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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. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Yes agreed. As others have also said here, the bloom was off their rose, as it were (I'm not sure I'd use the word "anathema" *wink*), which is why - for me anyway - I figured they'd have to switch focus to have any chance of prolonging their already impressive career. I spoke previously about a disco-ish release but now agree with others who say that wouldn't have worked (assuming they would even have tried it, which is doubtful).

    What about Country music? The Country audience seems a lot more "forgiving" and might have been open to some good quality country songs from the C's. Just a thought.
  2. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    My outlook is a hit album plus Grammy nods for concept albums. The trend in MMM and Ronstadt with Riddle as well. The country market? Uninvited Guest has country rado all over it.
  3. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmm. I am going to refute my previous comments, at least as relates the chances that the Carpenters could have had more hit songs in the early 80's...if you define 'hit' songs as top 20 songs. I think they definitely could have.

    'Touch Me When We're Dancing'. I listened to this song a dozen times last night, and that's flat-out an early 80's song, stylistically. Richard had made the 80's transition here, with this song.

    From Wiki: "The Carpenters' version of "Touch Me When We're Dancing" was released on their Made in America album in the summer of 1981. It was the last of their singles to reach the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after not having a song appear on that chart for over three years. It was also their fifteenth (and final) #1 song on the adult contemporary chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100."

    First, if (at least, in America) the C's were completely persona-non-grata to fans, how would this song chart at all? And why, after a 3 year hiatus from the charts, could/would they chart at #16 with TMWWD (and #1 on the AC), and yet have no chance of duplicating that success again?

    Curious minds wish to know. For anyone who might wish to reply, where does my logic falter? :rolleyes:
  4. Graeme

    Graeme Active Member

    I thought I'd imagined reading this late last night as I couldn't find it this morning as I was looking at the recent Touch Me When We're Dancing thread and its 80s vibe. I've found it now!

    I think the fact they had a top 20 hit in their homeland with TMWWD suggested it wasn't all over hit wise for them (regardless of image). At that point they just needed the right song where everything came together.

    They were still in their 30s and, having recently listened to the excellent Ray Moore radio interview with them at that time, they were still chasing hit success and were frustrated by the lack of sales in recent years. As far as the Passage singles are concerned I can understand their frustration. They deserved to do better and, with the success of TMWWD (were they pleased with its chart position?) I don't think its unreasonable to think that they could have had future hits for at least a few more years if they'd chosen better material.

    However, I don't think the rest of MIA had another potential single of the same calibre on it. They don't seem to have been aware of this, and though many of the songs that made up subsequent albums weren't necessarily intended for release, the majority of them were still worryingly middle of the road (an expression I usually dislike when it's used to describe their earlier stuff) with none of the energy of previous hits (excluding those from A Kind of Hush). Many are pleasant enough but that's all. Karen herself seemed to be choosing to sing in a more stylised and affected manner at this time and, for me at least, this made her less contemporary sounding. And Richard's production and arrangements were, by and large, far too smooth and polished by this point.

    For me there were still glimmers of hope, though not necessarily hits; I love Two Lives, and Prime Time Love, though not generally liked, is at least a bit different. There's a rawness to the former and for me it has a similar vibe to Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again (which Richard nailed perfectly when he finished the track for the Interpretations album).

    Had things not turned out the way they did the hits would probably still have dried up eventually regardless (as many have commented before, this happens with the majority of bands and singers). I hope they would have come to accept this. I sometimes wonder though whether I'd have continued to buy their albums if they'd continued down the horizontal easily listening route of the majority of MIA, its outtakes and later recordings such as Now.
    byline, newvillefan and David A like this.
  5. Brian

    Brian Well-Known Member

    'Solitaire' will never grow old for me! It is a majestic song. It's not that it couldn't compete with other singles of 1975. It's just that it was in a different, and far higher, league. A lot of the big hits of that year, you would now look on as completely disposable, but 'Solitaire' is and Carpenters are still being sold in the millions, (on compilations). 'Solitaire' did fairly well as a single. Number 17 is still Top 20. It was a hit.

    'I Need to Be in Love' is also a timeless song and recording.

    I know these recordings don't sound like hits of today, but they are nearly half a century old, (can you believe??) I believe that 'All You Get From Love Is a Love Song' doesn't sound any fresher than the other two I've mentioned. The tempo is higher, but Carpenters did melancholy so well that their slow songs could kill you, no matter what year they were released. I don't think Karen's voice sounds as good on the uptempo recordings, such as 'Love Song', 'Postman', 'Beechwood' or 'Back in my Life', etc. 'Solitaire' beats all those singles, hands down. It's probably why it was a bigger hit.

    I agree with what a few people have recently said. Carpenters would have had to work extra hard to have a hit after their unparalleled run from 1970 to 1975. It was probably the opinion that they'd had their day at the top. A few people have said that radio wasn't playing their current singles and the teens were probably looking for the latest, (disposable) trend, as they often do.

    Because of the above, I doubt whether an edited version of 'I Just Fall in Love Again' would have been a hit, even if Carpenters had released it before Anne Murray got her version out. Radio would probably have still avoided K&R's version. Carpenters were on a downward slide, while Anne Murray was on a roll, upwards, after her massive hit, 'You Needed Me'. Also, her version was fresh, direct, sincere and simple, whereas Carpenters' version pulled out all the whistles and bells possible in its lavish and overblown production. (Nice, but definitely on the 'overdone' side. To be honest, though, I personally wouldn't have it any other way. Then again, Karen could have done a great, simple, plain piano-and-vocals version). The song, as it appeared on 'Passage', wasn't really a new overall sound for Carpenters. Radio and the public probably wouldn't have sat up and listened.

    I can't see 'B'wana She No Home' as a single. It is different, but I can't imagine it as a hit in any era. There are a number of elements that wouldn't work as a Top 40 song - the melody, the lyrics, the lead vocal, the length, the meandering nature of the song. It isn't immediately punchy or concise and has no 'hook'. It's also out of step with what was around at the time. Karen performs quite a light, fluffy vocal. Then again, what else could she do with a melody and lyrics like that? Not a lot going for it at all, Top 40-wise, actually.

    While I'm not a big fan of Barry Manilow, I can see that he did manage to transition from his massive period in the mid-70s to having a few big hits in the 80s. His 'Let's Hang On' was The Carpenters' 'Want You Back In My Life Again'. However, 'Let's Hang On' is quite substantial, (in a frivolous way), whereas 'Want You Back in my Life Again' is completely inconsequential. In a way, Barry Manilow did a better job of transitioning, as far as hit singles went, than Carpenters did, even if he only had a few more hits in this period. (I think he had around four or five Top 20s in the 80s, two or three of those Top 10, going right up to 1984). Like everyone else, Manilow had a use-by date, where Top 40 radio was concerned.

    Something to remember, though, is that 'Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft' did return Carpenters to the top, after 'All You Get from Love is a Love Song', in a number of places. Number One in Ireland, Top 10 in the UK and Canada, just short of the Top 10 in Australia and the album was a hit in Japan. Carpenters did have extra mileage in them as far as Top 40 radio was concerned, if they had found the right songs, the right direction change, turned in great performances / arrangements / productions and if their health had been good enough to carry the load of promotion and to attract the adulation of the public.

    By the way, the solo material wasn't the way to go, in my opinion, if we're looking for a direction that Carpenters could have gone, to attract wide-scale worldwide sales. The fact that the record company wouldn't release Karen's album speaks volumes about the fact that, as a whole unit - as an overall album - it wasn't good enough. There's no way that Karen could have been convincing in promotion as the chanteuse, the sex-kitten that the song content would have required, considering her health. Look at the physical state of Karen in this era in comparison to that of Olivia Newton-John. You see one who pulls the whole thing off admirably with millions and millions following her and another whose record company, no doubt for a number of reasons, won't back the idea.

    Although I loved 'All You Get From Love is a Love Song' when it was released and for many years later, it seems that Richard is correct. It wasn't right for a single at that particular time. Even in some territories where they had recently had hits, it didn't even reach the Top 100. In my country, I think it missed the Top 80. In the US, it missed the Top 30. If it had been meant to be a hit, it would have been.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
  6. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I think Karen could have pulled it off with a closely choreographed video for her solo work. Not as obvious as Olivia but still fresh and contemporary. Live would have been a different story. But remember the 80s were the decade of video promotion for music.
    goodjeans and GaryAlan like this.
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Remember how awesome Karen's dancing was....
    My Body Keeps Changing My Mind ....could've been awesome....
    There are plenty of great solo songs to choose from and to promote.......
    goodjeans likes this.
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    I'm listening to AYGFLOVE....on CarpenterS Collected and isn't it nice to be included in a retrospective? Also GOOFUS etc.. Sound is exceptional. I like the sequencing.
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Many good songs at the time,
    Billboard Magazine June 4, 1977 Easy Listening Chart:
    "Compiled from radio-station airplay"
    #1...Looks Like We Made It, Barry Manilow
    Margaritaville, Jimmy Buffet
    Love's Grown Deep, Kenny Nolan
    It's Sad To Belong, England Dan and John Ford Coley
    Hello Stranger, Yvonne Eliman
    #6 All You Get From Love Is A Love Song, Carpenters
    (#55 Hot 100 Chart at same time)

    Sir Duke, Stevie Wonder
    You're My World, Helen Reddy
    When I Need You, Leo Sayer
    #10Knowing Me, Knowing You, Abba
    goodjeans likes this.
  10. [​IMG]
    In the Japanese single the second song changes for Eve, I think a great combination is generated ...
  11. I recall seeing the ad in Billboard magazine but can’t recall EVER hearing it on the radio. By this point, this might have been their first single I didn’t purchase; telling myself I would just “wait for the album”. I must have heard it somewhere because I remember thinking two things: That the lyrics were kind of cliche (as intended) and that there was a bit too much going on (arrangement wise, especially in the choruses). As good as it is, I still feel that way today. I do agree, however, if only Passage had been their 1976 effort, it might have kept them competitive longer.
  12. I have always thought the Nelson Riddle American songbook standards Linda Rondstat did (so beautifully) could have been Karen’s. Another obvious missed opportunity was their missing out with Karen not being featured in a duet (or movie theme). Duets were a great vehicle to hear a favorite singer in a new way. In a single song, it could have introduced a new “grown up/solo Karen” to radio audiences in a far more palatable way then her NY disco assault effort.
    David A and Mark-T like this.
  13. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    although, in hindsight, this sounds like a natural progression, we still gloss over the reality that carpenters were a duo. they reached the top as a duo and it seems as if the a&m machine was only interested in marketing them as a duo. rarely was one seen without the other, sometimes Karen would be a presenter at an awards show.

    just as Richard opened the door for " power-ballads " with GOODBYE TO LOVE, i hold that his production of I CAN DREAM CAN'T I, introduced the multiple " standards " album their contemporaries released. even the idea of a of a carpenters standard album might have been met with objections because they were known for singles that generated album sales, not necessarily standalone albums.
  14. Certainly they could have let Karen “guest” on a duet, just as she did on their TV special with John Denver. Olivia was a guest on Fly Away. Imagine Karen with Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow or Boz Scaggs. Karen’s audience understood she’d always be one of the Carpenters, but a duet might have reintroduced her to radio listeners as a “grown woman...setting out on her own”.
  15. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Sting, Art Garfunkel, and later, Michael Buble etc.
    jaredjohnfisher likes this.
  16. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    They could always do that nowadays. If Elvis could do it 10 years ago, then Karen could sure do it now.
  17. What I meant to say is; lyrically, "All You Get From Love Is A Love Song" portrayed Karen as the same sad girl once again, losing at love and ending up with only a love song to call her own. Not really too different in theme than "I Need To Be In Love" from the year before. I think the record buying public might have been ready for Karen to stretch and grow (maybe by "guesting" on a duet--while remaining half of the Carpenters--instead of going solo with a disco-flavored album).
  18. ars nova

    ars nova Active Member

    it would have to be a track from the solo sessions, any alteration of carpenters material would be disrespectful to Richard.
  19. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    Plus, Richard just wouldn’t allow it. Barry Manilow mentioned that he wanted to include a track with Karen on his duets album and he made reference to the fact that he wasn’t even able to consider Carpenters material. All he had to choose from was the solo album and he found nothing that was suitable.
  20. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    A nice Christmas duet featuring Karen would be nice and _might_ work for Richard, as most of the songs are universal (i.e., not Carpenters originals or copyrighted), and I believe Richard said that "Portrait" should have been Karen's album, anyway. I don't see how such a thing would be in any way disrespectful to Richard. Heck, Richard might even orchestrate or otherwise be involved. Why not?

    A new Christmas album, produced and orchestrated, etc., by Richard, featuring Karen in duets with other stars. Ahh, to dream...
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listened heartily to this single this morning.
    I feel this is a great piece of ear candy.
    Such a well done single !
    Well, here are the year-end stats for 1977...depressing...
    December 24th Issue Billboard:
    The week, Calling Occupants #58 (Hot 100 chart) after 12 weeks on chart.
    Easy Listening Y-E Chart #29 All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
    EL Artists Y-E #38 Carpenters
  22. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I’m amazed to this day that the song didn’t perform better on the charts at the time. It’s an absolutely great track with a great hook and arrangement.
  23. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    This song came as their fame and fortune were on the wane. It was a great record and some stations were forced to play it because it WAS so good, but it never really got the attention it deserved.
  24. newvillefan

    newvillefan I Know My First Name Is Stephen

    I wonder if they’d recorded and released it say in 1975 or even 1976, it might have done better.
    CraigGA and jaredjohnfisher like this.
  25. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I almost chocked when it did not make it into the Top 20! The biggest comment I heard from friends was that it had voices added besides their own. I think people like their own overdubbing and actually their own songs better.

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