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Official Review [Single]: 6. "RAINY DAYS AND MONDAYS"/"SATURDAY" (1260-S)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, May 15, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?


    37 vote(s)
  2. Side B: "SATURDAY"

    3 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter


    RainyDays.png RainyDaysSingle.png Saturday.png

    Side A: Rainy Days And Mondays 3:40 (Nichols/Williams)

    Side B: Saturday 1:20 (Carpenter/Bettis)

    Catalogue Number: A&M 1260-S
    Date of Release: 4/23/71
    Format: 7" Single
    Speed: 45 RPM
    Country: US
    Chart Position: #2

    Arranged and Orchestrated by Richard Carpenter
    Produced by Jack Daugherty
    Taken from A&M SP-3502 album "Carpenters"

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

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Where to begin with the A-Side -- wonderful? Haunting? Powerful? All words to use. "Rainy Days and Mondays" is simply another form of magic. "Close To You" and "We've Only Just Begun" find their magic in unabashedly optimistic melodies. On the other end of the spectrum, you have songs like this (and its partner soon-to-have-its-own-thread, "Superstar") that take you to lonely, quiet places. But "Rainy Days", with Karen as your guide, somehow manages to keep you warm anyway. Perhaps, in the sweeping strings, you find solace in having the singer feel lonely too. That's where the magic is....

    In terms of versions, I love the (1991 ?) remix currently circulating, but one of my favorite parts of the song, the "drum thing" at the end, was taken out. That's why I listen to either an earlier remix or the original version (which, for the overdubs, sounds best...).

    "Saturday" is a charming album cut, I personally enjoy it.
    CraigGA likes this.
  3. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    RDaM is a masterpiece from anyway you look at it.
  4. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    This was super easy....Rainy Days hands down, this is one of my most favorite Carpenters early track. I love Karen reading of the lyrics and the cry in her voice something that makes the listener feel like she is singing it just to them and you identify with her. I also love this 45 sleeve, especially the blue one.
  5. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    Rainy Days and Monday's and Carpenters go hand in hand. I don't think you can think of the title without the artist or the artist without thinking of the song. Then, we think of Paul Williams and the great relationship in song they had. I would guess that every writer in the day wanted Karen's voice on their lyrics so they could become the success that followed Paul Williams after Carpemters awakened the world of pop to his songs.
  6. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Easy vote for me! The A-side :)

    I'm with you on that, the 1991 "Radio Remix" (as it was labelled in the UK) had the drum fill at the end removed and I always loved that, so I often revert back to the 1985 remix these days.

    That aside, the song is one of my favourites and I love the story Paul Williams told about his mother in Little Girl Blue. He'd coined the line "talkin' to myself and feeling old" from her and the day they first heard it on the radio in the car, she began to cry. When Paul said the lyric was inspired by her, she denied she ever talked to herself, exclaiming "you're crazy!". :laugh: Very sweet story.

    The B-side was a nice little song, not a favourite but it segued so well into Let Me Be The One. BBC Radio 2 in the UK often play it...on Saturdays :)
    A&M Retro and theninjarabbit like this.
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    My memories are a little fuzzy about the timing of this single. It's not one that I ever bought, that I know, so I must have gotten word that it was to be included on the forthcoming album, due within a month and waited to buy that. I know it was another knockout song to hit radio. Think of it. In less than a year, we'd heard:

    Close To You
    We've Only Just Begun
    Merry Christmas Darling
    For All We Know
    and now Rainy Days And Mondays

    ...all explode on our favorite radio stations. And that's not counting the replays that "Ticket To Ride" was getting every now and again, plus the many album tracks that stations picked and chose from. This was certainly "their time".

    Random thought: This duo of songs, "Rainy Days and Mondays" and "Saturday" reside back to back on both this single and on the album CARPENTERS. How many other a- and b- sides reside back to back on their original album?

    David A and byline like this.
  8. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member

    A joy. Classic Carpenters. As good as anything by anyone.
  9. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    A true CLASSIC any way you slice it. I bought the single at K-Mart for 62 cents when it was at #2 on the charts.

    The store had a G.E. suitcase styled record player in the department, and you could play the songs before buying them. My sister bought 'It's Too Late' by Carole King. I've still got both of them, and they're beaten to a pulp. :) I remember playing those two singles in the store and then putting them back and getting fresh, unplayed copies to take home. What a great time.
    newvillefan likes this.
  10. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    Definitely one of the most powerful singles. I love Karen's vocal work; amazing lead! Really captures the mood. Flip side is (don't kill me!) actually a song I like very well. Another early, bouncy song that's emotionally the exact opposite of the masterpiece on side A.
  11. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    "Saturday" actually made for a nice B side choice here, considering the contrast in tone between the two songs. Probably the most bipolar single ever to go gold!
    Carpenters were setting some pretty high standards with these early songs. In addition to Karen's outstanding lead, I really enjoy the harmonica work and backing overdub arrangement.
    A&M Retro likes this.
  12. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    It almost makes you wonder, what was Sunday like? :D
    A&M Retro likes this.
  13. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    "Sunday, rested from hours of sleeping..Sunday, all I can offer is Sunday..please say that you'll be waiting when Sunday comes.."

    :D Oh, wait...maybe someday I'll get it right. :wink:
    A&M Retro likes this.
  14. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the laugh! :laugh:
  15. 'Rainy Days..' is one of my favorites of those string of classic singles. The right song, with the right arrangement and vocal during that magical period
    when the C's could hit the bulls-eye almost at will. By this time the public knew they were the real deal, not one hit wonders and you could buy the
    whole album knowing it would have all great music and not just that one song you liked from the radio.
    (..On a personal note I remember it wasn't until I was about 16 that I realized they weren't a married couple, but brother and sister! LOL I'm convinced it was those
    prom picture looking album covers that led me astray.)
  16. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    No contest here. Rainy Days and Mondays gets my nod. What a great, great song. It's currently the most played song in my iTunes library. I live in an area where it rains a LOT, and there are far more gray days than sunny, so I totally can relate to this song.

    This is Karen at her melancholic best. You can really sense the depression and suffering in her voice because that's exactly what the song and its lyrics call for. Karen really nailed it with her interpretation, and Richard's arrangement is superb. I don't know if Karen was actually depressed or suffering when she recorded Rainy Days and Mondays. But if she wasn't, she sure did a heck of job conveying the sadness in her performance.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I played these two songs, this morning.
    Of course, Rainy Days and Mondays....priceless in every particular.
    Now, about that 1:20 fiasco on B- Side : Saturday,
    yes, Richard Carpenter gets loads of dough for writing the flip-side song,
    a "free-ride" (as Paul Williams said regarding flip-sides)....
    But, am I the only person who can barely tolerate this short song ?
    Before complaining about photos plastered on the sleeves, I would be the
    first to say that terrible B-sides had a part to play in "image" problems....
    or, did no one ever flip a record over in the day ?
    Paola Rousseau likes this.
  18. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I always liked "Saturday." It's a peppy tune, it falls into that early "group" sound with Richard on lead, and, on the album it resolves brilliantly into "Let Me Be The One."
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Well, "Saturday" is--as is remarked above--the antithesis of the song found on the 45- flip-side.
    And, lord knows I try to like it, but, it doesn't 'sit' well with me....it does not strike a nerve.
    Written in 1967, it pales in comparison to its flip-side. Let's just say the song would not be
    one to compel me to purchase the Tan Album. And, For All We Know,
    backed by a flip from the Offering Album ( the great Don't Be Afraid--which, I like),
    to me this is not a meaningful "way" to market the strengths of the Tan Album.
    And, yet, look how well the Tan Album did !
  20. A&M Retro

    A&M Retro Well-Known Member

    Karen did a radio interview in the early days where she talks about recording 'Rainy Days And Mondays'. It was very late at night/early in the morning when they recorded it. She said that she lied down on the floor of the studio with pillows all around her, and got herself in a 'down' mood to record it. She definitely knew what she was doing.

    She also mentioned that she recorded this song in a favorite old t-shirt with holes in it. She added that she later framed it because 'that t-shirt cut four gold records!' :)
  21. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing, I love little things like this :D
  22. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    When this single came out I was still in my "resisting" period when it came to Carpenters. As I've related before, I heard and loved "Close To You," and then "We've Only Just Begun" came out, which I thought was OK but didn't like it quite as much (and still don't). But that song caused both my sisters to become huge Carpenters fans, and in my teenage mentality I was compelled to dislike anything they liked, so by default I hated the Carpenters. But then these other songs started coming out, and they were SO GOOD, especially "Superstar." When they got to "Rainy Days" I was weakening, but with "Superstar" I was hooked.

    I have always liked "Saturday" because it contributes to that "variety" sound that marked the first five albums, especially A Song For You. Their personalities seemed to come through on the records. Starting with Horizon, they lost that sense of playfulness that I liked so much and got too serious for the most part. "Saturday" really embodied that playful style and added a couple of extra angles to the album.
    Harry likes this.
  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I think that's why I have a soft spot for the early albums, because of the playfulness and energy they possessed. That started disappearing from 1975 onwards, I guess as they started maturing, both in terms of musical style and as people.
    David A and Harry like this.
  24. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    1973, again, finds them "performing" (lip-syncing !)
    on the Robert Young Television program.
    Now, I understand all of the positive, energy-driven, aspects of the song.
    But, it was written in 1967;
    and, Karen's voice in 1970 or 1971 (not to mention 1973) was too good to be
    wasted on this song--at that time. ( Not that she got to do much more than Back-Ups on the song,
    the point is her Voice was too good to be wasted--in 1971,1972,1973--on this song.)
    Back to 1973: Here, we have a Prime-Time Television Program featuring
    Karen at 23, Richard 27, lip-syncing this song ?
    Can any one point to Why Image problems might have arisen?
  25. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I don't think I had ever heard this before. Thanks for sharing. Just when you thought you'd read it all . . .

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