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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Sep 24, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "Please Mr. Postman"

    22 vote(s)
  2. Side B: "This Masquerade"

    27 vote(s)
  1. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I always think that "three-minute format" reason is a lame excuse. Maybe in the sixties but not by the seventies. There are plenty of singles over three minutes that did extremely well.

    Had they released it in 1973 (or even in their non-album year of 1974), I think it would have done tremendously well on the charts. It's one of the most beautiful of all their recordings and is tailor-made for Karen.
    GaryAlan likes this.
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I can understand Richard's outlook when comparing the two songs:
    This Masquerade :
    Karen is in great health,she is drumming on the song, his arrangement all the way.
    Richard's keyboard work is excellent on the song. Duo's career still in full swing mode.
    I Just Fall In Love Again:
    Karen's health not as good, arrangement partly (Or,all?) due to Peter Knight,
    keyboards are not as prominent in the mix.
    There is a lot going on in this song-- all at once.
    Not to mention career issues at this juncture.

    Now, my only real sticking point, in the arrangement, for This Masquerade is the unnecessary flute solo !
    It is far too reminiscent of the flute solo on It's Going To Take Some Time or, even, Jambalaya.
    By the way--there are four extra seconds on The Singles 1969-1981 cd,
    than the remastered classics,
    A Song For You cd.
    (It's Going To Take Some Time, 2:59 and 2:55 respectively.)

    I need to listen to the Anthology LP, it includes both Honolulu and I Just Fall In Love......
    Simon KC1950 and Carpe diem like this.
  3. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Got a hypothetical question here; I Just Fall In Love Again recorded exactly "as is" but with two changes; It is a Carpenter/Bettis composition and Richard is solely responsible for the song's arrangement...Would it have been released as a single back in 1977? I believe it would have despite the length.

    I think Richard looked at This Masquerade more favorably because his vocals closed the song out and he was responsible for that memorable piano solo. On I Just fall...there is nothing there to really identify him with it, especially if he didn't do the arrangement.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    By the way, here is information from the official Carpenter website,
    I Just Fall In Love Again,
    Richard Carpenter:
    ".... felt it was well-suited for Karen, and a potential hit..."
    "...could not be edited musically. I was not happy, as we had not enjoyed
    a "sell through” hit for several years, and I thought this one could do it
    . "
    "Produced and Arranged by Richard Carpenter (note--difference from Jp Treasures cd)
    Orchestrated by: Peter Knight "

    newvillefan and Carpe diem like this.
  5. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    That pretty much sums it up, once again thanks.
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    My bet Masquerade's inclusion also is due to the fact is was a major hit for George Benson, so there's high name recognition besides it being a respected album track.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And, given that no one felt
    Top Of The World
    was anything other than an album cut (until Lynn Anderson),
    Or, that ,
    Only Yesterday could even be a hit,
    little wonder there is so much fortuitousness in these selections !
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    The actual quality of the recording of the song has always really bugged me. It doesn't feel like it was done in a studio, more like it was done on a sound stage. There's too much ambiance in the recording, almost the result of how a studio engineer would record drums in different ways: first with individual mics close to each drum head, but then an overhead boom mic to capture the overall "noise" that escapes into the room. That's what I hear when I listen to it.

    The liner notes on Passage refer to the fact that much of the album was recorded "live" and if this song falls into that category, then Richard did it a huge disservice. If the song had had the tight, "locked in" feel of Only Yesterday, then he may have had the hit single on his hands that he wished for.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2017
  9. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the whole 'under 4:00 thing' doesn't hold water. Richard released 'Occupants' in an edited form at 3:59, and that was a single....from the same album! 'I Just Fall In Love Again' (at 4:00 length) is truly 'the hit that shoulda been'. The finale of the song goes on for way too long, as does the intro. If it had been arranged differently (and not with seemingly hundreds of people performing on it), it would have been a hit. But even with the 'bombast', it still outshines Anne Murray's version.
  10. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    I really think you're on to something here Stephen. If the song were recorded live on a sound stage (as with "Argentina"), that might explain why Richard said that it "could not be edited musically". As you mentioned in a previous post, you tried to edit the stereo recording yourself to shorten it, and it didn't work. I always thought that Richard could have gone back to the stems, and remixed the whole thing to produce a shorter single version, even re-recording some instrumental parts if necessary, but if it was recorded live, then that would have been impossible to do, as all the parts would not have been isolated.
  11. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    I think the reason THIS MASQUERADE was not pulled as a single was because of timing. somewhere in this timeframe,, THE SINGLES was conceived and a " sell through " as Richard notes, would have been wanted. MASQUERADE had probably never been included in concert, while TOP OF THE WORLD was already a concert draw, and the lynn Anderson had already proven airwave acceptance of TOTW.

    I did not know of Karen's illness during this time. when they released back to back singles that were two years old, I was so worried they had had enough and were calling it quits. if NASQUERADE had been released, I would probably have opened a vein. I continually called a&m from my home in dallas until I was told they were back in the studio, then I relaxed.
    KentTeffeteller likes this.
  12. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    I love both, the B side is Grade A Carpenters goodness. Please Mr. Postman is a great uptempo cover. I wish This Masquerade had been saved for an A side, and a lesser track used for Please Mr. Postman's single release.
  13. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    And I also tried it myself. And that key change makes it well nigh impossible to do cleanly.
  14. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

  15. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I ran across this video of Postman- a lyric video for the Japanese market. It sounds great! Is it a single mix or something new? Bright and fresh.

  16. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    That's the 1991 remix, done for the Karaoke set, BEST OF THE BEST.
  17. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Harry! I love how new it sounds.
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    What I love about this remix is how well it shows off Karen’s drumming. Listen to the brief but brilliant drum cadence in the background at 2:15. Just great!
  19. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    I put on my vinyl of Now & Then today. I wanted specifically to hear This Masquerade. I am completely taken by this song. Karen's drumming and exquisite vocal performance. The incredible harmonies. Just raised the Carpenters up to a new level of sophistication IMHO. Wonderfully arranged and produced, and my God, that beautiful piano solo! I have moved this to #2 of my all time favorite self-indulgent Carpenters tracks. Right after Solitaire.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
  20. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    I ran across this video the other day, it's rather long but since I am a novice at piano playing it intrigued me to watch. It's pretty detailed and watching this really makes you appreciate the brilliance of Richard Carpenter when he arranged this track, This Masquerade.

    Carpe diem, Murray and CraigGA like this.
  21. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Postman sounds best on the 5.1 SACD to me.
    CraigGA likes this.
  22. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Thanks Rick for posting! I watched the whole thing and found it fascinating. Makes me wish I had taken up the piano. She really breaks it down. Cracked me up when she said "his audience are my parents":rolleyes:. One thing that I don't understand; Is there a rumor that Richard somehow "winged" this solo during the recording? She made a point of insisting that is was not "improvised". As meticulous as Richard was in the studio, I cannot imagine him improvising anything.
  23. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    According to the polls, "This Masquerade","(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You", and "Boat To Sail" are the only "B sides" that are liked more than their "A sides". All three should have had their own releases as "A sides" as well, instead of "B sides".
  24. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    ahhhh, we are of one mind!
  25. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I think Please Mr. Postman is a magical song that grabs you. Carpenters perfected it. You can’t help but move when it plays. Karen sounds perfect singing it and playing the drums in it. Richard laid out a great orchestration. It fit the times and soared to the top. I remember the first time I heard it and the excitement I felt then I can still feel today upon listening. I wore out the 45 and constantly played it from mid December 74 to Feb. ‘75. The grooves looked white by the time I was done with it. I simply wore it out!
    This Masquerade was a great song and it is one I usually played for my snooty friends who only listened to singer/songwriters. Even though it was Leon Russell it is clearly a Carpenters arrangement and fit Karen just as well. Plus, by 1974 it was done by several pop and easy artists. I was surprised when it was a hit 2 years later for George Benson but he put a signature on it that penetrated most of his hits and although I liked the Carpenters version better the public liked George Benson’s. Now back in 1973, friends of my parents thought it was the best song on Now and Then, kinda like I feel about A Song For You on the album of the same name. I guess it’s all timing. I think the best shot for it was when Sing was popular, but I don’t think it would have faired as well as Sing did. Sing had that Postman value and everyone was singing Sing in 1973 and it was the perfect year for that song as 1973 was perfect for the Carpenters. Who could beat what they had accomplished in and by that year!
    Carpe diem likes this.

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