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Your Single Favourite Carpenters Studio Album*

Your Single Favorite Carpenters Studio Album

  • Offering

    Votes: 3 7.3%
  • Close To You

    Votes: 7 17.1%
  • Carpenters (Tan)

    Votes: 2 4.9%
  • A Song For You

    Votes: 12 29.3%
  • Now & Then

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Horizon

    Votes: 10 24.4%
  • A Kind Of Hush

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Passage

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Made In America

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Voice Of The Heart

    Votes: 2 4.9%
  • Lovelines

    Votes: 4 9.8%
  • As Time Goes By

    Votes: 1 2.4%

  • Total voters
    41

AnnaSock

Active Member
Thread Starter
What is everyone’s absolute favourite Carpenters album and why? Let’s exclude compilations for now.

Admittedly, mine changes depending on my mood, but if I had to choose, I’d say Close to You because I genuinely love every track. There’s still an element of their more experimental (not sure if that’s the right word, but I know what I mean haha) work as heard on Offering/Ticket to Ride, but I feel it’s more cohesive. Plus, the opening track, We’ve Only Just Begun, is one of my all time favourite songs.

I’m interested to hear everyone’s own thoughts and opinions.

(Apologies if this has been discussed before. I couldn’t find an open topic on the subject, but if there is feel free to merge or delete this.)
 

CraigGA

Well-Known Member
Horizon: Karen sounds perfect with each song of different musical styles sung to perfection. A album that is outside the usual group sound up to 1972 build, but showcases Karen front and center and allows the same for concert tours. Each song could have stood alone as a quality single. Even, I’m Caught Between Goodbye and I Love You, one of the softer choices, is still one of my most often played from my iTunes playlist. I once thought that the next album would be even more adventurous now that Karen had proven her vocal ability, but it was not to be. It’s funny, from the years forward, songs we now have in compilations that were not chosen for albums were among my favorites as Ordinary Fool, Where Do I Go From Here, and Guess I Just Lost My Head, to name a few.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've adjusted the title to better reflect the purpose of the thread, and added a poll. I left out the Christmas albums.
 

Portlander

Active Member
My vote is for the "Carpenters" (tan album) due to the refinement and maturity it demonstrated over the previous "Close To You" album which was excellent. It was the first LP to display the new Carpenters logo, had three top 3 singles, sold over 4 million copies, clever envelope design concept, won a Grammy award and did not have an uncool photo or artwork on the cover. It was hidden on the inside of the album! It also contained one of my favorite songs that may have been a top 10 hit if released in "Let Me Be The One". In addition, the Bacharach medley is a Carpenter classic and really highlights Richard's keen arranging skills.
 
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Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
For me it is, and always has been, A Song For You. Out of their first five albums, that album has the best blend of "serious" and "fun" combined with a lot of great singles, all of which adds up to the best album in their catalog. Starting with Horizon, and thanks to the constant stresses of touring, writing and recording, the whimsical aspects of their earlier albums faded away and were replaced by a too-serious vibe, combined with Richard pushing himself further into the background, so the sense of "fun" was lost. That's just my take... I know Horizon gets a lot of love, and it's a fine album in its own right, but compared to the earlier ones it's nowhere near as enjoyable for me to listen to.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Today my vote goes to CLOSE TO YOU. It could change tomorrow.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
This year, Close to You. But for most all years since its release, I would have easily said Horizon....
 

Mike Blakesley

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Today my vote goes to CLOSE TO YOU. It could change tomorrow.
That's true, if I'm rating the albums from 1 to 10, A Song For You would be a 10, and the rest of the first four would be nine-plus.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Put me down for "Close To You" also. Their "break-out" album. Grammy winner. So many great moments on it. Crescent Noon, Mr Guder, Reason To Believe, and of course the 2 mega-hits. Really showcased their talent and that magnificent voice was coming into full bloom.
 

Rachel

Someone said that time would ease the pain...
I voted ASFY. The first 5 tracks are strong songs. Karen, as a vocalist, can have me weeping on ASFY("and when my life is over..."), then I am toe-tapping to TOTW. Back to a melancholy song, HEO; next up comes "so, it's one more round for experience and I'm on the road again." Fifth track is rightly a favorite of all fans(or is that too sweeping a generalization?); I, at least get the impression that "Goodbye To Love" is well-liked, except those who hate the trumpet on the RPO. :sigh:
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Great Post Anna :)

I tend to gravitate to the later albums such as Horizon onwards. It was a tough call but as a whole I voted for Lovelines. It's amazing how fluid the album flows as if it was meant to be an album released while Karen was alive...it has that feeling to me. Since I love the solo material this album has everything including my ultimate favorite "You're The One"
If I could only have 2 Carpenters albums for the rest of my life it would be Lovelines and Horizon.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
My vote went to "A Song For You." It's like a greatest hits album in itself! Plus "Intermission" is funny, and something we can all relate to. My second favorite is "Lovelines," the inclusion of the wonderful Karen Carpenter solo tracks tweaked by Richard pushes it to a greatness level. But "Song" is the first great album by the Carpenters, IMO.
 

AnnaSock

Active Member
Thread Starter
Great Post Anna :)

I tend to gravitate to the later albums such as Horizon onwards. It was a tough call but as a whole I voted for Lovelines. It's amazing how fluid the album flows as if it was meant to be an album released while Karen was alive...it has that feeling to me. Since I love the solo material this album has everything including my ultimate favorite "You're The One"
If I could only have 2 Carpenters albums for the rest of my life it would be Lovelines and Horizon.
I completely agree with your comments about Lovelines. I would say it’s one of my most played Carpenters albums. It’s very cohesive and has some great tracks. I also love the solo material, so I think those songs are brilliant additions.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I tried to choose one. I am unable to decide.
Quite frankly, I appreciate each separate album more and more each day !
Each album has something unique to offer. Those music critics who believe
that each "Carpenters" album is a carbon-copy of each of the others,
they are simply not listening to each album independently and in sufficient musical detail !
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Honolulu City Lights
Wow, that's like saying which one of your children do you like best. Each is unique in its own way, and perfect.
Can't decide which one is the most attractive. :bnb: :bnb: etc
I completely understand your analogy, I almost voted for VOTH because that one is right up there for me too. There is something about each album that pulls me in to Karen’s world. Like Passage has B’wana, VOTH has Dreams and Horizon has Solitaire...each one has a special song for me that makes them my favorite albums. It reminds me of that thread we had a while back about favorite song from each album which made an incredible playlist (compilation).
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
Yep. I was right. Today I've changed my vote to OFFERING. It's always been a desert-island favorite of mine from the first time I played on Christmas morning 1970.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
A Song For You by far. My other top three are Passage, Horizon and Close To You and the order on those can change depending on mood.
 

Rudy

ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ
Staff member
Site Admin
Yep. I was right. Today I've changed my vote to OFFERING. It's always been a desert-island favorite of mine from the first time I played on Christmas morning 1970.
You need your own entry in the poll. [*] Harry's Vote--Changes Daily! :D
 

GDB2LV

Active Member
Definitely A Song For You. The title track is amazing and never released as an A or B side single. That makes it extra special to me. Also it had my favorite song of all time GDB2LV. The only other one I play on a regular basis is Close To You, it would be my choice if ASFY was never made. Every track is awesome.
 

Jamesj75

Well-Known Member
So I wrestled with this one for a bit but took the plunge and voted for Horizon! My "torn between two lovers" angst involved Horizon and A Kind of Hush. As I've demonstrated here, I am one of the most (if not the most) vociferous fan(s) of A Kind of Hush. And I thoroughly enjoy both studio albums because each contains my some of my primary favorites: singles ("Solitaire," "Only Yesterday," "There's a Kind of Hush," "I Need to Be in Love") and album cuts ("Happy," "You," "I Have You"). Sure, there are other studio albums that contain other such favorites (Passage, I'm talking about you. "You're the One," it was instant love when I first heard you). And, clearly, I have a personal affinity for music from 1975/1976, so they're already in my wheelhouse.

But I should mention that I have always considered Horizon my absolute favorite. Sure, some say it's too ballad-laden. Well, so is the bulk of their output. And "Only Yesterday" and "Please Mr. Postman" certainly go against that grain. Even "Happy" is more upbeat, certainly uplifting! But the ballads included in Horizon are clearly mesmerizing, with Karen's vocals perhaps at their apex ("he's playing solitaire," "the devil and the deep blue sea," "you've got to love me for what I am"). And we can't discount their iconic take on "Desperado."

It may be hard to delineate or rank our favorites. Yet as with any Carpenters studio album, there is much to enjoy, many gems to be harvested, many moments to cherish.
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
I'm with you, James, in loving Horizon and Hush. If you're a fan of her voice, it's hard not to be.
Horizon has always toggled with CTY as my favorite. The way Karen is recorded has never been as good previously or since that album. Even though I play Hush a lot (its my go-to for some happy music), 3/5 of Side One are not great. But Side Two- wow. Among their best, I'd say.

Forgot to mention why I chose Close to You. It's somewhere between raw (Offering / Ticket to Ride) and dare I say too refined (Tan album). Full of innovation and multiple flavors of song. Karen sounds stunning throughout. And some of my favorite album cuts are here alongside two major hits I love: Love is Surrender, Reason to Believe, Maybe It's You, Baby It's You. Plus WOJB started my lifelong love affair with the duo. (More here.)
 
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