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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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This compilation presents 35 songs recorded by the Carpenters, all in chronological order of when they were released, beginning with Ticket to ride, their distinctive cover of the Beatles classic, and ending with Trying to get the feeling again, with was recorded in 1975 but forgotten about until it was eventually released on their covers album, Interpretations, and also released as a single. Neither of these two tracks were huge hits, but there are plenty of huge hits among the 33 tracks in between.

All the songs you'd expect to find are here. Close to you, We've only just begun, For all we know, Rainy days and Mondays, Hurting each other, Goodbye to love, Top of the world, I won't last a day without you, Yesterday once more and Only yesterday - every one of them is included along with many others. The strangest song that the Carpenters ever recorded, Calling occupants of interplanetary craft, is also here along with their only country hit, Sweet sweet smile.

The Carpenters had plenty of hits around the world, but of course they weren't always the same hits in each country. This being a British compilation, it inevitably includes Jambalaya, which peaked at twelve in Britain, where only six other Carpenters singles fared better. Jambalaya wasn't released as a single in America, presumably because the song had been a hit there for somebody else the year before.

This is a wonderful compilation containing all the essential Carpenters tracks, together with a few non-essentials that are nevertheless worth a listen.
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on 14 September 2008
The Carpenters are surely one of those romantic must haves in your record collection? If you want to buy a really good comprehensive collection of songs by the Carpenters on one CD, this one makes a bucket load of sense. Kind of hush, Interplanetary Craft, Solitaire, Yesterday once more,Close to you, Jambalaya and many more, they are all here. The Carpenters were always lovely to listen to, and won many fans at the time and later. The fact that they were so prolific too, was amazing. Most of the songs here were played to death and were often high up in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The fact that so many good ones are on here makes this album well worth buying.
Listening to them again brings back how amazing they were, and why we all loved them. Nostalgia for sure, but timeless classics too.
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on 15 November 2006
Like the recent 'new' Abba compilation someone has decided that it is time to trot out yet another permutation of classic tracks by Carpenters. There have been a number of releases of these classic tracks over the years, the most recent of which was the single disc 'Carpenters Gold'. This 'new' effort is now a double disc which containes EVERY track from 'Gold', some hits that couldn't be accommodated on 'Gold' due to space/timing limitations and frankly some obscure tracks that should have been best left where they came from (anyone know 'Sandy' or 'Your baby doesn't love you anymore' ??). Also included is the track that everyone bought the album 'Interpretations' for some years back (the song 'Tryin to get the feeling again' made famous by Barry Manilow) as it was (at that point) unheard. Not so any more !

Make no mistake, there is an abundance of absolutely top rate music to be found here. Tracks such as 'Goodbye to love', 'Rainy days and Mondays' and 'Only yesterday' I can never get tired of listening to. It's just the sheer pointlessness of another release of this material that grates on me. Why not repromote 'Gold' or 'Only Yesterday - Karen and Richard Carpenters greatest hits' ? Even the timeless 'The Singles 1969-73' is superior in my view if only for the scene-setting introduction and the joining together of 'Superstar', 'Rainy days and Mondays' and 'Goodbye to love'. Also, a wonderful (if slightly eclectic compilation) of rarities called 'As time goes by' was released a few years ago and virtually ignored (see my review of that for more details).

I'll give this album three stars for the package but the music is truly five star.
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on 14 February 2009
Karen Carpenter has to be just about the greatest voice in my lifetime(I am 47). That coupled with her brother Richard's harmonies and musical prowess makes this a must have album for any old or indeed new fans of this group. All the well known easy listening catchy favourites are on here including the sublime "superstar" and the melodic "only yesterday".Also the very different "calling occupants". Think of a Carpenters single hit and you will find it on this album which is why it is rightly called the ultimate collection. I often wonder what Karen could have achieved had her life not been tragically cut short. Carpenter fans should buy this album, you won't be dissappointed.
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on 14 August 2014
As a youngster I listened to the radio and the Carpenters came on and I sang along and liked, but I never thought to buy their music - more David Bowie and rock etc. But just recently when I've heard the Carpenters on the radio the sweetness of Karen Carpenters voice has penetrated my nerve centre like being touched by angels. Her voice is just sublime.Maturity has made me appreciate such tallent. I don't like every song but her voice and the harmonies with her brother make them still audible. All the old sing along greats are on it and a few new song that I have not heard before. It is a lovely album to listen to and add to the eclectic mix of my music.
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on 4 August 2009
Just to say that although there are 35 songs in this collection there are still at least another 65 great or good songs by the Carpenters. In all I think theres more than 120 very fine songs, some other quite reasonable ones and only a handful of poor ones. I Can't Make Music, A Song For You, Road Ode, Still Crazy After All These Years, Trying To Get The Feeling Again, I'm Caught Between Goodbye And I Love You, Love Me For What I Am, Can't Smile Without You (1978 revamped version), Don't Cry For Me Argentina (on the Interpretations disc minus the appalling operatic preamble that was originally included) - all these and many more are songs worth hearing.
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on 26 January 2016
Recently we went to see a tribute act of karen Carpenter and the singer is fantastic. Her voice is slightly different much stronger but she did good job with the songs. This persuaded me to buy this album and to hear the lovely singing of Karen Carpenter again.
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on 7 June 2014
My dear old Dad was an original Carpenters fan, and I spent years of my childhood listening to the dulcet tones of the wondrous Karen Carpenter. And now that I am increasingly old and decrepit, the sheer magic of Karen Carpenter's voice still brings me enormous pleasure. And, although Richard Carpenter was always an egocentric, self-obsessed, truly weird twerp, overflowing with jealousy at his sister's talent and resulting fame, he could at least arrange a tune. But, it's the magic of Karen's unique voice that is the essence and the quality of the Carpenters. This is an excellent CD, and has all the best Carpenters recordings to listen to and enjoy. If you are already a fan, you will be well pleased with this album - but if you are not already a fan...what are you waiting for!
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on 12 December 2015
Bought as Christmas present for Dad to replace his cassette version which has given up the ghost. It's a comprehensive album of the Carpenters hits as you remember them. No different versions here. What more can you say? The songs speak for themselves.
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on 24 September 2013
I had forgotten how much I liked the Carpenters, and how powerful their music actually is. It has lost nothing of it's effect or meaning over the years. At this price you would be mad to miss out - serioulsy - order now!

Arrived VERY quickly in absolutely perfect condition, very happy with this purchase.
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