A lot of the song choices here made me go back and listen to some of these songs...and with many it's not that hard to hear Karen's take on it (but how different Richard's arrangements would be are the clincher to me - it could be a "Close to You" situation where RC reinvented a song that was years old and never went anywhere and made it a hit, or it could have been a "Man Smart, Woman Smarter" thing where the Carpenters version is almost a carbon copy of the previous Robert Palmer recording of the song..and neither is that good). I pretty much usually hear any Paul Willams song as a (potential) Carpenters song. His 1975 Ordinary Fool album is basically a cornucopia of quasi-Carpenters songs to my hear. In addition to the title track (which the C's DID record and is one of their best, though only as a work lead and not released till after KC's death), there's "Loneliness", "Lone Star", "Don't Call Me Love" and particularly "Lifeboat" (which I always twin with "All You Get From Love is a Love Song" since they have the same feel). I think "Lifeboat" would definitely have benefited from the overdubs, and become one of the more memorable latter-era Carpenter tunes, and could have been put on the Passage album (which only had 8 tracks - one to two of which could have been replaced). Also, it's not a ballad but an "up" song and I think the C's needed more of that for the radio. Speaking of "All You Get From Love is a Love Song", someone mentioned another song on Steve Eaton's album, "We're All Powered by Same Old Juice" (which has duo choruses already written into the song), but my favorite from that album is the title track: "Hey, Mr. Dreamer", I think with a little tweaking (changing "strumming" to "drumming" for examples) the song could have been almost autobiographical for the Carpenters and their road to success (it may also have given Karen another chance to drum on a recording). Also as mentioned, Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are". The fact that the song was enough on the Carpenters radar that they gave it the full-length treatment to it in the Space Encounters '78 special, but then had John Davidson (!) sing it (with a RC arrangement?) is beyond puzzling. Especially since instead of that hit contemporary song they had Karen do a full-length "Goofus" (one of their worst performing singles two years earlier) skit, yet a not-so complete version of "Sweet, Sweet, Smile" (their latest single release at the time). It's a shame that we don't have Karen's version of the Billy Joel song, and just head-scratching for some of the decisions made in that special. Of course there any number of standards that I imagine the Carpenters recording, especially since RC has consistently alluded to the fact they meant to/wanted to do a full album of them. It's not hard to imagine Karen singing anything from the Cole Porter/Johnny Mercer/Irving Berlin etc. songbooks, but I wish Richard at least had released a standards album of his own (even if just instrumental) so we could see what arrangements he would give some of the classics.