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CARPENTERS: Cover to Cover

Which Carpenters Album Cover Is Your Favorite?

  • "Offering"

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • "Ticket To Ride"

    Votes: 2 3.8%
  • "Close To You"

    Votes: 4 7.7%
  • "Carpenters [S/T] a.k.a. TAN album"

    Votes: 3 5.8%
  • "A Song For You"

    Votes: 4 7.7%
  • "Now and Then"

    Votes: 7 13.5%
  • "Horizon"

    Votes: 13 25.0%
  • "A Kind Of Hush"

    Votes: 3 5.8%
  • "Passage"

    Votes: 4 7.7%
  • "Christmas Portrait"

    Votes: 2 3.8%
  • "Made In America"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • "Voice Of The Heart"

    Votes: 2 3.8%
  • "An Old-Fashioned Christmas"

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • "Lovelines"

    Votes: 3 5.8%
  • "As Time Goes By"

    Votes: 3 5.8%
  • "The Singles, 1969-1981 [SACD]"

    Votes: 1 1.9%

  • Total voters
    52
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Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator

Carpenters - Cover to Cover.jpg
I thought a discussion about some of the more popular (primarily studio) album covers would make for some interesting dialogue. Please vote and discuss!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Somewhere in a recent thread, it was brought to light that some publication listed CARPENTERS (tan album) as one of the best, and I agree. I believe that's mostly against the grain here as many will probably pick HORIZON, but I've always loved the way that logo looks and this was where it debuted. Since SINGLES 1969-1973 wasn't included in the list, I couldn't vote for it, but I always found that one to be pretty classy with it's gold logo on a brown field. Still, the tan album is where the logo was originally used, so it's fitting to choose it as my favorite.

Harry
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
Since SINGLES 1969-1973 wasn't included in the list, I couldn't vote for it, but I always found that one to be pretty classy with it's gold logo on a brown field. Still, the tan album is where the logo was originally used, so it's fitting to choose it as my favorite.
It was a toss-up between that and the SACD, and I chose the latter simply because of the Annie Leibovitz pic which was always one of my favorites. Sorry if I was being a little selfish here Harry! LOL :righton:
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Great , Chris May!
This is a tough one for me.
Easy enough if I pick the worst cover! I'll tread lightly over that Offering!
Oh, how I adore the Horizon Cover, then again, Passage screams colorful!
And, A Song For You and Lovelines, both so Classy.
So many 'roads to choose'...again!
But, by virtue of its starkness, simplicity, and beauty....I go with A Song For You.
A title (in Black), an artist logo (in Black) , a Heart (in White), White borders surrounding so much Red !
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
'Ticket to Ride' has always been my favorite cover. It captures the time the 'Offering' album was re-released (1970) perfectly. And it makes Karen and Richard, for once, look like a cool, casual brother and sister....and not a couple of kids en route to the prom.

They certainly look like they're having fun on the sailboat, and the photos capture that very well. Richard has said in several interviews that the boat cover should have been used for the 'Close to You' LP instead. He could have lost the socks with his sandals, though. :)
 
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arthowson

Active Member
As Time Goes By is my all time favorite, with Lovelines coming in #2. Love the Rainbow Connection cover as it is not as enlarged as the As Time Goes By cover. Always liked Voice cover as well. Karen said, "Look at me, I'm pretty!" Reminds of ONJ's Physical Photo shoot.
 

Guitarmutt

Well-Known Member
OK, I know I'm going to be in the minority here, but I picked 'Offering'. Some say it's hippie whatever. I like the colors. Plus, I don't think they come across as the couple they're not. I mean Sunflowers are beautiful but not really romantic. Plus I think they both look great: youthful, hopeful, beautiful; if a tad serious.

Yes, I do have a soft spot for Horizon and ASFY, and even Christmas Portrait has its charms. Yet, there is something about 'Offering'.
 

Portlander

Well-Known Member
Chose the "Tan" album from the listed choices due to it's exterior simplicity, neat envelope concept along with the introduction of the "Carpenters" logo. My two favorites however are the "Live From The Palladium" album because it captured the duo at the absolute peak of their career, they looked healthy and upbeat and the design team portrayed them in a successful light which included the Carpenters/Palladium marquee in the background. My other favorite was "Love Songs" because I feel it is the classiest design of all of them and I thought that the white and silver color scheme gave the cover it a very substantial/first class appearance.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Even though I don't really consider it as a proper 'studio' album, the cover for As Time Goes By is gorgeous. *This* is the sort of sleeve that should have appeared on their albums in the early 1970s!

The Horizon sleeve is the best of the original albums. Voice of the Heart, Passage, Lovelines and Ticket to Ride are all OK. The A Kind of Hush cover is inventive but the picture still projects the 'goody four shoes' image.

The rest are various degrees of awful. It's a particular shame that the big-selling albums from their purple period in the early 1970s all have poor covers (and I'd include The Singles 1969-1973 in that too - I seem to recall Richard saying that he'd deliberately chosen that design but realised in hindsight that a photo on the cover would have sold even more copies). In the UK, the tan album sleeve featured the hideous inner sleeve photo from the US foldout sleeve on the front, so that's always the cover I've associated with that album rather than the simpler US logo sleeve, although the yellow/brown colouring of that still makes it look dated.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I picked the Lovelines cover, because of what it symbolises for me. When I came across it, I saw the date was 1989 so knew it was a posthumous release, but when I read the liner notes and saw that Karen had done some tracks with a different producer, I was intrigued. The tracks sounded amazing and nothing like the songs from albums like 'A Song For You', which I'd bought in random order as I got into the group. I played the four solo tracks for friends and relatives and they all agreed they sounded nothing like a Carpenters record. Many of them asked if there were more and as I started digging (and the age of the internet dawned), I started finding out there was indeed a whole album sitting in the vaults. I prayed for the day it would be released and finally in October 1996 those prayers were answered :).

Great photo of them and looks very classy with the black background. I remember seeing (but not buying) the LP and noticed that the ridge patterns on the cover were actually embossed, so you could feel them.
 

FreddieB

Member
'Now & Then' as the cover shot was so innovative for the time. After that album it became cool to put a car/house on the front of an album cover and mess with the tinting/contrast etc... e.g. 'Late for the Sky' Jackson Browne. I bet this album gatefold sleeve cost a fortune to print, good thing it sold well. I really like the almost 3d effect of the sky against the house. I used to put the inside standing up by my little stereo record player... oh can we go back just for a little while..... Carpenters and the Peanuts gang.....I'm in heaven.

When other kids looked at it back in the day they wanted to know where the other album was? lol...

Put 'Heather' on and unfold the album cover...trippy indeed.


Freddie

P.S.: I love Richard's Wurlitzer/Baldwin piano sound. I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like Steinway as I find them too harsh and bright.
 
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Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
Difficult choice, each album release was so exciting.....for me there is a certain uniqueness to "Horizon " that can't be equalled......Karen's voice is recorded in a way that is not matched in any other studio recording session.
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
I thought a discussion about some of the more popular (primarily studio) album covers would make for some interesting dialogue. Please vote and discuss!
After MIA, (1981), I've always considered album releases as compilation albums, even though there are some real gems on those albums after 1981, for a true Carpenter fan, the album release should span from 1969 to 1981.....am I being too picky?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Perhaps, for clarification's sake, I might add that I am strongly biased..in
arriving at my ultimate choice for album covers...toward the Original LP Cover, as
presented in it's original incarnation--
That is (for A Song For You):
Side flap-- with early silhouette of the duo embossed, plus the textured feel of that early pressing,
combined with the inner sleeve with printed lyrics, and the way in which the Credits are arranged
on the back of the album. Those criteria factored into my choice.
Regrettably, then, my bias reverts to the pre-cd era!
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
P.S.: I love Richard's Wurlitzer/Baldwin piano sound. I must be the only person in the world who doesn't like Steinway as I find them too harsh and bright.
Actually, with the exception of A Song For You, most of the other albums were cut on either Steinway A, B or D models oddly enough. Richard intentionally wanted to try something different for the '72 album, where I believe he credits baldwin. I have pictures of the piano he used on that album - still in pristine condition! :)
 

Chris May

Resident 'Carpenterologist'
Thread Starter
Staff member
Moderator
After MIA, (1981), I've always considered album releases as compilation albums, even though there are some real gems on those albums after 1981, for a true Carpenter fan, the album release should span from 1969 to 1981.....am I being too picky?
Well I guess you could say "posthumous" studio albums if you're talking about anything post-'81 that was actually done top-to-bottom in the studio and released after Karen's death (excluding TV recuts and such like with As Time Goes By). That's why I said "primarily studio" when I wrote the thread. Okay...so I cheated a little :wink:
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
I still think it's amazing that some of Karen's best studio recordings were not released until after Karen was able to receive that recognition, that fills me a certain degree of sadness.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
"Horizon" wins for me, but I also love the "Hush" cover for the artistic flourishes. VOTH is stunning. But Richard's not on the cover.
 

Chris Mills

That was funny....like the dark vomited up
"Horizon" wins for me, but I also love the "Hush" cover for the artistic flourishes. VOTH is stunning. But Richard's not on the cover.
A very good photo of Richard on the rear of the cover, they were so close, that his lose was just enormous and ultimately irreplaceable.
 

Don Malcolm

Well-Known Member
I have to vote based on personal history and not by any design concepts...the first LP that I ever owned was Glen Campbell's WICHITA LINEMAN, purchased for me by my mother because I loved the title song so much on the radio. (We weren't a "singles" oriented household, and I would soon find out that there were more than a few tracks on Glen's LP that I really didn't want to listen to--but I played the heck out of "Wichita Lineman"!!)

The second, a couple years later, was CLOSE TO YOU--on the heels of that summer smash hit, which had completely captured my youthful soul...and my first exposure visually to the Carpenters was through that often-maligned image of Richard and Karen. So here's a vote for a white dress and two winning (if slightly sheepish) smiles that carry the promise(s) of youth, while stipulating that many--if not most!!--of the subsequent LP covers are far more worthy in almost every respect!
 
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