much (maybe even a bit more due to underexposure as an album cut). In those days especially the deep cuts were just as elegantly crafted as the singles. One Love may sound old fashioned but I love that, and the whole thing sweeps me up into a vignette of a story that sounds like the narrator finally reaching her ideal, but with Karen’s magic, the lyric is infused with a whole dimension of ambivalence. Just stunning.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
16 Diana Ross songs to cushion the blow of missing her Glastonbury set
"...one of the album’s most interesting tracks is her performance of “I Won’t Last A Day Without You”,
released a year after The Carpenters’ infinitely more famous rendition was included on their album A Song For You
and a year before they released it as a single. "
I have to disagree with this assessment of Diana Ross' version:
" here her sitar-soundtrack fantasia is actually much lusher and fuller than the Carpenters’ matte rendition. Ross’ slightly frothy voice is perfect for this twinkling track, which is still deeper, more sensual and more passionate than any other version..."

Song here:
16 Diana Ross songs to cushion the blow of missing her Glastonbury set
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
16 Diana Ross songs to cushion the blow of missing her Glastonbury set
"...one of the album’s most interesting tracks is her performance of “I Won’t Last A Day Without You”,
released a year after The Carpenters’ infinitely more famous rendition was included on their album A Song For You
and a year before they released it as a single. "
I have to disagree with this assessment of Diana Ross' version:
" here her sitar-soundtrack fantasia is actually much lusher and fuller than the Carpenters’ matte rendition. Ross’ slightly frothy voice is perfect for this twinkling track, which is still deeper, more sensual and more passionate than any other version..."

Song here:
16 Diana Ross songs to cushion the blow of missing her Glastonbury set

I disagree too. Diana doesn't have a tenth of the voice Karen had. She wasn't even the best singer in the Supremes (Florence Ballard absolutely was and those who know don't dispute that). Karen's version of "I Won't Last A Day" is the only one that matters.

Ed
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I remember reading a review of a Diana Ross album in Record Collector magazine in the 1990s, that opened with the words “whatever her vocal limitations...”. Summed it up for me.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I remember reading a review of a Diana Ross album in Record Collector magazine in the 1990s, that opened with the words “whatever her vocal limitations...”. Summed it up for me.

She's capable of turning in a nice vocal - don't get me wrong...but that's all it ever is. "Missing You" is about as good as she gets. The talking part is just amazing. Few talk as well as she does on songs. As you say, her limitations are considerable (no real range or power) but when she finds the right song, she can do it.

Ed
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I don’t quite know how to put this, so those with better prose please redeem the following description. Diana version is pleasantly sung yet it added emphasis with the obvious syllabic identical emphasis at the end of each phrase. The musical tinkle at the front of the song and sprinkled throughout are out of place. She does sing the tag in the manner it was written. There are worse versions so I would put this one in the middle of the 12 different versions, (I’m sure there are more) that I have found.
Now, Karen not only places effort on rhyme and rhythm while text painting each phrase, but also it is done in a less obvious emphasis that blends each phrase into an interwoven masterpiece. Plus, Karen’s voice has a hearth type warmth that Diana’s does not bring. Richard had to help write the melody and chord structure of the tag, for Paul Williams has not yet finished it and I feel that it better blends the song. The harmonies and vocal stacks better serve the song and it’s opening and ending are pure and welcoming with intent and purpose. The song is a perfect match between Karen and Richard and if it had been released in 1972 after Hurting Each Other, it most likely would have been another in the top 5. They had already released 2 songs of Paul Williams, so I can understand the hesitation, however it is one of the best on A Song For You and with the title track and I Won’t Last A Day Without You not being singles probably helped sell this album for it was the only way to purchase these songs even after the success of the Singles album. The style they had achieved by 1972 carried them until Horizon showed another dimension in their sound.
Well, back to song comparison: I do believe that when others perform this song, they use the Carpenters version as the basis. It’s also difficult to think of another arrangement when performing this song for the one Richard used along with the magic that Karen’s vocal stacks and lead voice created a unique style that formed into a perfect picture for this song. The only other version of this song that appeals to me is the one performed by Ronan Keating which is almost a direct copy, yet his unique voice also compliments the song while reminding us of the Carpenters definite creation formed from this beautiful Paul Williams song. I believe Paul Williams and the Carpenters were a great team. Only those who don’t like the Carpenters would knock this song for its essence is the Carpenters.
 

MorningOpensQuietly

Well-Known Member
Forgive me in advance if this question has been posed and answered, but was this wonderful song ever performed live (in-full and complete) and captured on video? I don't remember ever seeing it if so. I know they included it in some of their medley numbers. Just wondering since it's one of my favorites!
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Forgive me in advance if this question has been posed and answered, but was this wonderful song ever performed live (in-full and complete) and captured on video? I don't remember ever seeing it if so. I know they included it in some of their medley numbers. Just wondering since it's one of my favorites!

I haven't ever heard or seen it performed in full, but that doesn't mean that it never was.
 
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