This is quite a collection -- three very full CDs containing all sorts of songs from all periods of the Carpenters' career.
There are actually some songs that are unique to this collection. All of the songs in the "oldies medley" from Now and Then have been remixed, removing Tony Peluso's DJ chatter and all sound effects (revving engines, car crashes, etc.). So they are presented here for the first (and only) time as separate songs (well, sort of separate, as some of them run together with others).
The Bacharach/David live medley is presented here for the first time on a US release. Also unusual on this collection is the remix of the alternate version of "Can't Smile Without You."
Strangely, the booklet that contains the liner notes is smaller than a standard CD-size booklet, so it rattles around loosely in the box. The liner notes for this set consist mainly of an interview with Karen and Richard from 1978. Richard wrote a new introduction for the liner notes, and there are some editorial comments thrown in here and there that are just strange. For example, here is a direct quote from the liner notes:
"Close to You" was written in 1963 and first turned up on the third album of Dionne Warwick. The tune had such a profound effect on the Carpenters' lives and career that they later named an apartment building they owned after it.
I don't know if the author intended for that to be funny, but I found it hilarious...
While this set was originally only sold as a mail-order product through Reader's Digest, I found copies of it a number of years later at deeply discounted prices at an FYE store in the mall. I guess Reader's Digest dumped off excess copies to some retailers at some point. Used copies can usually be found at online retailers.
Produced by Richard Carpenter, Karen Carpenter and Jack Daugherty
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.