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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. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    That's easy. Just look at the pictures from their first 10 years in the limelight, and compare with any other young acts of the day. The problem was, nobody knew how to market them since their act had kind of an unusual configuration (male/female, but they were brother and sister, as opposed to a "couple.). Plus that was a time when the "clean cut" look in young entertainers was going by the wayside...compare a picture of the Beatles in 1964 to a picture from 1970 and you'll see what I mean. So combining their visual image with their overall sound, the Carpenters came off as too goody-goody. Doing "oldies" and songs like "Goofus" didn't help. Then if you listen to audio interviews from the time....well they really come off as kind of nerdy, if that makes any sense. If you were a young kid at the time, they seemed like young versions of your parents.

    I was 24 when "Close To You" became a big hit so I could totally understand why they had image problems. The problem was, given their style of music, there was no real way to get out of the problem because if they'd tried to look like a couple of hippies, it would have come off as phony. They looked like they looked because that's who they were.

    Plus, when the image problem really became noticeable, instead of even trying to look more "hip" they went the other direction with the A Song For You album, packaging it up like a Valentine card. It wasn't until Horizon that they really tried to come off as modern young people, rather than the Hallmark version. By then it was too late; the music had evolved to an even LESS modern, easy-listening style (especially with songs like "I Can Dream Can't I"). By the time they did Passage, their biggest effort to change their image (even almost-ditching the famous logo), the public's perception of them was cast in stone and they were forever doomed to be "un-hip."
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  2. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Well-Known Member

    I had to go with "Saturday". Richard sounds like he is having a good time singing it, and I think that Richard was coming across with memories of that time in everyone's life where they were not married, did not have kids, and whether you were doing something by yourself that helped you unwind, or you were going to the fair on a date, you know Saturday was a day that you looked forward to.

    Even now, I'm in my thirties, not married, I do not have any kids, and the odd Saturday I have off I look forward to, because there are certain things that you can only do on a Saturday that you can't do on a Monday or Thursday.
    K.C. Jr likes this.
  3. Eyewire

    Eyewire Well-Known Member

    Great story! Karen was quite the consummate professional wasn't she?

    I just wanted to add that Richard's arrangement on this song is amazing as always. He was (and still is) an exceptionally gifted arranger, musician, composer and producer. But his greatest gift was his laser focus on finding, creating and producing songs that were perfectly tailored around Karen. He really knew how to bring out the best in his sister's voice. That really tight brother-sister bond they had was a huge advantage. I'm not sure any other producer would have been as successful in achieving this.

    I prefer the earlier mixes of Rainy Days And Mondays, with the strings during the sax solo. I don't know why Richard chose to remove the strings in the later remixes. I suppose he wanted the song to sound a bit jazzier? But I guess he has the right to do this. What Richard giveth, he also taketh away, lol. I'm just glad that the earlier mixes are still available, and that we have a choice of which ones we can listen to.
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  4. Toolman

    Toolman Simple Man, Simple Dream

    I have to admit, when Horizon first came out, ICDCI was one song I routinely skipped. Just thought it was too plodding. If I remember correctly, the Rolling Stone reviewer zeroed in on this track as one of the album's finest moments. Gradually I came to appreciate it more, and it's probably my favorite of their standards covers, with Little Girl Blue a close second. Didn't figure out until just a few years ago that additional vocalists were used on the "Can't I pretend that I'm locked in the bend of your embrace..." portion -- for a long time I was under the impression that was some incredible vocal magic by K&R using tape speed manipulation to recreate an Andrews Sisters sound. Was kinda disappointed to learn it wasn't just them, to be honest. But it's great.
  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Still lovely to listen to:
    "Rainy Days and Mondays" -- Carnegie Hall (1971)
    David A, song4u and theninjarabbit like this.
  6. song4u

    song4u Well-Known Member

    I liked her annunciation here. I've heard later live versions that didn't sound this good. This used to be my favorite Carpenters song, back in the day.
  7. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    It's definitely better than later live versions. Like so many artists who get tired of performing the same songs night after night, concert after concert, Karen began to vary the lengths that she held certain notes, and used an affected pronunciation in some of her songs. Listen to her LIVE IN JAPAN line of "...some kind uh lonely glaaaaan." She's much better in this Carnegie track.
    newvillefan and song4u like this.
  8. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    This is one of the reasons I don't listen to the live material all that much. Karen's pronunciation is too affected in places.
  9. natureaker

    natureaker Active Member

    Hands down Rainy Days and Mondays. Such an amazing classic, and I love the video for it, which for some reason, at the very beginning when the harmonica is playing, I end up trying to hold in my laughter for some reason. Still trying to figure out why though :sigh:

    I also enjoy Saturday very much. Not too sure why, but something about it fascinates me. Maybe it's the arrangements, RC's vocals, I'm not too sure.But I guess thats how others are like with songs, eh?
  10. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    Maybe I have listened so many times....but I am not remembering the strings being taken out during the sax solo. What remix was that?
  11. Song4uman

    Song4uman Well-Known Member

    Ok, just checked out the resource. Will have to listen again....I have most of those compilations with the 91 remix. Guess I just haven't listened that close. Singles 69-73 in the car right now..haha
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Paul Williams:
    Rainy Days And Mondaysmay have actually been written for the Carpenters. "
    "Or at least with them in mind. "
    "Frankly, after Close To You, I think every songwriter in Hollywood was writing songs with the Carpenters in mind."
    "Let Me Be The One” was eventually recorded by Diana Ross and,
    I’m sure she became aware of the song through Richard’s recording of the song.
    That’s one of the gifts of having the Carpenters record your tunes. There were so many cover versions of the songs. Songs producers, arrangers, and artists might never heard if Karen hadn’t introduced them to the world.
    I was especially happy to hear her do Ordinary Fool from Bugsy Malone."

  13. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    *Chills* love this, and hadn't heard it before. Does anyone know if Karen was playing the drums here? I assume not, since time-wise this would be after she agreed to perform the big ballads "up-front".
  14. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    As for song vote, it's a landslide. Not sure how I missed this thread, but yeah, Rainy Days and Mondays one of my all-time favorites, and one of the ones I still listen to fairly frequently. This song seems to possess, for me, a built-in resistance to becoming tired of it.
  15. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Obvious choice. Rainy Days by a country mile. We do know that Richard is on lead vocals for side B, right?
  16. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    According to LITTLE GIRL BLUE, this concert took place before that happened. Randy Schmidt says Karen made her announcement about singing without the drums when she appeared on the Mike Douglas Show in July of 1971.
    David A likes this.
  17. AM Matt

    AM Matt Well-Known Member

    Yep, Richard sang "Saturday"!! Matt Clark Sanford, MI
  18. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I can tell a mile off that it’s Karen on drums on this concert recording. The drum fills are typically her, understated and sparse because she’s concentrating on performing a ballad. Another giveaway is the snare/toms fill just after the sax solo (at 2:30), as that’s her live playing style as well.
    David A likes this.
  19. David A

    David A Well-Known Member

    Thanks! Dang, I should have taken a guess. I thought for sure it was her, but was confused about the timing (when she stopped playing drums on ballads). I don't know her style as intimately as you, and so doubted my ears.
  20. CraigGA

    CraigGA Well-Known Member

    I like the strings with the sax on the sax solo of Rainy Days and Mondays, too, which is heard on the original version along with the drum roll and stacked overdubs and the last note is heaven. Its the only thing I dislike on the Singles version for it does not end the same. But the voice is best mixed on the 1991 version. Oh well, at least we have choices. With all of this said, for some reason, maybe the orchestration, I really like TV version heard on As Time Goes By: Rainy Days and Superstar medley. Karen sings it with an alternate, but similar intrepretation and it is one of my most played songs on my iTunes player.
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    ......Still a winner....
    Rain songs
    "In all probability whoever wrote the old nursery rhyme, “Rain, rain go away,”
    had no idea that he was planting the seed of a juggernaut that would last for all time.
    And so, here we are centuries later, sentimental souls reacting to the pouring rain with words and music...."
    Rain songs | Philstar.com
  22. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member

    Rainy Days and Mondays. :)

    I think this is the first Carpenters song I ever (remember) hearing. This is my #3 favorite single by the Carpenters.
    The haunting melody, the longing in Karen's voice. It DEMANDS the listeners attention. This is another performance that absolutely mesmerizes me. The arrangement is stunning. It's really hard to put into words how this song affects me. If I were to see them live, this is the one I would be waiting for. It amazes me how someone this young could tap into something so deep and personal and still sound believable. Maybe those are the words I was trying to find. I would challenge any other artist to come up with a version that would rival this one!

    Geographer likes this.
  23. I often ponder if this is probably the best song and performance ever put down on tape. It's hits on all marks; material, arrangement, performance, vocals, etc.
    John Adam likes this.
  24. John Adam

    John Adam Well-Known Member

    Like someone else said here, it's a classic!
    Geographer likes this.
  25. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    My favourite part of the song is where the rhythm kicks in on the second verse (“what I’ve got they used to call the blues”). The strings underpinning that verse make this a chill factor moment for me.
    Geographer and John Adam like this.

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