To be a Carpenters fan in the early seventies was a dream in many ways, a nightmare in others. It was tough going explaining to your friends that yes, that was a Carpenters single right next to All Right Now from Free or Brown Sugar by the Rolling Stones. In fact, I eventually hid my Carpenters records until I knew my new friends wouldn't avoid me when they discovered my guilty pleasure! On the plus side of being a Carpenters fan, you also knew that a new single or album was always right around the corner as Karen and Richard were highly productive. In fact, it was a mere nine months between the release of the Close to You album and the self-titled one later known among fans as the Tan album.
Carpenters was a landmark, Grammy award winning collection because of some classic performances and impeccable production. Yet it was important for other reasons as well. The release of the disc set in place frustrations that would greatly bother the duo for the remainder of their career.
The soft and sweet first release from the album.
The powerful second single.
Another career defining single release.
No one would or could cover it like Karen.
Billboard magazine ad for Rainy Days and Mondays.
Billboard ad for the Tan album- already gold.
Single releases aside, the disc contains the intimate Let Me Be the One, the wistful Hideaway, and the simple reflective Sometimes. It is the rest of the material that highlights some potential problems in the Carpenters camp. A generally mellow sounding disc, the tan album steps even further away from any rock and roll nuances, avoiding the 60s and the Beatles and Beach Boys influences altogether. I liked it- loved it even- but the album did not have the variety of textures I so appreciated on Close to You.
Unimaginative ad for Superstar- one of their most powerful releases.
A& M poking fun at their best selling artists.
Promoting the album in Australia in May 1972.