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Album Sides THE ALBUM SIDES [Poll]: "HORIZON" (SP-4530)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side 1

    Votes: 21 43.8%
  • Side 2

    Votes: 27 56.3%

  • Total voters
    48

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
“HORIZON”



Catalogue Number: A&M SP-4530
Date of Release: 06/06/75
Chart Position- U.S.: #13; U.K.: #1; JAPAN: #1
Album Singles: "Please Mr. Postman”/"This Masquerade”
"Only Yesterday"/”Happy”
"Solitaire"/"Love Me For What I Am"
Medium: Vinyl/Reel/8-track/Cassette/CD

Side 1:
1.) Aurora 1:33 (Carpenter/Bettis)
2.) Only Yesterday 4:12 (Carpenter/Bettis)
3.) Desperado 3:37 (Henley/Frey)
4.) Please Mr. Postman 2:50 (Garrett/Holland/Gorman/Dobbins/Bateman)
5.) I Can Dream Can't I 4:58 (Kahal/Fain)

Side 2:
1.) Solitaire 4:39 (Sedaka/Cody)
2.) Happy 3:48 (Peluso/Rubin/Bettis)
3.) (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You 4:04 (Carpenter/Bettis)
4.) Love Me For What I Am 3:30 (Bettis/Pascale)
5.) Eventide 1:32 (Carpenter/Bettis)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I'd go with Side One. The two uptempo singles are there, making this side more listenable to me than Side Two, which I found disappointing. I had gravitated toward the faster, peppier, songs by Carpenters and Side Two was chock full of slower ballads. Nothing was slower than "Solitaire" - except maybe "Desperado", and we'd already slogged through that on Side One! (I'm recalling my initial reaction to the album.)

A song called "Happy" seemed a promising candidate to turn things around, and it almost worked. The chorus, "Happy is the way I'm feeling..." sounded pretty good, but then the "...falling in love, falling in love with you" part seemed to me to take the song in an odd musical direction. The duo does a fine job with the song - I just don't care for it - and it's the closest thing to peppy on Side Two.

The album always felt at least one song too short. "Aurora" and "Eventide" serve well as bookends, but they really comprise just one song.

That leaves the album with really nine tracks, two of which were singles prior to the album. That leaves seven - an album side in the UK!
 

K.C. Jr

Well-Known Member
This is the most difficult album for me to choose. I finally went with side 1 due to "Desperado" (my favorite track on the album) and "Only Yesterday" (favorite single from the album). However, I love "Goodbye and I Love You" just as much, along with nearly every other song on side 2. With this album, you really can't lose no matter which side you choose...
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
I picked Side Two after changing my vote from Side One. They're really equally great, but 'Solitaire' is just otherworldly and 'Happy' is the best b-side Karen and Richard ever released.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I have a hard time with this one too. I don't particularly care for either of the two singles - "Postman" I find boring and repetitive, and "Yesterday" sounds overproduced and over-tinkered-with to me. So, I guess I would have to go with side 2 because I really like "Happy" -- it's really the only song on the album that would ever end up on a "Best-0f-Carpenters" collection if I was the compiler.

I remember first seeing this album and being surprised that "Please Mr. Postman" was even on it. That song had come out months prior to the LP, and it didn't really fit in with the other tunes or even the mood of this album.... plus, at that time, several major artists were releasing "non-album" singles (most famously, Elton John). So I was surprised to see that song among the track-list for the new record. To this day it seems like the weird one of the bunch.

At the end of the day, for me, the best thing about this one is the cover photo, which is one of my favorite pics of the duo.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Side 2, definitely. I figure I'd skip the last two songs on side 1 vs. only the first one on side 2. :D "I Can Dream..." does not sit right given the pop styling of the rest of the album. "Postman...", uh, no thanks. Even "Desperado" I can do without, for that matter. I really like the "manufactured pop" approach to "Only Yesterday" and "Happy." And the album's opening and closing bookends are unique, yet fit in nicely. Seems I gravitate more towards the originals than the covers on this one, and side 2 has more of that.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Side 1 has the edge here, as it's a good balance between the upbeat ('Only Yesterday' and 'Please Mr Postman') and the downbeat ('Aurora', 'Desperado' and 'I Can Dream Can't I?'), plus I quite like at the very least all the tracks on this side.

Side 2 demonstrates the problems of sequencing an album with so many ballads. 'Solitaire' is far too slow and draggy to open a side and then you've only 'Happy' to break the mood. I've always felt 'I'm Caught Between Goodbye and I Love You' and 'Love Me For What I Am' were too similar sounding to appear next to each other on an album, and I think the effect is to downplay the brilliance of 'Love Me For What I Am'. I love it now but for years it always got lumped in my mind as being a part with the OK but weaker 'I'm Caught Between Goodbye'. This side would have been helped greatly by an extra uptempo track and some resequencing. At a push I'd even be happy for 'Solitaire' to have been dropped completely as it's such a downer that I don't know where it would fit in comfortably in any sequencing on this side.
 

Graeme

Well-Known Member
Tricky one. In the end I went for side 1. I love the album but I always felt the tracks needed to be rearranged a bit. (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You and Love Me For What I Am are just a bit too similar to be placed next to one another.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I love this album as it showcases the sound of Karen's voice better than any other recording. Side One gets the edge here as I find the first three tracks among their very best.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I was just thinking about my immediate reaction when reading the songlist when I first saw this album.

With most of their previous work, there were things that signaled a little humor or offbeat touches, things like "Intermission," "Piano Picker," the oldies medley on Now and Then, the bookended reprises of "Yesterday Once More" and "A Song For You," etc. etc. etc. Even the songlist of Horizon seemed more serious and less playful/experimental/offbeat than their earlier releases.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I was just thinking about my immediate reaction when reading the songlist when I first saw this album.

With most of their previous work, there were things that signaled a little humor or offbeat touches, things like "Intermission," "Piano Picker," the oldies medley on Now and Then, the bookended reprises of "Yesterday Once More" and "A Song For You," etc. etc. etc. Even the songlist of Horizon seemed more serious and less playful/experimental/offbeat than their earlier releases.
Good observation. With titles like Solitaire, Desperado and (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You, I think it must have become clear that they'd grown up quite a bit since their first few studio albums.
 

Toolman

Simple Man, Simple Dream
Favorite cut on the album is probably "Happy". Very inventive arrangement, somewhat unusual for them (in the emphasis on the nimbly picked acoustic guitar), and I really enjoyed the harmonies on lines like "Please forgive me if I seem / to be walking through a waking dream..." -- demonstrating that the siblings sounded great together even without lush overdubbing. That said, I'm sure I've listened more often to the first side of the album, because that's where the "hits" are (and over time, I came to really like their nod to the big band era, years ahead of "What's New" and all that its success inspired). I don't think there's a bad cut on "Horizon", but there is a bit more variety on side one.
 

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
I selected Side 2, although, like everybody else, I love both sides. One thought: this album has been consistently referred to as “draggy,” but I’ve always thought the duo should have leaned in to the slow pace of the album and kept the integrity of one, melodic motif.

I’m thinking, for instance, about Beck’s excellent Sea Change album, Barry Manilow’s 2am Paradise Cafe, and/or most of Sade’s albums. In fact, I made a Horizon 2.0 playlist on Spotify with the following scrumptious, melancholy tracks (some of which were recorded during the Horizon sessions and others borrowed from the A Kind Of Hush sessions):

“Side One"
Aurora
Only Yesterday
Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again
Desperado
Solitaire
I Can Dream, Can’t I?

“Side Two"
(I’m Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You
Love Me For What I Am
I Need To Be In Love
Ordinary Fool
One More Time
Eventide

This reimagined Horizon album / playlist is an exquisite, aural balm at the end of a long day, especially if it’s been a rough one.
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
I like that playlist better than the actual album. It reminds me of when I made a Say You Will 2.0 of Fleetwood Mac's most recent album ... I took out several of Lindsey & Stevie's more weird songs and substituted in some Christine McVie rarities from their box set and one or two albums they made without Buckingham. It made the album much better to have Christine in the mix, I thought.

But I digress...The only thing I would change about your playlist is, I would put "Aurora" at the beginning of Side 2, and move "Only Yesterday" to the leadoff track position on Side 1. That song is more upbeat than "Aurora" (and compared to the rest of the songs too) and thus makes a good opening song. That way, if you were listening on repeat, you wouldn't hear Aurora right after hearing Eventide.
 

Must Hear This Album

Well-Known Member
The only thing I would change about your playlist is, I would put "Aurora" at the beginning of Side 2, and move "Only Yesterday" to the leadoff track position on Side 1. That song is more upbeat than "Aurora" (and compared to the rest of the songs too) and thus makes a good opening song. That way, if you were listening on repeat, you wouldn't hear Aurora right after hearing Eventide.
Good thought on Aurora, and it would echo the duo’s side two bookending of “Yesterday Once More” and “YOM reprise" on the previous album. I might, then, rearrange the song order as follows (for both balance and flow):

“Side One"
Only Yesterday
Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again
Desperado
Solitaire
(I’m Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You
I Can Dream, Can’t I?

“Side Two"
Aurora
Love Me For What I Am
I Need To Be In Love
Ordinary Fool
One More Time
Eventide
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I really can't choose a side, since I'm really not crazy about this album. I tend to play "A Kind Of Hush" more than "Horizon". Next to "MIA", I think "Horizon" was their second worst album. On their other albums, Side 2 seemed to be where they would have fun, but on "Horizon", it kind of had its fun track ("Happy") essentially right of the bat and then it was down and sullen.

And I think "Happy" should've been a single from this album, of course that's due to having heard it on "The Singles 1974-1978" collection for years on end and thinking that it was one of their hits.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Good thought on Aurora, and it would echo the duo’s side two bookending of “Yesterday Once More” and “YOM reprise" on the previous album. I might, then, rearrange the song order as follows (for both balance and flow):

“Side One"
Only Yesterday
Tryin’ To Get The Feeling Again
Desperado
Solitaire
(I’m Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You
I Can Dream, Can’t I?

“Side Two"
Aurora
Love Me For What I Am
I Need To Be In Love
Ordinary Fool
One More Time
Eventide
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
I picked side 2 although i too liked both sides my reason is my favorite track "I'm Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You". As i heard that track played on a few Easy Listening radio stations in regular rotation. I think it became definitive of the kind of ballads that The Carpenters became more known for in their later years. This just might be where the trend began in my opinion. Then Again i may be wrong.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
I'm Caught Between... and Love Me For... are my favorites on this album. I enjoy Solitaire and the bookend songs. I never really liked the chorus of Happy which disappoints me since I really like the verses. As I try to remember which I listened to more at age 14 and I think Side 2 was listened more often. I always thought this album 2 songs short but it is my favorite since Karen sounds spectacular on each track. I never liked the Postman version on this album and glad when it was remixed which we hear on the Gold album.
I Can Dream Can't I captures the golden area from which it came showcasing the depth of Karen's voice as a superb classic singer who can fit into any generation.

Craig
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
This was the toughest decision I have yet made with respect to the Polls !
Initially, I gravitated to Side One, as Only Yesterday (my all-time favorite song)
and Please Mr.Postman (another favorite) both occurred on this Side.
Finally, two thing swayed me (barely) to Side Two:
Solitaire
is simply one of the finest Karen Carpenter vocals ever put to 'tape'
and-- as to the other songs-- each time She lingers on those words "....Sea..."
in Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You, my heart melts.

But, truthfully, I love both Sides.
I Love everything about this fantastic Album: Horizon




 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Solitaire is simply one of the finest Karen Carpenter vocals ever put to 'tape'
I couldn't agree with you more @GaryAlan! Oddly enough, one of my all-time favorite Peluso moments is the doubled guitar fill that Tony plays during the 2nd chorus right after the line "And by himself it's easy to pretend he'll never love again...". Just a killer arrangement. That whole record was way ahead of its time...
 
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