• 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.

High Resolution Carpenters Album Covers

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Hi everybody,

I hope that someone may have some information. A while back (maybe 3-4 years ago), I visited Amazon Japan and found what looked like really great source files (i.e. not scans of CD covers or even scans of vinyl covers), but the full-size images were 500 x 500 pixels. I did a reverse image search and found some of them on Universal Music Japan (also 500 x 500 pixels). I am hoping to reach out to ask--does anyone have high-resolution covers (not scans of CD or vinyl album jackets)?


Here are the images, in case you are interested in downloading them for your iTunes (or any other digital music) library.

AFAIK, the album covers that Apple/iTunes has are scans of a CD booklet. I can tell because of the blur needed to descreen/despeckle the dots on the CD covers.

Any help to find higher resolution (1500 x 1500 or higher) source images of the Carpenters' album covers would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,
Cuyler
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Not sure just what you're looking for, but our friend/member Ed has a site with fairly high resolution album covers and he's got all of the Carpenters albums up on that site. I believe they are 1200x1200.

Hi @Harry, thank you so much for sharing this link! These images are very similar to the ones I pulled from Amazon Japan, which to me means that Ed did a really good job at scanning and had really good source jackets. Also really nice to see all of the generic A&M single sleeves and paper record sleeves as well.

I'm looking for something like this, but ideally from "the vault" of the record company (probably Universal Music now). One example to point to is the "Carpenters" album cover; the one I pulled from Amazon has a very uniform color (something that just isn't realistic with LP scans because of the way the paper pulp has aged in the past 50 years).

The image from iTunes (below) is very obviously a scan of a CD cover... just wondering if we'll ever see "digital originals" (as close to the source as possible) for these album covers.

1000x1000bb.png
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
I doubt that anything like that is available free on the web. In fact, we've heard of cases where the record companies don't even know where the original artwork is.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I doubt that anything like that is available free on the web. In fact, we've heard of cases where the record companies don't even know where the original artwork is.

They did a superb job of the MFSL release of A Song For You, which included all the drawings and lyrics from the original release. I’m assuming they must still have all the final proofs for that one somewhere.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Well, remember, A&M was sold to PolyGram, who sold it to Universal, who had a fire in 2008 where who knows what burned up.

We know from our @Steve Sidoruk , that Herb Alpert has needed his help in getting his old album artwork for his re-releases. That certainly doesn't sound encouraging to me.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Well, remember, A&M was sold to PolyGram, who sold it to Universal, who had a fire in 2008 where who knows what burned up.

We know from our @Steve Sidoruk , that Herb Alpert has needed his help in getting his old album artwork for his re-releases. That certainly doesn't sound encouraging to me.
This continues to disturb and upset me... it would be such a tragedy if any Carpenters materials were permanently damaged or destroyed...
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Not sure just what you're looking for, but our friend/member Ed has a site with fairly high resolution album covers and he's got all of the Carpenters albums up on that site. I believe they are 1200x1200.


Aww, thanks, Harry. I did what I could with what I had. The only one I really worked on was "Ticket to Ride" as my copy is just trashed. I'll also confess that parts of "A Song for You" and "Passage" are from the mini-CDs but they're identical to the LPs in every conceivable way (thank you, Universal Japan). Even the finish on them is exactly the same.

As Harry stated, it is beyond common for record labels to lose cover art parts and just use high res scans of old LPs in order to re-release them. I remember Weird Al had this issue as well with his "Al in the Box" set. He can never reissue it as it was because Scotti Bros. lost all the parts to the cover art.

Could be worse though. I clearly love cover art but I'd always rather have the music. In some cases, you can't even get that the way you think you're getting it. Virtually any reissue of ABC Records material isn't from the source. Other than Steely Dan and a few others, all the two-channel masters and multis were literally disposed of when MCA bought them.

Ed
 

David A

Well-Known Member
How were the album covers created for

The Carpenters 'The Vinyl Collection'​

in 2017? Just hi-rez scans of old covers, or CD covers?
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Hi @Harry, thank you so much for sharing this link! These images are very similar to the ones I pulled from Amazon Japan, which to me means that Ed did a really good job at scanning and had really good source jackets. Also really nice to see all of the generic A&M single sleeves and paper record sleeves as well.

I'm looking for something like this, but ideally from "the vault" of the record company (probably Universal Music now). One example to point to is the "Carpenters" album cover; the one I pulled from Amazon has a very uniform color (something that just isn't realistic with LP scans because of the way the paper pulp has aged in the past 50 years).

The image from iTunes (below) is very obviously a scan of a CD cover... just wondering if we'll ever see "digital originals" (as close to the source as possible) for these album covers.

1000x1000bb.png
I’ve always wondered if that artwork was just remade in the 1980’s for the CD release, since the original LP was done up as an envelope, and I would prefer to see that envelope look on the CD’s, whereas the 80’s and 90’s CD’s and digital just look like a quick recreation.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
I’ve always wondered if that artwork was just remade in the 1980’s for the CD release, since the original LP was done up as an envelope, and I would prefer to see that envelope look on the CD’s, whereas the 80’s and 90’s CD’s and digital just look like a quick recreation.
Agreed! And the "official" artwork from iTunes is clearly a scan of the CD release as opposed to a digital recreation of even the CD release... you can see some of those printed dot artifacts in the logo and in the background...

*sigh* in any case, I would love to some day see proper digital recreations of Carpenters albums as they were presented in the 1970s, whether that be on the LP cover or even on the reel-to-reel box. Something that's not just a quick scan of a CD insert...
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
The 30th and 35th anniversary box sets from Japan used some VERY authentic packaging for the album covers, and even the CD faces themselves matched up pretty well with the old LP labels. Here are a few pictures I took when the 35th set was new.
CarpHush.jpgCarpHush2.jpgCarpNowThen.jpg
CarpHoriz.jpg
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
The 30th and 35th anniversary box sets from Japan used some VERY authentic packaging for the album covers, and even the CD faces themselves matched up pretty well with the old LP labels. Here are a few pictures I took when the 35th set was new.
View attachment 6599View attachment 6600View attachment 6601
View attachment 6598
Yes! This is exactly what I'm talking about! This looks wonderful! I hope one day, Universal uses these images as the official album covers on YouTube, Spotify, iTunes, etc. These look much, much better than what is currently out there from "official" sources! Thanks for sharing, @Harry!
 

Vinylalbumcovers

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
The 30th and 35th anniversary box sets from Japan used some VERY authentic packaging for the album covers, and even the CD faces themselves matched up pretty well with the old LP labels. Here are a few pictures I took when the 35th set was new.
View attachment 6599View attachment 6600View attachment 6601
View attachment 6598

Agreed. The only difference is the copyright info and release numbers. Otherwise, dead on. I have the "Now and Then" set myself. They really put care into these from a packaging perspective.

Ed
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
The 40th box, shm edition, has the best overall sound. There are small scans of the covers for each individual disc. A full size thin cover that holds the actual disc is inside the back cover. Each has a booklet with a small note about the album from Richard. Also pictures, and lyrics. Mostly in Japanese. The cover scans are very poor quality though.The 35th much better to look at.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Sorry, I posted to soon. The 40th box also has Offering instead of Ticket To Ride as Disc1.
They do make TTR in a Shm format, but it won’t match the style of the set.
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Hi everyone,

I'm definitely a newbie/amateur when it comes to scanning covers/CDs, but I wanted to share a few of the scans I cleaned up from last night.

Some CD covers:
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Some singles:
XYxUHzq.png

qJ7pc1a.png


I'll be doing some more and cropping them to 900 x 900. I'll be sure to post them here.
 
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newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen

Unfortunately this abysmal excuse for an album cover can never be cleaned up, no matter what you do to it. I know it’s a moot point because it wasn’t released when it should have been, but whoever came up with this as acceptable in 1980 should not have been working as an Art Director at a record label.

Each album cover has the potential to become a work of art and should be treated as such - a unique representation and snapshot of an artist and their precious craft contained within its sleeve. They should therefore be conceived and produced with the respect they and the artist deserve. Karen was afforded no such respect when this abomination was conceived.
 
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Murray

Well-Known Member
Unfortunately this abysmal excuse for an album cover can never be cleaned up, no matter what you do to it. I know it’s a moot point because it wasn’t released when it should have been, but whoever came up with this as acceptable should not have been working as an Art Director at a record label have been hanged, drawn, and quartered.
Fixed it for you! :D
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
Thread Starter
Re: why I scanned and posted it—whatever I think of the album cover is beside the point imho. I scanned it because the scans that do exist out there on the Internet are not descreened/despeckled, or the color is washed out. I actually didn’t do much to any of these besides putting the descreen level to “low” on my scanner, cropping it to be a square, and adjusting the white/gray/black balance on some of these covers.

But I agree with you—I don’t know the story behind this album cover, but the taking a photograph and making it look like a sketch was not really original or anything Karen deserved.

The more I read about how she was treated during and after the years she went solo, the more I feel like she was completely dismissed and disregarded by her peers who she idolized. I won’t ever know the full story, but it’s such a shame to me that, when she was just looking to make art (and make money doing it of course), she wasn’t afforded that opportunity at that time. Just my two cents…
 
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