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Audio CD, CD, 28 November 2006
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.2 x 12.5 x 0.99 cm; 110 Grams
- Manufacturer : UNIVERSAL UK
- Item Model Number : MSE136582
- Original Release Date : 2006
- Run time : 2 hours and 13 minutes
- Label : UNIVERSAL UK
- ASIN : B000KB6D0U
- Number of discs : 2
- Best Sellers Rank: 7,011 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
- Customer Reviews:
Frequently bought together
Import two CD collection from the Soft Pop duo. From their humble beginnings in the late '60s, Karen and Richard Carpenter were one of the most successful Pop duos in musical history. With Karen's absolutely perfect vocal delivery and Richard's creative arrangements, they were unstoppable. Even Karen's death in 1983 didn't stop their popularity from blossoming with each year. This two CD set brings together their hits, album tracks and more, and is the best Carpenters collection on the market! 35 glorious Pop nuggets that will melt the heart and uplift the soul including 'Close to You', 'Ticket to Ride', 'We've Only Just Begun', 'Superstar', 'Rainy Days And Mondays', 'Bless the Beasts And the Children', 'Hurting Each Other' and many more. UMTV. 2006.
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Those already familiar with their music don't need to read a review of this disc, the track list is all they need to know. For younger people, or even those who let the music go past them when they were younger the Carpenters were a brother and sister act, Karen and Richard Carpenter, combining Karen's painfully beautiful voice with Richard's writing and arrangement skills to produce music which was never less than good and which at its best was some of the finest popular music ever recorded, and I say that advisedly and not as a throwaway comment.
Karen Carpenter died of complications caused by her anorexia at only 32 years of age, although remembered for her wonderful voice she was also a good drummer. When writing reviews it is easy to fall into hyperbole and using superlatives cheaply, but Karen Carpenter was a staggeringly fine singer, her voice was velvety smooth with a gorgeous clarity and warmth and a very distinctive tone. Her delivery was perfect and everything she sang felt so natural, unforced and was delivered with just the right emotional depth. I know it is easy to say that an artist is unique or special, and to add the appellation of "great" but if any singer deserved such accolades it was Karen Carpenter. Richard Carpenter has lived in the shadow of his sister yet he was not just a straight man in the background, he was a very accomplished musician and very few people have been able to match his arrangements. Their music was beautifully crafted and delivered with a sense of precision, or perhaps perfection might be a better word, yet it never sounded clinical or lacking in emotion, to achieve that takes a lot of talent and skill.
This double disc includes all the well known hits and a few not so well known numbers. They are arranged chronologically, which I think is sensible and it allows you to follow their musical development. How to pick stand out tracks from such a collection? There are so many special songs here, my own favourite is still "Goodbye to Love", the words are even more poignant given Karen Carpenter's life story, her voice never sounded better and there is "that" guitar solo by Tony Peluso, no matter how many times I listen to this song it moves me. Although Karen Carpenter could deliver melancholic love songs with aplomb, she could also sing more upbeat songs, Hank Williams "Jambalaya" has been covered by more acts than I can name yet to me the definitive version is that by the carpenters which is wonderfully uplifting and joyous. One of the more unusual songs is "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" a cover of a Klaatu song, one of the only real criticisms I have of any Carpenters song is the irritating radio DJ intro to this track yet once the song starts it has a riff which just enters the head and which remains wonderfully musical. There are so many other memorable songs, "We've Only Just Begun", "Rainy Days and Mondays", "Top of the World", "Please Mr Postman", "Solitaire"....it goes on, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!
I think any music lover should have a collection of the Carpenters greatest hits, and this is a perfect collection. I bought this CD to replace an earlier greatest hits disc which somebody was kind enough to "borrow" and fail to return and it hasn't disappointed. The only reason I rate this as 5* is because I can't give it more than 5*.