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A Song for You

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Album Review

The duo's best album, and the place to start beyond the hits compilations. Up to the release of A Song for You, the Carpenters' success had seemed an awesome if somewhat fluky phenomenon, built on prodigious talent, some beautifully crafted pop sensibilities, and a very fortunate choice of singles — their albums Close to You and Carpenters, though they were top-sellers, both seemed just a bit thrown together. Then came A Song for You, a seemingly unified concept album written and recorded during a frantic period of concert activity, and brimming with lovely musical ideas even more lovingly executed, laced with good humor, and enough hits of its own to have established any artist's career on its own. And even in between the hits, the album was built on material that could have made a whole career for anyone. The duo's version of a then-new Carole King song, "It's Going to Take Some Time," not only became a hit single but helped them in the "cool" department, Carole King being about the hottest musical personality there was at that particular time. One song, "Top of the World," which Richard Carpenter had only visualized as album track, became an unexpected hit single and one of the most popular songs of the decade. And where the Close to You LP had included some beautiful album tracks ("Crescent Noon," " "Maybe It's You"), A Song for You was dripping with masterpieces, including "Crystal Lullaby" and "Road Ode"; Richard Carpenter's "Piano Picker," a confessional piece sung by the composer, also marked the high point of his solo vocal contributions to the duo's music. Even the two cuts that reach back into the past — the soft jazz instrumental "Flat Baroque," a 1966-vintage Richard Carpenter composition that he resurrected for this release, and "Bless the Beasts and the Children," the B-side of "Superstar" from more than a year earlier (written for a Stanley Kramer movie) — slot in perfectly among the new songs. The high point of their recording career, A Song for You marked the last time that their music (and the only occasion that one of their albums) would be accepted in the rock world on its own terms, without the duo's squeaky-clean image and sound, and middle-class dorkiness becoming a drag on their sales and image. A Song for You has been released several times on CD, the best of which by far is the 1999 A&M remastering with new notes and full lyrics.

Customer Reviews

Tracks clipped

I didn't want the whole album, and downloaded only the brilliant "Road Ode" - imagine my annoyance when I got to the end of the song only to find that the last few notes were clipped off suddenly! I had forgotten it segued smoothly into the next song on the album. Would it be beyond Apple's capabilities to post a little reminder about this on the pages of albums where it's likely to be an issue?

An absolute gem.

Having listened to The Carpenters for almost forty years now and never tired of returning to listen to them as my tastes varied and matured throughout those years,this album I'd rate to be in their top three along with The Carpenters and Close To You.
My father had this on a tape and I used to play it to death. Goodbye To Love was my favourite at the time and I was still at primary school! A psychiatrist may have thoughts on that.
All these years later and if it's memories of class at work you're after,buy this.
Crystal Lullaby is to my mind the stand-out track here,followed by the revealing Road Ode and ended by the beautifully haunting Song For You(reprise).
A Song For You,Bless The Beasts and of course the majestic Goodbye to Love make for a classic and I've always found the quirky Intermission doesn't seem out of place and was genius on the part of whoever had the idea.
Oddly enough,the one song nearly everyone would zoom in on Top Of The World is perhaps the only track I tend to skip by; not that it's a bad song,I just belive many others on here put it in the shade.
If you're new to The Carpenters,I belive you should bypass the countless compilations that may distract your attention from this treasure and the other two albums I've mentioned.

So tragic

So sad what happened to Karen, her voice will always be remembered


Formed: 1968 in Downey, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

With their light, airy melodies and meticulously crafted, clean arrangements that appealed to a variety of audiences, the Carpenters stood in direct contrast with the excessive, gaudy pop/rock of the '70s; yet they became one of the most popular artists of the decade, scoring 12 Top Ten hits, including three number one singles. Karen Carpenter's calm, pretty voice was the most distinctive element of their music, settling in perfectly amidst the precise, lush arrangements provided by her brother Richard....
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A Song for You, Carpenters
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