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The Carpenters was an American vocal and instrumental duo of Karen (1950–1983) and Richard Carpenter (b. 1946). They produced a distinct soft musical style, combining Karen's contralto vocals with Richard's arranging and composition skills. During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded ten albums, along with numerous singles and several television specials.

The siblings were born in New Haven, Connecticut, and moved to Downey, California, in 1963. Richard took piano lessons as a child, progressing to California State University, Long Beach, while Karen learned the drums. They first performed together as a duo in 1965 and formed the jazz-oriented Richard Carpenter Trio followed by the middle-of-the-road group Spectrum. Signing as Carpenters to A&M Records in 1969, they achieved major success the following year with the hit singles "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". Subsequently, the duo's brand of melodic pop produced a record-breaking run of hit recordings on the American Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts, and they became leading sellers in the soft rock, easy listening and Adult contemporary music genres. The Carpenters had three No. 1 singles and five No. 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and fifteen No. 1 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart, in addition to twelve top 10 singles. They have sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time. The duo toured continually during the 1970s, which put them under increased strain; Richard took a year off in 1979 after he had become addicted to Quaaludes, while Karen suffered from anorexia nervosa.

Their career together ended in 1983 following Karen's death from heart failure brought on by complications of anorexia. Extensive news coverage surrounding these circumstances increased public awareness of eating disorders. Though the Carpenters were criticized for their clean-cut and wholesome conservative image in the 1970s, their music has since been re-evaluated, attracting critical acclaim and continued commercial success.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
More of That Lovin' Feeling Various Artists 1
Oh What a Year 1970 - 1974 (disc 1) Various Artists 1
Old Style Love Songs 1 Various Artists 1
Oldies 8: Pop & Rock 3 Various Artists 1
Oldies 11: Heartbreakers 1 Various Artists 1
Oldies 12: Heartbreakers 2 Various Artists 1
Oldies Collection: Best 80 Songs Various Artists 1
Songs from the 70's: All Time Greatest Hits Various Artists 1
The Best of 1970-1980, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
The Glory of Christmas Various Artists 1
The Hit Box Various Artists 1
The No. 1 Hits 1970 Various Artists 1
The Power of Love 2 Various Artists 1
The Secret Behind Santa Various Artists 1
Two Hearts Various Artists 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1971 Bless the Beasts and Children Barry De Vorzon & Perry Botkin, Jr. 1
1994 Muriel's Wedding Various Artists 2
1995 Tommy Boy Various Artists 1
2005 Scrubs: Season 4 Various Artists 1
2010 Shrek Forever After: Music From the Motion Picture Various Artists 2
2012 Dark Shadows: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Various Artists 2
2016 Gilmore Girls: The Ultimate Soundtrack, Volume 3 Various Artists 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Yesterday Once More / Superstar Redd Kross / Sonic Youth 3


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
BBC Radio Group 2 Acoustics Test CD Various Artists 1

Other + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1995 Cruisin' Love Songs Various Artists 1 6

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