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The Carpenters were a musical group consisting of the brother and sister Karen and Richard Carpenter. They were the number one selling American music act of the 1970s! Their sound is very easy listening, relaxing type music. According to an article I read, To date, Carpenters' album and single sales total more than 100 million units. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 11 albums, five of which contained top 10 singles (Close to You, Carpenters, A Song for You, Now & Then and Horizon), thirty-one singles, five television specials, and one short-lived television series.
Unfortunately, and for reasons probably a lot of people don't understand Karen had the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. I have watched the television special on her life, a long time ago given, but I think maybe she was uneasy with her fame or the way it affected her and the maybe the only thing she could control in her life was eating and so this lead to her disorder. On Friday, February 4, 1983, at the age of 32, Karen suffered cardiac arrest due to the anorexia and passed away.
Karen and Richard both have such lovely soft voices that work very well together and produce some lovely melodies. I think the story behind their music also makes them more appealing. In some ways and I know this is a bit weird to say, when someone dies but their music goes also it almost attracts a sort of legend about it that people still want to listen to and can hear Karen's voice even though she is not with us anymore.
A lot of their songs seemed to be used in television and films and so most people generally know a lot of their songs. Only Yesterday is their Greatest Hits Albums. I love greatest hits albums because you find generally all your favourites on one CD. It was released in 1990 and went to number 1 in the UK and has been 5x certified platinum.
The tracks on the album are as follows:
1. Yesterday Once More
3. Rainy Days and Mondays
4. Top of the World
5. Ticket to Ride
6. Goodbye to Love
7. THis Masquerade
8. Hurting Each Other
10. We've Only Just Begun
11. Those Good Old Dreams
12. Please Mr Postman
13. I Won't Last A Day Without You
14. Touch Me When We're Dancing
16. For All We Know
17. All You Get From Love is a Love Song
18. Close to You
19. Only Yesterday
20. Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
Only Yesterday? - The Carpenters First , a brief history...> Many of you who read this review , will have read other music reviews of mine , concentrating on groups I really love , eg Queen , Fleletwood Mac and Erasure . All have been very well received via the ratings given , which is always good news . Well here lies a review , on what is basically a greatest hits album , from a brother/sister duo , who first hit the headlines in 1968 , and continued to do so unto the untimely death of Karen in 1983 . Yet still the albums sell , and so the world is richer for the voice of an angel , who just happens to have got my vote as best female vocal , in my recently posted music challenge. So onwards and forwards.... Ask anyone with a fairly decent knowledge of music , to name a female singer with abosolute pitch perfect voice , and one answer that will always surface is that of Karen Carpenter , who with brother Richard , made up The Carpenters . Formed as the Carpenters in 1968 , their big break came from the A in A&M Records , Herb Alpert , who upon hearing Karens voice , signed them up in double quick time , and set about helping them on a worldwide crusade , to prove that Popular music was a force to be reckoned with . With Karens rich and medolious voice ( she was also a great drummer ! ) and the quite superb arrangements ( and also to a lesser extent writing abilitity ) of Richard , the Carpenters proved to be a world hit , and are still as popular today Their first hit was in 1969, a Lennon & McCartney song , ?Ticket to ride? . They had their rocky patches , as do all groups , but were still in very high demand when in 1983 , Karen tragically died , aged just 32 years . 1989 saw the release of the final new Carpenters album ?Lovelines? which saw archive material never before released , thus proving their saleability .1990 saw the release of ?Only Yesterday? , their greatest Hits album ( which in
itself has been release on at least one other occasion under a new name - a great marketing ploy eh ). , and to which this op is really all about , so hear goes....> So what?s on this album then , well for starters 20 tracks , almost all of which you would recognise if played , even if you don?t like to admit it ! And they are : 1) ?Yesterday Once More? - 1973 > a classic 2) ?Superstar? - 1971 > catchy 3) ?Rainy Days and Mondays? - 1971> haunting 4) ?Top Of The World? - 1972 > poptastic while being funky 5) ?Ticket to Ride? - 1969 > much better than the Beatles version 6) ?Goodbye To Love? - 1972 > ode to the broken hearted 7) ?This Maquerade? - 1973 > mellow babe ! 8) ?Hurting Each Other? - 1972 > reflective mood but some... 9) ?Solitair? - 1975 > even Sedaka recognises this as sheer beauty 10) ?We?ve Only Just Begun? - 1970 > so apt , so true 11) ?Those Good Old Dream? - 1981 > snazzy, kitsh 12) ?Please Mr Postman?- 1974 > remember the Disney themed video ? 13) ?I Won?t Last A Day Without You? - 1972 > poetry in otion 14) ?Touch Me When We?re Dancing? - 1981 > one for true lovers 15) ?Jambalaya? - 1973 > crawfish pie and fillet gumbo - so good ! 16) ?For All We Know? - 1971 > moody and melodramatic 17) ?All You Get From Love Is A Love Song? - 1977 > oh so true 18) ?Close To You? - 1970 > the beginning and originally music to a TV ad ! 19) ?Only Yesterday? - 1975 > an all time great 20) ?Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft? - 1977 > unuasual & great. So there you have it twenty clasic songs and history to - yes HISTORY , ?Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft? is still the recognised anthem of world contact day , so should those little green men ever grace us mortals with their presence then this is what they?ll hear first of all . Everyone should own at least one piece of work by The Carpenters , and your first choice and an excellent intro
duction is this album . Highly recommended . PS> others to note , Singles I & II ( both providing missing links such as ?Happy It? ) , Lovelines and Reflections
Is it the slick production? Or the catchy tunes? The irresistible hooks? Or is it the true sweetness of Karen Carpenter's voice? What exactly is the enduring appeal of The Carpenters? I'm usually found listening to loud, guitar-driven music, or sometimes jazz if I'm in the mood. Smooth, easy-listening tunes are not my thing at all - so why do The Carpenters never fail to improve my mood and bring a smile to my face? I've noticed that many, much more unlikely, people have a similar strange bent! I once arrived home to find my flatmate of the time (a frighteningly trendy club DJ in the early acid house scene) smooching in the living room with his equally in-demand girlfriend to the strains of 'We've Only Just Begun'. In my younger days I remember lying in bed on a Sunday morning, hoping to be left alone surrounded by my adolescent filth until at least midday. Unfortunately my mother often barged in a la Mrs Patterson and forced me to clean it up. If, however, I heard The Carpenters album go on downstairs then I knew she was in a good mood and I was likely to be left to stagnate for as long as I wanted. I?m recommending this album as it has some of the most well known tracks on it; 'Close To You' being a particular favourite. The thing is I'm not sure to whom. Who would read a review on a Carpenters compilation? Either you're an anachronism like me, or you hate them and are reading this to poke fun at us saddies. Either way my opinion won't be of much use to you! On the slim chance that you?re feeling nostalgic or want to buy a Carpenters CD as a gift, choose this one - it's full of all the favourites.
I love this cd, it is one of my favourite Carpenters albums and it has a lot of the big songs from the carpenters on it. (like rainy days and Mondays, Ticket to ride and Close to you) If I need a pick me up this is the album I stick on it is also brilliant when cleaning on really loud (singing along obviously ;o). ) Karen Carpenter has the most beautiful voice and the soft romantic style of the Carpenters is not something we often get in this day and age so I supose some people might find this a little out of their dept their loss I say this is defenitly one album that I will be taking with my on my desert island.
Only Yesterday includes many of their tops hits including Rainy Days and Mondays, Goodbye to Love and For All We Know. I think it encompasses their hits during the height of their fame and reflects the incredible depth of feeling they had at this time. Many of the songs are about love and hurt, especially, my all time favourite.. The Masquerade. This song alone, shows the hurt and loneliness Karen, especially felt and gives her incredible vocals, especially at the lower end of her range a medium to prove what a fantastic voice she had. Another of their best songs.. Only Just Begun (remixed on this album) was originally an advertising tune for an american bank, but once found by Richard, was re-worked and again, fantastically recorded. If you like the Carpenters but don't have an album, this is a good starting point. Aside from the album, a video well worth owning is "The Carpenter Story". It uses actors but had input by Richard. It's a view on their lifestory and shows how traumatic and lonely their lives were. It also raises awareness of Anorexia (Karen's illness) and helps to explain just why their music was so special. If anyone can find this movie on DVD.. I'd pay a premium to have it.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Yesterday Once More
3 Rainy Days And Mondays
4 Top Of The World
5 Ticket To Ride
6 Goodbye To Love
7 This Masquerade
8 Hurting Each Other
10 We've Only Just Begun
11 Those Good Old Dreams
12 Please Mr Postman
13 I Won't Last A Day Without You
14 Touch Me When We're Dancing
15 Jambalaya (On The Bayou)
16 For All We Know
17 All You Get From Love Is A Love Song
18 Close To You
19 Only Yesterday
20 Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognised Anthem Of World Contact Day)