• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline for October 2021! The new book Carpenter: The Musical Legacy will be available on October 19 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 October 22, and is available for ordering here.

Singles that were and singles that weren't

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Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
B'wana She No Home was sooo far ahead of its time. It belongs in the early to mid 80's. I can imagine hearing this song while cruising the Pacific Coast Highway.

I'm sure you know this but the track initially surfaced on Michael Franks' "Sleeping Gypsy" album in January of 77 - nine months shy of Carpenters' cover. Like many of the covers on "Passage", Carpenters' version isn't particularly different from the original. The only real difference is the key and Gene Puerling's vocal arrangement. Here it is if you've never heard it:


Ed
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I'm sure you know this but the track initially surfaced on Michael Franks' "Sleeping Gypsy" album in January of 77 - nine months shy of Carpenters' cover. Like many of the covers on "Passage", Carpenters' version isn't particularly different from the original. The only real difference is the key and Gene Puerling's vocal arrangement.

Great to hear this version again after a while. This is a more laid back version of the song. What sets the Carpenters’ version apart is the drumming on it. It really gives the track a groove and percussive edge that I’ve always loved. There were three different drummers used on the album, I don’t know if it was Vince Charles, Ed Greene or Ron Tutt who played drums on this track. If I had to guess I’d say the latter.
 

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Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Franks version is good, but Karen's amazingly crisp confident vocal and the piano sax duet make the Carp's version absolutely stellar!

For me, it's Puerling's vocal arrangement and the interplay between the players on Carpenters' version that gives it the edge. Pete Jolly is an absolute beast. Of course, Tom Scott is THE jazz sax player along with David Sanborn. The whole band was just having too much fun and you can hear it. I honestly didn't know Ron Tutt had this kind of drumming work in him.

Of course, Karen sounds perfectly detached. There is nothing else in their catalog like this and I love it.

Ed
 

Jerry

Member
Any thoughts or talked about too much??
Is it possible to have someone explain to me, how I start a conversation! Im
A member & have no clue how to start a message! I’m cleaning my closets & I came across an item, that I don’t believe many people are aware of. I’ve a sealed 4 track of the carpenters, offering! I’ve tried to get information on internet & was unsuccessful. If anyone could apply any information I’d be most grateful. My e mail address [email protected].
jerrel cooper
 

BarryT60

Well-Known Member
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
Been a long while since I've visited... I like most of your observations, with a couple exceptions... (purposely have not read responses (YET) so nothing swayed my thoughts....

I agree 100% with you on TTR and CTY and Carpenters.

For ASFY - I'd nix It's Going to Take Some Time - in favor of Wont Last a Day. I like the idea of A Song For You as a followup to GTL. Not sure that I'd have ever released Top - but there you go - I don't know everything!! :wink:

For Now & Then, I'm somewhat on the fence on Masquerade. In a small way - I almost think a full blown version of Johnny Angel or End of the World may have been interesting, based on the forthcoming Singles album, but that certainly is in retrospect. I may have leaned toward Jambalaya - since it was a hit in the other countries.

Horizon, definitely Desperado. I might have saved I can Dream Can't I for a standards album - and completed Trying to Get the Feeling Again and had that as a single as well.

A Kind of Hush, I may have led with I Need to Be in Love, and released the album simultaneously. Then followed up with You. Then potentially, Can't Smile Without You - - but again, in retrospect, I'd have nixed the horns from the re-mix and revised the arrangement in another way. That new version sounded a little too "Dixieland" to me. I do like and possibly prefer Barry's version of this one, so maybe just I Need to Be in Love and YOU - and that's it here.

Passage, I loved I Just Fall in Love Again. One of my all time favorites.
Definitely would have followed Sweet Sweet Smile up with Two Sides. That album - to me - was one that A & M should have moved heaven and earth to promote better. A live concert TV show, like Barbra or Elvis, spiffs to the radio stations to get that stuff on the air more, and any amount of cash to promote & associate or tie in promotions with either Calling Occupants with Close Encounters or Star Wars. It was really a very good album that didn't get it's due, IMHO.

MIA - Uh - I'd have nixed Good Old Dreams for sure. TOO MOR for the times. I don't have too much to say here. Hated the lyrics to Strength, although Karen does beautifully on the verses. Probably, I'd have kept Kiss Me the way You Did Last Night and released that after Touch. No Beechwood. I was surprised Want You Back in My Life Again was such a dud. But we all know many of the reasons they weren't on the road promoting, so this one is a tough one to analyze now.

Voice.... Wow.... Again - a tough one. I quite loved Make Believe a lot - but knowing Karen had recorded her own version, maybe - as a swan song single, and edited version of Look to Your Dreams may have been an interesting choice.
Or better yet, potentially switching one song out for Rainbow Connection. That could have been a sweet farewell single, and a nod to Sing - a song that was certainly released at their pinnacle. Karen sounded strong on Rainbow - and what a lovely sentiment to send out to the airwaves when folks were so reminiscent & certainly melancholy over Karen's abrupt departure from this earth:

"Someday we'll find it - the Rainbow Connection.... the lovers, the dreamers & me..."
 

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Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Would of been good on MIA, but it would of been great if included on "Voice of the Heart."

I'm honestly okay without it. I never listen to it myself. That song was written specifically for Kermit and his cadence. Only Sarah McLachlan has gotten away with it. No one else has made it work IMHO, not even Karen. The arrangement itself is very elevator too so that does it no favors. It's interesting that we got hear it but that's about it.

That said, it's still better than most things on MIA. VOTH is the far better record so I'd leave that one intact.

Ed
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
So, the lyrics of RAINBOW are new agey nonsense composed for a frog puppet to sing fantastical word pictures to snot nosed brats...Karen takes them and owns them as only she could, and always did - like everything else she ever touched it's such an immense joy to listen to her that any strange word salad will do - and, if this is elevator music I'm riding all day long...
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
It's interesting that we got hear it but that's about it.
So, the lyrics of RAINBOW are new agey nonsense composed for a frog puppet to sing fantastical word pictures to snot nosed brats...Karen takes them and owns them as only she could, and always did - like everything else she ever touched it's such an immense joy to listen to her that any strange word salad will do - and, if this is elevator music I'm riding all day long...

IMHO, things like the "Morinaga Hi-Crown Chocolate, The Suntory Pop Jingles and Good Friends Are For Keeps" are "more" in the vein of it's interesting that we got to hear them, but that's about it. (Although I love all three!) The Rainbow Connection is a completely realized song. It's really no more elevator than "Now" for example, and a lot more fun.

Karen reportedly didn't care for Solitaire, Ordinary Fool and The Rainbow Connection. But she sang them anyway like she owned them. :)
 
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JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
...

Karen reportedly didn't care for Solitaire, Ordinary Fool and The Rainbow Connection. But she sang them anyway like she owned them. :)
She absolutely did - it was a law of nature: if Karen sang it Karen owned it - much to the chagrin of Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway, George Benson, The Beatles and even Kermit the freakin' Frog...but at least they all had the good grace to admit it publicly (except maybe Kermie, who was green with envy, so to speak).

Not sure why she didn't like SOLITAIRE and ORDINARY FOOL - maybe like rainy days and mondays the lyrics got her down...
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
She absolutely did - it was a law of nature: if Karen sang it Karen owned it - much to the chagrin of Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway, George Benson, The Beatles and even Kermit the freakin' Frog...but at least they all had the good grace to admit it publicly (except maybe Kermie, who was green with envy, so to speak).
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Be careful what you say, @JohnFB !! You don't wanna be messing with Kermit the freakin' Frog !! 🐸 🤣
 

JohnFB

I was born to belong to the lines of a song...
Kermit the freakin' gangsta frog! Didn't know he was a gun nut - Is that an AK-47 or an AR-15 he's totin' ? Either way, I have new found respect...
 
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