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Official Review [Single]: 22. "ALL YOU GET FROM LOVE IS A LOVE SONG"/"I HAVE YOU" (1940-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jun 10, 2017.

Which side is your favorite?

  1. Side A: "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song"

    52 vote(s)
  2. Side B: "I Have You"

    3 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter


    AYGFLIALS.png AYGFLIALS - Front.png AYGFLIALS - Back.png I HAVE YOU.png
    Side A: All You Get From Love Is A Love Song 3:35 (Steve Eaton)
    Side B: I Have You 3:25 (Carpenter/Bettis)

    Catalogue Number: A&M 1940-S

    Date of Release: 5/77
    Format: 7" Single
    Speed: 45 RPM
    Country: US
    Top Chart Position: #35

    Arranged and Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
    Produced by Richard Carpenter
    Associate Producer: Karen Carpenter
    Side B taken from A&M SP-4581 album "A Kind Of Hush"

    For more definitive information regarding each single, you can visit our Carpenters - The Complete Singles page in our Carpenters Resource.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
  2. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Other than the use of the phrase "dirty old shame" - which just sounds too old- I thought this single had it all. I expected a return to the Top Ten. It's just upbeat and fun with great sax and vocals.
    John Adam and goodjeans like this.
  3. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    The word shame was used in several old songs of broken love, but never as dirty old. I even think there was a dirty shame and maybe even an old shame (memory fails the example at the moment), but even as a teen the phrase dirty old shame seemed too prestine a phrase. Maybe old dirty shame seems more graphic? Anyway, it does not take away from the great song it is. In reflection, it seems to be a great live song than radio play song with a more adult focus. I had always wished it had more of Karen and Richard in vocal stacking background, for I feel that would have been more radio friendly, but the 'live' feel was dominant and does make the song stand out. It's one of my favorites! I felt as if I was thrown against a wall when it did not press through the Top 20. It was then, however, I learned that quality and top of the charts did not always equal in measurement.
    goodjeans likes this.
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I, too, remember the song's release....
    I, too, was flabbergasted when it failed to chart higher,
    I loved All You Get From Love Is A Love Song upon first hear....
    I am still perplexed as to its relative standing with the general public,
    regarding its not being as well-known as other Carpenters' singles....
    goodjeans likes this.
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I remember being in 10th grade at the time and I think that I was one of two people who admitted liking them. And the music from the TV shows helped give weight to their musicianship for after those showings they were always discussed the next day with comments like with her voice they just need to sing and I could never get tired of hearing her sing. The song choices just were not dance numbers. In those days the rhythm and disco carried the charts. The Commodores, KC and Barry Manilow had the softer audience mix with a dance edge.
    BarryT60 and goodjeans like this.
  6. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    I did like this song, but this started them down the wrong path. I consider this song, TOUCH ME WHEN WE'RE DANCING and KISS ME THE WAY YOU DID LAST NIGHT pretty much the same song. much to formula, of course most their releases were verse/refrain repeat, but the arrangements and the backing vocals took them beyond these three songs.
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    The a-side for sure. I remember buying this one before the PASSAGE album was out, and I was worried that frequent plays would wear it out, so I dubbed it over to a reel-to-reel recorder and played THAT to death, keeping the single with just one play. It was another of those styrene singles that I figured would wear out quickly.
  8. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I still remember hearing this song when I was suppose to be asleep in my bedroom and my parent's were trying out their new CD player, and the first CD that they ever played was the Carpenters The Singles 1974-1978, and I knew that I had to hear the song again the next day. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song was the stand-out track on the CD, and even when they eventually got the 69-73 album, I still found that it was the Carpenters best track out of the 24 tracks across the two albums.
    Harry likes this.
  9. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Honolulu City Lights

    My vote goes to side A, it's a classic Carpenters song and I love the video. The artwork sleeve and promo ad are stellar, the black and red lettering really stands out.
  10. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I first heard 'All You Get from Love Is a Love Song' shortly before it debuted on American Top 40. At the time, I knew Carpenters had an album called 'Horizon', which i'd never seen. Listening that first time on our old staticky transistor radio, when Karen sang "...the sun is a-rising", I thought she sang "....something-something-horizon", so I assumed this was the title track from that album. Around that time, the DJ made a joke after playing the song about the best love songs being written with a broken arm and, I must say, to this day, it sounds as if that is what Karen sings.

    I followed the song's journey on American Top 40 and am another person who was surprised when it only stayed on the charts for two or three weeks. The local DJ, after playing AT40 the week the song disappeared, made the comment that Americans must be mad for not making it a bigger hit. However, after that, the single only peaked at Number 89 in Australia...... Never-the-less, at the time, I loved the upbeat feel of the song. I loved the drums, the vocals and the fact that it was a slight departure from Carpenters' previous recordings. In my early teens, I loved it. I wasn't at all bothered by the lyrics, 'dirty old shame', but I was bothered by the use of the word 'sailing' twice in the first line.

    I have one theory about the reason why the single was not a big hit, along with the fact that Carpenters were being perceived as definitely not cool by then. Maybe a song that perhaps over-used metaphors about the sea and sailing was a bit of a turn-off for radio and record-buyers. In areas where 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' soon after became a biggie, (Top 5 in my area) and 'Passage' made an impact, (Number 11), Carpenters were soon to be seen as quite a bit cooler, though.

    'I Have You' sounds like a tired old formulaic song with uninspiring, naff lyrics. ("When I fell, you were there with your hand in the air"), etc. And Karen sounds uninspired when she sings the song. Having said that, I did used to love 'I Have You' when I bought the 'A Kind Of Hush' album in 1977.

    I haven't listened to '.....Love Song' for a very long time. I wonder what my opinion would be these days.
  11. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member


    Oh what a joy. Love everything about this track. Always makes me feel happy. Love "Dirty old Shame", love the sea analogies, love the Carpettes, love the Sax, love the video.

    I came to the Carpenters via the Only Yesterday Cassette in 1991, starting on Close To You, and AYGFLIALS was the track just before it, so when I would rewind the tape to re-listen to CTY I'd catch a little of the fade-out of Love Song, so this track was kind of the second song I ever heard by the duo.

    I'm coming from hindsight, but purely taken on merit and what was around in mid-77 it truly deserved to be top 10, and even top 5 frankly. . .something Karen mentions in Schmidt's book as well.

    LOVE IT and in my top 5 of all their songs (along with Good Old Dreams, When It's Gone, AS4U and Masquerade.)



    PS. Actually Love I Have You as well.
    Eyewire, GaryAlan and Brian like this.
  12. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    As far as voting, there's just no contest here. One of the reviews of the single at the time -- Billboard, maybe? -- referred to AYGFLIALS as "Karen reaffirming her status as one of the finest vocalists pop has to offer" or something like that. I expected it to do a whole lot better than it did, too, but as others mentioned, disco was heating up and Carpenters were cooling down.

    I called our local Top 40 station and asked why they hadn't added it. First time I'd done that. They replied that they were waiting to see if it had hit potential. A bit of a circular argument there -- if you don't play it, it has no potential. But I get that they were waiting, like many other smaller stations, to see if it would take off in larger markets. Weird thing was, they did add "Occupants" a few months later even though it wasn't doing any better nationally than this one had. And locally, "Occupants" went Top Ten.

    The intro to AYGFLIALS reminded me of the intro to Captain and Tennille's "Lonely Nights (Angel Face)". Not much earlier, the closing of "Boat to Sail" included the "DeShannon is back" line that recalled "Sedaka is back" on "Love Will Keep Us Together". I recall thinking that Carpenters were maybe borrowing a bit too much from C&T.
  13. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    It really is such a catchy tune with a very tasty arrangement, all those vocals, the solo by Tom Scott...pure beauty! My only guess on this one was the timing of the release, because it sure is one tune that always sent a whole lot of chills up and down the back of my neck for years! :D
    byline and GaryAlan like this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Karen Carpenter: "Oh, Good song....We thought it was really going to make it and so did the label..."
    Richard Carpenters speaks of the "demo" ("...not a demo !"--Reader's Digest Set)
    by the Righteous Brothers, here it is:
  15. Murray

    Murray Well-Known Member

    Wow, the Carpenters arrangement is a total ripoff of the Righteous Brothers version (which was recorded two years before in 1975)!

    The original recording of "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song" was by the songwriter, Steve Eaton, on his 1974 album "Hey Mr. Dreamer". It has a much simpler arrangement, and there are a couple of lyrical differences.

    It's the last song, starting at 29:25
    Brian likes this.
  16. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin

    I remember having my cassette deck on pause for a few hours, waiting until WNIC played the track so I could tape it. :D Finally broke down and got the single a month or two later. I'm also surprised it didn't chart higher (although back then, chart positions meant nothing to me anyway...but in later years, I was always curious as to why it never was a Top 10 hit).
  17. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    It certainly would have charted better in 1974. The Steve Eaton sounds more similar to the Carpenters version. The Righteous Brothers seemed to use their Rock and Roll Heaven formula harmony for their chorus. It's still a good song and I'm glad we have it.
  18. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    I don't think I'd ever noticed before that the first phrase in the melody of the verses is so similar to the first part of the melody in the choruses, but has some different chords behind it in K&R's version. In Steve Eaton's version, the melody sounds a bit more repetitious. However, I do like his recording. I also like the Righteous Brothers' recording. The fact that this repetition of parts of the same melodic phrase in verses and choruses turns out to be a strength rather than an annoying bore is probably due to the arranging talents of Richard and the arranger for the Righteous Brothers, (and that the phrase just varies enough so as not to grate).

    Whether we fans like it or not, the fact that 'All You Get from Love is a Love Song' wasn't a big hit anywhere in the world suggests that it wasn't right for radio or the market at that particular time - or that the public and radio were seeing K&R and their music in a certain way, so avoiding their product. As has been noted, Carpenters certainly overcame this shortly afterwards in certain territories with the release of "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft".
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  19. I love this Song, one of my favorites which I think is a bit underrated. I love the emotion and phrasing in the line "Now the tears in my eye's are ever blinding". The way Karen does that in one breath is perfect.

    Here are some other chart positions:
    Billboard Hot 100: #35
    Easy Listening: #4
    UK: #54
    Australia: #89
    Canada: #38
    Canadian easy listening: #5
    Japan: #68

    Year end chart:

    US Adult Contemporary:
    1977: #29
    Jorge and Jamesj75 like this.
  20. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Given that the Carpenters' First TV Special --airing early December 1976--reached #6 in the "rating,"
    here we have five months later --in May 1977--
    a great single that barely (USA) cracked the Top 40.
    Thus, exactly how well did that, or any other , Television Special,
    serve Carpenters' recording career ?
    I contend the TV Specials made nary a dent in sales.
    (unless the opposite direction is admitted).
  21. Rumbahbah

    Rumbahbah Well-Known Member

    Now this is more like it! The first A-side since 'Only Yesterday' to win for me and a real return to form that deserved better in terms of success than it achieved. I've never much liked the flipside 'I Have You' - one of the weaker tracks on an already weak album.

    Although it's one of the more 'trademark' songs on Passage, it's a delightful and upbeat track that just has a lot more energy and life than their last few singles had done. My only complaint (the same issue I have with 'I Won't Last a Day Without You') is the double-tracking of Karen's vocal on the chorus, which lessens the impact a bit and leads to some loss of clarity in the lyrics, hence the 'written with a broken arm' mishear at the end of the chorus. Although it transpires having heard the Righteous Brothers' version that they'd borrowed a lot of the arrangement from that, it's still very nicely done. I'm not sure what the issue is with the 'dirty old shame' line - doesn't sound out of place to me.

    It's hard to understand in hindsight why it didn't do better on the charts. Disco hadn't completely taken over by this stage and acts like Barry Manilow were still hitting #1 in mid-1977. Perhaps the damage done by A Kind of Hush and its singles was too much for this single to undo. Surely if it had been the lead single from A Kind of Hush, it would have been a shoo-in for the Top 10 and maybe even the Top 5. That said, it also didn't chart in the UK, their first since 'Sing' not to do so (I don't know where the #54 position comes from - the UK only had a Top 50 singles chart until late 1978 and information for tracks peaking below that isn't official), although it still gets airplay from time to time on UK radio stations.

    Given the recent discussion about the mixes of 'Bwana She No Home', I should mention that some months ago I dug out my UK 45 of 'All You Get From Love is a Love Song' and couldn't believe how bright it sounded. It doesn't sound like a different mix as such, but to my ears it's much punchier and clearer than the versions that appeared on the original Passage vinyl LP and the 1998 Remastered CD. I'd always thought that singles weren't good quality as they were pressed on less good quality vinyl, but maybe that wasn't the case.
    newvillefan likes this.
  22. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Not much to say except to echo the sentiments of my board-mates-- "All You Get From Love is a Love Song" is a GREAT record. Even as a casual listener, it caught my ear. Passage as a whole is pretty fun, and arguably you feel that the sense of ambition they tried to achieve comes through on this track. My favorite, the literally-stellar "Calling Occupants", also maintains this spirit!
  23. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    Like most here, I really liked this song - & was stunned when it didn't chart higher... Frankly, I don't think it even made it to my top 40 station here - not for my lack of requesting it. It only aired during American Top 40 - and I was always hoping, if had cracked the top 30 - it would have made it to more markets - thus pushing it higher....

    I will say this... Not in a derogatory manner, as I love the song and arrangement.... but (as I may have stated in earlier threads), even I - at the time - recognized a few of the fills to sound very "homogenized" or a tad too Easy Listening...

    On the basic Youtube version, :45 - :49 or 1:59 - 2:01 or 3:13 - 3:16 are examples... Clearly, it is a sophisticated arrangement - but that in and of itself I think was almost "too" adult in the adult contemporary classification... Does that make sense? As has been pointed out, simpler driving beats with little flourish were becoming more 'the thing' at the time..

    I prefer that video to all others, as they looked current and fresh, and weren't doing anything too schmaltzy... My one critique there is that Tom Scott who had some "current" cache, wasn't featured in the promo film, nor did they promote this song (with Tom Scott) on any live broadcasts, like Carson, or any other top rated entertainment vehicle at the time.

    It's a dirty old shame... PS / I agree, the single sleeve & ad in Billboard was cool also.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  24. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    My all-time favorite Carpenters single.

    'All You Get From Love Is A Love Song' was played a LOT on the AM Top 40 station, WHB-71 in Kansas City. But I never heard it once on FM Top 40. Didn't matter, though, because it was number one at my house, and it made my summer. My friends and family remember that song fondly, as it served as the soundtrack of the summer of '77. It really has it all....great vocals, great arrangement, great production, great video and great sax solo!
    BarryT60, Eyewire and goodjeans like this.
  25. BarryT60

    BarryT60 Well-Known Member

    I like the ending - where the tempo slows up - then picks up again.... could have been sweet to hear Karen tackle that situation... Thanks for posting!

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