Carpenters

Gold: Greatest Hits

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Usually the name Gold: Greatest Hits means "avoid this album." Many times small labels will buy the rights to some obscure songs by a big-name artist and then release it under that very title. But despite the name, this collection keeps the crap in the middle of the album, buried between the good stuff. In fact, this is a really good retrospective of this band. The dark and lonely ballads that Karen Carpenter sang take center stage, pushing brother Richard's pop contributions to the background. The album starts strong enough, featuring several of their biggest hits, including "Superstar," "Rainy Days and Mondays," "Goodbye to Love," and "It's Going to Take Some Time." And the album ends with more big hits, such as "Top of the World," "(They Long to Be) Close to You," and "We've Only Just Begun"; even their Klaatu cover, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft," makes it. But the middle is a danger zone of filler, featuring forgettable tracks like "Please Mr. Postman" and its ilk. But this collection has the requisite amount of good Carpenters songs to make it worthwhile, and anyone who does not have these songs on album should give this a listen.

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