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Official Review [Single]: 26. "I BELIEVE YOU"/"B'WANA SHE NO HOME" (2097-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "I Believe You"

    Votes: 15 30.0%
  • Side B: "B'wana She No Home"

    Votes: 35 70.0%

  • Total voters
    50

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I do not play I Believe You
very often.
However, I do love that drum break and the congas....
Now, if only the mix/arrangement were beefier, I'd be sold.....
Now, if only the "background harmony" did not sound "off" to my ears, I'd be sold....
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
In the Reader's Digest Liner notes, Karen comments on this song, I Believe You:
"The average Carpenters' chord is tight harmony--four parts.
On I Believe You or Close To You, it's four. We sing it, then triple each one."

Now--why is it--to my ears--that the 'harmony' parts on I Believe You
sound so different than they sound in the song Close To You ?

Also, does anyone else hear how similar these songs sound--for instance,
in terms of rhythm, length of instrumental introduction, the manner in which Karen enunciates "you".....
Was this intentional ? That is, in trying to make the later stay as close to the earlier 'hit' as possible ?
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
Close To You? Also, does anyone else hear how similar these songs sound--for instance,in terms of rhythm, length of instrumental introduction, the manner in which Karen enunciates "you".....Was this intentional ? That is, in trying to make the later stay as close to the earlier 'hit' as possible ?
One of the songs I'm really looking forward to hearing on the new RPO collection is "I Believe You." Can't imagine a better song suited for an orchestral arrangement, and Karen's vocals in the year 1978 were excellent! To me this song is the underdog of the album titles, with most folks reacting rather lukewarm to cold on this song. However, I've always liked it for some reason, maybe because of what @GaryAlan posted above.

I found this radio interview (which many of you have probably listen to in the past) which was new to me. Here Karen talks about "I Believe You" and compares it with "Close To You" which Gary was also making a comparison. His post was also new to me. So I am bringing them together and hopefully it is new to you too! :)

 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Nice to hear that interview, again.
Karen Carpenter(3:01):
"......We needed to have full control of what we wanted to put and present on television...each one has gotten better..."
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
I guess I had to be one of the minority who went with I Believe You on this particular poll. The "freckled little girl" line doesn't really faze me, and as far as corniness goes, I still consider "sprinkled moon dust in her hair of gold and starlight in her eyes of blue" to be a far worse line, right up there with Elvis's "Bless my soul what's wrong with me, I'm itching like a man in a fuzzy tree."

As far as B'Wana goes, I just can't hack it. I despise the song, even though it was done very well by our Carpenters and provided a nice, loose, improvisational feel to open up the Passage album. Hmm. Open up the Passage. I like that.

But 99/100 times that I play Passage, I skip track one side one. For someone who was so serious about getting diction and language right in performances, it baffles me that B'Wana didn't drive KC absolutely crazy. She did seem to have a great deal of fun on the vocals though from the sound of it, so I get it a little bit. But the first time I heard it, I cringed harder than if I was looking directly into the sun or if I was welding without goggles. The cringe factor has diminished with time and it is sometimes tolerable to me now if it happens to show up in my playlists or whatever.

But wow! What a group of musicians on that album though! That factor alone rates this album highly for me overall, and B'Wana a little higher than it probably should according to my own personal tastes. Different strokes, though, right?
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Funny how we all like/loathe different things. B'wana is the one song I never skip on Passage.
I never ever skip it in fact I search for it that’s how much I love it. Karen is so sexy in her delivery..so unlike any Carpenters song. It sounds like a solo cut long before her solo sessions. The rare 45 and album version we discovered recently only adds to the love I have for this song.
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
You guys are going to drag me kicking and screaming into living with this song for a while to see if I can acquire more of a taste for it. Fair enough. It's what I did with the solo stuff and ended up loving that.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I guess I had to be one of the minority who went with I Believe You on this particular poll. The "freckled little girl" line doesn't really faze me, and as far as corniness goes, I still consider "sprinkled moon dust in her hair of gold and starlight in her eyes of blue" to be a far worse line, right up there with Elvis's "Bless my soul what's wrong with me, I'm itching like a man in a fuzzy tree."
I kind of agree here. That line, though, I don’t love it, isn’t a deal breaker for me. Pamela Phillips Oland regularly came up with far worse on Richard’s album (“up and down / ring around the roses / you move in close / I come undone”)

Ed
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
See your warming up to it...soon it will be your favorite :laugh:

Seriously listen to the LP version, better highs and clearer vocals by Karen gone is the muddiness overall.
I usually listen to the LP version of Passage anyway, so fortunately all I need to do is stop skipping track one. lol.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Quite frankly, it is rather inspired,
for this 45-single, to have such varying Sides, as
I Believe You and B'Wana
are worlds apart musically.
An interesting 45-Single.
 

Jarred

Active Member
Bwana is one of their most fascinating latter day (relatively?) tracks, it's fun and compelling and Karen is at her sexiest here, much more sensual than almost any of her solo tracks. It's an arrangement you can get lost in if the lyrics are silly.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
I loved that song at the time. It was thrashed to death on my local radio station when it was released. It featured some of the features that made Carpenters exceptional - great harmonies, rich, resonant vocals, great arrangement - almost semi-orchestral - drama....and very sentimental lyrics. (I mean dramatic in terms of the delivery, the arrangement, the production..and maybe the lyrics, when you consider the scene being sung about). The song really did seem majestic and a cut above the rest, in comparison to other records being played at the time.
(I brought it here Brian, as I was kind-of derailing the other thread) :)

I love the song too. It is easily the best song and performance in MIA, even though it seems a bit out of place there! My #1 wish was for "I Believe You" to make it into the RPO album, well that and AYGFLIALS, and that didn't happen! I think it is one of many highlights on the RPO album, but I wish it would of opened the album instead of YOM. I think this song is an example of the great place Karen was vocally yet in 1978. It was a good year for us as we got a great pop/AC tune and the Christmas album of our dreams........
 
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