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AOTW Carpenters "THE SINGLES, 1969-1973"

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Jul 16, 2005.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    52 vote(s)
  2. ****

    11 vote(s)
  3. ***

    1 vote(s)
  4. **

    0 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    THE SINGLES, 1969-1973

    A&M SP3601


    Track Listing:

    1.) We’ve Only Just Begun 4:09 (Williams/Nichols)
    2.) Top Of The World 2:28 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    3.) Ticket To Ride 4:09 (Lennon/McCartney)
    4.) Superstar 3:40 (Russell/Bramlett)
    5.) Rainy Days And Mondays 3:14 (Williams/Nichols)
    6.) Goodbye To Love 3:58 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    7.) Yesterday Once More 3:57 (Carpenter/Bettis)
    8.) It’s Going To Take Some Time 2:55 (King/Stern)
    9.) Sing 3:20 (Raposo)
    10.) For All We Know 2:34 (Karlin/Wilson/James)
    11.) Hurting Each Other 2:46 (Udell/Geld)
    12.) (They Long To Be) Close To You 3:40 (Bacharach/David)

    Chart Position- U.S.: #1; U.K.: #1; JAPAN: #24
    Medium: Reel/Vinyl/8-track/Cassette/CD[/color][/b]

    Album Credits:

    #7, 9: Produced by Richard & Karen Carpenter
    #1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12: Produced by Jack Daugherty
    #2: Produced by Richard & Karen Carpenter & Jack Daugherty
    Arranged & Orchestrated by : Richard Carpenter
    All Vocals: Richard & Karen Carpenter
    Keyboards: Richard Carpenter
    Drums: Karen Carpenter & Hal Blaine
    Bass: Joe Osborn
    Guitar: Tony Peluso
    Flute & Tenor Sax: Bob Messenger
    Steel Guitar: Buddy Emmons
    Woodwinds: Earl Dumler, Jim Horn & Doug Strawn
    Harp: Gayle Levant
    Engineered by: Ray Gerhardt
    Special thanks to: The Jimmy Joyce Children's Chorus on Sing
    Liner Notes: Digby Diehl
    Art Direction: Roland Young
    Photography: Neal Brisker

    Liner Notes:

    by Digby Diehl

    Instant nostalgia.

    You hum these songs in the same breath with You Belong To Me, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, or Paper Moon -- they have a warm, faintly reminiscent quality that echoes another era, a romantic musical Camelot. Although the Carpenters have been recording for only four years, it is already difficult to remember a sunny afternoon at the beach without them.

    This music is a refreshing relief in our stormy age of social chaos, economic problems and bad news, when the turbulence of the Rolling Stones or Janis Joplin seems more in tempo with the times. But like Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the songs of the Carpenters fulfill that timeless yearning for escape from the troubles of the world and soar in harmonies. Revivals of the '30s, '40s, or '50s may come and go, but making a joyful noise will always be in style.

    Karen's voice, featured in all the songs on this album, is a main ingredient of the Carpenters' unique sound, and it is a voice that seems to resonate with a maturity beyond the scope of vocal chords only 23 years old. Her tones have the richness and impact of those big band singers, a timbre suited to beautifully lyrical ballads. Like stylists of subtle years' experience, she also communicates a credibility, a sincerity in her singing that comes from phrasing and intonation that are impeccable. Or to put it simply: Karen is a knockout singer who makes you listen to the lyrics. Even given the extraordinary amount of talent emerging from the "Soft Rock Revolution," she is one of the finest singers of this generation.

    Probably Les Paul and Mary Ford in the early '50s were the first recording artists to use the technique of overdubbing extensively in pop music and the Carpenters have extended this process in their recordings. Utilizing the complexities of modern acoustical engineering, Richard and Karen together create all of the harmony voices heard in these songs -- oops! -- they have a little help from their young friends on Sing. This technological trick is fully demonstrated in one section of I'll Never Fall In Love Again, (a selection on the Close To You album) in which they overdub their two voices into a 39-voice chord.

    The unmistakable "Carpenters Sound," however, is the contemporary musical conception of a young man who could be Burt Bacharach's spiritual younger brother. Richard has the uncanny ability to spot a solid gold song in the background of a bank commercial -- as he did with We've Only Just Begun. Or he has the imagination as a musical arranger to bring a special magic to previously recorded material -- such as Ticket To Ride, Close To You, or Superstar -- which makes them memorable Carpenter hits.

    Richard's development as a composer is the most significant recent development of the Carpenters' music. Writing in conjunction with lyricist John Bettis, Richard's own songs, including Yesterday Once More, Top Of The World, and Goodbye To Love suggest the adventurous avenues his talent may take. (Richard is also an accomplished pianist whose precocious abilities took him into classical studies at Yale, and, from there, to jazz combos.) "My influences were the three B's -- Bacharach, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys," Richard occasionally quips, and his accomplishments on this album demonstrate that the Pop Masters still inspire top-of-the-charts songwriting.

    Most exciting, however, is the astounding manner in which the Carpenters' soft, special sound has swept through the entertainment business, instantly establishing a far-reaching influence. Hundreds of singers and musicians, from Johnny Mathis to George Shearing have picked up the trend by recording Carpenters' songs -- Close To You, We've Only Just Begun, and Rainy Days And Mondays have been recorded by over 225 artists. After all, it is the highest form of flattery to find your arrangement of a forgotten Bacharach song adopted by admiring colleagues in all corners of the music world. And even more flattering to have Bacharach like it.

    The Carpenters' broad influence in music today is certainly justified by their public. From the Iowa State Fair to Las Vegas showrooms, their concert appearances have broken attendance records across the country. Throughout the world, their songs have been No. 1 in almost every country, compiling an international sales total to date of 20 million records.

    White lace and promises... polkadots and moonbeams. The Carpenters' audiences are discovering that it doesn't matter whether you are remembering the fun of dancing cheek-to-cheek or just learning how. There is a timeless pleasure in the lyrics of love.

    And now, direct from the Starlight Room high atop A&M Studios, we bring you a nostalgic trip back through the past four years with the Carpenters.[/size]

    Note: This post was redesignated a sticky and reformatted to fit the A&M Corner Album of the Week (AOTW) format on 31 Oct 2005 for its turn as overall AOTW...

    1/6/06 Edited to add songwriter credits for "Close to You"
  2. raz42289

    raz42289 Active Member

    This is my most favorite Carpenters album of all time! Just looking at it I get this magical feeling...it has the best cover...not to mention the best songs.

    What makes this album so special is the music tags/intros that were added. I just can't get enough!
  3. no1kandrfan

    no1kandrfan Active Member

    The Singles is a very special album for many, many reasons. If I recall, it was pretty rare to have a greatest hits album, in those days, that did not include album filler. This album, aptly named 'The Singles' contained nothing more then just that.

    Big bonus items were the Close To You intro (still gives me goosebumps), not too mention the remix of "Ticket To Ride", and the great 'booklet'.

    Perhaps the only 'weakness' is the inside photo - I've never cared for it, and often wished they'd used a different one.

    This, I believe, is still one of the biggest selling albums of all time! Didn't it spend months at #1 in Britain?

    I've just returned from a 2 week cruise to Hawaii and was beyond thrilled to find that one of the evenings entertainment offerings was a tribute to the Carpenters! The vocal group was not bad, and I was excited to see many in attendance.

  4. Dave

    Dave Well-Known Member

    A "Greatest Hits album" which does what it should: Cover The Basics... Has a lot of stregnths but also few faults such as "Ticket To Ride" when I'd rather have "I Won't Last A Day Without You" and "Let Me Be The One" just as much qualifies for "inclusion" as much as it should have been a single... And "Goodbye To Love" is a song I probably wopuldn't really miss either... But with stuff I've long heard on the radio, like "Superstar", "Close To You", "For All We Know" and "classic-oldies but goodies" like "We've Only Just Begun", "Yesterday Once More", "Hurting Each Other" and "Top Of The World" and even guilty pleasures like "Rainy Days & Mondays", "It's Going To Take Some Time" and "Sing", this is a top-notch set and in some cases "All You'll Ever Need"!

  5. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    Can we jump to six stars? Perfection- and the addition of the special CTY intro was just so classy!
  6. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I definitely had to give this one (5) stars!

    The intro, segues and VSO (on "SUPER", "RAINY" and "GOODBYE") really gave this compilation a life of its own where calling it a true "album" is concerned.

    This is actually the first Carpenters album I ever owned and just about burned a hole through listening so many times. I think some time back, we had a discussion here about the essential compilation album as this one was discussed. I don't remember what the general consensus was on that one. Harry???

    Anyhow, *this* one could have been titled "Gold" back in the day and they would have nailed it completely. -Chris
  7. aaflyer98

    aaflyer98 Well-Known Member

    An absolute gem! This album truly represents the Carpenters circa 1973. Look how much they achieved in just a short period of time!
    I really love the 'new' version of Ticket to Ride on this album...far superior to the "offering/Ticket" album version. Again, a great album, and it got it's title because Richard didn't like the term, "greatest hits". 5 Stars!!
  8. DVB

    DVB New Member

    You just CAN'T lose with this album. It shows their amazing accomplishments in such a short period of time with already 4 albums under their belts. I love the segues between songs, the added intro of We've Only Just Begun and Karen's superb re-recording of "Ticket To Ride" Definite 5+++ Stars!
  9. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I still recall the moment I sat down to listen to SINGLES 1969-1973 for the first time. I'd gone to the record store, looked at the track listing and was a little disappointed that there wasn't anything new to be heard, but was content that a "greatest hits" disc would at least give me fresh versions of the hit tracks.

    The first surprise came with the opening intro. "Wait a minute, the track listing says that 'We've Only Just Begun' is first. Why is 'Close To You' starting?" were my thoughts. Then Karen's voice began, and I was convinced that someone at A&M really screwed up. Wait - that guitar part is new -- ooh, and here's an orchestral part -- oh wow, it's an intro! -- GOOSEBUMPS as it segues to "We've Only Just Begun."

    "Top Of The World" started and immediately I realized that it was the single version I'd heard on the radio, not the album version from A SONG FOR YOU. Other than the actual single, this was the only way to get THAT track on an album back then, so my $6.98 (MSRP) was already well-spent. Goosebumps again.

    As the OFFERING album had been a favorite of mine from day one, I was eager to hear "Ticket To Ride", and it was the third goosebump moment and we're only at the third track! I remember sitting back and letting this new recording of "Ticket.." just wash over me. Waves and waves of goosebumps - sorry to overuse that word, but it's Richard and Karen's fault!

    This was certainly no ordinary greatest hits album. On came "Superstar" - the first "normal" track, except that it wasn't, since it segued sublimely into "Rainy Days And Mondays". Yep, you guessed it - goosebumps. It was the first time we'd heard that particularly wonderful pairing, and wouldn't be the last as you can find them next to each other on almost every compilation released afterward. Then as "Rainy Days.." ended - there was this new piece recorded as an intro and segue into "Goodbye To Love", for yet another chill factor moment. (There, I found a synonym for 'goosebumps'!)

    What a sublime ride that side of the LP was. Side two would be hard-pressed to top that - and it didn't try. Other than "Yesterday Once More" and the closer, "Close To You" being the single version of the songs presented for the first time on an album, side two was a straightforward presentation of the hits. But it didn't matter, side one was so enthralling, that it didn't matter if side two even existed - they were almost bonus tracks.

    This album was, and is, perfection. It's deserving of being Carpenters' biggest seller, and it's sad that it's gone out of print - at least here in the US. I hear that another Japanese limited release is on the horizon. (Sorry, no pun intended.)

    Mention should be made somewhere in this thread that SINGLES 1969-1973 was also available in a quadraphonic version as well as on audiophile vinyl. The quad version had some different mixing of course, and from what I hear, the audiophile version is particularly well-pressed, as one would expect.

    And someone should mention that this was the first time that a Carpenters album had a booklet to go with it, with liner notes, lyrics, and track-by-track descriptions. It's routine in the CD-era, but it was quite a novelty in the LP era. The liner notes were written by Digby Diehl, and to my knowledge, have not been reprinted in the CD age, at least not on the two copies I have. The first CD-3601 just reprinted the lyrics to the songs, and the Remastered Classics version has new liner notes by Paul Grein. This leads me to believe that there might be many newer fans who've never seen nor read those old liner notes. Particularly enlightening was the notation in "Superstar" that the recording was the first time Karen had ever sung the lyrics to that song, reading the lyrics off of a napkin.

    The title was among my earliest CD purchases - before I even had a CD player (but I knew I was getting a player for Christmas that year).

    What an album!

    NP: Carpenters SINGLES 1969-1973
    byline, Bobberman and Don Malcolm like this.
  10. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Glad to see this title as "album of the week" as it is perfect timing along side it's successor, "The Singles, 1974-1978". :thumbsup: -Chris
  11. LPJim

    LPJim Well-Known Member Moderator

    THE SINGLES (SP 3601) was the Carpenters' sole album to reach # 1 in the Billboard Top 200, at least through 1996, according to Whitburn's "Top Pop Albums."
    It entered the charts on December 1, 1973 and remained in the Top 200 for 49 weeks and held the # 1 spot for one week.
  12. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    Hi Gang,

    Like Harry, I was confused with the opening of SINGLES. The "goosebump" thing nearly devastated a 9 y/o in the throws of K&R addiction.

  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Bringing back an old topic.

    Need some help:
    I've been looking for the "Remastered Classics" CD of the Singles 69-73. I've yet to ever really see a picture of one. For those that have this, please answer the following for me.

    How can I tell from the cover that it is the "remastered classics" CD? I know along the spine of the CD jewel case it has the words remastered classics but is this printed on the actual cover of the CD? (ebay pics are no help at all to tell if it's remastered classic series or not)

    When was this Remastered Classic CD of the Singles released, what year to be exact.

    I've seen so many of these CD's on Ebay but I can't tell from the pic and description if it's a Remastered Classic CD or just earlier CD stock.

    I've been looking for this for years and still can't seem to find one that is from the Remastered Classics series.

    ...trying to complete my collection, online...
  14. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator


    Read through the following thread over at Steve Hoffman's forum that I participated in. It went on for days regarding the differing versions of Carpenters albums and particularly SINGLES 1969-1974 farther into the thread.


    If, after reading through all of that, and you're still confused (and you just might well be!) come back here and I'll try to help.

  15. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I have a couple of copies of the Remastered Classics version of The Singles. It's looks exactly like every other remastered classics disc, including the outer jewel case. The spine says "Remastered Classics" but the insert is the dark brown cover of the Singles album with nothing else. Usually the outer wrapper will have th 30th Anniversary sticker on it. Not always necessarily.

    The best way to find one Chris is to go to eBay, and search them. Chances are you *won't* see a pic with the "Remastered Classics" emblem on the side. So, just send a general email to each of the sellers (it should only take a couple of minutes if you copy and paste it) asking them to check the item to see if it is what you want. This is how I got ahold of my first copy. -Chris
  16. Dave60640

    Dave60640 Active Member

    I totally agree that this collection is nothing short of perfection.
    "The intro!" 'Nuff said!!!
    To quote "someone"
    "To not like this album, is to not like music."​
  17. Dark_Archangel

    Dark_Archangel New Member

    Oh, I like most Top Of The World and Close To You. But I can't buy it. Who help me to listen to this album?
  18. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    It's truly a shame that this has gone out of print. It's the best concise intro to the Carpenters there is. The newer, longer "Singles" is good but it does not have the flow of this one. I'm glad I snagged a copy when it came out.
  19. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I believe that SINGLES 1969-1973 is available in Canada, and is also in some kind of limited release in Japan. There are many who claim that the Canadian version features the 1985 remix of the song "Yesterday Once More."

    Both versions of SINGLES that I have (the original US CD from years ago, and the now-rare original Remastered Classic), use the original single mix for "Yesterday Once More".

  20. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    I thought that the early US release also had the '85 remix on there. Was there not a US reissue in the 90's perhaps that had that remix on it as well? For some reason I thought the Remastered Classics disc was the only one that had the original single mix of "Yesterday". -Chris
  21. Harry

    Harry Charter A&M Corner Member Moderator

    I am unclear about any US release that fell between the original CD 3601 from around 1985 or so, and the 1998 re-release in the Remastered Classics series.

    Others over at the Steve Hoffman Forum have brought up this subject several times, always swearing that "Yesterday Once More" on this album is a remix from 1985. After a lot of questioning and explanations back and forth, there seem to be a couple of possibilities, and those include a stealth US release in the early '90s, something mastered in Germany around the same time, and the one circulating around Canada recently. Those, assuming they are real, seem to be the ones with the remix.

    Both the original CD 3601 that I have, and the 1998 Remastered Classic have the original single mix. The fact that the Canadian disc may use the "Remastered Classics" artwork in the clear spine is what confuses the issue. Add to that the fact that the original Remastered Classic in the US was in print for such a short time before being relpaced by the newer SINGLES 1969-1981.

  22. Jeff

    Jeff Well-Known Member

    The intro of SINGLES was enchanting.

    Richard in his "groove"...element. Truly fascinating and a treasure within this catalog..

    However a sadness lingers within. WHY??? Has this enchanting segue been lost in the shuffle???

  23. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    I tell you what we don't have Jeff...the opening overture from the Singles 69-73 coupled with the remix version of We've Only Just Begun. It's featured on the video and DVD compilations, but nowhere on CD. :evil:
  24. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Well I can finally say that I have the Remastered Classics Singles 69-73 CD straight from Japan. It has the yellow strip on the left side that says Remastered Classics just like the US versions. I've never been able to find a US verison of this Remastered Classics CD.

    I can also confirm that it contains the single 45 version of Yesterday Once More (YOM), no remix on this one.

    The remaster on this is quite amazing and it projects a warm sound, i've played it over and over and don't tire from listening like some Cd's do.
    Simply the best of the best in tracks. :thumbsup:
  25. Chris May

    Chris May Resident 'Carpenterologist' Moderator Thread Starter

    Chris I'm so glad you found this disc.

    Just yesterday I browsed eBay again looking for this for you. Often times when someone here is looking for something like that, I get on a mission to find it. I actually own (2) copies of this disc, mainly because it was truly a staple with the early Carpenters' sound. Although a compilation per se, you really still get an "album" feel with it. Congrats. -Chris

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