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on 12 November 2009
It seems that these days pop stars come and go. Famous for five minutes types! I have no doubt that if Karen was alive today, she would still be singing and Richard would be right there on the piano and doing all the arrangements. This new double album is a masterclass for anyone who wants to go into music and last more than five minutes. It isn't in chronological order and if every fan was asked to compile their favourite 40 Carpenters songs, not only would it be a difficult task to choose but we would all have a different compilation. For anyone who has never bought a Carpenters album or any NEW fans - get this! You won't regret it! Every song is a masterpiece, even those that were never released as a single and remained on an album, all 40 of these songs summarise the beautiful voice of Karen and the clever musicianship of Richard. Enjoy......put it in the car..........and sing! Sing a song!
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on 19 November 2009
without doubt the most talented singer/song writing duo of all time.
listening to the words of Yesterday Once More always leaves a lump in my throat
since the sad death of karen in 1983 aged just 32.
karen carpenter had the most perfect singing voice of all time and if alive today i'm
sure her and richard would be just as popular today as in the 70's.
40 timeless classics.
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on 5 July 2013
There have been numerous compilation albums now of Carpenters and maybe now would have been more appropriate time for Universal to release a better package, say 2 anthology albums covering most of their material, but at least this album does include a few tracks that have been missed out on other compilations, but why it is not in chronological order is a mystery to me, it is a 40 year celebration after all.

I still can't believe 'I can dream can't I' has not been included, one of Karen's best vocals, along with 'You', 'Hideaway', 'Love me for what I am'...well I could go on. 'There's a kind of hush' left off again? When are they going to release deluxe editions of their albums with DVD's like ABBA, that would be great. Nice enough compilation, but we've had them before, please do something different for the next celebration.
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on 5 December 2009
I agree with the other reviewer in that with a double cd compilation of the best of the Carpenters it defies logic that 'A Kind of Hush' is not included. The Carpenters version was every bit as good as Herman's Hermits original. Just who does decide what tracks to include and what to leave out ?

Saying that, this is an excellent value double cd of (most) of the greatest recordings of Karen and Richard Carpenter and a much better proposition that the near facsimile of 'Gold' released a few years ago.

Those well known tracks are all here (except 'hush') interspersed with some lesser known and even a welcome inclusion of some more obscure Carpenters tracks.

So, what is hidden here that the casual listener may not be familiar with ? 'Ordinary fool' is Blousie's torch song from 'Bugsy Malone' and a recent school production I saw reminded me that the Carpenters version laid tucked away on 'Voice of the Heart'. Nice to see it included here; a lovely song beautifully sung by Karen. 'Crystal Lullaby' (and 'Road Ode' not included here) sat on what was side two of the wonderful 'A Song for You' album and provided some of the high points of that album. 'Crystal' (written by Richard and John Bettis) features Richards understated vocals and is a delicate arrangement of rare beauty that only the Carpenters could create. Rod Stewart recorded a classic version of Tim Hardins 'Reason to believe' but hearing the Carpenters version, it certainly stands up well to the scottish gravel voiced star's definitive cut. If you have the Beatles 'Please please me' album you will be familiar with 'Baby it's you' and here from the 'Close to you' album is the Carpenters take on that song. More smoochy than the fab fours effort, this is a welcome inclusion as is the similarly titled 'Maybe it's you' from the same original album. Finally, the last of the obscure tracks I will showcase here is 'One more time', another delicate ballad from 'A Kind of Hush' (the album of the same name!).

So what would I have included in place of a couple of cuts that were included? One of my favourite Carpenters tracks has never been on any of their many compilations; 'I can't make music' from 'Now and Then' in place of 'Those good old dreams', the aforementioned 'A Kind of Hush' in place of 'Bless the beasts and the children' and finally 'Look to your dreams' from 'Voice of the heart' in place of 'When it's gone' to close off the set.

Personal choice I guess, but in summary a worthy compilation to have handy if you haven't got most of these timeless songs already.
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on 25 November 2009
Yet again another Carpenters collection without There's A Kind Of Hush on it. Why is this? It was a UK Top 30 hit. It's one of my favourite Carpenters songs. It's on Ultimate Collection but wasn't on the 1990 compilation Only Yesterday or Gold. Anyway a star off for that but the music is faultless.
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on 13 January 2010
Brilliant value for money and all the hits in one package.

There are some very well crafted songs here but I do believe that The Carpenters would be a slightly forgotten group these days but for one thing. Whether it's a great song (Rainy Days and Mondays) or a slightly naff one (Love is Surrender), what sets The Carpenters apart is the hauntingly beautiful, exquisite voice of Karen Carpenter. Her vocal talent is timeless and will be appreciated for years to come.
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on 12 August 2013
No Carpenters fan should be without this compilation...its absolutely brilliant and I play it over and over as I know any Carpenter fan would!! Always sounds as fresh as ever.. love it!
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on 6 September 2010
This was a present for my Mum who realised recently she only had the Carpenters on vinyl!
I looked for the album on Amazon and brought it as a birthday present for her and she has been reminising whilst playing it in her car ever since! She said it's a great album because of both the huge selection of hits as well as some tracks she wasn't previously familiar with.
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on 20 December 2009
Many years ago we had a Carpenters LP album - playing this disc brought back those day's for awhile.
The timeless quality of the music and the clarity of the voice makes you realise what it is like to listen to someone who can really sing. Amazon, of course, delivered once again in the way we have come to expect.
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on 14 December 2009
The Carpenters are, without doubt, one of the great pop duos since the war - yes, big statement and, yes, that good. For someone vocally untrained, Karen's voice is pitch perfect and beautiful, and Richard was a genius in enhancing any song he turned his arranging talents to.

The songs on this double album are all wonderful. For me, although it is disappointing that "A Kind Of Hush" is omitted, at least my two personal favourite "Maybe It's You" and "Your Baby Doesn't Love You Anymore" are included. The singing is ... well, I've already said it. The arrangements are brilliant, musicianship superb and the packaging is lovely. BUT ....

Did we need another compilation of these songs? I don't know how many more compilations there needs to be. Sorry to labour the point, but here is a decent list of them...

1973 The Singles: 1969-1973
1978 The Singles: 1974-1978
1985 Yesterday Once More
1991 From the Top
1995 Interpretations
1997 Love Songs
1998 Reflections
2000 The Singles: 1969-1981
2002 As Time Goes By
2002 The Essential Collection
2003 Carpenters Perform Carpenter
2004 Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition
2006 The Ultimate Collection
2009 40/40

However, perhaps it is because they were so wonderful.
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