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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: 40 80.0%
  • Side B: "Sandy"

    Votes: 10 20.0%

  • Total voters
    50

Greg

Well-Known Member
I was listening to the Forsyth "live" 1978 performance of I Need To Be In Love, this morning, and it really tore me up.
Quite frankly, that may be Karen's finest "live" vocal ever (could be visual, too, as Karen is so expressive while singing it).

I wholeheartedly agree. Karen is in pain in that performance. It is one of her most stunning achievements - albeit at a profound personal cost.

I remember back in the mid 90's I made friends with a lovely, funny lady who worked in my local art house cinema. And she would often say, a long time before I knew the performance even existed, that one of the most heartbreaking things she ever saw on tv was Karen Carpenter singing on the Bruce Forsyth show. I always assumed she was somewhat exaggerating, or being dramatic, until I saw it ...
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I wholeheartedly agree. Karen is in pain in that performance. It is one of her most stunning achievements - albeit at a profound personal cost.

I remember back in the mid 90's I made friends with a lovely, funny lady who worked in my local art house cinema. And she would often say, a long time before I knew the performance even existed, that one of the most heartbreaking things she ever saw on tv was Karen Carpenter singing on the Bruce Forsyth show. I always assumed she was somewhat exaggerating, or being dramatic, until I saw it ...

It’s amazing that it was so vivid in her memory, at a time when YouTube was a long ways off and unless she had it taped in vhs she probably hadn’t seen it since it aired.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Heard the song exactly ONCE on an easy-listening radio station (I had to beg them to play it).
Never heard it again on radio.

I posted this fact way back on page one of this thread, but the soft-rock radio station I worked for in Philadelphia played "I Need To Be In Love" quite a bit while it was a current single, and we always had the station on while in the office. One of my co-workers was one of those who always sang along with whatever was on the radio, and she always got the lyrics wrong singing ""I know I ask perfection but its quite impossible..." I never had the heart to point out that she had it wrong.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
I wholeheartedly agree. Karen is in pain in that performance. It is one of her most stunning achievements - albeit at a profound personal cost.

I remember back in the mid 90's I made friends with a lovely, funny lady who worked in my local art house cinema. And she would often say, a long time before I knew the performance even existed, that one of the most heartbreaking things she ever saw on tv was Karen Carpenter singing on the Bruce Forsyth show. I always assumed she was somewhat exaggerating, or being dramatic, until I saw it ...

Her performance on the Forsyth show is remarkable for a number of reasons, each of which one of you here has alluded to. Very emotionally powerful.

As an aside; for those who study body language - when Karen is explaining why Richard is not there, and she turns away from Forsyth and looks off into space while saying "what happened - really" is a classic sign of someone fudging the truth. Not that she should have been truthful, in my view; something as personal as what Richard was going through is nobody's business and would have been fodder for tabloids and Carpenter-haters.

Edit for spelling error
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
It’s amazing that it was so vivid in her memory, at a time when YouTube was a long ways off and unless she had it taped in vhs she probably hadn’t seen it since it aired.

Yes, it is certainly something you wouldn't forget - both the vocal performance and the sight of Karen.

By the way, the performance of 'Please Mr. Postman' from that show was commercially available in Britain in the 90s on a video and laserdisc series called "Rock 'n' Roll - The Greatest Years". 'Please Mr. Postman' from the Bruce Forsythe show was on the 1975 instalment. A couple of clips from the 1974 'Talk of the Town' performance were also released on this series - 'Jambalaya' on the 1974 instalment and the snippet of 'Yesterday Once More' from the medley with 'Hurting Each Other', on 1973. I wonder if Richard approved of these being released.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I just noticed on the packaging for the video mentioned above that John Tobler was involved in the series - so Richard probably did approve, seeing as they were closely associated, over the years.

The series was released in 1991 - just after Carpenters had the million-selling album, 'Only Yesterday', in the UK.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I wholeheartedly agree. Karen is in pain in that performance. It is one of her most stunning achievements - albeit at a profound personal cost.

I remember back in the mid 90's I made friends with a lovely, funny lady who worked in my local art house cinema. And she would often say, a long time before I knew the performance even existed, that one of the most heartbreaking things she ever saw on tv was Karen Carpenter singing on the Bruce Forsyth show. I always assumed she was somewhat exaggerating, or being dramatic, until I saw it ...

I just watched it. Here 'tis:


This is a very good performance and I love her vocal here. What's really striking to me isn't the performance but how absolutely thin she looks. She just looks like a stick here and it's hard to watch.

Ed
 

Greg

Well-Known Member
By the way, the performance of 'Please Mr. Postman' from that show was commercially available in Britain in the 90s on a video and laserdisc series called "Rock 'n' Roll - The Greatest Years". 'Please Mr. Postman' from the Bruce Forsythe show was on the 1975 instalment. A couple of clips from the 1974 'Talk of the Town' performance were also released on this series - 'Jambalaya' on the 1974 instalment and the snippet of 'Yesterday Once More' from the medley with 'Hurting Each Other', on 1973. I wonder if Richard approved of these being released.

This is quite a blast from the past. I do remember these VHS tapes from the early 90s - or at least i vividly remember the 1975 one with Postman. I must have assumed at the time it featured the Postman Disneyland video as I never thought to buy it, or maybe it was too expensive. If I recall correctly, they repackaged and rereleased this VHS later in the mid 90's with Carpenters omitted.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
This is quite a blast from the past. I do remember these VHS tapes from the early 90s - or at least i vividly remember the 1975 one with Postman. I must have assumed at the time it featured the Postman Disneyland video as I never thought to buy it, or maybe it was too expensive. If I recall correctly, they repackaged and rereleased this VHS later in the mid 90's with Carpenters omitted.

Yes, you a right, Greg. The videos were expensive at the time and there was a later series of the same name, without the clips mentioned.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I just watched it. Here 'tis:


This is a very good performance and I love her vocal here. What's really striking to me isn't the performance but how absolutely thin she looks. She just looks like a stick here and it's hard to watch.

Ed

I hate seeing the footage because this was a new low weight for her. It’s weird because just a few months earlier when they shot Space Encounters (May 1978?) she looked so much better, like a million times better despite being too thin still. Just a few months between the two tapings.
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Her performance on the Forsyth show is remarkable for a number of reasons, each of which one of you here has alluded to. Very emotionally powerful.

As an aside; for those who study body language - when Karen is explaining why Richard is not there, and she turns away from Forsyth and looks off into space while saying "what happened - really" is a classic sign of someone fudging the truth. Not that she should have been truthful, in my view; something as personal as what Richard was going through is nobody's business and would have been fodder for tabloids and Carpenter-haters.

Edit for spelling error

Probably an unnecessary fix, but what Karen actually said was "what happened - seriously" - my bad.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
Probably an unnecessary fix, but what Karen actually said was "what happened - seriously" - my bad.

Good observation, I think for most at the time they probably bought the lie because as we know Karen was, as Randy Schmidt put it, “a master at conceding her real feelings”. She was always hiding her feelings and her real self and she would conceal the truth, and we see that here done well, despite us being able to analyze her.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Her performance on the Forsyth show is remarkable for a number of reasons, each of which one of you here has alluded to. Very emotionally powerful.

As an aside; for those who study body language - when Karen is explaining why Richard is not there, and she turns away from Forsyth and looks off into space while saying "what happened - really" is a classic sign of someone fudging the truth. Not that she should have been truthful, in my view; something as personal as what Richard was going through is nobody's business and would have been fodder for tabloids and Carpenter-haters.

Edit for spelling error

Agreed. Richard's issues were of an utterly personal nature and still are, really. Karen was under no obligation to be truthful there. Neither was she under any real obligation to be truthful about her Anorexia. One hopes she would have been had she come out the other side of it but while she was in it, she had every right to keep mum.

Ed
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
I hate seeing the footage because this was a new low weight for her. It’s weird because just a few months earlier when they shot Space Encounters (May 1978?) she looked so much better, like a million times better despite being too thin still. Just a few months between the two tapings.

(This is not directed directly at you Jared.)

Maybe we all should watch less........and listen more! Despite how she appeared she sounded magnificent!
Let's face it, from 1975 on, sometimes it was painful to watch, but almost always a pleasure to listen........right up to the end. :)
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
(This is not directed directly at you Jared.)

Maybe we all should watch less........and listen more! Despite how she appeared she sounded magnificent!
Let's face it, from 1975 on, sometimes it was painful to watch, but almost always a pleasure to listen........right up to the end. :)

I think with a performance like this, because it was live and not lipsynced to a recording in a studio, it seems hard to separate the two, and hearing it just brings to mind the sad image.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
How many Carpenters' 45's got both A and B sides with a
Richard Carpenter/John Bettis composition ?
I must admit, after listening to Richard's rendition of Sandy on his second solo LP.
I appreciate the intricacies of the song more than I did previously.
For example, the later version is more pronounced with Jim Gordon' s drums--which I like.
The two versions, Hush and PACC compliment each other in an interesting manner.
 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
How many Carpenters' 45's got both A and B sides with a Richard Carpenter/John Bettis composition ?

Only two that I can think of:

Goodbye To Love / Crystal Lullaby
I Need To Be In Love / Sandy


There are two almost-rans (exclusively Carpenters camp but not Carpenter/Bettis):

Yesterday Once More / Road Ode
Only Yesterday / Happy
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I just watched it. Here 'tis:


This is a very good performance and I love her vocal here. What's really striking to me isn't the performance but how absolutely thin she looks. She just looks like a stick here and it's hard to watch.

Ed
Poor Karen was so desperately sick, but what an otherworldly performance! The audience certainly knew it, too. They really showed their appreciation. 👍👍
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
...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 know I'm a little late getting here but I just couldn't let this stand - as stated above the chorus adds nothing much to this arrangement (which is rare given his tasteful use of a chorus or chorale in many of their recordings) - however, I have to disagree emphatically with the contention that the lyrics needed "polish" - these are perhaps the most urbane and sophisticated and literate lyrics in any Carpenter song ever - joined together with that lovely and sometimes soaring melody this is a true work of musical art - maybe one that even Cole Porter would have admired...
 

JohnFB

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...
Here's part of the lyrics of the 1st verse:

Yes, I know that you're
Suspicious of me
Do I mean the things I say?
You know I've been in love before
That much is true
But though I've been in love before
It wasn't with you

Isn't this song about a woman who's an assistant to Karen? If so, what are these lyrics implying? The lyrics for the rest of the song seem to be about friendship...or did they mean this song to be about a male named Sandy? I'm confused...
 

JohnFB

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.
...
I disagree about it not standing up to their other ballad singles - it does so very well, thank you - it's a very beautiful song, but it's place is in the Broadway theater and not in a hockey rink used for a pop concert - the reason it sounded so much better in live concert (in an intimate setting preferably) was the absence of a chorus and mostly the absence of that obnoxious studio recording technique of double-tracking or overdubbing Karen's vocal (not the same as the stacking of harmony vocals), which always distorted her true, naturally beautiful voice and thus was always a gigantic mistake. This senseless technique always created a sound that was hollow and mechanical and unreal. It sure as hell wasn't Karen anymore...
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Isn't this song about a woman who's an assistant to Karen? If so, what are these lyrics implying? The lyrics for the rest of the song seem to be about friendship...or did they mean this song to be about a male named Sandy? I'm confused...

Sandy Holland was Karen’s hair stylist on tour and wardrobe assistant to the band so yes it is about her, but it’s actually written from the perspective of Richard, who dated her. Richard didn’t write the lyrics however, John Bettis did.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I know I'm a little late getting here but I just couldn't let this stand - as stated above the chorus adds nothing much to this arrangement (which is rare given his tasteful use of a chorus or chorale in many of their recordings) - however, I have to disagree emphatically with the contention that the lyrics needed "polish" - these are perhaps the most urbane and sophisticated and literate lyrics in any Carpenter song ever - joined together with that lovely and sometimes soaring melody this is a true work of musical art - maybe one that even Cole Porter would have admired...

Was there "I Need to Be in Love" slander in these parts? CAN'T be! LOL!! INTBIL as a song is gorgeous. Karen loved it and sang it like she did. I think it's over-produced and too elevator but the chord changes, melody, and lyric are fantastic.

Ed
 
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