The Japanese Single Box (2006)

Disc 1:

"Ticket to Ride" -- original 1969 stereo album version, not the mono edit used for the U.S. single
"All I Can Do" -- album version

Disc 2::
"(They Long to Be) Close to You" -- single edit, nearly a minute shorter than album version (this is the version of the song found on most compilation albums)
"I Kept on Loving You" -- single version, with clean opening (unlike album version, which segues from previous song)

Disc 3:
"We've Only Just Begun" -- album version
"I'll Never Fall In Love Again" -- album version

Disc 4:
"For All We Know" -- album version
"Baby It's You" -- album version

Disc 5:
"Rainy Days and Mondays" -- album version
"Saturday" -- album version

Disc 6:
"Superstar" -- album version
"Merry Christmas, Darling" -- original 1970 single version

Disc 7:
"Bless the Beasts and Children" -- version from the movie soundtrack album, NOT the version from A Song for You. Has vibes at the beginning of the song, instead of the English horn.
"Help" -- album version

Disc 8:
"Hurting Each Other" -- album version
"Maybe It's You" -- has a clean open, not faded in

Disc 9:
"It's Going to Take Some Time" -- album version
"Flat Baroque" -- album version

Disc 10:
"Goodbye to Love" -- album version
"Crystal Lullaby" -- album version, fades at end (before segue to "Road Ode" on album)

Disc 11:
"Top of the World" -- original 1972 album version (NOT U.S. single version)
"Druscilla Penny" -- album version

Disc 12:
"Sing" -- album version
"I Won't Last a Day Without You" -- album version

Disc 13:
"Yesterday Once More" -- U.S. single version (this is the version of the song that appeared everywhere except on the original album release)
"Road Ode" -- album version, fades in at the beginning and fades out at the end

Disc 14:
"Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" -- album version
"Heather" -- album version

Disc 15:
"Top of the World" -- 1973 version (U.S. single)
"Druscilla Penny" -- album version

Disc 16:
"I Won't Last a Day Without You" -- single version
"One Love" -- album version

Disc 17:
"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" -- original 1974 single version
"Merry Christmas, Darling" -- original single version

Disc 18:
"Please Mr. Postman" -- original single mix, only released on CD on UK version of Yesterday Once More otherwise unavailable on CD
"This Masquerade" -- album version

Disc 19:
"Only Yesterday" -- single edit, fade starts just after key change, about 23 seconds shorter than album version
"Happy" -- album version

Disc 20:
"Solitaire" -- single mix, previously only available on CD on GOLD (U.S. version)
"Love Me for What I Am" -- album version

Disc 21:
"There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)" -- album version
"(I'm Caught Between) Goodbye and I Love You" -- album version

Disc 22:
"I Need to Be In Love" -- single edit, missing solo piano at intro
"Sandy" -- album version

Disc 23:
"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" -- album version
"I Have You" -- album version

Disc 24:
"All You Get from Love is a Love Song" -- album version
"Eve" -- album version

Disc 25:
"Sweet, Sweet Smile" -- album version
"Can't Smile Without You" -- single version

Disc 26:
"The Christmas Song" -- single version, clean start (unlike album version, which segues from "Santa Claus")
"Merry Christmas, Darling" -- original 1970 single version

Disc 27:
"Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" -- single edit, significantly shortened from album version
"Mr. Guder" -- album version

Disc 28:
"Silent Night" -- album version
"Jingle Bells" -- album version
"Ave Maria" -- album version from the Christmas Portrait: Special Edition, 1984 remix with choir

Disc 29:
"I Believe You" -- album version
"B'wana She No Home" -- album version

Disc 30:
"Beechwood 4-5789" -- album version
"Because We Are In Love (The Wedding Song)" -- album version

Disc 31:
"Those Good Old Dreams" -- single version (the synthesizer riff at the end is very much buried in the mix, as on the U.S. single and subsequent CD versions of the album)
"I Just Fall In Love Again" -- album version

Disc 32:
"Make Believe It's Your First Time" -- single mix (no spoken part during intro)
"Look to Your Dreams" -- album version

Disc 33:
"Honolulu City Lights" -- album version
"When You've Got What It Takes" -- clean opening (no segue from previous song as on album)

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Japanese CD release

This is one of the most-awaited sets of Carpenters songs ever released. It is the first time that the actual single versions/mixes of songs have been compiled into one collection.

Unforuntately, it's the Japanese singles, and not the U.S. singles. O say unfortunately because a number of the Japanese singles were just album versions of songs, while the U.S. singles were actually different mixes or edits.

But it's a glorious set of 33 individal discs (3" discs), each in a miniature reproduction of the original 45 rpm single sleeve. The whole set comes in a box that is about 7 3/4" x 7 3/4" in size. Inside, the box is divided into four chambers, each of which holds a stack of CD singles.

There is also a 56-page book inside which contains notes on all the singles and lyrics. Unfortunately for the U.S. audience, all the liner notes are in Japanese, save a brief introductory paragraph written by Richard Carpenter. There are no photos in the book.

This set fills in a few of the gaps in the "Carpenters-on-CD" collection. Until now, the original movie soundtrack mix of "Bless the Beasts and Children" had not been issued on CD. Single versions of "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" and "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" are also long overdue on CD. The remainder of the singles which had been unavailable on CD include "I Kept on Loving You," "The Christmas Song," "Make Believe It's Your First Time" and "When You've Got What it Takes," all of which have very minor differences from the album version. A few other singles ("Please Mr. Postman" and "Solitaire") have been issued in their single mixes on CD before, but only on one other compilation.

The sound quality of the set varies quite a bit -- supposedly a search was made for all the original single master tapes used in Japan, which were to be digitally remastered for this set, but apparently not all the master tapes were able to be located. Some of the singles here sound exactly like the "Remastered Classics" versions of the songs (for those tracks which do not differ from their album versions). "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" sounds to me like it was mastered from a 45 rpm record (I have a better-sounding transfer from vinyl in my personal collection). And, in the case of "Ave Maria," the 1984 version of the song from the Christmas Portrait: Special Edition CD is used.

This is a limited-edition set, which sold out quickly after its first pressing and apparently had a second pressing sometime in 2007. It's expensive, but for the die-hard Carpenters collector, it's an absolute must (umtil a true U.S. singles set comes along).

What this set DOESN'T have are the single mixes of "Ticket to Ride" and "Your Wonderful Parade." The U.S. single was released only as a mono single, and both songs differ from their album versions ("Ticket to Ride" is a shorter edit, and "Your Wonderful Parade" actually contains a totally different opening). The set also doesn't include some of the U.S. single sleeves, as the Japanese single sleeves sometimes differed quite significantly.

Produced by Richard Carpenter, Karen Carpenter and Jack Daugherty

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