The Carpenters – As Time Goes By

Unreleased gems from eccentric brother and sister combo

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One hundred million album sales later, The Carpenters remain the epitome of MOR cool, a title they hold thanks not just to the patronage of the likes of Sonic Youth but to Karen’s vocal genius and the fact she died aged 32, almost a shadow of her former self. Unlike the usual hits packages, this slimmer set features an early recording of “Nowhere Man” from 1967, TV soundtrack specials and two songs, “And When He Smiles” and “Leave Yesterday Behind”, that stand scrutiny with her best performances. Chuck in duets with Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald (the latter conducted by Nelson Riddle), a sprinkling of Richard Carpenter piano arrangements and the net result is an artefact that transcends the normal medley collections.

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