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The Essential Collection - 1965-1997 (Box Set)

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Album Review

The Carpenters' 2002 box set, The Essential Collection (1965-1997) is a revised version of their 1991 box set, From the Top. This time, Richard Carpenter has aimed more at a comprehensive treatment of the Carpenters' career, including all of their Top 40 hits (some with grudging remarks in the liner notes) in an expansion that adds 45 and a half minutes to the running time. There are also some more album cuts and rarities, though the only previously unreleased tracks are a commercial and a medley of standards by Karen Carpenter and Ella Fitzgerald from a television special. In total, he has added 17 tracks, while deleting four: a cover of the Beatles' "Goodnight"; a Spanish-language version of "Sing" (replaced by the English-language hit version that had been left off From the Top); and two songs from his sister's solo album (which he no longer describes as having been shelved in 1980 "at Karen's behest," but now "for reasons that are well-chronicled elsewhere," presumably in Ray Coleman's 1994 authorized biography), "My Body Keeps Changing My Mind" and "Still Crazy After All These Years." Since that album finally saw release in 1996, he may have thought it was no longer necessary to represent so much of it. The result of the changes is a big improvement. From the Top didn't really justify its four discs; it could have fit on three. And it was a compromise between an all-out rarities set and a thorough career overview. This version uses its greater length to satisfy the latter goal. It is worth noting, too, that like From the Top, The Essential Collection (1965-1997) is a retouched version of the Carpenters' story. Richard Carpenter has not hesitated to remix, overdub, and otherwise spiff up the band's recordings. Purists may object, but the sound justifies the changes.

Customer Reviews

Cool

I love it.I love the carpenter

Pure music to the ears!

Karen and Richard Carpenter the duo who where the Carpenters, the music lives on although sadly Karen is no longer with us, but missed. Their music is timeless and fits any era 70's 80's 90's even now. Ballads and good arrangements made the Carpenters. You cant go wrong with a couple of track from this compilation of pop songs, Try "A Song for You" this is Karen at her best in my opinion and the song so right! also "Ticket to Ride" "This Masquerade" Flawless vocals of Karens voice and Richards arrangements puts shivers down your spine. John Lennon once remarked on her fine voice bumping into her in once in the USA. The Carpenters will always be remembered with love and affection and damn fine songs......

Simply beautiful

The Carpenters will live on forever with their music. Easy listening, love songs. Karen, your sadly missed.

Biography

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...
Full bio
The Essential Collection - 1965-1997 (Box Set), Carpenters
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