• The new Carpenters recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is now available. Use this link to order, and help us out at the same time. Thank you!

Your favorite hits by the Carpenters that did not make the Top 40?

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
The Carpenters had 28 songs that charted on Billboard's Top 100 during their impressive career and I put the 8 songs that failed to make the Top 40 cutoff in my favorite order along with their peak Billboard chart position.

1. Ticket to Ride (#54)
2. Sweet Sweet Smile (#44)
3. I Believe You (#68)
4. (Want You) Back in My Life Again (#72)
5. Bless the Beasts and the Children (#67)
6. Those Good Old Dreams (#63)
7. Beechwood 4-5789. (#74)
8. Goofus (#56)

Of these lessor hits, I'd give the nod to "Sweet Sweet Smile" for being the Carpenters most successful commercial and international release due to it's #8 placement on the Country charts, Top 40 in Canada, UK, Netherlands and Germany while also achieving the highest position on the US AC charts at #7. "I Believe You" peaked at #9 on the US AC Charts with "(Want You) Back in My Life" charting at #14. I'm guessing that "Ticket to Ride" would probably be the most recognizable song from a non Carpenters fan's perspective with "Bess the Beasts and the Children" a close second due to it's Academy Award nomination. The UK, Canada and Japan may have different views of these songs due to different levels of success in their own markets. Your thoughts?
 
Last edited:

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I wish the 1981 singles had charted higher, just for Karen’s sake. A couple of music reviews at the time predicted (Want You) Back In My Life Again would see some great chart action and it’s a shame that it didn’t, despite that promotional performance on Merv Griffin’s show.
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Back in my life Again is a nice song. But, it doesn’t become their look to do a teen type song at their age at the time with all they have accomplished.
 

Another Son

Well-Known Member
I LOVE Muskrat Love! It’s so good, it was a hit twice in the US - Number 4 by Captain & Tennille and a minor hit, (Number 67), for America.

I also loved ‘Goofus’ when it was released as a single - it got radio airplay - and I still like it.

My appreciation of some of the uptempo tracks from ‘Made in America’ has worn a bit thin, over the years.

My favourite non-hit singles would be ‘Ticket to Ride’ 1969, ‘Those Good Old Dreams’, ‘Bless the Beasts & Children’, ‘I Believe You’ and ‘Goofus’, probably in no particular order, as they’re all not just very good - they’re all GREAT!

Well, I admit that ‘Goofus’ isn’t quite as monumental as the other four.

I don’t like ‘Sweet, Sweet Smile’ much - Karen gets a bit harsh in tone in her vocal - ‘Back In My Life Again’ is a throw-away of little consequence with a ‘nothing’ vocal by Karen - quite characterless - and ‘Beechwood’ is also quite characterless.

These are my opinions.
 

Kyle Thomas

Well-Known Member
"Sweet Sweet Smile" may be my very least favorite Carpenters song. I've never taken to it, and to me, it always felt like they were trying to replicate "Top of the World" by having a country-western styled song be the hit that anchored their second Singles collection (The Singles 1974-78).

By far the best songs on this list, in my opinion, are "Ticket to Ride" (the 1973 version is simply stunning) and "Bless the Beasts and the Children." "I Believe You" and "Those Good Old Dreams" have their moments. The rest are just okay -- and not surprising that they didn't rise higher in the charts.
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Sorry, these are the hits that charted in the Top 100 but failed to make it into the Top 40. Maybe someone could start a thread for favorite album cuts that were never released as singles. "Let Me Be the One" and "You're the One" would be my two candidates for potential hits that never received an opportunity.
 

JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
Sorry, these are the hits that charted in the Top 100 but failed to make it into the Top 40. Maybe someone could start a thread for favorite album cuts that were never released as singles. "Let Me Be the One" and "You're the One" would be my two candidates for potential hits that never received an opportunity.
YOU'RE THE ONE
LEAVE YESTERDAY BEHIND
ONE MORE TIME
A SONG FOR YOU
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
DESPERADO
ONE LOVE
THIS MASQUERADE
I JUST FALL IN LOVE AGAIN
A PLACE TO HIDEAWAY
KISS ME LIKE YOU DID LAST NIGHT

This list represents all that was right with the Carpenters, and all that was wrong with "The System" (the Recording Industry and Record Company Management and Hit Radio).
 
Last edited:

Geographer

Well-Known Member
YOU'RE THE ONE
LEAVE YESTERDAY BEHIND
ONE MORE TIME
A SONG FOR YOU
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
DESPERADO
ONE LOVE
THIS MASQUERADE
I JUST FALL IN LOVE AGAIN
A PLACE TO HIDEAWAY
KISS ME LIKE YOU DID LAST NIGHT

This list represents all that was right with the Carpenters, and all that was wrong with "The System" (the Recording Industry and Record Company Management and Hit Radio).
I actually agree with this.
 

JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
I would like to add NOW and BABY, IT'S YOU to my list above for a "baker's dozen" of great songs that were needlessly shunned...and I shouldn't have said "...all that was right with the Carpenters.."., but a very substantial part of it...
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
The Carpenters had 28 songs that charted on Billboard's Top 100 during their impressive career and I put the 8 songs that failed to make the Top 40 cutoff in my favorite order along with their peak Billboard chart position.

1. Ticket to Ride (#54)
2. Sweet Sweet Smile (#44)
3. I Believe You (#68)
4. (Want You) Back in My Life Again (#72)
5. Bless the Beasts and the Children (#67)
6. Those Good Old Dreams (#63)
7. Beechwood 4-5789. (#74)
8. Goofus (#56)

Of these lessor hits, I'd give the nod to "Sweet Sweet Smile" for being the Carpenters most successful commercial and international release due to it's #8 placement on the Country charts, Top 40 in Canada, UK, Netherlands and Germany while also achieving the highest position on the US AC charts at #7. "I Believe You" peaked at #9 on the US AC Charts with "(Want You) Back in My Life" charting at #14. I'm guessing that "Ticket to Ride" would probably be the most recognizable song from a non Carpenters fan's perspective with "Bess the Beasts and the Children" a close second due to it's Academy Award nomination. The UK, Canada and Japan may have different views of these songs due to different levels of success in their own markets. Your thoughts?
Your numbers 1, 4 and 6 I never heard on the radio at all in this area. 3, 5 and 8 did get airplay but not for long. 2 and 7 did get a lot of airplay.
My personal liking from this list is Ticket to Ride and Bless The Beasts And The Children.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
YOU'RE THE ONE
LEAVE YESTERDAY BEHIND
ONE MORE TIME
A SONG FOR YOU
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
DESPERADO
ONE LOVE
THIS MASQUERADE
I JUST FALL IN LOVE AGAIN
A PLACE TO HIDEAWAY
KISS ME LIKE YOU DID LAST NIGHT

This list represents all that was right with the Carpenters, and all that was wrong with "The System" (the Recording Industry and Record Company Management and Hit Radio).
Can't argue with your list....all winners. One addition; Let Me Be The One.
 

Song4uman

Well-Known Member
In looking at your list, I’ll remove those that I don’t care for and comment on the others.


1. Ticket to Ride (#54). This could have been released in 1973 with the new lead and probably would have charted much higher.

2. Sweet Sweet Smile (#44). I like this one. I thin it would have charted much higher had it been written and released in 1974 during their high point.


5. Bless the Beasts and the Children (#67). This one should have actually been released as a single and I think it would have made the top 40.

Just my thoughts

Jonathan
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
2. Sweet Sweet Smile (#44). I like this one. I thin it would have charted much higher had it been written and released in 1974 during their high point.
I always liked "Sweet Sweet Smile" also and felt it would have had a similar impact as "Top of the World" if released around the time frame you mentioned. It's such an uptempo "feel good" song and I remember it being a popular line dancing song even though the country clubs weren't my scene back then or now. I played it for my 22 year old niece during the holidays and she loved it!
 

John Adam

"Two Lives"
1. Ticket to Ride (#54). This could have been released in 1973 with the new lead and probably would have charted much higher.

2. Sweet Sweet Smile (#44). I like this one. I think it would have charted much higher had it been written and released in 1974 during their high point.


5. Bless the Beasts and the Children (#67). This one should have actually been released as a single and I think it would have made the top 40.

:agree:
 

JohnFB

Not the voice of an angel - better...
"Sweet Sweet Smile" may be my very least favorite Carpenters song. I've never taken to it, and to me, it always felt like they were trying to replicate "Top of the World" by having a country-western styled song be the hit that anchored their second Singles collection (The Singles 1974-78).

By far the best songs on this list, in my opinion, are "Ticket to Ride" (the 1973 version is simply stunning) and "Bless the Beasts and the Children." "I Believe You" and "Those Good Old Dreams" have their moments. The rest are just okay -- and not surprising that they didn't rise higher in the charts.
Never liked SWEET, SWEET SMILE or BEECHWOOD or GOOFUS...musically not worthy of Richard's arranging skills or Karen's voice...

BEASTS could have been a real good song without Karen's unfortunate lead double-tracking...

TICKET and BELIEVE are especially good on the RPO album...and GOOD OLD DREAMS was always an underrated and underappreciated song......
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Interesting, how views differ....
Both Goofus and Sweet, Sweet Smile are favorite songs of mine.
Both are arranged creatively, being amongst some of the best arrangements ever created by Richard.
Yes, Goofus probably should not have been released as a single, but, still, a great album piece.
Sweet, Sweet Smile....when I heard that one, it put a smile on my face and that smile has never been erased.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Interesting, how views differ....
Both Goofus and Sweet, Sweet Smile are favorite songs of mine.
Both are arranged creatively, being amongst some of the best arrangements ever created by Richard.
Yes, Goofus probably should not have been released as a single, but, still, a great album piece.
Sweet, Sweet Smile....when I heard that one, it put a smile on my face and that smile has never been erased.

Views really do differ(!) - both 'Goofus' and 'Sweet Sweet Smile' are in that very select group of 'instant skips' for me. 'Goofus' is a weak and silly song and a disastrous choice for a single. I'd concede that 'Sweet Sweet Smile' was at least mildly catchy (if inane), but it does nothing for me at all - and seemingly not for the record-buying public either.

Of the US singles that fell short of the Top 40, some are OK but I don't think there's a 'smash hit that got away' amongst them. Even 'Ticket to Ride' in its original 1969 single version doesn't really sound like a big hit, although I think the 1973 re-recorded version could certainly have been.

Actually, my favourite non-Top 40 single of theirs would be 'Your Baby Doesn't Love Anymore', which didn't chart at all!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
but I don't think there's a 'smash hit that got away'
"Let Me Be The One" is the one that got away. They were so prolific early on, that they didn't allow time for that one to be a single - and it had all the earmarks that it would have been a smash hit, IMHO. It had the Nichols-Williams pedigree and was actually played on some radio stations.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
"Let Me Be The One" is the one that got away. They were so prolific early on, that they didn't allow time for that one to be a single - and it had all the earmarks that it would have been a smash hit, IMHO. It had the Nichols-Williams pedigree and was actually played on some radio stations.

Oh I agree on that - there are probably a handful of other album tracks that had real strong hit potential. What I meant was that none of the non-Top 40 singles was a smash that got away.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Being all of 2:25, Let Me Be The One might be a tad short for radio play ?
Also, the song wasn't even promoted via a "B" side from those singles off of the Tan album,
so, really, I doubt that the song was ever considered for any more than it was--a great album cut.
The version on From The Top (2:49) is my favorite (and, we did get a promo-cd with that song on it !).
Regards Goofus, not too many Carpenters' songs featured Wes Jacobs (tuba) and I love that arrangement.
Bless The Beasts and Children is an all-time favorite of mine (soundtrack version excels, imho).
As Karen said in a 1978 interview, Sweet Sweet Smile is so "catchy," and I concur wholeheartedly.
But, if country-tinged-pop isn't your thing, it probably doesn't fly.
 
Top Bottom