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Second singles collection,
This review is from: Carpenters Singles 1974 - 1978 (Audio CD)
This album was put out in the UK and several other countries to cash in on the Carpenters success at the time. But it was also because the only new album by them was a Christmas album, something that doesn't really go down well with audiences outside of the States. The Singles 1974-1978 was a pure compilation album and not like it's predecessor, the far superior 'Singles 1969-73', that album was rerecorded in large parts and includes 9 American gold singles.
Although the original vinyl release did include mostly single versions: 'Please mister postman', 'There's a kind of hush' 'I Won't last a day without you' & 'Can't smile without you', they didn't all survive onto the CD release. Also it has been falsely stated that musical piano interludes were used in-between tracks - they weren't!
The album could have been better if 'I Believe you' had been included and released as a single, this song in my opinion was one of their best recordings in their latter years, and the single version of 'Calling occupants' used. Why 'Happy' and 'Can't smile without you' are included is a bit of a mystery. 'Happy' wasn't released as a single, something that is often mistakenly quoted, and the Carpenters re-recording of 'Can't smile without you' really doesn't work well. It wasn't the first time Barry Manilow came along and nailed a song the Carpenters couldn't get right! 'Goofus' and 'Mr Guder' were released as singles in some countries during this time period and would have made better choices!
But of course the success of the album is down to their major hits: 'Please mister postman', 'Only yesterday' 'Jambalaya' (in a few countries) and their Cover of Klaatu's 'Calling occupants'. But two of the strongest songs on the album were really not given their credit until way after Karen's death, the beautiful 'I need to be in Love' which became a major hit in Japan in the 90's and 'Solitaire', a simply magical recording showcasing both Karen and Richard's talents.
There are much better compilations than this now, and most sound far better via Richard's re-recordings and remastering. Die-hard Carpenters fan's will want it for their collections but for others, go for the 'Gold' 35th anniversary edition, it's far superior!
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Initial post: 17 May 2017, 10:58:58 BST
Last edited by the author on 19 May 2017, 20:42:26 BST
David Thompson says:
Good review, but could you please remind me......when was the first time that Barry Manilow nailed a song that the Carpenters couldn't get right? The only song that I can think of is 'Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again', but then that wasn't issued by the Carpenters until much later, although originally recorded in 1973/74. It was only never used on Horizon because it was felt that the album already had too many ballads.
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