Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Touch Me When We're Dancing" by Carpenters

Song#:  0645
Date:  06/20/1981
Debut:  76
Peak:  16
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  Immensely popular during their 70s heyday, Richard and Karen Carpenter scored three #1's, five #2's and four other Top 10's from 1970 to 1975. Tagged by critics as white-bread and saccharine, it didn't deter record buyers who gave them eight platinum and six gold albums. It wasn't until years later in the 90s that naysayers came around and lauded their music - especially Karen's voice. The duo's popularity began to wane in the late 70s as tastes were changing and their style of easy listening/AC was not in favor. They had not had a Top 20 hit since 1976 and their last studio album was the first to not go gold since their debut in 1969. But plenty of Carpenters fans still were around when they released their first album of the 80s, "Made in America," and this single found its way into the Top 20 - their last to do so. It also became their fifteenth and final #1 hit on the AC chart. The album would also be the duo's final new release due to Karen's death in 1983 of heart failure stemming from long bout with anorexia nervosa.

ReduxReview:  You know, back in the day it was beyond uncool to like the Carpenters. They had such a clean, all-American image and their AC tunes were poo-poo'd by so many. Of course, I had a secret love of them and was especially fond of Karen's voice. I think it was/is one of the best in all of pop music. I like to call it "sadly beautiful." Her tone was amazing and she just seemed so committed to each song. Nowadays, most anyone says "oh, I love the Carpenters" and to that I say thanks for coming out of the closet! You should have back in the day, you bandwangoner. Yeah, their music could be spotty (the hits are amazing while some of their album material was pretty awful), but I adored them then, as I do even more now. Their "Made in America" album was not very good, but it did have a couple of highlights - this single being one of them. Although not top-notch Carpenters, it was one of their better latter day tunes.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song was originally done by the group Bama in 1979. Their single reached #42 on the AC chart that year. A few other country artists covered the song with the most successful being the group Alabama who took the single to #1 on the country chart in 1986.  2) Carpenters were nominated for several Grammy awards and won three including Best New Artist in 1970.


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