Top positive review
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Still the one to get
on 26 April 2005
Karen Carpenter died on 4th February 1983 and, although the phrase "sadly missed" is overused and often misused, in her case it is absolutely justified. Her distinctive, liquid-golden-honeyed vocals, all-American but always crystal clear, backed by brother Richard's lush arrangements and orchestrations, graced the world's singles and album charts for most of the 1970s, serving as a melodic counterpoint to some of the excesses of the pop and rock industry's output at the time. It was easy listening par excellence - and, oddly, there has never been anything quite like them since.
There can be little argument that the twenty tracks on this collection are the best-selling or most popular of their songs. They are scheduled somewhat randomly, but at least putting the twee Sesame Street anthem, "Sing", before the finale of Klaatu's "Calling Occupants..." gives things a satisfactory sense of ending.
Three of the tracks are marked "1991 remix" - in truth, a lot of the other tracks have also been remixed at various times since their original release, as Richard, presumably at a loose end after Karen's death, couldn't resist tinkering with them. Fortunately no harm has been done, and you'd have to be a Carpenters "trekkie" to notice any differences.
It is difficult to imagine that there can be a household that doesn't already have a copy of this collection, in this or one of its several earlier releases, but if there is then this is still the one to get.