• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and 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 being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

Singles that were and singles that weren't

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I think this has probably been discussed before. I just couldn't find it. If so, please put this thread in the proper place.

I'd like to share my thoughts (and have others join in) as to what songs shoulda/woulda/coulda been a single from each album and maybe ones that shouldn't have.

Offering/Ticket To Ride
****I think the proper choice was made and I don't think I would have added any of the other songs as singles.

Close to You
****Close to You - yes. I think it was a great choice and was released at just the right time.
****We've Only Just Begun - yes. It was kept out of #1 by Jackson 5 and Partridge Family. Maybe if released a couple of weeks earlier or later might have hit #1?
****Baby It's You - I think this song would have done well. It was a ballad, but showed a little harder tone quality from Karen.

Carpenters
****For All We Know - yes. It was held out of #1 by the Temptations and Janis Joplin. Maybe a couple weeks earlier and it might have even charted higher?
****Rainy Days and Mondays - yes. It was held out of #1 by Carole King. In hind site, maybe a week or two earlier or later could have helped it reach #1.
****Superstar - yes. It was held out of #1 by Rod Stewart. Again, looking back what might have happened if released a little sooner or later?
****Let Me Be the One - I think it would have done well. I know people have mentioned it being short...but on From the Top we here the version where Karen messed up the words. If released, maybe could have recorded again and added a few measures on the chorus. It could have been released possibly in October of 1971.

Song For You
****Hurting Each Other - yes. Kept out of number one by Nilsson. Maybe released a week or two earlier could have made a difference.
****It's Going to Take Some Time - yes...? I like it. Maybe would have done better if released as the third or fourth single?
****Goodbye to Love - yes. I love this song. I think probably peaked where it did due to the fuzz guitar...
****Top of the World - yes. Reaching #1, it was probably released when it should have been, but I do wish it had been released prior to Now and Then.
****I Won't Last a Day - yes. I think it might have charted higher if it had been released earlier. Maybe right after IGTTST.
****Bless the Beasts - I think this should have been officially released as a single. It reached #68 without being released as a single.
****A Song for You - If this could have been edited for length somehow, I think it would have made a great single. Maybe released right after GTL.

Now and Then
****Sing - maybe. It charted well and people liked it, but I think it made them look like a group that children should like. Just my thought
****Yesterday Once More - yes. It was kept out of #1 by Bad, Bad Leroy Brown. Maybe a week earlier or later release would have helped it reach #1?
****This Masquerade - I think this could have charted. They were still charting well and I think it showed a different side to them. Maybe critics would have felt it was a little "deeper" music.

Horizon
****Please Mr. Postman - yes. I think it was released at the right time and charted VERY well. I just wish the next single and album could have been released a little closer to its release.
****Only Yesterday - yes. But what if, instead of being released in March of 75, it had been released in January and Horizon released in February, rather than June. Could that have helped the single AND the album chart higher?
****Solitaire - yes. If Horizon had been released in February, then maybe Solitaire could have been released in April, rather than July.
****Happy - I really enjoy this song...always have. I think it might have made a nice choice for a single. If the release dates were as I listed above, it could have released in June.

A Kind of Hush
****There's a Kind of Hush - yes. It was released as the 2nd single. I think it should have been released as the first single from this album
****I Need to Be in Love - yes... I do like this song. Not really sure it was a great single, but could have been a nice follow up single
****Can't Smile Without You - I like the version that was recorded as a "b" side. I think IT had been released and maybe let it end a little bigger (not quite Barry, but bigger sound than it did) if could have done well.
****Goofus. Should not have been released as a single.

Passage
****All You Get from Love is Love Song - Yes. This should have charted higher than it did. I think it's a great song.
****I Just Fall in Love Again - should have been released. Calling Occupants, but also a long song, but it was released. I think there could have been an edit or even record it again with some changes.
****Calling Occupants - maybe? It was released in September of 1977. The movie Close Encounters was released in November, but Star Wars came out in May. What if this had been released as a single the week Star Wars opened in theaters??
****Sweet, Sweet Smile - yes. I do like this song and wish it had charted higher. Maybe should have pushed it more to the country music stations and helped it chart higher there.
****B'wana She No Home - This is so different. Karen's voice had an edginess to it that we really don't hear on other songs. Jazzy. I think it might have charted well.

So, what if the above singles had been released, dates changed and charted higher....then maybe a Singles 1974-1978 might have been released in the US. and if so

****I Believe You - yes. The new single debuts on the Singles 74-78 album. Maybe it charts better and the album charts??


Made in America
****Touch Me When We're Dancing - yes. Maybe should have been released a week or two prior to the album release?
****Want you Back in My Life Again - maybe. If Karen's voice was brought forward and let the rhythm instruments and synthesizers be a little louder/harder, maybe would have caught more attention
****Those Good Old Dreams - not released
****Beechwood 4-5789 - Not released

Voice of the Heart
****Make Believe it's Your First Time - yes. But not as the first single.
****Prime Time Love - I think could have done well to possibly be the first single released, maybe a week or two prior to the album release.
****Two Lives - Another song that if Karen was more forward and bring out the percussion more, could have been a single. The intro is so soft.....different intro.....and have the song fade out, without the little piano coda.
****Your Baby Doesn't Love you Anymore - maybe. This is not a favorite of mine, but could have been released. Maybe if the three before had been released in the order and with some changes, this might have done better.

I think that is all for now.
Jonathan
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I suspect that you've pretty well nailed all of the usual suspects. Not much left to say.
 

closetocarpenters

Karen Carpenter Fans
I agree with mostly all of this! I think ‘Your Wonderful Parade’ being released as a single initially for Offering could have been replaced by ‘Don’t Be Afraid.’ It was rereleased as a single for Ticket to Ride in 1970 if I’m not mistaken..
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
While Close To You was riding high, it is too bad a dj did not flip the record over to play All Of My Life. I thought that was a great selection and maybe there would have been a two sided hit. It might have also help pull Offering/Ticket To Ride back into the charts.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
The flip of Close To You was I Kept On Loving You. The flip of WOJB was All Of My Life, retail version. Most radio stations got promos, and WOJB was on both sides Mono/Stereo, so they wouldn’t even have heard All Of My Life unless they bought it at a store. So it didn’t really stand a chance at much airplay.
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The flip of Close To You was I Kept On Loving You. The flip of WOJB was All Of My Life, retail version. Most radio stations got promos, and WOJB was on both sides Mono/Stereo, so they wouldn’t even have heard All Of My Life unless they bought it at a store. So it didn’t really stand a chance at much airplay.
My mistake. It was so long ago that I had the Close To You single.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
That’s my excuse when I mistype on here. No problem. It definitely is one of the best songs from Offering.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Richard Carpenter mentions that he asked Paul Williams to write the bridge for I Won't Last A Day Without You,
as he believed the song was too short.
I remind listeners of that point, because Let Me Be The One, another Paul Williams song, seems abbreviated for a single.
Listening to Let Me Be The One reminds me very much of the structure of the song I Won't Last A Day Without You--were
it not without its added bridge.
So, I still feel that LMBTO would have not been a great single choice.
I Won't Last A Day Without You is an incredible song, but, without the bridge requested by Richard I would not
feel the same about the song. It is simply a fantastic song.
These two songs may have reached Richard's ear in the same stack of demos dispatched from Paul Williams (I'm guessing).
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I agree.
jonathan
Richard Carpenter mentions that he asked Paul Williams to write the bridge for I Won't Last A Day Without You,
as he believed the song was too short.
I remind listeners of that point, because Let Me Be The One, another Paul Williams song, seems abbreviated for a single.
Listening to Let Me Be The One reminds me very much of the structure of the song I Won't Last A Day Without You--were
it not without its added bridge.
So, I still feel that LMBTO would have not been a great single choice.
I Won't Last A Day Without You is an incredible song, but, without the bridge requested by Richard I would not
feel the same about the song. It is simply a fantastic song.
These two songs may have reached Richard's ear in the same stack of demos dispatched from Paul Williams (I'm guessing).
 

motownboy

Well-Known Member
Your Baby Doesn't Love you Anymore - maybe. This is not a favorite of mine, but could have been released. Maybe if the three before had been released in the order and with some changes, this might have done better.

YBDLYA was released as a single...

R-4009317-1591529760-7594.jpeg.jpg
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
What I used to try to think of when I was a teen guessing the next single, I used to ask myself would this song chart if it was their first one? I was surprised by Goofus and Solitaire. I can’t speak to Made in America choices as the only one I cared for is Somebody’s Been Lyin which I knew was not strong enough fir a single. I think I Believe You has an arrangement that made it Angelic like and not soulful in choosing instruments as it could have, plus the word choice is not that great. The music itself is superb as is Karen’s singing. I feel a few from the solo project could have helped here, or Your The One or Where Fo I Go from here. I don’t think anything from voice of the heart is worthy except for Your Baby Doesn’t Love You Anymore but it was released at the wrong time. Maybe, At the End of A Song with Karen and Richard with backing vocals. I don’t think Happy would have helped and Love Me For What I Am could have been a stronger choice from Horizon. It could have certainly been a concert choice.
 

Alan71

Member
Calling Occupants only a maybe? You know it was a top 10 hit in the UK and Canada and a number 1 in Ireland? I’d have probably edited out the DJ bit though.
 

Michael Hagerty

Well-Known Member
Contributor
"Bless the Beasts and the Children" was the B-side of "Superstar". It got considerable airplay at the time, resulting in its charting separate from "Superstar". And that was only four or five months before A SONG FOR YOU came out. Too soon to bring back on its own.

Also, six singles from an album prior to THRILLER, wasn't done---for a lot of reasons. The biggest of them is declining performance past the second single. At that point, the album's been out there six to eight months and you're now getting into the time period where most fans have bought the album---they no longer need the single. And if they bought the album early, these are beginning to become old songs to them. Three singles could work then---but beyond that, the album is still going to go down the charts and the singles will start to look like comparative stiffs.

If it's going to be two years or more between albums, then it can be a useful tool in keeping an act on the radio, but in the era we're talking about, the cadence between Carpenters' albums was something less than a year.

My thoughts for singles from CLOSE TO YOU:

"Close To You"
"We've Only Just Begun"

At this point, it's two ballads and another is on the way with "Merry Christmas Darling". I might have tried for an uptempo hit with "I Kept On Loving You" to squeeze in between. At 2:13, the length helps it with radio, but I wouldn't have wanted to shorten the chart run of "We've Only Just Begun" or take away from the launch of "Merry Christmas, Darling".

Beyond that, I think A&M got the singles releases right on the tan album.

For A SONG FOR YOU:

"Hurting Each Other"
"Goodbye To Love"
"I Won't Last A Day Without You"

I think "I Won't Last A Day" has a stronger hook than "It's Going To Take Some Time". Still, I would have moved "Goodbye To Love" up to follow "Hurting Each Other", which peaked at #2 (additional image rehab).

If you had to have a single in '74 and had to go back to A SONG FOR YOU, then release "It's Going To Take Some Time". I don't think it would have done any better, but you'd have had a stronger run in '72.

I absolutely agree about "This Masquerade" (which would have screwed George Benson three years later). Beyond that, and the caveat that more than three singles off an album at the time wasn't likely to work, I'd say A&M pretty much got it right from that point until----"Goofus".
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Don't forget a couple of facts:

"I Kept On Loving You" was already out on the flip side of "(They Long To Be) Close To You", so releasing it as its own single would've required a different b-side, and some prior planning.

And, as soon as "Merry Christmas Darling" was packed up with the stockings, "For All We Know" was ready to go as the next single, and the lead track for the Tan album before its release.

It's like there's so much good stuff in those early albums, that radio and the charts couldn't keep up with them
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Don't forget a couple of facts:

"I Kept On Loving You" was already out on the flip side of "(They Long To Be) Close To You", so releasing it as its own single would've required a different b-side, and some prior planning.

And, as soon as "Merry Christmas Darling" was packed up with the stockings, "For All We Know" was ready to go as the next single, and the lead track for the Tan album before its release.

It's like there's so much good stuff in those early albums, that radio and the charts couldn't keep up with them
Man, I miss those days!!!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Also, six singles from an album prior to THRILLER, wasn't done---for a lot of reasons. The biggest of them is declining performance past the second single.

Despite Thriller breaking all the records as an album, that “multi-single” approach didn’t actually work for Michael either, outside of the US. Granted, the album spawned seven singles, but not all of them were successful in chart terms. With a couple of exceptions in other territories such as Canada and the Netherlands, the fourth, fifth and sixth singles all strayed outside the top 10 in Europe and in a lot of cases the top 40. In the UK, “Thriller” only barely scraped the top 10 and “Human Nature” scaled the dizzying heights of #162.
 
Top Bottom