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Singles 1969-1981 Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 442 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, May 23, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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!

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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B00004R7VU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (442 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,836 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Sure, Karen's voice is great, and a lot of these songs are great. Richard's contributions to their original recordings were also substantial. What's so disappointing about this release, however, is that many of these songs have been remixed with musical parts recorded after Karen's death. Richard has done this many times before. Despite the original album mixes FINALLY coming out on cd, I guess he just couldn't help himself here and felt he had to remix their singles, once again. Unfortunately several of their original singles differed from their lp versions, and in some cases those single versions have yet to see a proper reissue on cd. I anticipated that this collection would do so, since it came out just after the album remasters series. Very disappointing.
This is therefore a collection for two groups: Carpenters completists who want everything and those who just want most of the Carpenters' biggest hits but don't care if they don't sound exactly like the original singles.
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Format: Audio CD
Fact: Karen Carpenter was blessed with a voice that will still be listened to and revered 50 years from now. It is/was a gorgeous, expressive, warm, clear and timeless voice. There will never be another like her. Not Mariah, not Christina, not any of them. The songs are 3-minute gems culled from the best songwriters of the time and are indelible parts of our memories (those of us who grew up in the 70's). They could be used in a class of "How to write perfect pop songs."

Having said that, why, oh WHY, did Richard Caprenter (a formidable musician and producer in his own right) mess with these and re-mix them to modernize them? Why would he mess with something so perfect as the original versions?

I can hear it now, "oh you're just used to the original mixes and you're a purist or music nerd." However you would be wrong. I'm open to re-mixes and have loved many things that have been released over the years with improvements in mixing and mastering. I don't listen to The Smiths so I'm not a music nerd (sarcasm). I'm actually a musician and producer myself. I put this disc up against the original singles disc, in the recording studio AND at home AND in the car, and there is just no match. The originals had vocals that were up front and mixes that were clean, with everything mixed up front. Yes, the drums were a bit boxy and the rim-shots inconsistent but who cares? The vocals were PURRRfect; warm and upfront with just the right amount of compression and 'verb.

Richard went and screwed it up. Sorry but he did. Track #5, "Superstar" is such a far cry from the original. The vocals are awash in reverb, he added piano parts, downplayed the bass licks and ignored the wurlitzer. The worst sin?
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Format: Audio CD
A & M Records present for the first time, all of the Carpenter's most significant singles hits on a one CD collection. For any fan of the '70s, this Carpenters twenty-one song lineup is a collectors dream. Many would read this album as a soundtrack for the "Baby-Boomer" generation, but it's more than that. Three-time Grammy Award winners, including Best New Artist in 1970, many went gold with their timeless sound, others such as their previous hits collection - "Singles 1969 - 1973", released in 1974 and certified seven times platinum. As a special treat for fans, a reprise version of - "FOR ALL WE KNOW" from a British television special is included in this treasury of adult contemporary genre.
The Carpenters although considered too light for the era's rock cognoscenti, had won international fandom and the whole world fell in love with their gentle pop music that was instantly recognizable. Today, the songs of the Carpenters are contnually rediscovered and remain among the most beloved of their time and ours - "The Carpenters - Singles 1969 - 1981"!
Total Time: 71:43 on 21 Tracks/ A & M Records - 069 490 456 2 (2000)
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Format: Audio CD
Shame on the Carpenters fan who doesn't have this jewel of a compilation in his collection. To the non-fan, if you never buy another disc, this one is a must-have. Perhaps the most comprehensive compilation of bona fide classics and megahits, this 21-song production takes us from the earliest of the brother-sister duo's first hit to their last to make the charts in a reltively brief but spectacular career. They're all here: "For All We Know," the signature "We've Only Just Begun," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Top of the World," "Only Yesterday" and "Mr. Postman," et al. In the late '60s and through the mid-'70s, when Richard and Karen dominated the charts, the talk was that anyone into their brand of music was, like the pair, out of touch with reality because it didn't reflect the civil unrest ignited first by the Vietnam War and, later, by the Nixon administration's Watergate scandal. While few supposedly admitted to buying their music, though, the Carpenters were among the best-selling artists of their day, and little wonder. It is quite likely that the late Karen Carpenter remains among the best (if not the best) singer ever with a voice that harmonized the feeling of whatever song she sang. And brother Richard's musical arrangements, unique and noticed because they didn't follow the formula of the day, matched perfectly the emotional intent of whatever the song. Together, Karen and Richard wrote a significant chapter in the history of popular music, and their incredible talent is unarguably one of the reasons they remain a top-seller, even more than 20 years after Ms. Carpenter's truly tragic death. A songbird went to Heaven that day, but the harmonies were recorded for the rest of us to savor forever. Anyone who adds this to their music library definitely will not be disappointed.
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