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Carpenters Albums

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Rick-An Ordinary Fool

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Can someone tell me about the history of the albums. What I mean is some of the early albums have the classic flap envelope that tucks in and some don't.

For example, I just recently bought the tan album with the flap style. Did they make another tan album without the flap? Does the flap envelope albums mean they were the first to be made (pressed) & then were later replaced with a different style? Can someone explain this to me?

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Harry

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When the tan CARPENTERS album and A SONG FOR YOU were originally released, the industry was going through a phase of how to make album packaging different and special. The envelope style pointed flap on the outside of the CARPENTERS tan album made it different from the rest, and I suppose it was thought to be a selling point -- as if the music inside wasn't enough. After the initial sales period had ended and other shipments were made to record stores, the flap design was abandoned, since by now the album wasn't in its prime sales period and it was no longer needed that the record company produce the more expensive package. Basically, it's just a cost cutting move. I have both the original envelope design and it's more mundane later version.

A SONG FOR YOU had a fold-over flap not unlike the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '77 release of PAIS TROPICAL. It's interesting that the recent Japanese release of PAIS attempted to reproduce that little flap on the CD insert.

We mentioned it a few weeks ago in a thread about the CLOSE TO YOU album originally having a silverish glow to its front cover, that on later issues was reduced to a flat grey color.

The same thing still occurs today, when CD's might be released with a special collector-type cover for an initial release period, maybe a digi-pak or other specuial design. After that, the same disc is put into a plain jewel case and sold that way for the rest of its life. A&M in Japan did that with Carpenters mini lp-CDs. It was a special package for a limited time, now unavailable and replaced with the standard packaging that we've always had over here in the US.

Harry
...watching the cold front begin its move through, online...
 

Mike Blakesley

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That was the self-titled CARPENTERS album. I've heard that they made it without the flap in later years, but every copy I've ever seen has the flap. (It actually folds back to make the album into an easel picture, for those that haven't seen it.

There were quite a few unusual packaging techniques used in Carpenters albums.

OFFERING - Reissued with different artwork and retitled TICKET TO RIDE

CLOSE TO YOU - Originally with silver cover, later changed to gray

CARPENTERS - The picture-frame easel cover, and the debut of the famous Carpenters logo, which was embossed.

A SONG FOR YOU - Printed on textured, recycled paper with a fold-over flap which included an embossed K&R art logo...the artwork was later redesigned slightly and reissued without the flap. This was also the first Carpenters album to include a printed innersleeve with lyrics.

NOW AND THEN - A tri-fold cover. I've never seen any other A&M records with this type of cover (although I certainly haven't seen them all!) I believe this had a lyric sleeve as well. (Memory getting foggy)

HORIZON - It also had a flap closure, and the record came out the top, rather than the traditional right side.

THE SINGLES 1969 - 1973 - A gatefold cover, with special sleeve, and a booklet.

PASSAGE - Another gatefold, and a special sleeve with plastic lining. (The lining was supposedly meant to appeal to audiophiles, but I've heard those plastic sleeves actually scratch records because of static electricity.)

A KIND OF HUSH - The inside of the outer cover was printed with the Carpenters logo. Also a heavier-guage paper was used for the inner sleeve.

MADE IN AMERICA - Same as HUSH, except without the logo printed inside.

VOICE OF THE HEART - Just a special innersleeve. The most "ordinary" of all the Carpenters packaging since CLOSE TO YOU.

Interesting. The Carpenters were probably the most "mainstream" of the A&M artists, but had some of the coolest packaging. They were also probably the most "mainstream" group to ever be cool enough to release records without their name on the cover (HORIZON).
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Morning Opens Quietly...
Thread Starter
Why do you think Voice of the Heart got such a plain album? Richard must have know that at this point records were going out so why wouldn't he have made a really cool Voice fold out or gatefold or embossing or something.

Did Lovelines or Interpretations ever make it to LP version?
 

Harry

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LOVELINES was issued in LP form. I have a stock copy of it (non-promo, black and silver 80s-style label), but it came from the radio station! It was issued as SP 3931. It's in a standard album sleeve. Front artwork is identical to the CD, though the intentional 'weathering' effect shows up better on the large LP format. The back cover has all of the musician credits that are contained in the CD booklet. They occupy two columns of white printing on that dark brown weathered background. The third column of printing has all of Richard's liner notes and a small version of the color picture of Richard and Karen wearing the fur from the booklet's inside pages. That's the one area where the CD beats the LP in terms of packaging, since that particular picture is bigger in the CD booklet than it is on the LP back cover.

I think by the mid-90's when INTERPRETATIONS was released, LPs had pretty much fallen by the wayside. I don't think there were many produced, if any in LP form.

Harry
...answering as fast as he can, online...
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Mike Blakesley said:
NOW AND THEN - A tri-fold cover. I've never seen any other A&M records with this type of cover (although I certainly haven't seen them all!) I believe this had a lyric sleeve as well. (Memory getting foggy)
The earliest pressing had a lyric sleeve, with several b&w pictures of 1962 model cars! :cool: On later pressings the lyric sleeve was replaced with a plain paper one. The last pressing had an ordinary jacket, not the tri-fold one. I saw this plain version in a store in 1985, but I didn't buy it.

Murray
 

Murray

Well-Known Member
Harry said:
I think by the mid-90's when INTERPRETATIONS was released, LPs had pretty much fallen by the wayside. I don't think there were many produced, if any in LP form.
LOVELINES was the last Carpenters album to be released on vinyl. Actually, the last vinyl pressing plant in Canada was closed at the end of 1989, so this LP was one of the last to ever be released in this country. Does anyone know when the last A&M LP was made in other countries?

BTW, far fewer LOVELINES LPs were pressed than OFFERING, so if you ever see one of these, snap it up! I'm happy that I found one.

Murray
 
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