• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are in the pipeline! The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy will be available on November 16, 2021 and can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is being released January 14, 2022, and is available for ordering here.

⭐ Official Review [Compilation]: "THE SINGLES, 1974-1978"

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 17 23.0%
  • ****

    Votes: 35 47.3%
  • ***

    Votes: 21 28.4%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    74

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Was it even compiled by Richard & Karen? Or was it compiled by someone at A&M UK?

Of course the other day I noticed that it was pictured in the booklet for the 2002 “The Essential Collection”. So it seems to carry similar weight with Richard as the 69-73, 69-81 & Interpretations, vs. others like the 1978 Canadian “Carpenters Collection”.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Was it even compiled by Richard & Karen? Or was it compiled by someone at A&M UK?

I’m pretty sure it was A&M UK that conceived this compilation for a UK release. This would likely have been based on market research that suggested a follow up to the first Singles album would be well received.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
I’m pretty sure it was A&M UK that conceived this compilation for a UK release. This would likely have been based on market research that suggested a follow up to the first Singles album would be well received.
. I know that. But the ones who picked tracks, was it Karen & Richard in the US for the international market, or was it somebody, like an intern, at A&M UK or wherever?
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
. I know that. But the ones who picked tracks, was it Karen & Richard in the US for the international market, or was it somebody, like an intern, at A&M UK or wherever?

I’m sure someone at A&M UK put the tracklist together based on recent UK chart successes. I don’t think any market other than the UK was ever considered for this album, so I don’t think Richard or Karen had an input but I’m sure that ultimately Richard would have had final sign off anyway.
 

Donn

Member
I don't recall a sticker. It's possible there was one on the outside of the shrink wrap. Usually I save those if possible.

Harry
Harry - I do recall the black hype sticker, as I bought mine in a record store (in the Imports section, do not recall the year). However, none of my three copies have the shrink wrap on them anymore
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Nice picture. I’ve never seen the smooth cover either. All of mine are from England and have the raised cover. Thanks for sharing.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
It is a nice visual companion to the original SINGLES 69-73 with the reversed colors, but then again, this is actually a cheaper-than-the-foil version made by a record club. Record club albums, particularly in the LP era, are generally not as desirable as the original record company issues. The vinyl may or may not be as good as the A&M original - it's kind of a crap shoot in that regard, depending on the mastering and which masters the record club was sent.

Singles74-78ColHouse.jpg
 

TimeWarp

Well-Known Member
It is a nice visual companion to the original SINGLES 69-73 with the reversed colors, but then again, this is actually a cheaper-than-the-foil version made by a record club. Record club albums, particularly in the LP era, are generally not as desirable as the original record company issues. The vinyl may or may not be as good as the A&M original - it's kind of a crap shoot in that regard, depending on the mastering and which masters the record club was sent.

View attachment 6294
Correct, club albums are known to be lower in quality (the record itself has the same indication of being manufactured by Columbia House). Indeed if one is specifically concerned about obtaining only high quality records, a club edition would be risky. I purchased the audiophile Singles 1969-1973 and the Japanese CD4 for the sound quality and this one mostly for the unique cover!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Yeah, it's all in what one wants to collect.

HORIZON is constantly listed as everyone's favorite. According to Discogs, there are 57 different LP editions of that album, and probably more that haven't yet been listed.

Is there anyone out there who can claim that they own all 57 different LP pressings of HORIZON? The quest alone on just this one album could take a lifetime or more. I've always been mostly content with one or two different copies of an LP, mostly one for playing and one for keeping as a backup.

With CDs, I typically look for different official compilations, maybe an extra copy here and there as collections sometimes grow in directions you hadn't intended, bonus inclusions, etc.

Like the SINGLES different cover above, I enjoyed getting the two different UK iterations of GOLD.

carpgoldUK1.jpgcarpgoldUK2.jpg

Identical in sound, but the covers compliment each other.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^^^ That mustard one is awful. There was no need to re-release it with that cover. The black and gold one is classy and in keeping with the ABBA Gold cover theme at the time. I’d love to see what the tracklist would have been for a More Carpenters Gold, similar to the ABBA follow up CD which sold over 3 million copies in the UK alone, despite only containing about half a dozen hit singles. Ironically, the RPO release features what I think a More Carpenters Gold cover would have looked like, had Universal followed the trend.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The mustard color, as you call it, is actually a gold color. Just the inverse of the first one.

ABBA had their GOLD released in exactly the same two color schemes.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
There are a few different pressings of the cd as well. I have an early one that I bought at a Virgin store in LA. It has blue lettering on a silver disc, and is manufactured by Nimbus for A&M. That’s a good thing. They made very clean sounding CDs. The latter ones have black lettering, a value series, and one with the AM+ logo. Those usually have good sound too. All 3 for sale on line, cheap!
 

TimeWarp

Well-Known Member
Yeah, it's all in what one wants to collect.

HORIZON is constantly listed as everyone's favorite. According to Discogs, there are 57 different LP editions of that album, and probably more that haven't yet been listed.

Is there anyone out there who can claim that they own all 57 different LP pressings of HORIZON? The quest alone on just this one album could take a lifetime or more. I've always been mostly content with one or two different copies of an LP, mostly one for playing and one for keeping as a backup.

With CDs, I typically look for different official compilations, maybe an extra copy here and there as collections sometimes grow in directions you hadn't intended, bonus inclusions, etc.

Like the SINGLES different cover above, I enjoyed getting the two different UK iterations of GOLD.

View attachment 6295View attachment 6296

Identical in sound, but the covers compliment each other.
I like how the two versions are complementary. I've seen the two different colours/covers and wondered about them but never looked into it.

I have three versions of Horizon. A Canadian pressing with the envelope sleeve, a Japanese pressing with the envelope sleeve and "accessories", and a US pressing with a single sleeve. I won't be attempting to collect all 57. :laugh:
 

TimeWarp

Well-Known Member
There are a few different pressings of the cd as well. I have an early one that I bought at a Virgin store in LA. It has blue lettering on a silver disc, and is manufactured by Nimbus for A&M. That’s a good thing. They made very clean sounding CDs. The latter ones have black lettering, a value series, and one with the AM+ logo. Those usually have good sound too. All 3 for sale on line, cheap!
Speaking of Horizon CDs, one interesting thing I noticed about "Please Mr. Postman" on mine (it's the 1998 US reissue, remaster) is it sounds closest to one of the 7" singles I have.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I was writing about The Singles 1974-1978 on cd, not Horizon vinyl. Sorry if I wasn’t clearer in my post about the Nimbus pressed cd.
As for Horizon vinyl. I have the original vinyl, Japanese Alpha A&M pressing which is the best quality, the quad CD-4 USA version, and a test pressing with plain white label and tech sheet included. It sounds the same as a regular issue. If there really are 50+ different pressings, best of luck trying to find them all. I’m assuming they are just from different countries around the world.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Exactly my point. There are so many different issues and pressings of some of these very popular albums, yet really no-one would expect to find or collect every one of them.

This comes to mind with a current album by Paul McCartney, the III album. He's authorized and had pressed all different variations of colored vinyl, colored album covers, variations in gatefold images, inclusions of extra bonus tracks, posters, etc., and some rabid fans are trying to track them all down. I find that a rather annoying tactic in trying to boost sales.

Thankfully Carpenters never engaged in that kind of action, but finding some interesting variation can be a fun part of the hobby.

I enjoy the differences in mono pressings of some older albums, and even Carpenters promo singles. Actually hearing different sounds can be quite a joy. But a plain old HORIZON from say, Italy, might sound exactly the same as one from the Phillipines. I don't think I would get much joy from tracking those down.

Just some examples of various levels of collecting...
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
You are so right Harry, it makes it harder to be a fan!

But, I do like the look of the variations in the singles album. Sure it wasn't as big sales wise as its predecessor (17 weeks at number one, 63 weeks top 10 and a consecutive chart run from Jan 1974 to March 1976) but it did still reach #2 over Christmas (#1 in Melody Maker) and was certified Platinum almost immediately. One striking thing from reading the promo is where it describes it as having more hits than the Singles 69-73 which as incorrect as that may sound (considering the American and other global charts) it is technically true for the British market with 9 Top 40 hits compared to 7:

The Singles 1969-1973

  1. We've Only Just Begun #28
  2. Top of the World #5
  3. Ticket To Ride N/A
  4. Superstar #18
  5. Rainy Days And Mondays Non-Entry
  6. Goodbye To Love #9
  7. Yesterday Once More #2
  8. It's Going To Take Some Time Non-Entry
  9. Sing Non-Entry
  10. For All We Know #18
  11. Hurting Each Other Non-Entry
  12. (They Long To Be) Close To You #6

Singles 1974-1978

  1. Sweet, Sweet Smile #40
  2. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) #12
  3. Can't Smile Without You N/A
  4. I Won't Last A Day Without You #32
  5. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song Non-Entry
  6. Only Yesterday #7
  7. Solitaire #32
  8. Please Mr. Postman #2
  9. I Need To Be In Love #36
  10. Happy N/A
  11. There's A Kind Of Hush #22
  12. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft #9
 

Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
It is a shame that this album didn't get the same treatment that it's older sibling 69-73 got. Imagine if Richard had created an overture and segues between songs with a few re-recordings maybe (we did get "Can't Smile...") and actually given it a more cohesive running order instead of this random one. I wonder how it would have fared on the US charts had it been issued there. Yes, their new albums were performing badly (compared to their previous albums and singles - they were at least still charting after all) but how would a hits package have done. I feel it was a missed opportunity for A&M to do something with the two albums a little further down the road maybe with something like a double album or collectors edition set with the two albums presented together - like for the 10th anniversary.
 
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