• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

⭐ Official Review [Single]: 15. "PLEASE MR. POSTMAN"/"THIS MASQUERADE" (1646-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "Please Mr. Postman"

    Votes: 29 46.8%
  • Side B: "This Masquerade"

    Votes: 33 53.2%

  • Total voters

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Staff member
Thread Starter

Postman.png PleaseMrPostman SINGLE.png Masquerade.png
Side A: Please Mr. Postman 2:48 (Holland/Gorman/Bateman)
Side B: This Masquerade 4:50 (Russell)

Catalogue Number: A&M 1646-S
Date of Release: 11/74
Format: 7" Single
Speed: 45 RPM
Country: US
Chart Position: #1

Arranged & Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
Produced by Richard and Karen Carpenter

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


Well-Known Member
My fondness for Postman is well-known.
Great as the flip side song is, I listen to Postman far, far more often !
Will be interesting to see if I remain the solitary vote for the song over& above This Masquerade !


Well-Known Member
I love both but chose Postman. In a career filled with outstanding and numerous ballads, Postman remains one of the few joyous hits in their career. Always makes me smile and sing along.


Well-Known Member
I voted for Masuerade. I simply love everything about that song. Don't get me wrong, Postman is good too, but for me, Masquerade is sublime.


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I'd go with "Please Mr. Postman" on this one too. I've always considered "This Masquerade" a nice album track, and a great arrangement, but it never "wowed" me like it seems to do for some fans.


Well-Known Member
For the first time in these polls, I've voted for the B side - "This Masquerade". I've always liked Postman - when I was younger I absolutely loved that track - but I like to think that my taste in music has become a little more sophisticated over the years, and Masquerade just oozes sophistication! :laugh:


Active Member
As much as I love both This Masquerade and Please Mr. Postman, I went with Please Mr. Postman. I have always been amazed by that song from the second I heard it.

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
I chose "This Masquerade" because it is so hauntingly beautiful. Karen's lower register really shines. However, "Please Mr. Postman" is definitely a lighter, more upbeat song for contrast. It never fails to make me happy!


Well-Known Member
I voted for Postman. I agree with Richard that it is a magical song!

I like the single version because Karen's voice seems so much more prominent compared to the album version. I assume it was mixed and EQ'd this way to make it sound great on the car radios of the day.


Well-Known Member
I reckon this is probably their best ever A and B-side combo, or certainly the one that best demonstrates the full range of their abilities. They ended up recording too many oldies, but 'Please Mr Postman' is so much fun and catchy - it's not their greatest ever single, but it's easy to see why it became their biggest seller worldwide.

That said, 'This Masquerade' is even better and is one of their finest ever tracks. The match between them and Leon Russell's songs was just magic. Karen's vocal is just mesmerising and it's a great arrangement. This could easily have been a single in its own right (indeed, George Benson would go on to have a big hit with it a few years later) and is better than any of the songs that were released from Now & Then. Thankfully it's been a staple on most greatest hits collections since the early 1990s, so it's belatedly received the exposure it so thoroughly deserved.


Well-Known Member
Along with the rise of the TV series Happy Days and other pop culture awareness of days gone by, there was no doubt in my mind that the magic formula of Karen and Richard would make this a hit! Please Mr. Postman came shouting over my transistor radio early one morning during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1974, and I was on top of the world for I knew this song would sail to the top! It just has assorted magic all through it and the overdub play is suburb! It's a true example of what a remake can become and is also one of a few Motown original hits that also hit number 1 by its remake artist!


Simple Man, Simple Dream
Like both, but I think there's a lot more going on in "Postman" than it's usually given credit for. One of songs that maybe sounds "simple" until you start listening to all the layers. "Masquerade" is great, a fine showcase for Karen's voice, but "Postman" wins by a nose.


¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
"This Masquerade" by a mile. I am no fan of the formulaic Motown hit-factory songs, so that's one strike against the A-side--really dislike the original, dislike this one (perhaps a tiny bit less).

"This Masquerade," though, is a far more "intelligent" tune lyrically, and far better crafted in terms of songwriting. I like any version I've heard of it. This song also launched George Benson's pop vocal career. It just has that certain "something" that clicks for me.


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Like both, but I think there's a lot more going on in "Postman" than it's usually given credit for. One of songs that maybe sounds "simple" until you start listening to all the layers.

My favourite part is towards the end. In the remix especially, listen out at 2:15 for the drum cadence by Karen which is eerily reminiscent of her work on Your Wonderful Parade.

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
'This Masquerade" is top-notch class all the way, and it still sounds contemporary. But, as a single, "Please Mr. Postman" wins. I was in the 6th grade when it was released, and it was far and away the 'hit' of the school year. I remember girls from the junior high drill team borrowing my 45 to record it and they did a routine to it. Lol.


Well-Known Member
It's to bad that "This Masquerade" never charted, as this seems to be a Double-A side single, and Masquerade shows up on comps nearly as often as Postman. Even here in Canada it showed up as a Greatest Hit as early as 1978.


Well-Known Member
I can't decide. I like both equally. Postman is a better single track and fun to sing along to. Masquerade is a better turn off the lights and become emersed in the song track. I'm spoiling my ballot paper on this occasion.


Well-Known Member
I am listening to the
Sweet Sixteen CD,
and, of course, the stellar
.....Please Mr. Postman......

I realize I've brought this up before, but this entire version--the Single--
sounds like an entirely different Lead vocal than that found on the Horizon LP.

As I compare each version through and through, side by side,
it still seems as if--to my ears--these are two entirely different Lead Vocals.

But....apparently not....

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Just the first two lines are different. Karen sings the first two lines with much more gusto on the single mix. She also uses the Matt Munro style of vocalizing on the album version when she sings the word, 'Postman' in the first line. The rest the vocal track sounds the same to me.


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Just the first two lines are different. Karen sings the first two lines with much more gusto on the single mix. She also uses the Matt Munro style of vocalizing on the album version when she sings the word, 'Postman' in the first line. The rest the vocal track sounds the same to me.

I agree that the opening lines sound like a totally different take.


Well-Known Member
Please Mr. Postman is interesting !

So, when would a decision have been made to re-cut the first line ?
Presumably, the Single was cut and finished long before release of Horizon.

Had the duo always intended to re-cut the first line ?
Or, did the finishing of the entire album (finished sometime after March 1975)
necessitate a revision to the song ?

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
This one's easy for me...."This Masquerade." It's a better song and a better performance,in my book.

"Postman" is too repetitious and while it was nice (at the time) to see the Carpenters get a hit with an uptempo track, it has not worn well for me. I probably haven't listened to it on purpose in about 25 years.

As a single, though, I can see where "Postman" would be a hit and "Masquerade" would work better as an album track. It's just a matter of hooks..."Postman" has them, "Masquerade" does not. It doesn't have a singalong-type chorus the way a song like "Hurting Each Other" does... the only hook is the last line of the verses and it just sort of blends with the rest of the melody without standing out.

This is sounding like I'm dissing on "Masquerade," but I'm not... it's one of my favorite songs on that album. It's just not a radio-single type song.

Very interesting that, with my vote, the results on this poll are tied. Probably a first in these polls, eh?


Well-Known Member
Passings: Robert Bateman, Writer of "Please Mr. Postman", "Playboy", First Motown Engineer ~ VVN Music »
R.I.P. Robert Bateman Composer of Please Mr Postman »

"Robert Bateman
, one of the first employees at Motown and writer of Please Mr. Postman,
died on Wednesday morning after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 80.
he partnered with Holland under the name Brianbert to write and produce the labels first number one record,
Please Mr. Postman for the Marvelettes.
The song later went on to become an even bigger hit for the Carpenters in the 70's."
Top Bottom