The Carpenters Greatest Hits


The Carpenters Color Photo of Richard & KarenThe Carpenters Greatest Hits

The Carpenters Greatest Hits is a review of their popularity and rise to fame and their music which is unique to other groups of the seventies. Richard Lynn Carpenter was born on October 15, 1946, and his sister Karen Anne Carpenter was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut. While growing up, Richard was quiet and shy and liked to listen to records and playing the piano. Karen, was outgoing, like to play sports with neighborhood kids and spent time listening to music.

In 1963, the family moved to Downey, California a suburb of Los Angeles. Richard enrolled in school in Long Beach University in 1964. While there, he met future songwriting partner John Bettis. Karen in the fall entered Downey High School and had the knack for playing the drums. By the end of the year, she was able to play the drums professionally.

In 1966, Richard formed a group called “The Richard Carpenter Trio” which won a Hollywood Bowl Battle of the Big Bands on June 24th, and were signed by RCA Records. They recorded songs that did not make any of the charts. Later that same year, Karen tagged along at a late-night session in garage studio of Joe Osborn. He asked the girl to sing and commented “This chubby girl can sing”.

In 1968, both Karen and Richard received an offer to appear on the television program “Your All American College Show” on June 22nd. They sent demos of their tapes to various record labels until A&M Record’s co-owner Herb Alpert became attracted to their distinct sound. They signed a contract with A&M Records on April 22, 1969. They became known as “Carpenters”.

45 RPM Record Carpenters Close To YouTheir first record release was “Ticket To Ride” which was released on February 14, 1970, reached #54 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Chart. Their next single was their biggest hit of their career as they recorded “(They Long To Be) Close To You”, and on June 20, 1970 the song debuted on the Hot 100 chart at #56. This song went on to be their first #1 hit on the pop charts. The song stayed at #1 for four weeks. All told, the Carpenters had a total of 3 #1’s, 12 Top 10, 17 Top 20, and 20 Top 40 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop chart. They also had 5 top ten albums. Their last Top10 hit was “Only Yesterday” which peaked at #4 in 1975. Their last charted Top 100 song was “Beachwood 4-5789”, and it peaked at #74 in 1982. The Carpenters had a total of 28 singles that made the Hot 100 Pop chart. They released a total of 30 singles in their career. Of the thirty, ten were RIAA certified Gold, twenty-two peaked on the top 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart, with fifteen peaking at #1.

Billboard has ranked the Carpenters the #4 artist from 1970-1979, and #74 of all-time from 1955-2010.

Listing of all their Number 1’s.

Carpenters Cover AlbumThis is a complete list of the Carpenters #1 songs on the Pop (Hot 100) and Adult Contemporary (A/C) charts in chronological order. The information will show the title, peak date, peak weeks ().

Hot 100

  1. (They Long To Be) Close To You –  July 25, 1970 (4) Hot 100
  2. Top Of The World – December 1, 1973 (2)
  3. Please Mr. Postman –  January 25, 1975 (1)

Adult Contemporary

  1. (They Long To Be) Close To You – July 11, 1970 (6)
  2. We’ve Only Just Begun – October 10, 1970 (7)
  3. For All We Know – February 27, 1971 (3)
  4. Rainy Days And Mondays – May 29, 1971 (4)
  5. Superstar – October 9, 1971 (2)
  6. Hurting Each Other – February 5, 1972 (2)
  7. Sing – March 31, 1973 (2)
  8. Yesterday Once More – July 7, 1973 (3)
  9. I Won’t Last A Day Without You – June 1, 1974 (1)
  10. Please Mr. Postman – January 18, 1975 (1)
  11. Only Yesterday – May 3, 1975 (1)
  12. Solitaire – September 6, 1975 (1)
  13. There’s A Kind Of Hush – April 3, 1976 (2)
  14. I Need To Be In Love – July 10, 1976 (1)
  15. Touch Me When We’re Dancing – August 22, 1981 (2)

Now you can own all of the #1’s by the Carpenters with their album Carpenters Gold (CD) [2 Discs]. This album has all of their #1’s from the Hot 100 pop chart and their #1’s on the Adult Contemporary chart. Each CD holds 20 tracks, for a total of 40 of their best recordings including some that were never released in the United States.

Close To You – Original Recording

Go back to the top 100 songs home page.

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