A Song for You (1972)

1. A Song for You
2. Top of the World
3. Hurting Each Other
4. It's Going to Take Some Time
5. Goodbye to Love
6. Intermission
7. Bless the Beasts and Children
8. Flat Baroque
9. Piano Picker
10. I Won't Last a Day Without You
11. Crystal Lullaby
12. Road Ode
13. A Song for You (Reprise)



This is the slightly different second cover of A Song for You. Apparently, someone at A&M thought that the original cover wasn't eye-catching enough, so they redid it with a larger heart and bolder logo. However, Richard was not happy that the cover was changed without his knowledge, so it was eventually changed back to one very similar to the first.



This is the Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab CD cover for A Song for You. MFSL was a company that released "Original Master Recordings" of albums, carefully remastered from the original tapes for greater sound clarity and fidelity. However, A&M Records did such a good job on the original CD mastering that there is hardly any difference in sound quality between the original CD release and the MFSL release.

However, there are some different remixes on the MFSL version. Here is the track list for this edition:
1. A Song for You (1987 remix)
2. Top of the World (1973 version)
3. Hurting Each Other
4. It's Going to Take Some Time (1989 remix)
5. Goodbye to Love (1985 remix)
6. Intermission (1989 remix)
7. Bless the Beasts and Children (1985 remix)
8. Flat Baroque
9. Piano Picker
10. I Won't Last a Day Without You (album mix, sped up)
11. Crystal Lullaby
12. Road Ode
13. A Song for You (Reprise)




Buy from Amazon: (or) Buy the MFSL version:
Top U.S. chart position: #4


A Song for You is really the pinnacle of the Carpenters' recording career, in more ways than one. It spawned more hit singles than any other album -- "Top of the World," "Hurting Each Other," "It's Going to Take Some Time," "Goodbye to Love," "I Won't Last a Day Without You," and, to a lesser extent, "Bless the Beasts and Children."

But it is also the most sophistacted, coherent overall package in the Carpenters catalog. To start with, it is "bookended" with the song "A Song for You" (in its complete form at the beginning and in a very haunting reprise at the end). The progression of songs on side 1 is a cycle of the stages of a relationship and the recovery after a breakup. This is followed by an intermission (based on the song "Crucifixus" by Antonio Lotti; contact me if you ever want to hear "Crucifixus," because I've performed it on many a Good Friday).

Side 2 presents a wide variety of styles, including a movie theme ("Bless the Beasts and Children"), an instrumental ("Flat Baroque," which Richard composed in 1966), an amusing lead-vocal performance from Richard ("Piano Picker," which was written by Randy Edelman but fits Richard perfectly), and three of the best songs ever recorded by the Carpenters (I Won't Last a Day Without You," "Crystal Lullaby" and "Road Ode."

What makes this album really work, more than the songs, is Karen's performance. Songs like "Goodbye to Love" and "Road Ode" must have really touched something inside her, because she sings those songs as if she's living them right then and there.

A few notes: The version of "Bless the Beasts and Children" on A Song for You is slightly different from the one on the movie's soundtrack album. Where you hear the english horn on the A Song for You version, there is a vibraphone on the movie soundtrack version. Not a major difference, but still different.

"Top of the World" is a complicated story. The original album version of the song was not considered to be "hit" material, and so was not considered for single release. But after Lynn Anderson had a hit on the country charts with her cover of the song, and the Carpenters' version became a hit in Japan, Richard realized how much potential the song had. However, by this time, the Carpenters had already released their next album, Now and Then, and Richard still wasn't thrilled by the original version of "Top of the World." So Karen and Richard went back into the studio and redid the song (recording an entirely new lead vocal and steel guitar track), and the resulting single version was a huge hit! This single version is the one usually heard, and it was the version of the song included on both the original CD release of A Song for You and the MFSL CD. The original album version of the song was first released on CD on the From the Top compilation, and was restored to its rightful place on the album when A&M released the "Remastered Classics" version of A Song for You.

The original CD release of A Song for You was also lacking the detailed liner notes (lyrics and notes about each song) that both the MFSL CD and the "Remastered Classics" CD have. And as is the case with all the "Remastered Classics" CDs, other songs that had been remixed on earlier CD releases were restored to their original album mixes for the "Remastered" CD.


Produced by Jack Daugherty Productions


Singles:

"Hurting Each Other" / "Maybe It's You" #2

"It's Going To Take Some Time" / "Flat Baroque" #12

"Goodbye To Love" / "Crystal Lullaby" #7

"Top Of The World" / "Heather" #1 (2 weeks)

"I Won't Last A Day Without You" / "One Love" #11


Return to the Carpenters Album Index.