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Carpenters

With their light, airy melodies and meticulously crafted, clean arrangements that appealed to a variety of audiences, the Carpenters stood in direct contrast with the excessive, gaudy pop/rock of the '70s; yet they became one of the most popular artists of the decade, scoring 12 Top Ten hits, including three number one singles. Karen Carpenter's calm, pretty voice was the most distinctive element of their music, settling in perfectly amidst the precise, lush arrangements provided by her brother Richard. Though their popularity began to fade as the '70s progressed, the duo continued to make music together until Karen's tragic death in 1983.

The Carpenters formed in the late '60s in Downey, California, after their family moved from their native New Haven, Connecticut. Richard had played piano with a cocktail jazz trio in a handful of local Connecticut nightclubs. Once the family had moved to California, he began to study piano while he supported Karen in a trio that featured Wes Jacobs (tuba/bass). With Jacobs and Richard forming her backup band, Karen was signed to the local California record label Magic Lamp, who released two unsuccessful singles by the singer. The trio won a Battle of the Bands contest at the Hollywood Bowl in 1966, which led to a record contract with RCA. Signing under the name the Richard Carpenter Trio, the group cut four songs that were never released. Jacobs left the band at the beginning of 1968.

Following Jacobs' departure, the siblings formed Spectrum with Richard's college friend John Bettis. Spectrum fell apart by the end of the year, but the Carpenters continued performing as a duo. The pair recorded some demos at the house of Los Angeles session musician Joe Osborn; the tape was directed toward Herb Alpert, the head of A&M Records, who signed the duo to his record label in early 1969.

Offering, the Carpenters' first album, was released in November 1969. Neither Offering nor the accompanying single, a cover of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," made a big impression. However, the Carpenters' fortunes changed with their second single, a version of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "(They Long to Be) Close to You." Taken from the album Close to You, the single became the group's first number one, spending four weeks on the top of the U.S. charts. "Close to You" became an international hit, beginning a five-year period where the duo was one of the most popular recording acts in the world. During that period the Carpenters won two Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist of 1970, and had an impressive string of Top Ten hits, including "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Superstar," "Hurting Each Other," "Goodbye to Love," "Yesterday Once More," and "Top of the World."

After 1975's number four hit "Only Yesterday," the group's popularity began to decline. For the latter half of the '70s, the duo were plagued by personal problems. Richard had become addicted to prescription drugs; in 1978, he entered a recovery clinic, kicking his habit. Karen, meanwhile, became afflicted with anorexia nervosa, a disease she suffered from for the rest of her life. On top of their health problems, the group's singles had stopped reaching the Top Ten and by 1978, they weren't even reaching the Top 40. Consequently, Karen decided to pursue a solo career, recording a solo album in 1979 with Phil Ramone; the record was never completed and she returned to the Carpenters later that year. The reunited duo released their last album of new material, Made in America, in 1981. The album marked a commercial comeback, as "Touch Me When We're Dancing" made it to number 16 on the charts. However, Karen's health continued to decline, forcing the duo out of the spotlight. On February 4, 1983, Karen was found unconscious at her parents' home in Downey; she died in the hospital that morning from a cardiac arrest, caused by her anorexia.

After Karen's death, Richard Carpenter concentrated on production work and assembling various compilations of the Carpenters' recorded work. In 1987, he released a solo album called Time, which featured guest appearances by Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Chronicles

Disc 1

1. We've Only Just Begun

2. Love Is Surrender

3. Maybe It's You

4. Reason To Believe

5. Help

6. (They Long To Be) Close To You

7. Baby It's You

8. I'll Never Fall In Love Again

9. Crescent Noon

10. Mr. Guder

11. I Kept On Loving You

12. Another Song

Disc 2

1. Rainy Days And Mondays

2. Saturday

3. Let Me Be The One

4. (A Place To) Hide Away

6. Superstar

7. Druscilla Penny

8. One Love

9. Bacharach/David Medley: Knowing When To Leave / Make It Easy On Yourself / There's Always Something There To Remind Me / I'll Never Fall In Love Again / Walk On By / Do You Know The Way To San Jose

10. Sometimes

Disc 3

1. A Song For You

2. Top Of The World

3. Hurting Each Other

4. It's Going To Take Some Time

5. Goodbye To Love

7. Bless The Beasts And Children

8. Flat Baroque

9. Piano Picker

10. I Won't Last A Day Without You

11. Crystal Lullaby

12. Road Ode

13. A Song For You (Reprise)

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection

1. Yesterday Once More

2. I Need To Be In Love

3. Please Mr. Postman

4. Bless The Beasts And The Children

5. This Masquerade

6. I Just Fall In Love Again

7. I Believe You

8. Top Of The World

9. Love Is Surrender

10. Maybe It's You

11. Only Yesterday

12. Goodbye To Love

x

Track List: The Essential Collection (1965-1997)

Disc 1

1. Caravan (Demo Version)

2. The Parting Of Our Ways (Demo Version)

3. Looking For Love (Single Version)

4. I'll Be Yours (Single Version)

5. Iced Tea (Demo Version)

6. You'll Love Me (Demo Version)

7. All I Can Do (Demo Version)

8. Don't Be Afraid (Demo Version)

9. Invocation (Demo Version)

10. Your Wonderful Parade (Demo Version)

11. All Of My Life (1987 Remix)

12. Eve (1987 Remix)

13. Ticket To Ride (1973 Remix)

14. Get Together (Your Navy Presents Version)

15. Interview (Your Navy Presents)

16. Love Is Surrender (1987 Remix)

17. Maybe It's You (1990 Remix)

18. (They Long To Be) Close To You

19. Mr. Guder (1991 Remix)

20. We've Only Just Begun

21. Merry Christmas Darling (Single Version)

22. For All We Know (From "Lovers And Other Strangers" Soundtrack)

Disc 2

1. Rainy Days And Mondays (1991 Remix)

2. Superstar

3. Let Me Be The One

4. Bless The Beasts And Children (1991 Remix)

5. Hurting Each Other

6. It's Going To Take Some Time

7. I Won't Last A Day Without You (1991 Remix)

8. A Song For You (1987 Remix)

9. Top Of The World

10. Goodbye To Love (1985 Remix)

11. This Masquerade (1990 Remix)

12. Sing (1994 Remix)

13. Jambalaya (On The Bayou) (1991 Remix)

14. Yesterday Once More (1985 Remix)

15. Oldies Medley (1991 Remix)

16. Yesterday Once More (Reprise) (1990 Remix)

17. Radio Contest Outtakes

Disc 3

1. Morinaga Hi-Crown Chocolate Commercial

2. Please Mr. Postman (1991 Remix)

3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (1984 Remix)

4. Only Yesterday

5. Solitaire

6. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again (1995 "Interpretations" Version)

7. Good Friends Are For Keeps

8. Ordinary Fool

9. Sandy

10. There's A Kind Of Hush (All Over The World) (1985 Remix)

11. I Need To Be In Love (1990 Remix)

12. From This Moment On (Live At London Palladium, 1976)

13. Suntory Pop Jingle #1

14. Suntory Pop Jingle #2

15. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

16. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day) (1989 Remix)

17. Sweet, Sweet Smile

18. Christ Is Born (1991 Remix)

19. White Christmas (1991 Remix)

20. Little Altar Boy

21. Ave Maria (1991 Remix)

Disc 4

1. Where Do I Go From Here

2. Little Girl Blue

3. I Believe You

4. If I Had You

5. Karen/Ella Medley (Performed By Karen Carpenter & Ella Fitzgerald)

6. 1980 Medley (Sing/Knowing When To Leave/Make It Easy On Yourself/Someday/We've Only Just Begun)

7. Make Believe It's Your First Time

8. Touch Me When We're Dancing

9. When It's Gone

10. Because We Are In Love (The Wedding Song)

11. Those Good Old Dreams

12. Now

13. Karen's Theme (Performed By Richard Carpenter)

x

Track List: As Time Goes By

1. Without A Song

3. Nowhere Man

5. Dancing In The Street

6. Dizzy Fingers

7. You're Just In Love

10. Leave Yesterday Behind

12. California Dreamin'

13. The Rainbow Connection

14. Hits Medley '76

x

Track List: Singles 1969-1981

1. For All We Know (1990 Remix)

2. I Believe You

3. It's Going To Take Some Time (1989 Remix)

4. We've Only Just Begun

5. Those Good Old Dreams

6. Superstar (1991 Remix)

7. Rainy Days And Mondays (1991 Remix)

8. Goodbye To Love (1991 Remix)

9. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

10. Top Of The World (1973 Remix)

11. Only Yesterday

12. Ticket To Ride

13. Hurting Each Other (1991 Remix)

14. Yesterday Once More (1991 Remix)

15. Sing (1994 Remix)

16. Touch Me When We're Dancing

17. Please Mr. Postman (1991 Remix)

18. I Need To Be In Love (1990 Remix)

19. I Won't Last A Day Without You

20. (They Long To Be) Close To You (1991 Remix)

21. For All We Know (Reprise)

x

Track List: Yesterday Once More

Disc 1

1. Yesterday Once More

2. Superstar

3. Rainy Days And Mondays

4. (Want You) Back In My Life Again

5. Ticket To Ride

6. Goodbye To Love

7. Bless The Beasts And Children

8. It's Going To Take Some Time

10. Sweet, Sweet Smile

11. I Won't Last A Day Without You

12. For All We Know

13. Touch Me When We're Dancing

Disc 2

1. I Just Fall In Love Again

2. This Masquerade

3. Hurting Each Other

4. Please Mr. Postman

5. I Need To Be In Love

6. Make Believe It's Your First Time

7. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

8. Top Of The World

9. Because We Are In Love (The Wedding Song)

10. We've Only Just Begun

11. Those Good Old Dreams

12. Sing

13. Only Yesterday

14. (They Long To Be) Close To You

x

Track List: Carpenters: Love Songs

1. I Need To Be In Love

2. Solitaire

3. We've Only Just Begun

4. This Masquerade

5. You're The One

6. Superstar

7. Rainy Days And Mondays

8. Top Of The World

9. Make Believe It's Your First Time

10. I Just Fall In Love Again

11. (They Long To Be) Close To You

12. For All We Know

13. Where Do I Go From Here?

14. Only Yesterday

15. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

16. When I Fall In Love

17. Hurting Each Other

18. I Won't Last A Day Without You

19. A Song For You

20. Goodbye To Love

x

Track List: Lovelines

1. Lovelines

2. Where Do I Go From Here

3. The Uninvited Guest

4. If We Try

5. When I Fall In Love

6. Kiss Me The Way You Did Last Night

7. Remember When Lovin' Took All Night

8. You're The One

9. Honolulu City Lights

10. Slow Dance

11. If I Had You

12. Little Girl Blue

x

Track List: Voice Of The Heart

1. Now

2. Sailing On The Tide

3. You're Enough

4. Make Believe It's Your First Time

5. Two Lives

6. At The End Of A Song

7. Ordinary Fool

8. Prime Time Love

9. Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore

10. Look To Your Dreams

x

Track List: Made In America

1. Those Good Old Dreams

2. Strength Of A Woman

3. (Want You) Back In My Life Again

4. When You've Got What It Takes

5. Somebody's Been Lyin'

6. I Believe You

7. Touch Me When We're Dancing

8. When It's Gone

9. Beechwood 4-5789

10. Because We Are In Love (The Wedding Song)

x

Track List: Passage

1. B'wana She No Home

2. All You Get From Love Is A Love Song

3. I Just Fall In Love Again

4. On The Balcony Of The Casa Rosada / Don't Cry For Me Argentina

5. Sweet, Sweet Smile

6. Two Sides

7. Man Smart Woman Smarter

8. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem Of World Contact Day)

x

Track List: A Kind Of Hush

1. There's A Kind Of Hush

2. You

3. Sandy

4. Goofus

5. Can't Smile Without You

6. I Need To Be In Love

7. One More Time

8. Boat To Sail

9. I Have You

10. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

x

Track List: Horizon

1. Aurora

2. Only Yesterday

3. Desperado

4. Please Mr. Postman

5. I Can Dream, Can't I?

6. Solitaire

7. Happy

8. (I'm Caught Between) Goodbye And I Love You

9. Love Me For What I Am

10. Eventide

x

Track List: The Singles: 1969-1973

1. We've Only Just Begun (Remix)

2. Top Of The World

3. Ticket To Ride (1973 Remix)

4. SuperStar

5. Rainy Days And Mondays

6. Goodbye To Love

7. Yesterday Once More

8. It's Going To Take Some Time

9. Sing

10. For All We Know

11. Hurting Each Other

12. (They Long To Be) Close To You

x

Track List: The Carpenters Now and Then

1. Sing

2. This Masquerade

3. Heather

4. Jambalaya (On The Bayou)

5. I Can't Make Music

6. Yesterday Once More

7. Fun, Fun, Fun

8. THe End of the World

9. Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)

10. Deadman's Curve

11. Johnny Angel

12. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

13. Our Day Will Come

14. One Fine Day

15. Yesterday Once More (Reprise)

x

Track List: A Song For You

1. A Song For You

2. Top Of The World

3. Hurting Each Other

4. It's Going To Take Some Time

5. Goodbye To Love

6. Intermission

7. Bless The Beasts And Children

8. Flat Baroque

9. Piano Picker

10. I Won't Last A Day Without You

11. Crystal Lullaby

12. Road Ode

13. A Song For You (Reprise)

x

Track List: Carpenters

1. Rainy Days And Mondays

2. Saturday

3. Let Me Be The One

4. (A Place To) Hideaway

5. For All We Know

6. Superstar

7. Druscilla Penny

8. One Love

9. Medley

10. Sometimes

x

Track List: Close To You

1. We've Only Just Begun

2. Love Is Surrender

3. Maybe It's You

4. Reason To Believe

5. Help

6. Close To You

7. Baby It's You

8. I'll Never Fall ln Love Again

9. Crescent Noon

10. Mr. Guder

11. I Kept On Loving You

12. Another Song

x

Track List: Ticket To Ride

1. Invocation

2. Your Wonderful Parade

3. Someday

4. Get Together

5. All Of My Life

6. Turn Away

7. Ticket To Ride

8. Don't Be Afraid

9. What's The Use

10. All I Can Do

11. Eve

12. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing

13. Benediction

Comments

Report as inappropriate
fiel225
Desperado why don't you come to your senses there's a rainbow above you You better let somebody love you before it's too late
Report as inappropriate
fiel225
Desperado Why
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Carpenters were excellent! Love them.
Report as inappropriate
kelleylinda8 4 0
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Why or how do I play certain songs when I desire.
Report as inappropriate
j.global
Beautiful Voice amazing singer
Report as inappropriate
justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Voice like an angel!
Report as inappropriate
zoeblue
You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of you love. Now that you started reading this don't stop. This is so freaky but if you ignore it you'll have bad luck. Post this in 10 songs in the next 143 minutes when your done press the space bar and your crushes name will appear on the screen, this is freaky. It actually works.
Report as inappropriate
The Best• First place
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hadlockcarol e
Mciociola. I agree.
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Love the carpenters music, melody and Karen angelic effortless melodious harmonies!!! !
Report as inappropriate
Karen's voice was so smooth & silky. A voice you can listen to no matter what. Thanks for all the great music. RIP Karen!!!
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One of the greatest voices of all time dont care who you say anybody dont mayer
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fiel225
Top of The World Thanks Karen RIP ❤️
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zeespecialon e
Love Karen she had the most beautiful tone
Report as inappropriate
I can't help but feel that Karen might still be with us had she had the thing she coveted most and that was a genuine love in her life. Very sad story.
Report as inappropriate
One of the 70' Great Song's
Report as inappropriate
fiel225
Miss you Karen Carpenter RIP ,You are now amongst the angels and cherubs singing in the heavens
Report as inappropriate
More catholic priests should listen to this kind of music
Report as inappropriate
Best female voice of the 70's. Gone to soon. Still sing every one of her songs?
Report as inappropriate
dsparling40
Such a tragic loss, perhaps the most enduring duo ever, miss your voice Karen!
Report as inappropriate
I loved the Carpenters!! M y Favorite Group back then!!!!Thei r music was GREAT!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
dinokb12
Her voice was just sweet and amazing. Forever my favorite
Report as inappropriate
@hlore58...I remember the same Peggy Fleming skating thing with Karen singing ! Such a treasure!
Report as inappropriate
One of my favorite group..love the love songs..
Report as inappropriate
redbeard424
Love it
Report as inappropriate
A great part of our lives, The Carpenters.
Report as inappropriate
dragonlady60 8 8
This was the #1 WEDDING SONG BACK IN THE 60S
Report as inappropriate
benitus
Karen was the love of my life, as her music helped me to weather some of life's worst periods. Such a horrific loss, which the family must take full responsibili t y because they didn't pay enough attention to her eating problems, particularly as she was lonely and kept to herself. She's now in a better place, singing with the angels, to rejoice in God's eternal presence.
Report as inappropriate
love the carpenters music
Report as inappropriate
Love Karen Carpenter my favorite singer -the voice
Report as inappropriate
Way better than The Plumbers.
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all of them
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I'm on the Top of the World looking down on Creation
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I watched her movie of her life I like her Music
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What an amazing voice. Gone way too soon...
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There has never been a voice like Karen Carpenter... b e f o r e , then , or since...if you do not love it, you will.
Report as inappropriate
KC...do you remember...1 9 7 9 . . . n o t h i n g before or since has seemed so real....PEB.
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They were Great ��I Still listen to them!!!
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Close to is for my son,jarred Lester!! I love you
Report as inappropriate
alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
hlore58
It may have been "We've only just begun" that she skated to...
Report as inappropriate
hlore58
I still remember a Christmas special back then where Peggy Fleming, U.S Olympic Gold medalist ice skater, was wearing a beautiful white skater's outfit with long flowing chiffon arms and she skated solo to The Carpenters Superstar, I think it was. I never forgot this visual, so elegant and music so good.
Report as inappropriate
I love her voice.
Report as inappropriate
No one compares to her. No one.
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zeespecialon e
I love her I miss her. What a wonderful soothing voice she had. I love this era of music. May she be remembered forever.
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One of my favorite singer with her golden voice
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Her voice kept me calm
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If she beat her illness she would have been awesome
Show more

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