Passage (The Carpenters album)

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Passage (Carpenters album).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 23, 1977
RecordedLate 1976 – mid-1977
StudioA&M Studios, Hollywood
GenrePop, adult contemporary
ProducerRichard Carpenter/Associate Producer – Karen Carpenter
Carpenters chronology
Live at the Palladium
Christmas Portrait

Passage is the eighth studio album by American popular music duo Carpenters. Released in 1977, it produced the hit singles "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song", "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" and "Sweet, Sweet Smile". The Carpenters' version of "Sweet, Sweet Smile" (written by Juice Newton) was picked up by Country radio and put the duo in the top ten of Billboard's Country chart in the spring of 1978.

This album was a considerable departure for the siblings and contained experimental material such as the Klaatu cover "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" single—which reached no. 32 in the US but was a top ten hit in much of the world (and prompted numerous letters to the Carpenters asking when World Contact Day was scheduled[1]). Coincidentally, the album's release predated Steven Spielberg's similarly themed film Close Encounters of the Third Kind by one month. Nonetheless, the album was the group's first to fall short of gold certification in the US.

This is the only Carpenters album (aside from their Christmas albums) not to contain a Richard Carpenter or John Bettis song and also the second album to not have Karen playing drums at all. It was the first studio album since Close to You not to use the familiar Carpenters logo on the cover.

Background and recording[edit]

Prior to the album's recording, a search was made for a new Carpenters producer, prompted by the band's decreasing popularity and Richard Carpenter's struggle with production duties (caused by his addiction to sleeping pills).[1] However, according to Richard Carpenter, "not one major producer would sign on; radio was not quite as friendly at that time to our type of sound and to be honest, my track record on the whole was a tough act to follow. Accordingly, I remained producer, but I did try to approach this new project from a different angle, hence my selection of songs for this album made Passage a bit of a departure from our previous recordings."[1]

Richard Carpenter recalled that "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" was "submitted to us by the publisher, and I immediately felt it was perfect for Karen, though now I feel differently, as I believe the song doesn't linger long enough in a lower register, a great area for Karen's voice. We contacted England's late, great Peter Knight to orchestrate the song, and two others on Passage. Peter flew to Los Angeles to conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the recording. (Due to a contractual agreement their name was not allowed in the credits, hence the credit of the "Overbudget Philharmonic"). Between the 100-plus member "Phil" and the 50-voice Gregg Smith Singers, the recording session had to take place on the A&M Sound Stage and was then wired into Studio D."[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[3]

AllMusic has retrospectively described the Carpenters' effort as "admirable even if most of the results aren't memorable or essential."[2] However, "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song" was described as, "much more memorable...had a beat that one was accustomed to."

Track listing and personnel[edit]

Side one

1. "B'wana She No Home" (Michael Franks) – 5:36

2. "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song" (Steve Eaton) – 3:47

3. "I Just Fall in Love Again" (Steve Dorff, Larry Herbstritt, Harry Lloyd, Gloria Sklerov) – 4:05

  • Electric & Acoustic Piano: Richard Carpenter
  • Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Drums: Ron Tutt
  • Oboe: Earl Dumler
  • Harp: Gale Levant
  • Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
  • Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor

4. "On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada/Don't Cry for Me Argentina" (Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice) – 8:13

  • Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
  • Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor
  • Announcer: Dennis Heath
  • Peron: William Feuerstein
  • Che: Jonathan Marks
Side two

1. "Sweet, Sweet Smile" (Juice Newton, Otha Young) – 3:02

  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Fiddle: Bobby Bruce
  • Banjo: Larry McNealy
  • Drums: Ron Tutt
  • Tack Piano: Tom Hensley
  • Acoustic & Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso

2. "Two Sides" (Scott E. Davis) – 3:28

  • Electric Piano: Richard Carpenter
  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Drums: Ed Green
  • Acoustic Guitar: Lee Ritenour & Jay Graydon
  • Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
  • Pedal Steel Guitar: Jay Dee Maness

3. "Man Smart, Woman Smarter" (Norman Span) – 4:22

  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Drums: Ed Green
  • Piano: Leon Russell
  • Tack Piano: Richard Carpenter & Tom Hensley
  • Steel Drums: Vince Charles
  • Percussion: Tommy Vig
  • Baritone Sax: David Luell & Kurt McGettrick
  • Tenor Sax: Jackie Kelso
  • Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
  • Conga: King Errisson

4. "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (Terry Draper, John Woloschuk) – 7:06

  • Acoustic & Electric Piano: Richard Carpenter
  • Synthesizer: Richard Carpenter
  • Drums: Ron Tutt
  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Electric Guitar & DJ: Tony Peluso
  • Oboe: Earl Dumler
  • Overbudget Philharmonic: Peter Knight, Conductor
  • Gregg Smith Singers: Gregg Smith, Conductor


  • "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song" (US Hot 100 #35, US Adult Contemporary #4) US 7" single (1977) – A&M 1940
  1. "All You Get from Love Is a Love Song"
  2. "I Have You"
  • "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day) (US Hot 100 #32, US Adult Contemporary #18) US 7" single (1977) – A&M 1978
  1. "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day)
  2. "Can't Smile without You"
  • "Sweet, Sweet Smile" (US Hot 100 #44, US Adult Contemporary #7, US Country #6) US 7" single (1978) – A&M 2008
  1. "Sweet, Sweet Smile"
  2. "I Have You"
  • "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" CA 7" single (1978) – A&M 8629
  1. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"
  2. "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day)



  1. ^ a b c d Carpenters: Passage album, 1977
  2. ^ a b Passage at AllMusic
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 140. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". RPM. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  6. ^ "Yamachan Land (Japanese Chart Archives) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Carpenters" (in Japanese). Original Confidence. 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2012-02-22.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Chart Stats – Carpenters – Passage". UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2013-01-19. Retrieved 2012-02-22.
  8. ^ Allmusic Carpenters > Passage > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  9. ^ "British album certifications – Carpenters – Passage". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2012-02-22. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Passage in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.