Carpenters or The Carpenters were a vocal and instrumental duo, consisting of siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter. The Carpenters were the #1 selling American music act of the 1970s. Though often referred to by the public as "The Carpenters", the duo's official name on authorized recordings and press materials is simply "Carpenters", without the definite article. During a period in the 1970s when louder and wilder rock was in great demand, Richard and Karen produced a distinctively soft musical style that made them among the best-selling music artists of all time.
Carpenters' 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 genres. Carpenters had three #1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and fifteen #1 hits on the Adult Contemporary Chart (see The Carpenters discography). In addition, they had twelve top 10 singles (including their #1 hits). To date, Carpenters' album and single sales total more than 100 million units.
During their 14-year career, the Carpenters recorded 11 albums, five of which contained top 10 singles (Close to You, Carpenters, A Song for You, Now & Then and Horizon), thirty-one singles, five television specials, and one short-lived television series. They toured in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the Netherlands and Belgium. Their recording career ended with Karen's death in 1983 from cardiac arrest due to complications of anorexia nervosa. Extensive news coverage of the circumstances surrounding her death increased public awareness of the consequences of eating disorders.
Carpenters is the third studio album by The Carpenters. Released on May 14, 1971, the album was successful, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and #12 in the United Kingdom. With the hit songs "For All We Know", "Rainy Days and Mondays", and "Superstar", Carpenters solidified Karen Carpenter as one of her generation's most endearing pop vocalists. It has been said that the strength of these recordings is what caused Richard Carpenter to ask his sister to front the band instead of playing behind the drums on every live performance. Amongst many fans, the album has simply been referred to as The Tan Album, because the album itself is like a tan envelope, and is presumably a play on The Beatles' so-called White Album. In Cash Box's Top 100 Albums of 1971, Carpenters peaked at #8. This is the first album to feature the familiar Carpenters emblem.
All lead vocals are by Karen, except Richard Carpenter sings lead vocal, with Karen in the background, on the tracks, "Druscilla Penny" and "Saturday".
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