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4.5 out of 5 stars22
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 February 2003
20 years after the untimely death of Karen Carpenter this cd is just like going back to those days with Karen and Richard showing us just how good the music was and it still sounds great.
The cd is a collection of unpublished material, some from their TV shows and includes such songs as California Dreamin' (you probably remember the Mamas and Papas version)and Nowhere Man (a gem!). The collection is so wonderful showing you don't need to belt music out at 100 decibels and to which you could listen to for hours. The Close Encounters/Star Wars medley was a surprise but a nice surprise. Although the cd lists 14 tracks, as Richard explains there is a fifteenth track on the cd.
Any criticisms, just one, it just makes you want to listen to more material. What a pleasure we had having the Carpenters around, with thanks to Richard for putting together the collection.
Definitely a cd to buy!.
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on 28 January 2006
As a Carpenters fan it has taken me far too long to buy this album but I can say that it's worth the wait. It's been put together by Richard Carpenter and illustrates again his perfection and desire to keep his Sisters memory alive.
Lots of highlights. For me the two 'work lead' tracks 'Leave yesterday behind' (another Carpenters track with the word 'yesterday' in the title) and 'The Rainbow Connection' are the highlights. I've never heard Kermit the frog singing the latter so had no preconceptions and to me sounded just like a brand new Carpenters track with the distictive voice and sound production. If these are 'work leads' then they're pretty damn fine.
There are a couple of live medleys which show more perfect renditions from Karen but with subtle variations on the pitch and timing of the notes. It was great to hear Tony Pelusos fuzz guitar solo at the end of 'Goodbye to love' live at last.
Watch out for the 'hidden' track 'And when he smiles' at the end. Richard does refer to it in the excellent sleeve notes (although they don't credit song writers apart from some references in some of the texts). The song is recorded from a 1971 BBC TV special so is unfortunately in mono but doesn't sound at all bad despite this.
Final mention goes to the two 'Star medleys' - one with Ella Fitzgerald and one with Perry Como although the latter has undergone much surgery and Richard has had to substitute his own vocals in some places due to absences on the source tapes.
Any Carpenters fan should have this cd in their collection and whilst it doesn't merit five stars, it's a very strong four.
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on 6 February 2003
Finally, As Time Goes By is released in the UK. Full of previously unreleased material (early demos, album outtakes and television specials) this is a pretty diverse collection of songs spanning the years 1967-1980.
The highlights? The Karen/Ella Fitzgerald medley is worth the price of the album alone - stunning. There's the 1967 recordings - a beautiful version of the Beatles' Nowhere Man and a surprising take on the Mamas and Papas' Califoria Dreaming (incidentally the running time for this is given as 4.35 but its actually 2.30). Then there's the "hidden" bonus track of And When He Smiles recorded live at for the BBC in 1971. Great stuff. And of course there's The Rainbow Connection. Kermit was always going to be a tough act to follow but the Carpenters' version is up there with the frog's.
Karen impresses again with I Got Rhythm, complete with drum solo, there's a jolly pleasant For All We Know type ballad, Leave Yesterday Behind, an extended version of Without A Song, and an upbeat Dancing in the Street which is great fun. Richard also get's to impress with two instrumentals, Dizzy Fingers and the Close Encounters/Star Wars medley. His keyboard skills in California Dreaming are damned impressive too.
The surprising highlight for me was You're Just In Love in which Richard duets with Karen. Its rather touching and Richard's in great voice.
Not too sure about the live 1976 hits medley - perhaps not Karen's best performance. Pitch perfect as ever but her voice seems to be lacking its usual timbre. The Carpenters/Perry Como medley is a bit of a hit and miss affair too. Judging from Richard's notes it was a bit of a nightmare putting it together and a few of PC's vocals were lost. Karen's great but Richard's attempt at a Perry Como impersonation doesn't quite work.
On the whole though this really is a good album which reminds you just how talented Karen and Richard were. Its worth adding to your record collection for the album cover alone. Richard's detailed liner notes are an added bonus and help you appreciate the technical problems involved in putting this album together. Mr Carpenter, sir, I salute you!
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on 6 July 2012
I'm a HUGE fan of the Carpenters, since the late 1960s. I'm also an audio engineer, and I make records ever day. So what's odd about this record is that some of the singing is NOT Karen. I've heard that Richard found someone who can emulate Karen nearly perfectly, and redid or recorded some of these tracks with her at Capitol Studios in Hollywood. As she does sound SO much like Karen, it's quite hard to tell, but the one thing missing is the classic lisp Karen and Richard always had (which I love). Listen to just this facet and you'll notice the new singer doesn't have it, yet on the actual Karen tracks, she does.

The rich and lush vocal tone is the same as Karen, quite perfectly, but the cute lisp is gone. Definitely, it's Karen on some of them, but I got this and have not seen anyone comment on it. This practice IS common now, it just happened with the last Michael Jackson album - and caused quite a bit of controversy. I know many will say "it sounds just like her" - and it does, but it's a little shady and something this well done deserved credit. But I can hear something about it. Look at youtube videos, there ARE singers out there who can copy Karen, Bowie, Freddy Mercury - all the great singers. With time and studio patience, it's pretty easy with a talented (and physically similar) body.
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on 3 July 2011
Apart from the tracks which showcase Richard's keyboard skills, this is a classical Carpenters album. Some tracks are culled from TV appearances, rather than being produced in the studio, and so the final mix is as it would have been heard during the TV transmissions. Still an album to treasure for any loyal Carpenters fan.
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on 18 February 2010
To have a new Carpenters Album released so many years after The Carpenters disbanded due to Karen Carpenters untimely passing is amazing

The tracks here are flawless and the album takes us on a journey through the Carpenters career leaving us wanting more and more and more
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on 11 September 2013
Well what can I say, the are just amazing, her voice was a dream to listen to.

Good all round recommend it to anyone, some track on it that I have not heard before, a first....
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on 29 December 2013
To Carpenters fans , a clever mixture of unreleased tracks plus an imaginative demonstration of multi-tracking with the voices of other stars. Well worthwhile.
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on 6 March 2014
Worth buying for a couple of tracks not available on any other CD plus the full version of Without a song that was edited for Interpretations a few years ago. Not keen on the Perry Como or Ella Fitgerald medleys but that is because those two are not my choice of singer. Highlight is definitely The Rainbow Connection.
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on 9 May 2016
the best female vocalist of our time
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