Carpenters – The Singles 1969-1973 – Round 59- Graham’s Reluctant Choice

Oh it looked so easy when Rob set the $_12 theme  of a UK No:1 album. I sat firmly on my laurels having estimated 50 or so CD and vinyl albums to choose from after a quick scan of the possibilities. Then came the crunch of getting them together and making a choice. In a matter of minutes I proved to myself that I sat high on the “commercial whore index” by having a collection of stuff that I hadn’t played for years and certainly had no intention of playing at record club without body armour. Add to the mix some work issues requiring a prompt getaway, I opted for some novelty choices (what ever did happen to Terence Stoke-on-Trent D’arby?) which included the above. This was rescued from my parents record collection at some point in the late 90’s and is in pretty much the state of the thumbnail above.

Thinking we would only last a couple of tracks, we eventually finished up with the whole of side one as the precise, yet syrupy voice of Karen Carpenter began to wash over us. Growing up, Carpenters seemed a strange MoR/TV special/Pop type crossover that were to despised by any spotty youth taking music seriously. I taught my self to ignore them, which wasn’t easy given there huge radio and TV coverage in the 70’s. Little did I know that as a brother and sister, behind the scenes they were enduring drug and  lifestyle issues, a world away from their clean-cut image.

Not sure if some of these songs count as guilty pleasures or whether years of radio bombardment have just weakened my defences really. The arrangements are so crisp on ‘Weve only just begun’, ‘Ticket to ride’, ‘Rainy days and Mondays’, ‘Goodbye to Love’, Yesterday once more’, and Karen’s voice just eases you back in the chair.

Highlight of the abridged listen was a reminder of the nuts guitar solos midway and on the ‘outro’ of ‘Goodbye to Love’, Simply creams anything Richey Blackmore ever came up with!



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