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This article is about the band. For their eponymous album, see Carpenters. Confusion
The Carpenters
The Carpenters - 1976
A photo taken of Richard and Karen Carpenter in 1976.

Country of origin United States
Genre(s) Pop
Years active 1969-1983
Label(s) A&M Records
Official website The Carpenters Official Website

Former members Richard Carpenter
Karen Carpenter
Entourage Herb Alpert
Burt Bacharach

The Carpenters logo

The Carpenters was a group founded by Richard and Karen Carpenter in 1969. Their soft and harmonious sound made them the best selling American pop group of the 1970s. The Carpenters have sold over 100,000,000 records worldwide to date. The Carpenters won three Grammy Awards, had three #1 hits, five RIAA-certified platinum albums, and thirteen RIAA-certified gold singles.

Richard Carpenter arranged all of The Carpenters' songs and played the piano. Karen Carpenter, Richard's sister, sang and played the drums. The two were the one of the first to implement the overdubbing process with their voices, and Richard was the first to create the power ballad by adding a fuzz guitar part into a soft love ballad.

Founding Edit

On April 22, 1969, Richard and Karen signed themselves to A&M Records. After many failed attempts to sign with a major record label, Richard and Karen were accepted by Herb Alpert, who listened to their demo tapes. Shortly after signing with A&M Records, The Carpenters released the album Ticket to Ride, originally released under the name Offering. Ticket to Ride bore no hits, even though the song "Ticket to Ride" was released as a single, peaking at only #54 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Despite disappointing sales of Ticket to Ride, A&M Records decided to let The Carpenters record in the studio. In 1970, Herb Alpert had suggested that Richard create a rendition of Hal David and Burt Bacharach's "(They Long to Be) Close to You". The song became The Carpenters' biggest, winning them a Grammy in 1971 and reaching Billboard Hot 100's #1 spot, where it stayed there for four weeks.

Overnight Success (1970-1971) Edit

Close to You, released in 1970, became The Carpenters' second studio album, with two major hits: "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". "We've Only Just Begun" was originally written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams in 1970 for a commercial for Crocker Bank. The commercial depicted a couple getting married and trying to move into their house and start a new life. Even though it only peaked at #2, it is one of the most played songs at wedding receptions. "We've Only Just Begun" became the first collaboration between Richard Carpenter, and Roger Nichols and Paul Williams.

In 1971, The Carpenters' eponymous album was released, containing three gold singles: "For All We Know", "Rainy Days and Mondays", and "Superstar". The same year, Richard and Karen were invited to the 13th Annual Grammy Awards, and won two Grammys: The Grammy Award for Best New Artist (The Carpenters), and Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus (Close to You).

In 1971 and 1972, Richard and Karen had their first global tour, performing in Britain, Australia, and Japan. The 1971 film Bless the Beasts and Children brought The Carpenters another hit song, "Bless the Beasts and Children". The Carpenters put "Bless the Beasts and Children" on the B-side of "Superstar". The B-side peaked the Billboard Hot 100 at #67. The Carpenters eventually put "Bless the Beasts and Children" on their following album, A Song for You.

Global success (1972-1976) Edit

Discography Edit

Main article: The Carpenters discography
Richard Carpenter
Karen Carpenter

References Edit