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Official Review [Single]: 18. "SOLITAIRE"/"LOVE ME FOR WHAT I AM" (1721-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jan 14, 2017.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "Solitaire"

    28 vote(s)
    71.8%
  2. Side B: "Love Me For What I Am"

    11 vote(s)
    28.2%
  1. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Indeed. It's a particularly resonant lyric that Karen finds much to work with to great effect in her interpretation. Given what has emerged since about her life, it just lends the song even more gravitas in hindsight.

    I absolutely love the cold opening 'We fell in love...' followed by the piano. 'Let Me Be the One' did something similar (although with the piano starting slightly before the vocals) and similarly sounded great. It's a brave move and also slightly wrongfoots the listener by making it seem that it's another song about being in love and how great it is, before the cracks start emerging before the first chorus.

    From memory, I don't think John Bettis collaborated with Palma Pascale on the lyrics but refined some of them at Richard's insistence before they recorded it. Does anyone know what exactly he changed in them?
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^Here is one possible reference:
    Martini's Musings

    First Verse:
    "...We fell in love And you say I changed your life
    I made you feel like someone Now you want me for your wife
    But if you really love me And what you say is true

    Why are you forever trying to change the things I do
    You're never really happy with me the way I am
    But I can't rearrange myself, so you must understand

    CHORUS:You've got to love me for what I am For simply being me
    Don't love me for what you intend or hope that I will be
    And if you're only using me to feed a fantasy
    You're really not in love, so let me go, I must be free..."
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I agree with the comments regarding the restraint Richard showed on this cut. Sometimes less is more.
    In that vein, I just heard "One More Time", and the stark but gentle arrangement was a perfect coupling with Karen's tender vocal. One of my favorite album cuts.
     
  4. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    That was quite a long interview but I read it all. Interesting stuff. Talented writer who did far more than I ever knew. As for "LMTWIA", she is, as the writer, biased. She feels her first verse lyrics are darker and more immediate. I disagree. I don't find them dark at all. I think Richard had them altered by John because, while they are really good, they don't "sing" as well. Even the minor change to the third line of the chorus "sings" better than Palma's original. She said she'd supply the lyrics to the second verse but they, sadly, aren't there. I think it's also a shame that Karen didn't do more of her tunes. "Box Office Movie King" would be fun to hear as we know nothing about it.

    Ed
     
  5. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Here's Palma doing "LMFWIA". It's a very different arrangement but it's a little hooky thing. She has a nice voice. Interesting to note that is that uses John's lyric with very slight changes. Her own original lyric is abandoned.



    Interesting to note that Richard did not ask Palma's permission to change her lyric. He just had it done and she just decided to live with it so the song would be recorded. It was not her choice and she says she wasn't happy about it.

    Ed
     
  6. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Youn sure about that? I was just re-reading Richard's notes on the added organ, and he mentions that it was in the budget for the song, and that he later removed it after not really liking it. I realize that Richard doesn't really nail down when the single mix occurred, but I would have to think that if it was in the budget, then it was probably mixed first with the organ.
     
  7. Source?
     
  8. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Solitaire.....
    Here is more from the late-March 1975 Interview from A&M Compendium:
    Richard Carpenter:
    "Oh, we're on a sustained forge, this last week we've picked up,
    so I would say we're about 85% done (with the Album). We'll have it done by May 8th.
    We tried computer mix, we thought that would be a good idea, and it turned out not
    to be a good idea. But,
    we blew two weeks on one song, Solitaire.
    It just wouldn't go together, and we couldn't figure out why. I've never had that happen before.
    I've had times where I thought the arrangement was finished, and we'd go into mix, and then I would
    hear something else, and we'd run into the studio and put it on.
    But, we're passed that point. Everything was on it, and still it didn't sound right, and it turned out
    we just couldn't get the natural flow of the thing with the computer mix
    ."

    Richard Carpenter:
    " I wanted every song to be strong enough to be a single. We've already got two
    on Horizon. Solitaire is a single, Desperado is a single, Goodbye And I Love You
    is a single, and I think Happy--which we didn't think was until it was finished--
    is strong enough to be a single."
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
    Jamesj75 and Jeff like this.
  9. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    There’s no mention in these notes that the additional instruments were recorded for the album, then left off and then reintroduced when the song became a single. It’s common knowledge that the pipe organ and guitars were added after the album was completed, to beef the song up when it was selected for single release.
     
  11. So, the source you've quoted does not have this information about the organ always being there. If you don't have a better source, please don't spread mis-information. We're always eager to learn more, but Carpenters' history is full of mis-information and half-truths. Please be accurate with things like this.

    As far as we all know, the organ on "Solitaire" was added later when the record was destined for a single.

    What we *can* learn from that page is that the web designer misspelled "Solitaire" as "Solitare"!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
    Jeff likes this.
  12. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Well I’ve never seen a source that says it was recorded after. As newvillefan points out, the after theory seems to be “common knowledge”, but no proof where that knowledge came from.

    And that note was from the liner notes for the “Gold: 35th Anniversary” CD, but it was posted on the official webpage.

    As I read it, Richard means the organ was included in the original budget, and the single was the original mix, but after the mix was done, he didn’t like it and removed the organ.

    Also, do we know that theJuly 75 date was the original release date for for the 45? Considering that Postman was released in Nov 74, Yesterday in March 75 and Horizon in June 75 (1/4 Of a year between the second single and the album), was there possible an earlier release date for Solitaire in, say, May, that was cancelled and pushed back for some reason?
     
  13. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    It came from the very page you linked to on the official website. I'll put it here for all to read:

    I've bolded parts that are worth looking at. It's clear the organ was added for the single version. That's exactly what it says above.

    Ed
     
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ^^And, as I interpret those Liner Notes:
    Richard: "...these two additions...."
    clearly indicates adding, not subtracting, from the Original Mix.

    Per the March 1975 Compendium Interview, Solitaire was already completed by late March.
    Richard says: " Everything was on it..."
    Thus, Solitaire, as heard on Horizon, seems to be what was by then-- March 1975--completed.

    The Interview--where Richard states: the song is finished--occurred March 1975.
    The A&M Compendium itself is published June 1975 (month of Album release).
    The Solitaire Single came out-- afterward-- July 1975.

    What really interests me is precisely when Richard decided to alter the Album Mix,
    (as Solitaire was already--March 1975 interview-- being thought of as 'single worthy' )
    that is,
    when did he arrive at those additions, and when did he go back into the studio to add them ?
    Seems like he was cutting it awfully close to the release date of that single !
     
  15. ThaFunkyFakeTation

    ThaFunkyFakeTation Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo

    Other than “Only Yesterday”, the single choices for this album were awful and based on the choices above, A&M should have picked them instead of him. “Happy” could have worked but even it is too elevator to have done much (oboe solo??). This as the beginning of the downturn and it’s no mystery how that happened, honestly. He didn’t hear the great songs he’d done and went for twin plodding, funeral dirges instead.

    Ed
     
  16. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I've always thought Solitaire was a poor choice for single. Despite being a great vocal performance, it's far too much of a sleeper for radio, especially their version. I think Richard was persuaded to go with it because it shows of Karen's talent, but it should have stayed as an album track in the same way A Song For You and This Masquerade did.
     
    ThaFunkyFakeTation likes this.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I love the additions (pipe organ, electric guitar) for the Single version.
    Now, I wonder, outside of
    Solitaire and I Can't Make Music,
    any other instances of utilization of
    Pipe Organ ?
     
  18. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    Yeah he mentions that it’s the single version. But that doesn’t say when the single version was prepared. How do we not know that the single version wasn’t finished in March 75 as well for a release date in April or May 75 that was then pushed back to July? Or how do we know that Solitaire wasn’t originally meant as the third single, but as the second?
     
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I think that's clutching at straws a bit. They wouldn't have been planning a song for release as a single at the same time as they were trying to actually get the album done.
     
  21. twobearboyz

    twobearboyz New Member

    I have a memory of Richard saying he flew to record the pipe organ in a church in the south. I think his exact quote made it clear he did it after the album was released. Hence his "Why I felt that those two additions were worth all the trouble and expense incurred is beyond me now.". Does anyone else remember this and have the reference?
     
  22. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I don’t think so. “Rainy Days”, “I Need To Be In Love” and “Touch Me When We’re Dancing” were all released within days of their respective albums. Plus a number of other singles were released within 1.5 to 2 months prior to other albums. “Only Yesterday” was issued 3 months before “Horizon”. “Horizon” might as well have been put out with no current single.
     
  23. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    Richard wrote a short write up about the single mix of Solitaire released for the first time on the Carpenters Gold 35th Anniv 2 CD set. That is where this reference is taken. It doesn't specifically mention that he flew somewhere but does state what the differences are between the album version and single version with the entrance of the electric guitar 8 bars earlier and the addition of the pipe organ. He does say, "Why I felt that those two additions were worth all the trouble and expense incurred is beyond me"
     
  24. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    other songs were augmented for single release, most notably for me, YESTERDAY ONCE MORE. tony's guitar was added and the phrase " every woe o ew o " was changed to " woe o woe o ".
     
  25. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I love the longer LP version of Close To You, found on the album of that name.
    Now, what is the timeline of those two versions--are they the same lead vocals
    with the ending added to an already existing shorter (single) version ?
    I recall Richard as crediting Karen with coming up with the longer ending,
    (Wrecking Crew Video).

    In the Wink Martindale interview for Passage,
    Richard mentions how All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
    is slightly sped-up for the single-45 version.

    Thus, the various differences between single and album versions gives rise to
    many an interesting question.
     

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