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Official Review [Single]: 25. "SWEET, SWEET SMILE"/"I HAVE YOU" (2008-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "Sweet, Sweet Smile"

    Votes: 31 81.6%
  • Side B: "I Have You"

    Votes: 7 18.4%

  • Total voters
    38

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
“SWEET, SWEET SMILE"/"I HAVE YOU"

SSSmile.png SSS.png I Have You.png SSSmileBack.png
Side A: Sweet, Sweet Smile 2:54 (Newton/Young)
Side B: I Have You 3:25 (Carpenter/Bettis)


Catalogue Number: A&M 2008-S

Date of Release: 1/78
Format: 7" Single
Speed: 45 RPM
Country: US
Top Chart Position: #44

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.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Never knew this was a single. :D (But, I never followed singles...I was primarily an album listener/buyer.) For side B, I can't even remember the song, so I had to go with "Sweet Sweet Smile"...everyday. :wink:
 

Jeff

Well-Known Member
I was thrilled when a D.J. friend borrowed the single SSS recording it for some country music boot scootin.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I went with Side B. SSS never really grabbed me. For that style of song from the duo (countryish), I would choose Those Good Old Dreams as being better. And I can't get the snow puffs dancing to it out of my head whenever I hear it :yikes:! Not having a copy of A Kind Of Hush in any format, I had to go to YouTube to familiarize myself with I Have You. What sold me was the beautiful chorus and melody. Karen, of course, nails it. Strange; when listening to this I could almost hear Herb Alpert doing a rendition of this on his trumpet. Has kind of a Latin sound to it. Did he ever record it?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I love both songs....
be that as it may,
Sweet, Sweet Smile
caught my ear the first time I heard it.
Karen --to my ears--capture the vocals perfectly,
and, the arrangement--a bit more country than usual for Carpenters--is excellent.
Many line-dancing classes utilize this song !
Now, I do like I Have You very much. Karen's vocals are beautiful and the strings are beautiful.
It's right smack dab in the mode of what you'd expect from a Carpenters' song--
and, that's the tipping point for me,
SSS wins by virtue of its 'outside-the-box' factor....
 

Eyewire

Well-Known Member
I voted for Sweet, Sweet Smile. Like Rudy, I couldn't remember what Side B sounded like until I got home this evening and played it. But both are excellent songs IMO.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I really like both but voted SSS. It has a lot of snap to it- something K&K needed to show at this point in their career. Feels very authentic to me.
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Let Go...Let God (ONJ)
Sweet Sweet Smile is my favorite Carpenters track. I can be having a bad day or feeling things will never get better and this song turns all that around. The excitement in Karens voice shines through on this recording. The video is extra special with her mannerisms and playing to the camera, the way I like to remember her on stage.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
There's no winner here for me. I've never been much of a fan of the Carpenters' more country-styled efforts like 'Jambalaya' and 'Sweet Sweet Smile' falls into the same trap for me, plus it all feels a bit lightweight and novelty-sounding. It may have got some traction on the country charts but I'm not surprised by its underperformance on the pop charts, or that it's often omitted from greatest hits collections.

'I Have You' also gets an undeserved second outing as a B side, presumably as a play for royalties. It's just a weak track from a weak album.

As it happens, while the US single is a miss on both sides, the UK got two different and better B-sides when 'Sweet Sweet Smile' was released there. Most copies have 'Bwana She No Home' on the flipside, but a few have 'Two Sides' instead. Either of these tracks would win for me over the two sides of the US single.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I couldn’t vote on this one because I can’t stand either song. I don’t think I’ve played or listened to either in over 20 years.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I don’t think I’ve played or listened to either in over 20 years.
I can understand maybe not playing "I Have You" in a long time. It's an album track on a fairly unpopular album that's not often anthologized. In fact, other than on the HUSH album, it's only appeared on some pretty uncommon and specialized compilations.

But "Sweet, Sweet Smile" has appeared on a fair number of popular compilations, and I just find it unlikely that any fan as "into Carpenters" as you Stephen, could have avoided the song for this many years. So unless you don't "do" compilations (and some don't!), then I'm almost positive that you would have run across "Sweet Sweet Smile" somewhere along the line.

:)
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
So glad to see all this love for "I Have You," a song I have always enjoyed. It's one of my favorite album cuts. As I'm sure I've stated before, Karen's self-harmony is infectious and incredible. Sure, it's otherwise a simple song, but those choruses always reel me in...

I also like "Sweet Sweet Smile," and I was ecstatic when Carpenters made inroads in country music. As catchy as it is, I give the edge to "I Have You."
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Regards these two songs,
I love Bobby Bruce(SSS) on Fiddle and
Gayle Levant (IHY) on Harp....

Sweet, Sweet Smile
:
Bass: Joe Osborn
Fiddle: Bobby Bruce
Banjo: Larry McNealy
Drums: Ron Tutt
Tack Piano: Tom Hensley
Acoustic & Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso

I Have You

Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
Bass: Joe Osborn
Drums: Jim Gordon
Guitars: Tony Peluso
Oboe: Earl Dumler
Harp: Gayle Levant
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
”Sweet, Sweet Smile" has appeared on a fair number of popular compilations, and I just find it unlikely that any fan as "into Carpenters" as you Stephen, could have avoided the song for this many years. So unless you don't "do" compilations (and some don't!), then I'm almost positive that you would have run across "Sweet Sweet Smile" somewhere along the line.
I do compilations, but only my own :laugh:. If the song has ever come on I immediately skip it, so I can probably in all reality say I don’t think I’ve heard it (all the way through) in all those years :).
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I guess I project my own collecting/listening habits onto others. As somewhat of a completist, I have most of the main compilations and many of those would have "Sweet Sweet Smile" on them.

And I guess I just can't fathom anyone disliking a Carpenters record to the point of not listening to it - ever, especially one with Karen's vocals on it.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I loved ‘Sweet, Sweet Smile’ from the very first spin of ‘Passage’. It’s a fun, catchy song with great vocals, background vocals and supreme tack piano from Richard.

It never failed to fill the dance floor at the many weddings I’ve spun. It was obviously one of Karen’s favorites, too, as she found the tune for them. Glad she did!

‘I Have You’ has never grabbed me. Too sleepy, but the double-tracked Karen vocals are top notch.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I guess I project my own collecting/listening habits onto others. As somewhat of a completist, I have most of the main compilations and many of those would have "Sweet Sweet Smile" on them.

And I guess I just can't fathom anyone disliking a Carpenters record to the point of not listening to it - ever, especially one with Karen's vocals on it.
There's a few I absolutely can't stand. They're on "Made in America". Even she can't save some of that stuff and her vocals aren't good on some of it. There are others elsewhere that I don't like and don't bother with. No artist is perfect, not even Carpenters.

Ed
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
There's a few I absolutely can't stand. They're on "Made in America".
Same here -- "Because We Are in Love" springs to mind. I'm sure I've endured it while playing compilations but if I'm anywhere in reach of the skip button, it's skipped. Yes, I know many people like it. Happy it's there for them.

Voted for "Sweet Sweet Smile". It introduced me to Juice Newton, who I grew to like a lot from her subsequent pop hits and then longer success on the country charts. Juice co-wrote "Smile"...John Bettis co-wrote Juice's later hit "Heart of the Night". "Smile" is a fun, peppy song with a somewhat novel arrangement for K&R. My parents listened to country stations and I remember hearing it a lot on the radio, despite not being a pop hit.

"I Have You" never struck me as anything more than album filler, although it is performed and arranged well. Just sounds too much like background music for a commercial to me.
 
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