There are four female singers whose voices make HERC's ears really perk up: Alison Krauss, Chrissie Hynde, Natalie Merchant and Karen Carpenter. Karen teamed with her brother Richard to form one of the most successful groups of the early 70s. With Karen's hauntingly pure, sweet vocals riding atop Richard's lush backing arrangements, they were nigh unstoppable on both the album and singles charts, especially the Easy Listening chart where they notched 15 Number One songs - eight of those are on Singles, along with a pair of #2s and their nearly unrecognizable cover of The Beatles "Ticket To Ride" (below) that barely made it into the Top 20.
After five albums in five years, the duo released the obligatory hits collection which true to it's name contained every one of their charting singles up to the point EXCEPT a low charting b-side, the title song from the film Bless The Beasts And Children which was the flipside of "Superstar":
To listen to a Carpenters song is to hear the very definition of "easy listening": everything is smooth and mellow, soft, lush and plush. They covered rock songs yet they did not rock; instead, they polished those rockers into smooth stones. HERC's favorite time to listen to Carpenters music is when it's raining. And at Christmas!
Singles 1969-1973 is one of the best-selling albums of all-time with certified sales of just under ten million copies (HERC has two on vinyl!) and it remains one of the cornerstones of any Seventies pop music collection. In 1978, Singles 1974-1978 was released outside of America, where the duo's popularity was waning. In 2000, nearly twenty years after Karen's body surrendered to her eating disorder, Singles 1969-1981 was released.