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⭐ 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: 47 88.7%
  • Side B: "Because We Are In Love"

    Votes: 6 11.3%

  • Total voters
    53

Chris May

Resident ‘Carpenterologist’
Staff member
Moderator
Thread Starter
After listening to Mary’s version again and then going back to the original 1979 version by Bama, then Carpenters and onto the 1986 Alabama version, I have to say...nobody does arrangements better than Richard. He really knocked this out of the ballpark. Still, to this day, my favourite Carpenters recording.

I was just thinking today just how incredible this arrangement actually is. Very underrated in my opinion...
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I ask: Why were they trekking all over the globe---performing the single live--instead of staying
in the USA and performing the song live for American audiences ? The sad answer may be that they were not
getting booked in the USA.

The claim was made in other threads that
Touch Me When We're Dancing
brought Carpenters' back to prominence for radio-airplay.
I dug up one source ( All US Top 40 Singles for 1981 - Top40Weekly.com)
which displays how fast the single dropped:
Week Ending August 29, 1981
THIS WEEK’S DROPS

TW... LW TITLE Artist (Label)-Weeks on Chart (Peak To Date)
45.... 16 TOUCH ME WHEN WE’RE DANCING –•– The Carpenters (A&M)-11 (16)
 

MorningOpensQuietly

Well-Known Member
I ask: Why were they trekking all over the globe---performing the single live--instead of staying
in the USA and performing the song live for American audiences ? The sad answer may be that they were not
getting booked in the USA.

The claim was made in other threads that
Touch Me When We're Dancing
brought Carpenters' back to prominence for radio-airplay.
I dug up one source ( All US Top 40 Singles for 1981 - Top40Weekly.com)
which displays how fast the single dropped:
Week Ending August 29, 1981
THIS WEEK’S DROPS

TW... LW TITLE Artist (Label)-Weeks on Chart (Peak To Date)
45.... 16 TOUCH ME WHEN WE’RE DANCING –•– The Carpenters (A&M)-11 (16)
Unfortunately, I remember this dreadful drop on Billboard's charts when it happened in 1981. I was so excited at their resurgence and was religiously following the single's rise by listening to American Top 40 on the weekly radio show. It was disappointing when it stalled on the countdown, and then wow, disappeared completely! I tried to rekindle my enthusiasm with the next couple of releases from MIA, but I think I knew in my heart of hearts, that this was it for their pop chart popularity. Of course, I nor anyone could sadly imagine the devastating death that was to occur in about 2 short years. We all now would have gladly traded the decline in record sales to the tragic loss that was to follow.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
"Of course, I nor anyone could sadly imagine the devastating death that was to occur in about 2 short years. We all now would have gladly traded the decline in record sales to the tragic loss that was to follow."

Your two closing sentences got to me...
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately, I remember this dreadful drop on Billboard's charts when it happened in 1981. I was so excited at their resurgence and was religiously following the single's rise by listening to American Top 40 on the weekly radio show. It was disappointing when it stalled on the countdown, and then wow, disappeared completely! I tried to rekindle my enthusiasm with the next couple of releases from MIA, but I think I knew in my heart of hearts, that this was it for their pop chart popularity. Of course, I nor anyone could sadly imagine the devastating death that was to occur in about 2 short years. We all now would have gladly traded the decline in record sales to the tragic loss that was to follow.
I have to agree. I was doing the same chart reading. I think that "Touch Me..." stayed at #16 for three weeks and then took a precipitous drop. Mt recollection may be incorrect.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
By the way, has anyone ever questioned why the japanese 45-vinyl-single release of
Those Good Old Dreams (AMP-732)
has, as its flip-side, I Just Fall In Love Again (from Passage).
Unusual way to promote Made In America album, right ?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
By the way, has anyone ever questioned why the japanese 45-vinyl-single release of
Those Good Old Dreams (AMP-732)
has, as its flip-side, I Just Fall In Love Again (from Passage).
Unusual way to promote Made In America album, right ?

It was usually up to the territory. Japan’s 45’s of All You Get From Love Is A Love Song had Eve (from Offering) as it’s B-side and their “Calling Occupants” had Mr. Guder.

Of course in North America, I Just Fall In Love Again appeared as the B-side to Honolulu City Lights in 1986! So even in the mid-1980’s, it was being used to promote Passage an album from 9 years earlier, rather than having the B-side be a track from Voice Of The Heart (like Prime Time Love.

Also, Japan is the only territory where (excluding the Magic Lamp single) Karen received 2 solo singles, as If I had You was backed by Lovelines in 1989 (the US had The Uninvited Guest as the B-Side; the Japanese 45 used the 1989 remixes) and in 1996 there was a 3-inch single of Make Believe It’s Your First Time/If We Try.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I have to agree. I was doing the same chart reading. I think that "Touch Me..." stayed at #16 for three weeks and then took a precipitous drop. Mt recollection may be incorrect.

I’ve got the audio of Casey doing his intros each week while TMWWD was in the top 40. He always said something cool about Carpenters or shared a story about them. I think it was 3 or possibly 4 weeks where it was perched at number 16. That explains the fast drop afterwards.
 

goodjeans

Well-Known Member
I’ve got the audio of Casey doing his intros each week while TMWWD was in the top 40. He always said something cool about Carpenters or shared a story about them. I think it was 3 or possibly 4 weeks where it was perched at number 16. That explains the fast drop afterwards.
Casey and Karen lived in the same apartment building. I don't know why I know this, I just do. Century City.
 

grevenpop

Active 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.
Wow, is it true that she was already aware of the "marriage collapse" when she recorded this? If that's the case, the song goes to a whole other level of depth for me. The wedding song has always puzzled me. I've never understood why the "mother part" is there, and then is suddenly cut off by "hon, come and sit by my side". I find it very strange... Maybe Richard and John B. wanted to mirror the complexity of Karen. Any thoughts on this?
 

Jarred

Your resident analyst right around the corner.
Wow, is it true that she was already aware of the "marriage collapse" when she recorded this? If that's the case, the song goes to a whole other level of depth for me. The wedding song has always puzzled me. I've never understood why the "mother part" is there, and then is suddenly cut off by "hon, come and sit by my side". I find it very strange... Maybe Richard and John B. wanted to mirror the complexity of Karen. Any thoughts on this?

I believe in LGB it’s stated that this was recorded two days or so before the wedding and the bombshell of the vasectomy was prior to both. I think Karen’s vocal would’ve had more of a texture of optimism (within her naturally melancholy tones) to it had it been recorded before the revelation given how eager she was to get married initially.

The song is fascinating in part because of the knowledge that she knows her “new beginning” was just as much a lie as the optimism proposed in “We’ve Only Just Begun”. Even if we had no details on when she found out, you can hear her turn the celebratory music and lyrics into a lament. She sounds as mournful as ever. It becomes, for me, one of her most devastating vocals because yet again she’s revealing something about the narrator/herself that gives a new dimension to the simple words she sings about.

The mother part is strange and tragic given not just the stilted relationship between them that everyone knew about, but that the lyric was written (very likely) well before Karen was rejected by Agnes’ disinterest in her daughter’s dilemma. The comforting mother part was just as much a fantasy as the joy expressed in the lyrics about her husband to be. Lots to unpack here.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
Wow, is it true that she was already aware of the "marriage collapse" when she recorded this? If that's the case, the song goes to a whole other level of depth for me. The wedding song has always puzzled me. I've never understood why the "mother part" is there, and then is suddenly cut off by "hon, come and sit by my side". I find it very strange... Maybe Richard and John B. wanted to mirror the complexity of Karen. Any thoughts on this?
The version of "Because We Are in Love" played at Karen's wedding had a different lead vocal, so it's possible that the vocal released on the album was recorded later, when the marriage was actually playing out - but I am just supposing.

The song takes a romantic view of a wedding and a marriage, just as a number of Carpenters songs take a romantic view of life. If they were privy to the true story, reviewers and critics might have seen this song as being in conflict with their most common supposition - that Carpenters were what they sang.

Maybe the poignancy of the situation was why "Because We Are in Love" is one of Karen's best recorded performances.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I wish Richard would release the alternate recording and vocal take of Because We Are In Love. That’s got to be a real rarity in that there’s a whole other take out there. The only other examples of unreleased alternate versions I can think of are the first and second takes of Close To You.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
In regard to the relationship between Agnes and Karen, we can't be one hundred percent sure what passed between them. The dynamics between a parent and a child are complex. There is 'evidence' from people who observed different things at different times but the only ones who could truly have measured the amount of support and love between them would have been Agnes and Karen themselves. Richard opposes the view that Agnes was as cold and hard as is often expressed, and Karen's friend, Debbie, has done the same. It's probably impossible to know what the true situation was.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I wish Richard would release the alternate recording and vocal take of Because We Are In Love. That’s got to be a real rarity in that there’s a whole other take out there. The only other examples of unreleased alternate versions I can think of are the first and second takes of Close To You.
As you can tell from watching that snippet of Karen's wedding that is floating around on Youtube, the vocal that played on the day is beautiful. I haven't listened to it for a long time, but I know that at least part of it is different from the released version.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
The version of "Because We Are in Love" played at Karen's wedding had a different lead vocal, so it's possible that the vocal released on the album was recorded later, when the marriage was actually playing out - but I am just supposing.

The song takes a romantic view of a wedding and a marriage, just as a number of Carpenters songs take a romantic view of life. If they were privy to the true story, reviewers and critics might have seen this song as being in conflict with their most common supposition - that Carpenters were what they sang.

Maybe the poignancy of the situation was why "Because We Are in Love" is one of Karen's best recorded performances.
Sorry I would have to disagree with BWAIL bring one of Karen’s best. It’s a song that should’ve been left as an outtake, as Karen just never sounded convincing on it and it was just not that good of a song to start with.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Let's stay clear of the armchair psychiatry. You were not there. And even if you were, you were not privy to anyone's inner thoughts.

Focus on the music. That's what this forum is about.
 
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