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Early Carpenters CDs


Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Hi all,

I have a suspicion, and am wondering if any collectors with extensive CD collections can confirm or deny my suspicion. (This post is meant only to talk about CD releases of the original LPs, excluding all compilations.)

First, I know that the first Carpenters CD ever was the first pressing of Voice of the Heart in Japan, catalog no. 38XB-4. This one is on its own, in large part because 38XB included very early A&M CDs, and this one has pre-emphasis and no reference to AM+ Series. (The second pressing with the same catalog number, however, does reference AM+ Series.)

Then, I know that there were very early Japan-for-Japan CDs pressed by Alfa Records with the catalog number starting with 32XB. According to the Steve Hoffman Forums, here is the complete list of those:
  • 58XB-31/32 - Yesterday Once More
  • 32XB-39 - Singles: 1969-1973
  • 32XB-47 - Christmas Portrait
  • 32XB-52 - Now & Then
  • 32XB-53 - A Song for You
  • 32XB-54 - Close to You
I believe these same masters were used for the various "Made in Japan" for U.S. discs with the crude matrix. Catalog number equivalents would be:
  • 58XB-31/32 - CD 6601 (I can't find a Discogs page, but I have a copy of CD 6601 made in Japan with a crude matrix)
  • 32XB-39 - CD 3601 (I am supposing this includes the Matsush*ta pressing)
  • 32XB-47 - CD 3210 (Carpenters – Christmas Portrait (1987, CD))
  • 32XB-52 - CD 3519 (Also can't find a Discogs page, but wondering if there is a "Made in Japan" for U.S. CD?)
  • 32XB-53 - CD 3511 (Also can't find a Discogs page...)
  • 32XB-54 - CD 3184 (Carpenters – Close To You (CD))
The crude matrix CDs, in my experience, come in a smooth-sided jewel case, and have some variation of "1A1 63" or "1A1 64" in the matrix. I believe these CDs would have been pressed for the U.S. in late-1985 or very early-1986.

Then, as Alfa Records went bust in early 1986 and Canyon/Pony Canyon started to take over the CD release process of original Carpenters albums, I believe all of the above were re-released with D##Y catalog numbers.
Surprisingly, a cursory search for "Carpenters Close to You Canyon" only yields catalog number D20Y4011 (Carpenters – Close To You (1989, CD)), from 1989. I wonder if they just kept printing 32XB-54 until 1989? Surely "Close to You" must have been in demand in Japan... "Voice of the Heart" has no hits for Canyon Records. It looks like it jumped from Alfa Records to the "Karen in My Memories" series in 1993.

Which brings me to my hunch about the U.S. CDs. I have a suspicion that the U.S. CDs with "DX" numbers printed on the spine: "Ticket to Ride," "A Kind of Hush," and "Passage," do not have "Made in Japan" versions. Because DIDX numbers indicated CDs pressed by Digital Audio Disc Corporation USA, I have a feeling that these three discs only have "Made in USA" versions. Am I wrong? Would love to see a scan of a counter-example, if there exists any of these (American/U.S.) CDs with "Made in Japan" on the CD face.

I can confirm (from my CD collection) that there are U.S.-released versions of "Close to You," "Horizon," "Made in America," and "Yesterday Once More" that have "Made in Japan" on the CD. These all came in smooth-sided jewel cases and have crude matrices (1A1 63 or a variation of this). My best guess is that these smooth-sided "Made in Japan" CDs were pressed and sold in 1986.

Does anyone else have any insight into the various CD pressings? I am excited to grow my Carpenters CD collection and would love to trade knowledge/info with anyone else who is interested.
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