The most complete collection of Carpenters music released to date, this 40th Anniversary box set contains all 14 of the albums of original studio material released by Karen and Richard, along with a 15th disc made up of mostly non-album tracks and remixes, and a new DVD edition of Gold.
All of the CDs in the set are pressed on the new SHM-CD format technology, which is supposed to deliver superior sound (as in the Japanese 40/40 collection. These are the "Remastered Classics" editions of the albums, containing all the original vinyl LP mixes of the songs. The one exception is Christmas Portrait, which was remixed in 1996 due to the deterioration of the original album master tapes.
Each album is presented in a hardcover book containing new liner notes from Richard, lots of photographs, and lyrics in English and Japanese. Bound into each book is a miniature reproduction of the original LP sleeve, which houses the CD itself. There are no reproductions of the original inner sleeves, as in the 35th Anniversary Box Set, however.
Disc 13 of the set is titled Sweet Sixteen, (for reasons which elude me, although it does have 16 tracks), and its track list is as follows:
Disc 16 of the set is a DVD. It's titled Gold, but it differs from the U.S. DVD release of the same name. While it contains all the videos from the U.S. version, it also contains the rarely-seen "I Need to Be In Love" video. Most interesting about this DVD is the commentary track by Richard, who talks about each video while we watch it. It gives some really fascinating insight into the videos and songs, and makes this set something truly special.
This is an expensive set and was made in limited quantities, so obtaining a copy of the set may be quite difficult. It really is essential only to the most die-hard Carpenters fan, especially if you don't have the 30th or 35th anniversary sets.
Produced by Richard Carpenter, Karen Carpenter and Jack Daugherty
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.