40/40: The Best Selection (Japan) (2009)

Disc 1:

1. Yesterday Once More (1985 remix)
2. Superstar (2004 remix)
3. Rainy Days and Mondays (1991 remix)
4. Top of the World (1973 version)
5. Ticket to Ride (1973 version)
6. Love Is Surrender (1987 remix)
7. Maybe It's You (1990 remix)
8. Reason to Believe (1987 remix)
9. Where Do I Go from Here?
10. This Masquerade (1990 remix)
11. It's Going to Take Some Time (1989 remix)
12. One More Time
13. Those Good Old Dreams
14. For All We Know (1990 remix)
15. Crystal Lullaby (1987 remix)
16. I Believe You
17. (They Long to Be) Close to You (single edit) (1991 remix)
18. Bless the Beasts and Children (1990 remix)
19. All You Get from Love Is a Love Song
20. Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (1989 remix)

Disc 2:

1. I Need to Be In Love (1990 remix)
2. Now
3. Solitaire
4. Please Mr. Postman (1991 remix)
5. Hurting Each Other (1991 remix)
6. I Won't Last a Day Without You (single version) (1991 remix)
7. Sweet Sweet Smile
8. A Song for You (1987 remix)
9. Ordinary Fool
10. When You've Got What It Takes
11. Goodbye to Love (1985 remix)
12. Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore
13. Sing (1994 remix)
14. Baby It's You (1987 remix)
15. Let Me Be the One
16. Only Yesterday (single edit)
17. Jambalaya (On the Bayou) (1991 remix)
18. Leave Yesterday Behind
19. We've Only Just Begun (1985 remix)
20. When It's Gone (It's Just Gone)

Japanese CD release

This set is an impressive collection from Japan, pressed on the new SHM-CD technology (a CD format that is supposed to have superior sound quality due to nigher-quality materials). Released in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Carpenters' signing to A&M Records, the contents of the CDs were voted on by Japanese fans. The title, 40/40, is in reference to 40 songs for the 40th anniversary.

The vast majority of the tracks here are remixes. While there are no new remixes here, there is one remix that is being anthologized for the first time, the 2004 remix of "Superstar" from the 2004 SACD-hybrid release of The Singles: 1969-1981. This is the stereo mix from those mixing sessions. Oddly, even though the liner notes state that "Let Me Be the One" is a 1985 remix, it is only the original album mix that is presented here ("Let Me Be the One" was remixed for the first time in 1990, not 1985).

As for the sound quality of this release, it is excellent. I'm not convinced that the SHM-CD technology makes all that much of a difference (ones and zeros are the same no matter what the plastic is made out of, as long as your machine reads them properly), but this set sounds fantastic.

The U.S. release of 40/40 is almost identical to the Japanese release, omitting the "The Best Selection" from the cover, and substituting "Touch Me When We're Dancing" for "Leave Yesterday Behind" on disc 2. The U.S. release is also on a standard CD, not the SHM-CD format.

Amazon appears not to be listing the Japanese version of the CD anymore, only having the U.S. version in their catalog at present.

Produced by Richard Carpenter, Karen Carpenter and Jack Daugherty

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