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Singles 1969-1973

Singles 1969-1981

* compilation *

Recorded: 1969-73 1,
1969-81 2

Charted: Dec. 1, 1973 1

Released: May 23, 2000 2

1 Singles 1969-1973
2Singles 1969-1981

Rating: 4.000 (average of 6 ratings)

Genre: AC

Quotable: “Masters of soft rock” – Blender Magazine

Album Tracks: 1 *

  1. We’ve Only Just Begun
  2. Top of the World
  3. Ticket to Ride
  4. Superstar
  5. Rainy Days and Mondays
  6. Goodbye to Love >
  7. Yesterday Once More
  8. It’s Going to Take Some Time
  9. Sing
  10. For All We Know
  11. Hurting Each Other
  12. They Long to Be Close to You
* See Notes regarding 1969-1981 collection.

Sales: 1

sales in U.S. only 7 million
sales in U.K. only - estimated 300,000
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 7.3 million

Peak: 1

peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 1 1
peak on U.K. album chart 1 17

Singles/Hit Songs: *

  • Ticket to Ride (12/27/69) #54 US, #19 AC
  • They Long to Be Close to You (6/13/70) #1 US, #6 UK, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million
  • We’ve Only Just Begun (9/12/70) #2 US, #28 UK, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million. Airplay: 4 million
  • For All We Know (2/6/71) #3 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million. Airplay: 3 million
  • Rainy Days and Mondays (5/15/71) #2 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million
  • Superstar (9/4/71) #2 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million. Airplay: 2 million
  • Hurting Each Other (1/15/72) #2 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million
  • It’s Going to Take Some Time (4/29/72) #12 US, #2 AC
  • Goodbye to Love (7/15/72) #7 US, #2 AC
  • Sing (2/24/73) #2 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million. Airplay: 1 million
  • Yesterday Once More (6/2/73) #2 US, #1 AC. Sales: ½ million
  • Top of the World (10/6/73) #1 US, #2 AC. Sales: ½ million
  • I Won’t Last a Day without You * (4/13/74) #11 US, #1 AC
  • Please Mr. Postman * (11/23/74) #1 US, #1 AC. Sales: 1 million
  • Only Yesterday * (3/29/75) #4 US, #1 AC
  • I Need to Be in Love * (6/12/76) #25 US, #1 AC
  • All You Get from Love Is a Song * (5/21/77) #35 US, #4 AC
  • I Believe You * (11/18/78) #68 US, #9 AC
  • Touch Me When We’re Dancing * (6/20/81) #16 US, #1 AC. Airplay: 2 million
  • Those Good Old Dreams * (12/12/81) #63 US, #21 AC
* Songs marked by an asterisk were added to 2000 reissue. See Notes.

Notes: * These songs, as well as a reprise of “For All We Know,” were added to a 2000 reissue retitled Singles 1969-1981.


‘Singles 1969-1973’ rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. ‘Singles 1969-1981’ rated one of Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums

The Singles 1969-1973
The Singles 1969-1981

The Carpenters
The Carpenters were the “masters of soft rock” (Blender) throughout the ‘70s, landing 15 songs on top of the AC charts. They also did well on the pop charts, landing three songs at #1 and six more in the runner-up position.

The majority of those hits are featured on The Singles 1969-1973, a “concise 12-song collection of the Carpenters’ early hits” (Eder) such as Close to You and Top of the World. Alongside those are the Carpenters’ “gorgeous and original slow ballad interpretation of Ticket to Ride and their cover of Carole King’s It’s Going to Take Some Time thrown in to offer a slightly wider perspective” (Eder).

“There’s a certain inherent sadness listening to this…especially as it opens with We’ve Only Just Begun, with its hopeful, dreamy lyrics. It was never supposed to be definitive, just the first of at least two such collections. But changes in the public’s taste and a slackening (though never a disappearance) of hits for the duo, and Karen Carpenter’s death in 1983, made this the first and only real mass choice for a Carpenters collection” (Eder).

Well, perhaps. In 2000, the collection was expanded with nine more songs, mostly picking up where the first set left off (but keeping all 12 cuts from the original compilation). The new collection was retitled The Singles 1969-1981 and made for a career-spanning hits retrospective. While their hits dwindled in the second phase of their career, the Carpenters still charted more than enough material to justify a second, separate collection, especially since some numbers are inexplicably left out here, including “Solitaire” and “There’s a Kind of Hush All Over the World,” which were both top 20 pop hits and #1 AC hits. Instead, the collection includes some latter day minor hits, such as I Believe in You and Those Good Old Dreams, that didn’t even come close to hitting the top 40.

“Listening to this material, it’s easy to accuse the Carpenters of being hopelessly retro even in their own time…But the lush melodies brought out in Richard Carpenter’s arrangements and Karen’s singing are justification in themselves” (Eder). “Thanks to Karen Carpenter’s gently authoritative voice, these pristine pop singles illuminated the work of the era’s great songwriters (Burt Bacharach, Leon Russell, Paul Williams)” (Blender).

Review Source(s):

Last updated November 3, 2008.