The Carpenters were Richard and Karen Carpenter (March 2, 1950 - February 4, 1983), a soft pop-rock brother-sister duo that became the top selling act of the 1970s. They had a trademark sound that came from Karen Carpenter's smooth contralto singing voice as well as the duo's close-knit harmonies. Their musical style, which was softer and more laid-back, was also highly memorable when they made their debut in that it was in sharp contrast to that of louder and edgier rock bands that ruled the airwaves at the time.
In 1970, the Carpenters first charted with a slow version of the Beatles' "Ticket To Ride," but their popularity really took off with their second hit, "(They Long To Be) Close To You," which reached #1 that same year. Their long string of hits on both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts also included "Top Of The World" (1973), "Please Mr. Postman" (1975), "Touch Me When We're Dancing" (1981), and their signature song, "We've Only Just Begun" (1970), which remains a long-time wedding favorite.
The song(s) featured on this page are on:
The Carpenters perform "We've Only Just Begun" on The Ed Sullivan Show (October 18. 1970).
To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.
- (They Long To Be) Close To You 1970
(This song topped the charts and later also became a hit for Jerry Butler & Brenda Lee Eager (1972) and B.T. Express (1976). In 1971, the Carpenters won a Grammy with "(They Long To Be) Close To You" for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.)
- For All We Know 1971
- Goodbye To Love 1972
- Hurting Each Other 1972
- I Won't Last A Day Without You 1974
(This song was previously a hit for Maureen McGovern (1973) and later also became a hit for Al Wilson (1975, as a medley).)
- It's Going To Take Some Time 1972
- Only Yesterday 1975
- Please Mr. Postman 1974
(This oldies classic topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts for the Carpenters (in 1974 and 1975, respectively). This song previously topped the charts for the Marvelettes (1961) and later also became a hit for Gentle Persuasion (1983).)
- Rainy Days And Mondays 1971
- Sing 1973
(This song was previously a hit for Barbra Streisand (1972, as a medley).)
- Solitaire 1975
- Superstar 1971
(This song later also became a hit for Luther Vandross (1984, as a medley).)
- Top Of The World 1973
(This song topped the charts in 1973 and also became a hit for Lynn Anderson that same year.)
- We've Only Just Begun 1970
- Yesterday Once More 1973
(This song later also became a hit for the Spinners (1981, as a medley).)
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