• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Single]: 27. "TOUCH ME WHEN WE'RE DANCING"/"BECAUSE WE ARE IN LOVE" (2344-S)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "Touch Me When We're Dancing"

    Votes: 49 89.1%
  • Side B: "Because We Are In Love"

    Votes: 6 10.9%

  • Total voters

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Thread Starter

Touch Me SINGLE.png Touch Me.png BWAIL.png Touch Me SINGLE-B.png

Side A: Touch Me When We're Dancing 3:19 (Skinner/Wallace/Bell)
Side B: Because We Are In Love 5:00 (Carpenter/Bettis)

Catalogue Number: A&M 2344-S
Date of Release: 6/81
Format: 7" Single
Speed: 45 RPM
Country: US
Top Chart Position: #16

Side A Produced, Arranged and Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
Side B Produced and Arranged by Richard Carpenter, Orchestrated by Peter Knight

For more definitive information regarding each single, you can visit our Carpenters - The Complete Singles page in our Carpenters Resource.


I Know My First Name Is Stephen
The A-side every single time. My all time favourite Carpenters song. When I discovered them, it was all the early albums. It was only when I started buying the rest of the catalogue that I discovered this song and fell in love with it the first time I heard it. I still feel the same now. Beautiful orchestration, great arrangement and a lovely vocal by Karen. I often wonder how it would have sounded if they’d done it in a slightly lower key. I think it needed that.


Well-Known Member
Newvillefan makes a very interesting observation,
If Touch Me and its flip, Because We Are In Love
had a greater preponderance of "lower" register notes,
they would both be "hit out of the ballpark".

In fact, when I first heard Touch Me on the radio,
I did not--at first--recognize it to be Karen Carpenter !
(With other singles, you know it's Karen within a few bars....).

Also, Because We Are In Love (as I have stated elsewhere)
sounds better to my ears in the version I hear played during Karen's wedding.

But, I like them both.


Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I'd have to pick "Touch Me When We're Dancing", but truthfully, this record never really grabbed me. It was good to hear Carpenters back on the radio again after a long drought, and the song and production is OK, but it still quite do the goosebump thing with me.

I still remember our radio station was about to use our IBM System/34 computer that had been used by the business department, but at this point in time, a corporate computer "wizard" had written a system for the programming department. All of the songs we were currently playing were to be input into the system and I watched as the lady entering the data had trouble with this Carpenters record. The title was too long. The field that the programmers allotted for a song title was 25 characters, so this song got entered as:


I don't know why that fact stayed with me, but every time I see the name of the song, it flashes through my mind.

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
"Touch Me When We're Dancing"

Great piece of music... Or as Richard likes to call it "ear candy"

I also like the freestyle, acapella type version Karen does on the Japanese Telethon... Outside on a sunny LA day with a big banner saying "Live In Los Angeles" They are lip syncing and there's a lighting flash or something which cuts out the recording.... Then the Japanese presenter comes on stage talking to Karen. Richard then starts singing TMWWD and Karen starts singing it acappela then gets the presenter to join in, before shouting "Bobs gonna do a Solo" and in comes Bob Messenger on the Sax. Agnes, Harold and Evelynn are seen on the front row.
I think they then moved inside to a stage. It ends with a guitarist doing a rift with Karen bouncing up and down to the music as they wave goodbye.
It's nice seeing Karen's fun side.

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
I was 10 years-old when this came out, and my two big sisters were through the roof about a NEW Carpenters song. It got a lot of airplay where we lived, and I remember my 15 year-old sister remarking about how “dirty” the lyrics, for a Carpenters song. While that made me even more intrigued by the song, all of this went over my head.

I remember watching Casey Kasem’s Top Ten Countdown one Saturday morning around that time and seeing the duo interviewed. My oldest sister gasped at Karen’s appearance, saying, “she’s so thin” and wondering if she was ill. All the while I was thinking it was weird that they had two little people dancing on a piano in the video.

I listened to Made In America constantly that summer. It was my gateway Carpenters album, but “Touch Me” was never my favorite. “Beechwood” was my favorite, hands-down, and I’ll never not be captivated by the vocals on “Somebody's Been Lyin’,” especially at the 2:00 minute mark (“Be wise to go on my own way...”). Cheesiness aside (and who doesn’t love cheese?), it may be the most Carpenter-esque moment ever recorded.

David A

Well-Known Member
Touch Me When We're Dancing - easy choice. I really like @newvillefan 's suggestion that this might have been even better in a lower key. But by now Karen seemed heck-bent on singing in her higher register a lot more.

I still think this song was an excellent early 80's song and could have done better in the charts if it had any serious (and well-done) promotion behind it.


Well-Known Member
I first heard both songs on the 1985 “Yesterday Once More Album” that I bought with Christmas money in January 1998. I found “Touch Me” to be so much better than BWAIL—-BWAIL should’ve been left as an outtake and another song, like “Prime Time Love” should’ve been finished and released as the B-side. Plus BWAIL is so slow that it really doesn’t move like “Calling Occupants”.


Well-Known Member
CashBox Magazine, July 11th, 1981:
A&M 2344
Breaking out of: Radio Doctors - Milwaukee, Record Theatre - Cleveland, Peaches Columbus, Turtles - Atlanta, P.B. One Stop - St. Louis, Waxie Maxie - Washington, Wherehouse - Los Angeles, Lieberman - Portland, Pickwick -
Midwest, Poplar Tunes - Memphis, Tower - San Diego, National Record Mart -Pittsburgh.

July 18,1981:
Breaking out of: Lieberman - Portland, Tower - San Diego, National Record Mart
Pittsburgh, Camelot - National, Oz - Atlanta, Peaches - Columbus,Phoenix,Sounds Unlimited - Chicago.


Well-Known Member
Well of course I'm following suit and going with Touch Me. A great song and as irresistible, almost, as All You Get ....

Had someone else recorded this in mid '81, or had they recorded it a decade earlier, it would have easily gone top 10 (quite possibly top 5).


Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
This is very much an over-produced, elevator thing redeemed only by Karen's voice and Richard's vocal arrangement. Who doesn't like "I could fly coast to coast"? Love that voicing. Richard's vocal arrangements could lift up even the most over-produced dreck. He did it constantly. Karen's voice here is really nice, though a bit weak. I also love Carolyn Dennis' additional backgrounds too. She adds another dimension and some soul too.

"Because We Are in Love" was written for the wedding and it's terribly uncool. I also kinda don't believe her while she's singing it. She did the "Karen Carpenter" thing to it but she doesn't sound terribly invested to my ears.



Well-Known Member
When I first saw BWAIL on YOM’85, I thought it would be like “We’ve Only Just Begun”, except with maybe an 80’s flavour. But for a wedding song it is a downer, and doesn’t even have beat that you could play at a wedding. Had Richard maybe arranged it as slow dance number, it might’ve been better, but as it is it just doesn’t work.


Well-Known Member
With BWAIL, I wonder if there is an unused track with Karen’s mother singing the “mother” parts, like maybe there was a thought at one point to have Agnes duet with Karen.


Well-Known Member
I'll be quite surprised if 'Because We Are in Love' gets any votes on this poll...

It wasn't perfect and it's a bit lacking in impact on the chorus, but 'Touch Me When We're Dancing' was a step in the right direction as a single - a bit of an update so that it could sound reasonably contemporary for 1981, but still retaining some of their signature style, and the clear choice for lead single for the album. It doesn't sound like a smash hit (I'd say 'All You Get From Love is a Love Song' sounds more commerical and is a better production), but it was enough of a departure for radio to give them a bit of a break.

'Because We Are in Love' seems to attract a lot of ire on this board. As a song, although it's a big and overblown production, I think it's just fine as it goes. What sours it is its association as 'the Wedding Song' for a disastrous union and details that have emerged about the lyrics in more recent years. To discover that the 'Mom I'm afraid' conversation essentially did happen in real life, but with an entirely different and sadder ending, is pretty heartbreaking.


Well-Known Member
My only "complaint" with this single (after the very long wait between Passage and Made In America) was that Karen's voice lacked the "oomph" of earlier years. It was still quite pretty; but so light one might mistake it for someone else's (which actually might have happened when some heard it on the radio).


Well-Known Member
There are some magical moments in the song (vocally)
Because We Are In Love.
And, as I have noted elsewhere, the vocals heard in the actual 1980 Wedding
are a bit different than the vinyl-45, and one can only imagine how
beautiful Karen sounded before the over-blown addition of choir parts.
Also, the arrangement tends to drown-out her vocal inflections, which are beautiful.

So, apart from the actual disastrous wedding, and the terrible arrangement,
Karen does do a beautiful job on vocals to a difficult song !


Well-Known Member
I'm one of the few people on earth who actually likes the B Side. I like the dreamy, multi-part structure of it, the gorgeous orchestration, Karen's vocal is haunting and she sounds invested in the words. We know that her vocal was influenced by the news of Burris' betrayal and her trademark melancholy tone had never been so devastating. So the song becomes deep and moving not as a genuine love song but almost as an elegy for something that was never to be. The cirumstances of how the song came about and her real woes fit Karen's style of singing haunting poetry with a preternatural detachment; she had become detached from her husband-to-be just before recording this and Karen never sounded more truthful. The whimsical lyrics against her lonely vocal makes the song very emotionally engaging, even though it wasn't for the reason intended. Did all of that make sense?

Touch Me sounds very contemporary for 1981 and was a great single for them at the time even if it's nowhere near their work from the early 70s. Her vocal isn't as rich as it was on BWAIL and I actually liked her live vocal better when she sang it on that Swedish (?) show. But the song is smooth and very fun to hear, of the era but nowhere near as dated as other pop songs of the era.

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
With BWAIL, I wonder if there is an unused track with Karen’s mother singing the “mother” parts, like maybe there was a thought at one point to have Agnes duet with Karen.

Well they were in the studio from what this photo appears....


Here is another which appears to be the same session, it looks like her sweatshirt says MIA.



Well-Known Member
My vote was for " Touch Me When We're Dancing" as it was constantly getting airplay that year of 81 being a Young Romantic having experienced my first School dance that year and still buzzing from the experience with learning about slow dance thanks to the Pretty Girls in my school Karen's voice Was spot on in interpreting the song in its context I was always a sucker for the cheesy romantic ballads in their proper times and contexts i was quite pleased that The Carpenters were still around making great music and when I finally was able to buy the album I found several more songs along those lines Granted it's not everybody's favorite but the flip side I usually ignored given the circumstances and it didn't interest me as much as the other songs on MIA but to each their own


Well-Known Member
Just recently listened to the Singles 69-81 5.1 SACD. Here, I was struck by the lovely clarity of the background vocals. Soft, smooth and sultry. Touch Me ...got my vote.
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