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Official Review [Single]: 20. "I NEED TO BE IN LOVE"/"SANDY" (1828-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "I Need To Be In Love"

    Votes: 30 76.9%
  • Side B: "Sandy"

    Votes: 9 23.1%

  • Total voters
    39

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
“I NEED TO BE IN LOVE"/"SANDY"

INTBIL.png INTBIL Single.png SANDY.png

Side A: I Need To Be In Love 3:25 (Carpenter/Bettis/Hammond)
Side B: Sandy 3:38 (Carpenter/Bettis)


Catalogue Number: A&M 1828-S

Date of Release: 6/76
Format: 7" Single
Speed: 45 RPM
Country: US
Top Chart Position: #25


Arranged and Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
Produced by Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer: Karen Carpenter


For more definitive information regarding each single, you can visit our Carpenters - The Complete Singles page in our Carpenters Resource.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Though I wasn't fond of the slow-ish song as a single, I find the a-side better than the b-side. It got a lot of airplay in my neck of the woods on the soft rock station. I don't recall it playing much on the big-hit AM station.
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
I love both so much, but chose Karen's favorite, "I Need to Be in Love". After all, I can't argue with Karen :wink:
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I like and enjoy the song, especially the lyrics. I was surprised with choral type vocals that I could have done without. I would have rather heard only Karen and Richard on stacked vocals. It felt like the arrangement was leaning toward something seen on Lawrence Welk than heard in the Top 10, but since I was a loyal fan, I was still excited about it. Decades later I learned about Karen's performance of this song in the Bruce Forseyth Show and the imagery and text painting was perfect in simplicity in arrangement and helped Karen excel in vocal interpretation and wondered why this arrangement was not used as the single in 1976. The album that this single promoted had an extremely soft side to an already soft rock to which I feel surprised a lot of people and took radio play away from the Top Pop stations. If I, along with a few friends, had never requested it on the radio I don't think it would have played. I think radio music critics were beginning to think of ways not to play their recordings. I was surprised that this song was not on as many of the Billboard radio lists across the nation of top stations as usual, and it never did take off. What kept my excitement were the reports of the record breaking Japanese and European Tours that year, and that another year would bring another album.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I was surprised with choral type vocals that I could have done without. I would have rather heard only Karen and Richard on stacked vocals.
I wonder why Richard opted to use the chorus instead of his and Karen's own stacked vocals, which to that point had worked so well?

Anyway, I know I'm in the minority but I voted for the B-side. The A-side is lovely but the B-side has some lovely slide guitar and the trademark RC/KC overdubs are on full show and make for a lovely ending. The PACC version of this really showed their harmonies off well as the song faded to a close, particularly Richard's bass harmony which is inaudible on the album version.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
For me, it's "I Need To Be In Love,"
Although the LP version--the extended intro--wins by a margin to the edited Single.
(Or, did the single-version get recorded first ? then an intro added on ?).
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
With apologies...I'm not that fond of either song. I voted for "Sandy," mostly because the arrangement has some clever touches. I think the A side could have been a great song but it doesn't sound finished to me. The lyrics and the arrangement could both have used some polish. I also realize that a bazillion Japanese fans completely disagree...
 

no1kandrfan

Active Member
I was very disappointed with the release of INTBIL. We were in the disco era, the music scene had changed, and while I didn't expect them to follow suit, the choir on this song signaled the beginning of the end for them, commercially, in my humble opinion. What were they thinking? I enjoyed the song, but it wasn't until I heard Karen's "solo" version on The Bruce Forsythe Show, that I truly appreciated it. I have always enjoyed Sandy too.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I voted for side A. I have a hard time following Sandy, it seems to be going all over the place as far as the lyrics are concerned. I really don't know what it's trying to communicate. The arrangement is good and Karen's performance is good but there is no "hook" to make it memorable to me. No emotional impact. Album filler material IMHO. I Need To Be In Love is made great by Karen's live performances. Most notably, 1976 New London Theater and 1978 Bruce Forsyth Show. This is the only song in which I have observed that Karen actually "psychs herself up" to sing. Besides, she has indicated that it was her "favorite Carpenters song", so it was hard to vote against it.
 
I wonder why Richard opted to use the chorus instead of his and Karen's own stacked vocals, which to that point had worked so well?

Anyway, I know I'm in the minority but I voted for the B-side. The A-side is lovely but the B-side has some lovely slide guitar and the trademark RC/KC overdubs are on full show and make for a lovely ending. The PACC version of this really showed their harmonies off well as the song faded to a close, particularly Richard's bass harmony which is inaudible on the album version.
Has Richard ever commented publicly or in print as to WHY he went with the OK Chorale as back-up on the track? It's still a mystery to me but maybe there's a reason...Bad move all the way around.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Has Richard ever commented publicly or in print as to WHY he went with the OK Chorale as back-up on the track? It's still a mystery to me but maybe there's a reason...Bad move all the way around.
Nope, I don't think he ever has. You can forgive him for using the chorale so heavily on VOTH because he had no other choice, but to start introducing that sound when Karen was still around and very much alive was poor judgement on his part I think.
 

John Tkacik

Active Member
This 45 has sentimental value for me. It was the first Carpenters recording that I ever purchased. "Sandy" is a nice song but it does not have the emotional hook of "I Need To Be In Love"
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
I've always really liked this song, nor do i mind the choir. . .they actually sound rather spiritual, as opposed to the OK Choral where the sound is a bit trite and childish.

Having said that, I know Bettis referred to this as Goodbye to Love 2, so it does beg for a guitar solo and some stacked vocals. . .it's a delicate song, but I think with these additions it could have been a bigger hit.

But even as it stands, I reckon it should have cracked the top 20. There was a lot of MOR stuff going on in '76 and this is immeasurably superior to most of it.

Laters

Neil
 

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
Both songs are terrific, and I agree with @GaryAlan on the extended intro (exquisite piano), but I voted for the B-side; there’s something about “Sandy” that I’ve never been able to put a finger on...it’s such a sweet, wistful song about friendship. “you gotta be a friend today; an hour with you would chase the winter away.” I sing this song to my 4 year-old son, and I replace his name for Sandy's. <3
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
As with the 'There's a Kind of Hush' single, I'm not overly fond of either side of this single. I know that 'I Need to Be in Love' is a sentimental fan favourite given that it was apparently Karen's own favourite song she recorded, but it's never really stood up in my eyes to the quality of their earlier ballad singles. The choral backing vocals certainly don't help, but I wonder if there's something a bit off with the production in general - as with 'There's a Kind of Hush', 'I Need to Be in Love' always sounded better when sung live compared to the studio version.

So, in the end I went with 'Sandy'. It's part of the 'soft' sounding song problem that rather compromised the A Kind of Hush album and the chorus is a bit sappy, but I have to say that Karen's vocals on the verses are lovely. It's certainly not a real top-drawer album track, but I can sort of understand why Richard has featured it as a favoured album cut on some compliations.
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
I mentioned this a while ago on another thread... But I'll say it again - just because...

That one line - second verse, of Sandy... Being with you I'm like a child again - - your eyes can see clearer than miiiiine....
WOW - what delivery... To me - that's an awesome Karen moment... Plus - in an album where she sounds a little less emphatic, I really think she sounds more in the mode of the tan album on this cut...

Never-the-less, I went with I Need to Be In Love... perhaps because it was Karen's favorite, perhaps due to the Bruce Forsythe rendition, and perhaps because it went to number 1 in 1996 for however many weeks...

But a strong honorable mention to Sandy, an underrated tune in their catalog... imho...
 

ars nova

Active Member
Though I wasn't fond of the slow-ish song as a single, I find the a-side better than the b-side. It got a lot of airplay in my neck of the woods on the soft rock station. I don't recall it playing much on the big-hit AM station.
I was in college in Arkansas when the single had been released, a radio morning team broadcasting from little rock kept boasting that Richard and Karen had called them asking if they thought the single would be received well.

another tidbit: sandy was written about sandy Holland, Karen's assist, which explains some of the confusion about the lyrics.

many years ago, I won the bid for the Japanese live album. when the album arrived it was in perfect condition. the original shipping invoice from king records was included, sent to SANDY HOLLAND, my closest link to carpenterdom.
 

Geographer

Well-Known Member
many years ago, I won the bid for the Japanese live album. when the album arrived it was in perfect condition. the original shipping invoice from king records was included, sent to SANDY HOLLAND, my closest link to carpenterdom.
That's a great story! Was she the one that put it up for bid?
 

David A

Well-Known Member
It's hard not to feel some love for INTBIL when you know it was Karen's favorite and spoke about her longing for romantic love. So...I go with INTBIL. It is not one of my top 10 favorites (close), but Sandy, while pleasant to listen to, is much further down my list.

I agree with those who have stated that the use of chorals was a step in the wrong direction - at least, in terms of remaining as popular as they were at that time. Bad timing. As a matter of pure speculation, I doubt there was any particular "reason" Richard went with chorals, other than he was trying something he thought sounded good/appropriate for the song, and wanted to explore it. Creative people do that, and they are not always rewarded with results they had hoped for.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Gee, my memory must be fading...I do not recall ever seeing this program:
The 45-minutes "making/writing of..." I Need To Be In Love:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
The more I listen to Karen's December 1978
reading of
I Need To Be In Love,
the more convinced I am that the song should have been a bigger "hit," in 1976.
It is interesting to compare the "key" of the song to the (lower ?) "key" of "Only Yesterday".
That being said--it is also interesting to compare various readings of the song:
(1) The Single-45...time 3:25, which, having just listened, sounds perfectly fine. (love the harp !).
(2) The album....time 3:47, piano intro is a nice addition; sounds "slowed" from the single.
(3) 1976 Live...different nuances from either.
(4) 1978 "Live"...even more different from previous interpretations--my favorite of all versions.

Needless to say,
I called the radio station often (in 1976)--and it was very difficult to get them to play the song.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
The more I listen to Karen's December 1978
reading of
I Need To Be In Love,
the more convinced I am that the song should have been a bigger "hit," in 1976.

I called the radio station often (in 1976)--and it was very difficult to get them to play the song.
Our radio station in Philadelphia played it quite often. I still remember one of our office workers who liked to sing along with the radio, miscontruing the lyrics. She'd be singing out loud: "I know I ask perfection but its quite impossible."
 
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