This tops any single-CD Carpenters collection previously available in the U.S., adding smashes like I Won't Last a Day Without You; Please Mr. Postman; Only Yesterday , and Touch Me When We're Dancing to (They Long to Be) Close to You; Top of the World; Superstar , and the rest of these pop treasures. 21 tracks, including a version of For All We Know from a British TV special!
This revamped version of the Carpenters' two original Singles
LPs may, despite the absence of some Top 40 charters, stand as the definitive single-CD collection of the duo's hits. Included are most of the reasons Karen Carpenter's bring-the-pain vocals are still revered by thrift-shopping college kids and their moms alike. Despite the act's squeaky-clean image, Karen was of course more than touched by tragedy; at least one of the more hopeful of these tunes, "For All We Know," has doubt built right into its title. The best of this is smart, cry-in-your-Evian pop that sounds a lot less dated than it might in your memory. "Close to You" and "Hurting Each Other" are actually soulful claims on their then-new soft-pop tradition, while the towering "Goodbye to Love" is worthy of Rumours
-era Christine McVie
. Despite some duds, mostly from its later period, 1969-1981
makes its case for this enduring and sometimes classic outfit. --Rickey Wright