And now for something completely different...
Passage was Richard's attempt to breathe some life back into the faltering career of the Carpenters. It was a near-complete departure from the established Carpenters' style, and it delved into some rather unusual material.
Only three songs on the album really feel like "Carpenters" songs: "All You Get from Love is a Love Song," "I Just Fall In Love Again" and "Two Sides." "Sweet, Sweet Smile" is a perky but unremarkable song, and "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," while impressive in scale and performance, isn't really the style of music best-suited for Karen's voice.
"B'wana She No Home" is truly strange, yet I find it very compelling and fun. I can't say the same for "Man Smart, Woman Smarter," which is just plain awful. And nothing in the entire Carpenters' catalog can prepare one for the strangeness that is "Calling Occupants."
It's not hard to see why this album performed poorly on the charts and failed to produce any top-30 singles. 1977 was a year of Saturday Night Fever, K.C. and the Sunshine Band, "Boogie Nights" (of which there exists a recording of Karen singing part of this song, but that's another story), and even though Richard was moving the Carpenters in a new direction, it wasn't the direction the American public was moving when buying records.
One other song was recorded during the Passage sessions, "You're the One." In my opinion, it's better than all the songs on the album, but Richard decided to leave it off because it was a ballad very similar to "I Just Fall In Love Again." This song was eventually released on Lovelines in 1989.
Produced by Richard Carpenter
Associate Producer Karen Carpenter
"All You Get From Love Is A Love Song" / "I Have You" #35
"Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" / "Can't Smile Without You" #32
"Sweet, Sweet Smile" / "I Have You" #44
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.