That’s how they should have been looking at it going into the 1980’s. In my opinion there are about 4 tracks that should not have appeared on MIA: Strength, Lyin’, Beechwood and Wedding. What were they thinking releasing Beechwood in the 80’s and Wedding while I like it could have been more suited as a rare B side only on a single from Album.Neither project contained Karen's best vocals, but she did the best she could with what resources her voice had to work with. I think MIA would of benefited from some (Karen Carpenter) solo cuts, and some of Karen's solo album would of benefited from Richard's production.
Your right when you said MIA could have benefited from some of Karen’s solo cuts, like If I Had You and If We Try maybe even Lovelines. The evidence is what Richard did with some of these on the Lovelines LP.
Neither album is perfect but the direction to be going in 81’ was not MIA. If there was any time that she should have been forced to seek help for her condition it was during the MIA timeframe and should never have been allowed to travel overseas with that rigorous schedule.