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If I Were a Carpenter

3.6 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 13, 1994
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Editorial Reviews

1 x CD Album
US 1994

1American Music Club ,Goodbye To Love3:12
2Shonen Knife ,Top Of The World3:55
3Sonic Youth ,Superstar4:06
4Cranberries, The ,(They Long To Be) Close To You2:40
5Bettie Serveert ,For All We Know3:27
6Dishwalla ,It's Going To Take Some Time4:16
7Sheryl Crow ,Solitaire4:43
8Johnette Napolitano With Marc Moreland ,Hurting Each Other4:09
9Redd Kross ,Yesterday Once More3:58
10Babes In Toyland ,Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft4:06
11Cracker ,Rainy Days And Mondays3:44
12Matthew Sweet ,Let Me Be The One3:26
134 Non Blondes ,Bless The Beasts And Children4:17
14Grant Lee Buffalo ,We've Only Just Begun3:51
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
1
30
3:12
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2
30
3:56
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3
30
4:08
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4
30
2:41
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5
30
3:28
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6
30
4:18
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7
30
4:45
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8
30
4:12
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9
30
3:59
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10
30
4:09
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11
30
by Cracker
3:46
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12
30
3:27
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13
30
4:19
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14
30
3:51
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: September 13, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000005IL6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,181 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There was a rush of tribute albums in the 90s-after all the "alternative" sound was a money-maker; kitsch was in full glory; and the 70s were BACK.

However, as an actual fan of the Carpenters, I truly enjoy this compilation. I agree with other reviewers that it should be listened to as an album. There are, without a doubt, some weak songs here, but the intro song "Goodbye to Love" flows beautifully into the ending song "We've Only Just Begun"-despair to hope-the very opposite of Karen Carpenter's life!

I bought this CD in my teens (like when it ACTUALLY came out) and I just pulled out tonight to listen to during some painful exam studying. Its hard for me to describe what it is I like so much about this CD, so I'll take it song by song.

American Music Club "Goodbye to Love" With its heavy organ, almost church-like ambience, a very somber take on a pop melody. The male singer almost intones the lyrics rather than sings, adding to the spiritual despair of the track.

Shonen Knife "Top of the World" Then BAM! Next song by the Japanese lady trio Knife takes on the world! Such incredible energy with a bizaree almost country guitar twang, it has a riot mosh pit feel mixed with Beach Boys California vibrations.

Sonic Youth "Superstar" I really prefer this Alt-Gods' take on this song. They extended the song to over 4 minutes (the original sounds like Chipmunks compared to this version). The atmospheric feedback and sonic layers add to the grand feeling of fanaticism and extreme lonliness. One of their best songs.

The Cranberries "Close to You" The Crans play it safe with their version-very light, fluffy, with an almost folk-like vocal thanks to the non-American female lead singer. The crashing drums add some urgency.
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Format: Audio CD
I heard so many mixed reviews on this cd but I had heard the incredible Sonic Youth version of "Superstar" which happened to be a part of my decision to purchase this cd. Not to mention all of the artists on here are ones I like anyways. And yes, I'm a Carpenter fan as well. This is a very difficult thing to cover but I thought the artists all did a great job. There wasn't a bad song on this one, in my opinion. All of them did a great job covering these songs in their own particular way.
The very best of this cd are Sonic Youth, Sheryl Crow, Shonen Knife, Matthew Sweet and 4 non blondes but I enjoyed every song on here.
A really, interesting version of Carpenter's songs. I loved it.
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Format: Audio CD
Why does everyone hate this album? On more lists than I can count, it's been included as one of the worst records of all time, the most annoying records of the 90's, the top guilty pleasures of all time...but that last one is very telling, I think. Despite its intentions to expose the Carpenters' work to a modern (1990's alt-rock) audience, this record has always been notoriously unhip, and no one wanted to cop to owning or enjoying it, despite the fact that many did, and still do. Well, I have no such qualms.

As tribute albums go, this is one of the better ones available. It's not perfect; some of the artists play it a little too straight, and deliver performances that are more-or-less indistinguishable from the Carpenters' recordings, such as the Cranberries and Grant Lee Buffalo, but most take a left-field route and really take the time to focus on a new angle to the composition. American Music Club and Cracker both deliver overly moody, downcast renditions of "Goodbye to Love" and "Rainy Days and Mondays", respectively, with a completely different kind of poignancy than what Richard and Karen delivered. Sonic Youth (with "Superstar"), Shonen Knife (with "Top of the World") and Redd Kross (with "Yesterday Once More") transform their songs into rockers specifically suited for their individual styles. And even Sheryl Crow turns in a good recording of "Solitaire", reinterpreting the tune as one of the endless pleading, countrified rock songs that she takes to the bank on a regular basis.

There are other misses as well: Dishwalla turn "It's Going to Take Some Time" into a typically bad Dishwalla song, and while Johnette Napolitano and Marc Moreland's version of "Hurting Each Other" seems to be moving in the right direction, the end result is atonal and kind of an endurance test.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very interesting covers of Carpenter songs. The artists are really varied. You would never expect them to appear on the same album. BUT, who doesn't love the Carpenters. You may say you don't in public, but at home it is a different story. You will be surprised and I think that you will like it.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
When I was a teenager, I worked in a record store and we used to play this CD. For some reason, I was thinking about it the other day and bought the MP3 version on a whim. It's just as good as I remember it being and as my husband said it was the best eight bucks I've ever spent.
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Format: Audio CD
This should appeal to those who either enjoy "The Carpenters", or the mid-90's alternative scene, and especially to those who like both. I'm one of those people. While I'm not a "Carpenters" fanatic, I do know all the originals enough to really like the covers. Almost all of these are good, but the covers by "Shonen Knife", "Sonic Youth", and "Grant Lee Buffalo" are great. My favorite might actually be from "Sheryl Crow". Her rendition of "Solitaire" is excellent. So basically, it's just a great "Carpenters" flavored alterna-sampler that most anyone should love playing on "Rainy Days and Mondays".
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