Carpenters enter Universal’s ICON series

Universal has been doing a series of short ‘hits’ discs that present their artists’ best known songs and are given the title ICON. Now it’s Carpenters turn in the ICON series with this 2014 entry. ICONEleven of their best-known songs are presented here and we’ve been discussing it in the A&M Corner’s A SONG FOR YOU forum. Join in the discussion about this latest compilation from our favorite duo.

The “Third” Carpenter: A Conversation with John Bettis, Pt. 2 [Extended Edit]

We continue in our discussion with John Bettis regarding many of the songs he’s contributed to the Carpenters’ catalogue via his songwriting partnership with Richard Carpenter. John also shares some of his own personal thoughts on the shelving of Karen’s solo album from 1980, along with his overall feelings about the recent biography Little Girl Blue: The Life Of Karen Carpenter written by author Randy Schmidt. We also discuss the rumored song from Christmas of 1982 that was written for Karen shortly before her sudden death that she never had the opportunity to hear.

Listen to: The “Third” Carpenter: A Conversation with John Bettis, Pt. 2 [Extended Edit]

The “Third” Carpenter: A Conversation with John Bettis

john bettis 192.jpgSongwriter Hall of Fame inductee John Bettis has written number-one hit songs for many artists, to include Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, The Pointer Sisters and Madonna. However, in this first of a two-part interview, we very candidly and exclusively discuss his co-writing partnership with Richard Carpenter of the famous brother-sister duo Carpenters, as well as talk about how many of the hits were constructed, including John’s relationship with both Richard and Karen and what went on behind the scenes.

Listen to: The “Third” Carpenter: A Conversation with John Bettis, Part 1

Dutch Singles Collection added to the database

Just crossing our desk is a 2001 compilation from the Netherlands called YESTERDAY ONCE MORE – DE NEDERLANDSE SINGLES COLLECTIE. It’s a close cousin to the 20-track UK GOLD, issued around the same time and sharing 19 of the 20 tracks and mixes. Its only difference is the inclusion of “Sweet, Sweet Smile” in place of “Calling Occupants” and a slight reshuffle of the track listing.

CarpYOMNLScans of the cover on computers tend to blacken out the mirrored silver-foil Carpenters logo. It’s actually much more attractive than the scan indicates.

Previously mentioned in passing as part of the GOLD (UK) listing, we can now confirm the mixes and add the title to our database. Check it out – it’s listed as YESTERDAY ONCE MORE (NL).

New releases of SINGLES 1969-1973 in Japan


Three new versions of Carpenters’ SINGLES 1969-1973 have been released in Japan in late April of 2014. Richard Carpenter and Bernie Grundman remastered the album for release on an SHM-SACD, a Platinum SHM-CD, and a standard SHM-CD. The first two come packaged in special box packaging while the third is a standard mini-LP format. Early reports from all over the world hail these releases as very much improved from prior issues. All mixes used are the same as the Remastered Classics, but the sonics are definitely improved. Join in our discussion at A&M Corner.

More Mail Order discs from Japan.


Much like the massive SWEET MEMORY set, the folks at A&M Japan also compiled and released two individual discs of Carpenters music called BEST OF VOL. 1 and VOL 2. These were issued via mail order in 1994 and brought to our attention by A&M Corner member “Chris-An Ordinary Fool” for which we’re most grateful. There were 36 tracks on the two discs, mostly of the “greatest hits” type category, but there were also a few surprises in the track lists. Explore them in our database.