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Carpenters

Carpenters

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Album Review

This is where the duo began running a little short of material for albums, having raided many of the song catalogs with which the Carpenters were most familiar on their two previous LPs — although it didn't seem it to anyone at the time except Richard Carpenter, since there were three hit singles present that ensured the album's popularity: "For All We Know," the huge-selling "Superstar" (done on the first take because it was a little uncertain how comfortable Karen Carpenter would be with the sexually suggestive lyrics to the Leon Russell song), and "Rainy Days and Mondays." The unusual jacket design, like an invitation with a decorative picture of the duo (similar to a graduation photo), seemed to go over well with older listeners while not repelling teens, which is lost in the transformation to CD packaging. In retrospect, Carpenters is a very MOR album — "Superstar" aside, its influences are more pop than rock, and any of the duo's original interest in jazz is long gone as well. The Bacharach/David medley, in particular, was distinctly more appealing to the over-30 set than to teenage listeners, and "Saturday" made them few new friends.

Customer Reviews

A Wonderfully Constructed Album

Many of these songs are classic songs that truly shaped the Carpenters' careers. Take Rainy Days and Mondays, for example. This song, written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, is a wonderful song that I think Karen truly sang exceedingly well. Superstar is another great song. Superstar definitely made the public listen more to the Carpenters. And again, I think that Karen actually sang this quite well. For All We Know, from the movie "Lovers and Other Strangers" is a good song, but I suggest buying it from Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition. Last, but definitely not least, (A Place To) Hide Away is a song that Richard heard while the band Spectrum was still existing (1966-1968). Spectrum had been playing at clubs and bars, and a particular manager named Randy Sparks had chosen Spectrum to do a number for his customers. Randy had introduced Spectrum, and opened for them with this song, (A Place To) Hide Away. After a while, Richard had tucked this song away, and in 1971, they recorded this song and put it on the tan album. I would recommend this album for anybody who likes the Carpenters.

The Third Album

This album is the most even of all Carpenter releases, even though it's the shortest, clocking in at just 30 minutes. The opener "Rainy Days And Mondays" statrs off very soft and comes to a climatic finish, the song is one of the three singles off this album. "Let Me Be The One" is one of the hidden treasures, it could have been a single and a very popular one, Karen's intimate vocal on this one is incredible, she could really feel a song. "For All We Know" is a song discovered by both Richard and Karen while watcing the movie "Lovers And Other Strangers" from which this song is from. It was written by one of the members of the soft rock group "Bread" and was one of the Carpenters most popular singles. "Superstar" was one of the most anticipated songs, everyone concerned was wondering how Karen would handle the suggestive lyric "To sleep." A one word change eased all concerned, "Sleep" was changed to "Be." "Superstar" was recorded in one take, the work lead. Contrary to popular belief about Karen's prudishness, "Superstar" was the kind of material she wanted to record, the evidence lies within her vocal delivery.

Beautiful.....beyond words

I am somewhat of a newbie in terms of the Carpenters, but I am glad I discovered them. I have become enthralled by their music, and I'm especially drawn to the late Karen's beautifully pure singing--Carpenters is their most known album and contains some of their best material (the touching "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Let Me Be the One," "For All We Know" and the haunting "Superstar"); sure, "Close to You" isn't here--and it is a brilliant single--but as a Carpenters album goes, you really can't get any better than this. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Chris Eberlein, music now on iTunes

Biography

Formed: 1968 in Downey, CA

Genre: Pop

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

With their light, airy melodies and meticulously crafted, clean arrangements, 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...
Full Bio

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