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

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "Solitaire"

    Votes: 31 67.4%
  • Side B: "Love Me For What I Am"

    Votes: 15 32.6%

  • Total voters


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Just to clarify that last post,

YESTERDAY ONCE MORE (iced blue color) came first. It was a 2-LP set that became a 2 CD set. (1985)
CLASSICS VOL. 2 was issued in 1987 and is an exact sonic duplicate to YESTERDAY ONCE MORE.
In 1998, YESTERDAY ONCE MORE got an update in the Remastered Classics series and "I Just Fall In Love Again" was added.

None of these ever contained "Solitaire".

A compilation in the Netherlands called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE, but more like the GOLD album, had the album version of "Solitaire".
YESTERDAY ONCE MORE (UK), the silver cover LP and CD (rare), had the album version of "Solitaire".

"Solitaire" (single version) has only ever appeared on GOLD Greatest Hits (US), THE COMPLETE SINGLES, the Japanese SINGLE BOX SET, and the SWEET SIXTEEN extra disc in the 40th set.

The Quad version of "Solitaire" was made from the elements in the single version, so you can hear the extra guitar figures and the pipe organ.


Well-Known Member
Interestingly, ‘Solitaire’ was not included in any form on the US ‘Classics Volume 2’ set (replaced by ‘Yesterday Once More’ sometime after with the addition of ‘I Just Fall In Love Again’). Never could figure out why, but at least Richard added the rare single mix for ‘Gold’, which filled in another piece to the puzzle.
“Classics Volume 2” (1987) was just the 1985 “Yesterday Once More” set, retitled. “Classics” was a replacement set not YOM. The “Yesterday Once More” with IJFILA was the 1998 reissue set.

But it’s interesting, since I thought “Solitaire” was on YOM 85, but I just checked my discs both YOM & Classics, and it’s not (all though it was included on the 1984 UK YOM). So the only CD/digital copies of it in the 80’s that US radio would’ve had access to would’ve been the 80’s CD of “Horizon” and maybe imported copies from Canada of “The Singles 1974-1978” & “Reminiscing” (1988). As far as I can tell, the first US compilation with “Solitaire” would’ve been “From The Top” (1990). The only other US comps with it are “Interpretations” (1995),
“Love Songs”(1997),
“Readers Digest Greatest Hits & Finest Performances” (1997), “Essential Collection” (2002), “Gold” (2005 single mix),
“40/40” (2009)
“The Complete Singles” (2015 single mix).

8 US comps vs 23 international comps, “Solitaire” has not appeared in the US that often.


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
In the mid-1980's, trust me, practically ZERO radio stations in the US would have wanted or needed a copy of "Solitaire". It got some airplay in the 70's and then it was dropped.


Well-Known Member
I was just looking on Wikipedia and it’s highest chart was in the US at #1 on the A/C chart, followed by New Zealand at #6, Canada #12, US Cashbox #15, US Hot 100 #17, UK #32, Japan #44 & Australia #66.

And it was #116 on Canada’s year end chart and #151 in Joel Whitbyrns year end chart.

So it seems. It did it’s best in North Amaerica.


Well-Known Member
If memory serves correct it went to number 17 on Billboard Hot Singles chart in the US. for two weeks. There were a lot of famous singles that are still celebrated today that charted less or similar (non Carpenters songs). I think David Bowie’s Change followed a similar path?


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Here is Solitaire, presumably taken from the hit
Germany K-Tel LP Beautiful Moments,
cuts off early, I believe (ends at 3:40):
Not an early cut-off, but the elimination of one of the choruses. You can hear the edit point at 2:53 where they chopped out the whole bombastic chorus, giving the track its short time. Good old K-Tel...


Well-Known Member
Top Single Picks, Billboard Magazine, August 2, 1975 (page 58):
"CARPENTERS -Solitaire (4:40); producer: Richard Carpenter;
writers: Neil Sedaka -Phil Cody; publishers: Don Kirshner/Kirshner, BMI /ASCAP. A &M 1721.
"Already on the Hot 100, the pair that never seem to miss take the already well
known Sedaka tune and come up with a sweet sounding ballad that builds into a powerful,
mid -tempo cut. Usual strong, expressive Karen Carpenter vocals and excellent production
from brother Richard. Expect strong MOR as well as pop play."


Well-Known Member
You are the devil for making me choose between these. :laugh:

Solitaire had to get my vote though. It's a slightly better composition and has so much more going for it overall. No disrespect to Love Me For What I Am though, which was a beautiful offering from John Bettis and Palma Pascale, so much so that I wish they would have explored the possibility of more collaboration. I read somewhere that Phil Cody considers KC's vocal rendition of Solitaire to be the best, and that warmed my heart. Both songs were of course integral parts of that amazing Side B of Horizon, which I find to be one of the most satisfying sides of an LP to listen to, and not just among the Carpenters' repertoire.

It's as if that Side B composed a loosely threaded short story, starting with the Loneliness of Solitaire, then we get Happy, as things are starting to improve and go the singer's way, then uncertainty and doubt with (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You, a final appeal to respect of individuality with Love Me For What I Am and finally the slightly less down but still melancholy resolution of Eventide, the act of picking up and pressing on. It's moments like this that make me wonder if what they say is true, that Richard was tapped into something on a higher level and was telling a prophetic story through his song selections and compositions.


Well-Known Member
The February 16, 1974 Disc Magazine (UK) has some interesting tidbits:
Andy Williams Solitaire album was #16 and his single was #3, which explains
how that song might have attracted some attention.

---Music Poll Results---The issue has a list of the
Top Groups of the World: Carpenters at #9
Top Female Singers of the World: Karen Carpenter at #7
There is an advertisement for Jambalaya...."their new single"....
The Singles 1969-1973 is The Number One album at this time.


Active Member
I saw Neil Sedaka in concert at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills last night. Still going strong at 80. They played a 15 minute video of most of the big hits and artists that sang them before he took the stage. Starting with Connie Francis and other 60’s artists, then Neil with Elton John, and I was very surprised to see a picture of our favorite duo on the screen with Breaking Up Is Hard To Do playing over the speakers, not Solitaire. The audience loved it. Good applause. Then came Captain & Tennile LWKUT followed by Sheryl Crow singing Solitaire more artists singing Sedaka songs, the Clay Aiken singing Solitaire. Very weird to me. He performed his version as well with original lyrics and extra verse, plus he did all his hits. His oncore was the Richard Carpenter piano arranged slow version of BUIHTD. He mentioned he is the only artist to have two versions of the same song reach number 1 twice. He still gets a hefty price for his tickets, and the theater was full on the lower level. I saw celebrity dj and game show host Wink Martindale seated a few rows back on the way out. A fun evening overall. Last time I saw Sedaka was at the Sahara Tahoe in November 1976 during his huge comeback era.


Well-Known Member
I loved Solitaire in 1975 when I bought the album and even as a young teen I thought it unusual for such a slow song to have an appeal that would make me want to play it repeatedly. I thought that Love Me For What I Am had the most for single appeal, however. The topic of Solitaire alone is hard for summer play yet Love Me For What I Am has themes adult in nature that hit a contemporary topic for the day .


It's such a diffucult choice as LMFWIA is a gorgeous, catchy underrated song that could well have broke the top 10. While Solitaire is not always such an easy listen, but is maybe one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, and Karen is casting some deep spells with that vocal.

It's also worth noting in many Asian countries LMFWIA is a much loved Carpenters classic - I once had the joy of experiencing it in a Tokyo karaoke bar. :phones:
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