On this day in music history: May 14, 1971 – &…

On this day in music history: May 14, 1971 – “Carpenters”, third studio album by The Carpenters is released. Produced by Jack Daughtery, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from Late 1970 – Early 1971. Coming just nine months after their breakthrough album “Close To You”, it firmly establishes the brother and sister duos pop star status on a worldwide basis. Having scored their first major hit with the Burt Bacharach and Hal David penned (They Long To Be) Close To You" the previous year, Richard and Karen pay further tribute to the songwriters on their new album. Richard arranges a medley of some of he and Karen’s favorite Bacharach and David songs including “Walk On By”, “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose”. Topped with The Carpenters trademark lush multi-tracked harmonies, the “Bacharach/David Medley” proves to be one of the highlights of the album. “Carpenters” spins off three top five singles including “Rainy Days And Mondays” (#2 Pop) and “Superstar” (#2 Pop). The album’s first single “For All We Know” (#3 Pop), features lyrics co- written by Jimmy Griffin and Robb Royer of the soft rock band Bread, under the pseudonyms “Arthur James and Robb Wilson”. The song is first heard by Richard after hearing it in the film “Lovers And Other Strangers”. Instantly attracted to the beautiful and melancholy tone of the song, he decides that it is a perfect fit for Karen’s voice, who adds her peerless lead vocal on to the finished track after its recorded. Initially released as a stand alone single four months ahead of the album, it is another instant smash. A month after The Carpenters version of “For All We Know” peaks on the charts in March of 1971, the song wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Dubbed “The Tan Album” by fans, the original LP package is designed to look like a formal party invitation, opening from the top like an envelope with an overlapping flap. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1998 using the original stereo master mixes. It is also reissued as an SHM-CD by Universal Japan in 2009, re-pressed again in 2012 and 2016 due to popular demand. Out of print on vinyl for nearly thirty years, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2017. It is released individually and as part of the LP box set “The Carpenters: The Vinyl Collection”. “"Carpenters” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.