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If I Were a Carpenter

Various Artists Audio CD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 14 Songs, 1994 $5.99  
Audio CD, Import, 2011 $18.78  
Audio CD, 1994 --  
Vinyl, 1994 --  
Audio Cassette, 1994 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Goodbye To LoveAmerican Music Club 3:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Top Of The WorldSHONEN Knife 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. SuperstarSonic Youth 4:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. (They Long To Be) Close To YouThe Cranberries 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. For All We KnowBettie Serveert 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. It's Going To Take Some TimeDishwalla 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. SolitaireSheryl Crow 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Hurting Each OtherMarc Moreland 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Yesterday Once MoreRedd Kross 3:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary CraftBabes In Toyland 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Rainy Days And MondaysCracker 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Let Me Be The OneMatthew Sweet 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Bless The Beasts And Children4 Non Blondes 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. We've Only Just BegunGrant Lee Buffalo 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 

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 (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,345 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Audio CD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Take It At Face Value And Enjoy June 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I just don't get the polarized reviews regarding this pleasant little tribute album. The haters are either neurotic Carpenters-worshipers who seem to have insider info on the "cynical" nature of this compilation made by some talented artists of the mid-90s, or they are simply haters of the Carpenters as a concept. Look people, this album has some great music on it. The interpretations are respectful and are not pure rip-off copies of the originals, which would have been foolish. No one sounds like Karen Carpenter. What they are is worthy interpretations that show off the talents of the artists while keeping the melodic pop of the classic songs in question as their backbone. Japanese ladies Shonen Knife do a great indie power pop version of Top of the World, Sonic Youth's under water sounding Superstar is mesmerizing, Sheryl Crow and the Cranberries do sturdy renditions of Solitaire and Close To You, and all the other artists do credible jobs. This is simply a tuneful tribute album and a pleasant musical experience, for both Carpenters and non-Carpenters fans alike, for fans of classic pop melodies or 90s indie music.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 10 years old and still goin' strong! December 16, 2004
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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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very good compilation! February 11, 2002
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the perfect combination of the two
I grew up listening to The Carpenters. The 90's grunge movement hit when I was in high school. This is the perfect combination of the two. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FarmWife
4.0 out of 5 stars carpenter covers
kinda creepy
Published 1 month ago by Brian Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars this is great!
If you are a fan of the CArpenters, you should really enjoy this. I never heard of it till recently. My favorite VA Beach area radio station 102.1 played a song from it.
Published 2 months ago by Sister Soulshine
1.0 out of 5 stars Some artists/bands were so perfect, ANY 'remake' sounds ridiculous and...
The Carpenters were beyond flawless and timeless! To say the least. Incredible songs and harmonies. 'Untouchable'. Read more
Published 6 months ago by CQ DX
5.0 out of 5 stars Who doesn't love the Carpenters
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. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brooklyn Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars greats song redone with justice
Anyone who loves the Carpenters should love this compilation, Brings many a change to the old classics but leaves the listener with alot of impact .
Published 9 months ago by mark spellman
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Reinterpretation Of The Carpenters
I was a fan of the Carpenters but I think that most, but certainly not all, of the reinterpretations are excellent.
Published 9 months ago by Bob In Alabama
5.0 out of 5 stars A great find!
This one was a favorite of mine at the time and will be on heavy rotation in the studio. Definitely worth a listen.
Published 11 months ago by hugh sheean
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE LOVE LOVE
I love compilation CD's. And a CD of songs I love sung by my favorite bands and artists, I cant complain. Read more
Published on May 3, 2012 by jana
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary tribute to an iconic duo....
The Carpenters were the first band I ever saw in concert....I was a big fan then and still enjoy their music.... Read more
Published on December 24, 2011 by C.Ann Beard
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