Offering/Ticket to Ride (1969)

1. Invocation
2. Your Wonderful Parade
3. Someday
4. Get Together
5. All of My Life
6. Turn Away
7. Ticket to Ride
8. Don't Be Afraid
9. What's the Use
10. All I Can Do
11. Eve
12. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
13. Benediction

Ticket to Ride is the repackaged re-release of Offering, given a new title and cover after the Carpenters had their first major success with "Close to You" in 1970.

Other than the new title and the new front and back cover, the album is exactly the same. No remixes or re-recording... yet!

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Top U.S. chart position: #150

Ticket to Ride is the most dated-sounding of all the Carpenters' studio albums. Stylistically, it resembles the sound of many late-'60s pop groups. Karen's voice was still immature, and her performances sound, at times, labored and heavy.

But this is not to say that the album should be ignored! There are some real gems on this album. My personal favorite is "All I Can Do," a pop song written in 5/4 time. "Someday" is hauntingly beautiful.

There are several unique aspects to this album: It is the only Carpenters studio album on which the majority of the songs (10 out of the 13) were written or co-written by Richard. It is also the album with the most lead-vocal performances by Richard (which I suspect had something to do with Karen's not-yet-mature voice, and Richard's later realization that her voice was what really sold the records).

However, some ideas that would appear on later Carpenters' albums were already in place. The idea of "bookending" the album with matching opening and closing songs is one that Richard would use several more times. Richard also linked a couple of the songs by crossfading the ending of one song into the beginning of the next song.

In an interview from 1975, Richard shared some of his thoughts about Ticket to Ride:

"That album, I had finished in my mind years before we got the contract. That wasn't where I was at the time we signed, and some of it could have been a lot better, but you can hear that the ideas were there. Time-signature changes, extended solos, and things that we don't do now. I should've just forgotten it and gotten down to where I was at the moment. But it was like I had to do that album, I didn't care if we had gotten signed in 1980, that was what the first album was going to sound like. And that's what we did. And that's why there is such a big difference between the Close to You album and the Ticket to Ride album."

Produced by Jack Daugherty


"Ticket to Ride" / "Your Wonderful Parade" #54

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