With their 1970 chart breakthroughs of “(They Long To Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun,” Richard and Karen Carpenter set a new standard for melodic pop that has never been surpassed. With over 100 million in sales, Carpenters are among the all-time most successful artists in recording history. Their long hit list includes “Rainy Days And Mondays,” “Top of the World,” “Yesterday Once More” and “Superstar.” Featuring timeless hits and favorites, Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra pairs Carpenters’ original vocal and instrumental tracks with new orchestral arrangements from Richard Carpenter, conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) at Abbey Road Studios. The fusion of Richard’s production genius, the duo’s harmonies and Karen’s immortal vocals make Carpenters both endearing and enduring.It is available now by A&M/UMe in digital, CD and 180-gram 2LP vinyl LP formats. The vinyl set will be released February 8.
Richard and the RPO recorded the new arrangements to complement the original recordings of Carpenters’ core band, including vocals and drums by Karen, keyboards and vocals by Richard, woodwinds by Bob Messenger and guitar by Tony Peluso.
The Carpenters’ original recordings also feature a who’s who of guest musicians, including Joe Osborn on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, Chuck Findlay on trumpet, Earle Dumler on oboe, Tommy Morgan on harmonica, Buddy Emmons on pedal steel and Tom Scott and Doug Strawn on sax.
Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which many Carpenters fans consider the duo’s 15thstudio album, is a must-have addition to their collections. Early Carpenters classics, such as “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Merry Christmas, Darling,” were treated similarly: orchestrations expanded, but with restraint.
“There have been more than a few times when I have thought, ‘I wish I could have a second crack at that,’” Carpenter says. “And there were places where things could be augmented without overdoing it. That’s the trick.”
The album cuts including “I Just Fall in Love Again” and “This Masquerade” — chart hits for, respectively, Anne Murray and George Benson, but songs recorded years earlier by The Carpenters. “These refreshed tracks more than ever showcase Karen’s remarkable voice,” Richard says. “And that to me was reason number one for undertaking the project.
Richard Carpenter and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra convened in Studio 2 at Universal Music Group’s Abbey Road Studios in London, the storied room where The Beatles, Pink Floyd and other legendary artists have recorded some of the world’s most cherished music.
Did You Know?:
–Since signing with A&M Records in 1969, Carpenters have sold well over 100 million units worldwide.
–Carpenters rank as the top-selling American recording act of the ’70s.
—The Singles: 1969-1973topped the Billboard Pop Albums chart. It has been certified seven-times platinum in the US alone. In the UK, the album reached No. 1 for 17 (non-consecutive) weeks.
–Carpenters earned 12 Grammy nominations and three wins. Two Carpenters recordings have been inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame: “(They Long To Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
–Carpenters rank No. 3 on the list of best-selling international music acts in Japan, behind only Mariah Carey and The Beatles. The Carpenter’s 1995 greatest hits album, Twenty-Two Hits Of The Carpenters,has sold more than 3 million units in Japan, making it the highest-ever selling international music album in Japan.
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