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Official Review [Single]: 17. "ONLY YESTERDAY"/"HAPPY" (1677-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Nov 12, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "Only Yesterday"

    37 vote(s)
    90.2%
  2. Side B: "Happy"

    4 vote(s)
    9.8%
  1. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I never thought Only Yesterday ever really worked when performed live. It’s so intricate, so complex (especially where the multilayered vocals are concerned), that it’s virtually impossible to recreate in a live setting. Richard once said in an interview that the song contained more vocal overdubs than anything they ever recorded. Increasing the tempo when performed live didn’t really help either. This is one of those songs that just can’t be beaten or even rivalled when done live.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  2. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    "As an aside, I wish I had seen the C's live at some point." You and me both, David! Instead of sitting in the nosebleed section at the Forum in Inglewood trying to see Led Zeppelin thru the marijuana smoke, I wish I would've paid $7.50 a ticket and seen the Carpenters perform!!:doh:
     
    David A likes this.
  3. John Adam

    John Adam "We are observing your Forum".........Baby

    One of their best singles as the "B' side is actually a strong track in itself! "Only Yesterday" gets the honor of being my 4th favorite Carpenters single. I also love this album's cover. I think Karen peaked vocally by this point, a bit of a mix of her younger self and the maturing woman she was becoming, vocally. This is one of Carpenter/Bettis' finest pop moments. I just wish they could of kept writing such great songs! Everything about it is pop perfection. This is a song I never tire of hearing, it still sounds relevant in 2018. Karen and Richard still had plenty of great stuff ahead, but nothing as exceptional as this track, it was an end to an era of sure fire hits.

    10/10
     
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    As with Please Mr. Postman,
    I believe the song Happy,
    is rather underrated.
    Both songs are filled with great vocals and each has a great arrangement.
    As I was listening to Horizon LP for the nth time,
    I could not help but marvel at the richness of
    Happy !
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Active Member

    Agreed that it's underrated. I'm always impressed with "Happy" whenever I hear it. It doesn't top the perfection of "Only Yesterday", but it has so much going for it. Her vocal is unbelievably divine. I love the lyrics, the arrangement, the use of the synth that takes it into the heavens. When she sings the line "...if it's the stars they're surely on my side." She sounds like she's touching the stars or has the richness and depth of the galaxy. Never has there been a more masterful female voice. Hearing her is a spiritual experience on the Horizon tracks in particular.
     
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I'm not wild about the song but the best thing about that line is the lush, overdubbed backing vocals that echo it.
     
  7. adam

    adam Active Member

    Hi
    Only yesterday .chart facts.

    Australia 16
    Brazil 8
    Canada 2
    Germany 43
    Ireland 5
    Japan 12
    New zealand 10
    Uk 7
    USA 4
    Zimbabwe 1
     
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    So it was a #1 hit in Africa!
     
    newvillefan likes this.
  9. adam

    adam Active Member

    Hi
    yes it got to no 1 for one week in august 1975
     
  10. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    More Zimbabwe items:
    TOP 10 Charting Singles In ZIMBABWE
    Carpenters - Close To You - #8
    Carpenters - Only Yesterday - #1
    Carpenters - Please Mr. Postman - #2
    Carpenters - Sweet Sweet Smile - #10
    Carpenters - Yesterday Once More - #6

    Source:
    www.ukmix.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=71238
     
  11. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Nice summation, I couldn't agree more.

    Concerning Karen's voice, I like the story Joe Osborn told on Chris May's "Down Load" radio show about hearing Karen sing for the first time:

    "Somewhere during the night, Richard played the old song Ebb Tide and she sung it. I think she was 16 at the time and I thought; ‘my God’."

    Later in the interview, he further comments:

    "I'll tell a story of how I met them in my garage, my garage? She stood up there 16 years old, a chubby little kid with piano and sung that song Ebb Tide. Not an easy song as far as I can tell. She sung that song and that voice was there, and the way she sung was there. She was born with that. She didn't learn that."
     
    Chris likes this.
  12. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    [QUOTE="Carpe diem, post: 180972, member: 3184]Later in the interview, he further comments:

    "I'll tell a story of how I met them in my garage, my garage? She stood up there 16 years old, a chubby little kid with piano and sung that song Ebb Tide. Not an easy song as far as I can tell. She sung that song and that voice was there, and the way she sung was there. She was born with that. She didn't learn that."[/QUOTE]

    For those who were with them early on or involved in helping them get their big break, it must have been immensely gratifying to watch them develop as artists as their career really took off. If it had been me, I wouldn’t be able to help thinking that I’d been there from the start, hearing her sing in the house or the garage studio.
     
    David A and Carpe diem like this.
  13. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    ^^ Yes. And the fact that Joe Osborn remembers it so well. Definately had an impact on him. As Carpenters fans, wouldn't it have been great to be in Joe's shoes that night!
     
    David A and newvillefan like this.

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