This 3-CD set was released only in the Netherlands, and it is the closest thing to a complete singles collection as we've ever seen.
Don't think you're getting the single versions of the songs, however. These are strictly the original album mixes, in every case. What you'll find here is the original 1969 album version of "Ticket to Ride," the original full-length album version of "Close to You," the 1972 album version of "Top of the World," and so on. Having only the original album mixes makes this compilation unique, since the original album mixes of many of these songs have never been anthologized before, only the remixes or remade versions.
Almost every U.S. single is represented here, with only a few exceptions ("Merry Christmas, Darling," "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" and "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore" are missing). In addition, several songs that were not issues as A-sides of singles in the U.S. are included here ("Jambalaya," "This Masquerade," "Desperado," "Now" and "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again"), even though some of these were issues as singles in other parts of the world. Curiously, no tracks from As Time Goes By were included.
The songs on discs 1 and 2 are presented chronologically, although not necessarily in the order that the singles were released. For example, "Top of the World" wasn't released as a single until after "Sing" and "Yesterday Once More."
Disc 3 makes this collection even more unique, as it presents material from Karen and Richard's various solo projects. Three tracks from Karen Carpenter are included (and they are the solo album mixes, not the remixes included on Carpenters compilations), along with two tracks each from Richard Carpenter's Time and Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor.
The recordings themselves appear to have been taken from the "Rematered Classics" versions of the original albums on CD. The end of "Yesterday Once More" contains the revving of car engines as on the album version (although it fades out), and "(Want You) Back In My Life Again" also fades out at the end (unlike the album version, which segues into the next track), but other than these minor differences, all recordings are exactly as heard on the "Remastered Classics" CDs.
The packaging for this set is a cardboard digi-pack which folds out into four panels, containing a booklet with track information and three panels holding CDs. The liner notes are fairly minimal, containing only a biography of Karen and Richard and the track information (no new notes from Richard about any of the songs).
Produced by Richard Carpenter, Karen Carpenter and Jack Daugherty
Return to the Carpenters Album Index.