Passage (1977)


Carpenters Passage front cover 1977“Passage” is the album that surprised the fans. It was a bold move forward delving into a fresh new sound. Music critics were listening with a new found interest and many of them were saying this album would garner new fans and bring Carpenter back into the Top Ten. “Passage” was expected by many to be a huge hit. “Passage” was Carpenters’ eighth studio album. The album represents a growth of style and genre. Carpenters recorded an album that had potential for FM radio airplay. During the 70’s most pop acts were only played on Top 40 AM radio while FM radio was reserved for playing entire albums by artists. Carpenters had grown a reputation as being a solid “hit singles” groups having attained eleven Top 5 hits from 1970-1975. Although their albums sold in the millions and by 1977 they had achieved gold and platinum status with six of their albums they weren’t known as an albums artist. But “Passage” was poised to change that outlook. For the first time it looked as if Carpenters may have that chance of becoming known as an albums artist. The second single from the album “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft,” changed that tide and received radio airplay on popular classic rock FM radio stations. But the FM radio love affair only lasted a few short weeks and the album became Carpenters’ first not to reach gold status. Despite missing the gold mark the album still sold well. “Passage” reached #49 in the US, #12 in the UK and #7 in Japan as well as charting in Canada, Australia and a few other countries around the world.

Richard Carpenter has stated that he approached “Passage” from a different angle after A&M owner, Jerry Moss voiced his concern over Carpenters’ lackluster sales of late. Richard’s goal was to attract a new audience and revive the old audience. Both Karen and Richard put more effort into this album than the previous “A Kind Of Hush.” The song “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” became a media event including over 150 people in the recording of the song. News stations across the US (and the world) reported about this huge recording session. “B’wana She No Home” is the first Carpenters song in which someone other than Richard Carpenter composed the vocal arrangement for Karen. Gene Puerling (aka Gene Perling) scored the vocal arrangement for “B’wana She No Home.” Puerling created and led the jazz vocal groups The Hi-Lo’s and The Singer’s Unlimited. Randy Schmidt, the author of the book “Little Girl Blue,” stated that Puerling’s previous work with vocal jazz ensembles makes him the perfect fit for Karen’s voice. In 1982, Puerling won a Grammy Award for his vocal arrangement of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” as recorded by the Manhattan Transfer. He’s also worked with vocalists such as Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney. With “B’wana She No Home,” Puerling was able to reach back to his experience in arranging Latin jazz vocals in his work with the Singer’s Unlimited. Puerling was able to bring out a more playful, yet authoritative side of Karen’s voice, which sits well with the song’s chunkier sound. “B’wana She No Home” marks a great growth in the spectrum of Carpenters’ musical landscape as it encapsulates a true to form jazz-fusion sound which became popular in the 80’s and 90’s with artists such as Sade and Basia. The first single “All You Get From Love is A Love Song” was a welcome upbeat surprise to the music listening public yet despite excitement (and a big push from radio programmers) the song only reached US #35. The countrified “Sweet Sweet Smile” was the album’s only song to reach the Top Ten, but it was not on the pop charts. It reached #8 on the country music chart. This was the first time Carpenters placed a record on the country music charts and opened the door to possibilities of a career in country music, sadly that never came to be. The song “I Just Fall In Love Again” had been considered for single release but was ultimately decided it was too long for radio airplay. Several fans have categorized “Two Sides” as a “missed opportunity” which could have followed “Sweet, Sweet Smile” into the country music top ten.

During this time period Richard Carpenter was far into his addiction with Quaaludes and though he put a lot of effort into “Passage” the effects of the prescription drugs had worn on him and he was exhausted and dragging in his day to day life. “Passage” was the first (and only) Carpenters album not to feature a Richard Carpenter / John Bettis composition. Richard Carpenter looked upon other songwriters for inspiration and the change of direction that was much needed. Richard gathered a potpourri of songs that showcased the diverse talents of Carpenters. He attained these songs from songwriter/musicians as varied as Michael Franks (smooth jazz), Klaatu (Canadian Beatlesque), Juice Newton (country) and Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Despite the somewhat positive reviews from critics fans were split on “Passage,” some feel it’s their best effort and a great move forward. Others say it is not the Carpenters they have grown to love. Even the album cover is disputed by fans. Several fans were disappointed that the classic Carpenters logo was not on the front of the colorful album cover. Overall the album is respected for its diversity in both music style and musicianship.

Album Information

Release Date: September 23, 1977
Catalog Number: SP-4703
Chart Positions: Japan #7, UK #12, Australia #48, US #49, Canada #57
Certifications: Gold (UK)
Singles: “All You Get From Love Is A Love Song,” “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft,” “Sweet, Sweet Smile”
B-Sides: “B’wana She No Home” (b-side of “I Believe You”), “Two Sides” (b-side of “Beechwood 4-5789’)

Click Here to Purchase “Passage”

Album Credits

1. “B’wana She No Home” (Michael Franks) – 5:36

  • Piano: Pete Jolly
  • Electric Piano: Larry Muhoberac
  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Drums: Ron Tutt
  • Percussion: Wally Snow & Tommy Vig
  • Conga: Jerry Steinholtz
  • Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso
  • Tenor Sax & Alto Flute: Tom Scott
  • Vocal Arrangement: Gene Perling

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

  • Electric & Acoustic Piano: Richard Carpenter
  • Bass: Joe Osborn
  • Drums: Ed Green
  • Electric Guitar: Tony Peluso & Ray Parker, Jr.
  • Conga: Tommy Vig
  • Percussion: Jerry Steinholtz
  • Tenor Sax: Tom Scott
  • Background singers: Karen & Richard Carpenter, Julia Tillman, Carlena Williams, Maxine Willard

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


  • Arranged By – Richard Carpenter
  • Art Direction – Roland Young (3)
  • Backing Vocals – Gregg Smith Singers (tracks: A3, A4, B4)
  • Bass – Joe Osborn (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B4)
  • Conductor [Gregg Smith Singers] – Gregg Smith (2)
  • Conductor [Overbudget Philharmonic] – Peter Knight (5)
  • Cover [Cover Art] – Lou Beach
  • Design – Junie Osaki
  • Drums – Ed Green* (tracks: A2, B2, B3), Ron Tutt (tracks: A1, A3, B1, B4)
  • Electric Guitar – Tony Peluso (tracks: A1 to A3, B1 to B4)
  • Electric Piano – Richard Carpenter (tracks: A2, A3, B2, B4)
  • Engineer – Dave Iveland*, Ray Gerhardt, Roger Young
  • Liner Notes – Digby Diehl, Tom Nolan (2)
  • Management [Personal Management] – Jerry Weintraub
  • Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
  • Orchestra – Overbudget Philharmonic (tracks: A3, A4, B4)
  • Orchestrated By – Peter Knight (5) (tracks: A3, A4, B4), Richard Carpenter (tracks: A1, A2, B1 to B3)
  • Piano – Richard Carpenter (tracks: A2, A3, B4)
  • Producer – Richard Carpenter
  • Producer [Associate] – Karen Carpenter
  • Vocals – Karen Carpenter, Richard Carpenter

Billboard Magazine Review (October 8, 1977)

Carpenters passage spotlight billboard magazine october 8 1977














Carpenters Passage front cover 1977

Carpenters Passage Back cover 1977









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Carpenters Passage open cover 1977

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Carpenters Passage All You Get From Love Is A Love Song single 1977 a

Carpenters Passage All You Get From Love Is A Love Song single 1977 b









Carpenters Passage Calling Occupants single 1977 a

Carpenters Passage Calling Occupants single 1977 b









Carpenters Passage Sweet Sweet Smile single 1977 a

Carpenters Passage Sweet Sweet Smile single 1977 b









Carpenters passage sept 10 1977 billboard ad 1977






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Carpenters Passage all you get from love is a love song billboard ad
















Carpenters Passage All You Get From Love Is A Love Song Review May 14 1977

Carpenters Passage Calling Occupants ad oct 8 1977










Carpenters Passage Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft 1977

Carpenters Passage Billboard Carpenters Passage Single Review Calling Sept 24 1977.png~original








Carpenters Passage Billboard Sweet Sweet Smile Ad Jan 28 1978

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carpenters passage promo radio interview TenQ 1977

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Carpenters Passage all you get video 1977












Passage (1977)

Discography Links:
Offering (1969) Click Here
Close To You (1970) Click Here
Ticket To Ride (1971) Click Here
Carpenters (1971) Click Here
A Song For You (1972) Click Here
Now & Then (1973) Click Here
Horizon (1975) Click Here
A Kind Of Hush (1976) Click Here
Passage (1977) Click Here
Christmas Portrait (1978) Click Here
Karen Carpenter (Solo)(1980 – Released 1996) Click Here
Made In America (1981) Click Here
Voice Of The Heart (1983) Click Here
An Old Fashioned Christmas (1984) Click Here
Lovelines (1989) Click Here
As Time Goes By (2001) Click Here



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