Here is one view of the song (in which, I strongly disagree): The Carpenters – “Please Mr. Postman”
HIT #1: January 25, 1975 STAYED AT #1: 1 week
"...background music was what the Carpenters did. The Carpenters had recorded plenty of covers before “Please Mr. Postman.”
They’d even devoted an entire side of their 1973 album Now & Then to new versions of oldies, strung together by a fake old-timey radio DJ.
But they’d never done less with their source material than they did on “Please Mr. Postman.”
Karen Carpenter, a singer capable of great nuance and empathy and sadness, gets absolutely no space to show what she can do on
“Please Mr. Postman.” She simply agreeably chirps the song, over a rigid polka-fart backbeat that sounds a lot like the slick late-’50s malt-shop music that Motown helped render obsolete. Tony Peluso plays rockabilly-ish guitar, and Bob Messenger plays a honking sax solo, even though the original “Please Mr. Postman” had been too efficient a song for guitars or sax solos. And so the Carpenters’ 14-years-later version of
“Please Mr. Postman” somehow sounds less advanced than the original."
I’ll never get the beef so many have with this. Sure it’s featherweight and doesn’t show the emotional depth of Karen’s voice, but that’s what the other myriad of ballads are for. It’s an oldie but it’s done with great energy and zest, unlike some other throwbacks they did. You can tell why it shot to #1, but it seems the people the tuned in to hear it or bought the 45, are now ashamed that they did.
Please Mr Postman is a great remake that encompasses musical design from three decades that often accompany remakes done by others in a different generation. Tony Peluso’s guitar is great. Karen’s enthusiasm and style is perfect for this song, and it applies to all of Richard’s oldies arrangements in my opinion. One stellar rendition is Our Day Will Come that shows a complimentary side of the musical gem.
I can think of 10 remakes by others from Linda Ronstandt to Billy Joel to Diana Ross to Barry Manilow that contain elements not necessarily in their originals but open interpretation for the new time period.
Just because someone can slam a musician does not make their critiques credible or gospel. These artists and their version were not a group period copy like Sha Na Na,
Don’t forget, Please Mr Postman broke records and charted higher than most remakes. Part of this magic is from the songs creators from their pen that carries through!