Carpenters (Album)(1971)

Carpenters (1971)

carpenters tan album front coverWith their third album Carpenters were now known as superstars and were at the beginning of developing a worldwide following. Coming off of the success of the album “Close To You” the heat was on for Carpenters to follow it up with an album equally as engaging and full of hits. Three singles were released from the album “For All We Know,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Superstar.” All three songs reached the Top 3 on the US singles chart as well as reaching #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

The album succeeded on the charts, though on an artist edge “Carpenters (aka as The Tan Album) found them moving away from their earlier quasi-experimental artistic ventures in favor of a more sleek and commercial sound. Their music continued to be impeccably produced and arranged and brought out the best in Karen’s voice. Though missing were the little gems of creative adventure such as “Another Song,” Crescent Noon,” “All I Can Do” and “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” which made it evident that Carpenters were a band of varied  and textured qualities and musical abilities. They were much more than just a pop band. The album, however, is chock full of perfectly produced pop tunes. Nobody could sing a sad love song better than Karen Carpenter and this was made apparent with the somber “Rainy Days and Mondays” and the yearning “Superstar.” There was no going back with “Carpenters” the world discovered the deep and dark side of Karen’s voice. There was a loneliness and sadness in her voice that was tempered by a youthful exuberance that just could not be ignored. Even if you didn’t like Carpenters’ music, there was no denying that Karen Carpenter was a dynamic singer.

Most fans agree that “Carpenters” is a solid album offering many memorable tracks such as “One Love,” “Sometimes” and “Let Me Be The One.” Many fans have stated that “Let Me Be The One” could have been released as a single. “Bacharach/David Medley” a highlight of the album is a take-off from one of Carpenters’ first public performances (after signing with A&M Records). They did a medley of Burt Bacharach and Hal David songs. For the album they took this medley and omitted a few songs and sped up the tempo. The medley includes short versions of “Knowing When To Leave,” “Make It Easy On Yourself,” “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me,” “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again,” “Walk On By” and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose.” The medley became a popular attraction in Carpenters’ 1971-72 live performances, they constructed an extended medley with longer renditions of each song along with a few more tunes not in the medley. “Make it Easy On Yourself” was a standout in the extended medley and fans felt Carpenters should have recorded the song in it’s entirety. Many have said “Carpenters” is the perfect pop album despite the filler tunes “Druscilla Penny” and “Saturday.”

In its time “Carpenters” was only one of two albums to contain three or more Top Three US Hits on it. The other was Blood, Sweat & Tears’ 1969 album titled “Blood, Sweat and Tears.” This record was soon broken by 1978 with mega-hits albums like “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever” and then again in the 80’s with albums by Michael Jackson and Madonna. The album won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group (this was Carpenters’ third and last Grammy Award).

Album Information

Release Date: May 4, 1971
Catalog Number: SP-3502
Chart Positions: #2 US, #12 UK, #6 Canada, #16 Australia, #47 Japan
Certifications: 4x Platinum (US), Gold (UK)
Singles: “For All We Know,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “Superstars”
B-Sides: “Saturday”” (b-side of “Rainy Days and Mondays”), “Druscilla Penny”” (b-side of “Sing”), “One Love” (B-side of “I Won’t Last A Day Without You”)

Click Here to purchase “Carpenters”

Album Credits

  • Hal Blaine – drums
  • Dick Bogert – engineer
  • Karen Carpenter – drums, vocals
  • Richard Carpenter – arranger, piano, harpsichord, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond organ, vocals, orchestration
  • Jack Daugherty – producer
  • Ray Gerhardt – engineer
  • Jim Horn – reeds
  • Norm Kinney – assistant engineer
  • Bob Messenger – bass, reeds
  • Tommy Morgan – harmonica on “Rainy Days and Mondays”
  • Joe Osborn – bass
  • Doug Strawn – reeds
  • Guy Webster – photography
  • Roland Young – art direction

Billboard Magazine Album Review (June 1971)

Richard’s sophisticated, contemporary arrangements and Karen’s sparkling voice are the essence of the Carpenter’s great success. These trademarks abound in their 3rd LP which features the million selling “For All We Know,” the current hit, “Rainy Days and Mondays,” a lovely Bacharach-David Medley, Leon Russell and Bonnie Bramlett’s “Superstar” and “One Love” which was co-written by Richard.

Billboard Carpenters 3rd album review June 05 1971.png~original
















Carpenters Tan Album 1971 label a-side

Carpenters Tan Album 1971 label b-side









Carpenters Tan Album Inner Sleeve 1971 2

Carpenters Tan Album Inner sleeve 1971









Carpenters Tan Album photo 1971

Carpenters Tan Album Back Cover 1971









Carpenters Tan Album 1971 inside gatefold open

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Carpenters Tan Album 1971 A&M advertisement Photo

Carpenters Tan Album 1971 advertisement









Carpenters Tan Album Billboard For All We Know Ad Feb 6 1971

Carpenters Tan Album Billboard Rainy Days Ad May 8 1971

Carpenters Tan Album Billboard Superstar Single Ad Promo Oct 2 1971









Carpenters Tan album For All We Know Single 1971

Carpenters Tan Album Rainy Days and Mondays Picture Sleeve 1971









Carpenters Tan album Superstar pictunre sleeve 1971

Carpenters Tan Album 1971 photo Irene









Carpenters Tan Album tour program 1971

Carpenters Tan Album 1971 promo photo










Carpenters Tan Album Billboard Logo Jul 17 1971









Carpenters (1971)


Discography Links:
Offering (1969) Click Here
Close To You (1970) Click Here
Ticket To Ride (1971) Click Here
Carpenters (1971) Click Here
A Song For You (1972) Click Here
Now & Then (1973) Click Here
Horizon (1975) Click Here
A Kind Of Hush (1976) Click Here
Passage (1977) Click Here
Christmas Portrait (1978) Click Here
Karen Carpenter (Solo)(1980 – Released 1996) Click Here
Made In America (1981) Click Here
Voice Of The Heart (1983) Click Here
An Old Fashioned Christmas (1984) Click Here
Lovelines (1989) Click Here
As Time Goes By (2001) Click Here




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