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
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.