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On the heels of Royal Philharmonic Orchestra successes with Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys, Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra marks the first time the series has the actual artist playing key roles in the recording process. Richard Carpenter served as the album's producer, arranger and conductor. "I think that's what makes it very special: the fact that it's his music and he knows it and that he was there from the start," says RPO manager Ian Maclay. "It's not somebody else interpreting, which is what normally happens." The fusion of Richard's production genius, the duo's harmonies and Karen's immortal vocals make Carpenters both endearing and enduring.


In August 13-16, 2018, Richard and the RPO convened in Studio 2 at Universal Music Group's Abbey Road Studios in London, the storied room where The Beatles, Pink Floyd and other legendary artists have recorded some of the world's most cherished music. Richard and the RPO recorded the new arrangements to complement the original recordings of Carpenters' core band, including vocals and drums by Karen, keyboards and vocals by Richard, woodwinds by Bob Messenger and guitar by Tony Peluso. The Carpenters' original recordings also feature a who's who of guest musicians, including Joe Osborn on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, Chuck Findlay on trumpet, Earle Dumler on oboe, Tommy Morgan on harmonica, Buddy Emmons on pedal steel and Tom Scott and Doug Strawn on sax.

The project gave Richard the opportunity to set his classics on a larger stage. While he calls the original "(They Long To Be) Close to You" a "perfect record, everything about it," he had to resist the temptation an arranger faces when given the arsenal of a 70-plus piece orchestra. "'Close to You' called for a sparse string arrangement," Carpenter explains, adding that he would have liked to have had more players, for a richer sound, had he been given the resources. "In the second and third verses, it sounded a bit thin, because there are only 10 violins playing it. Now, we've quadrupled that. So, anyone with the ear for it will hear it immediately. It's the same line, but it's richer, because there are so many more players." Other early Carpenters classics, such as "We've Only Just Begun" and "Merry Christmas, Darling," were treated similarly: orchestrations expanded, but with restraint.


All the essential Carpenters singles can be heard on Carpenters With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which also delivers beloved album cuts including "I Just Fall in Love Again" and "This Masquerade" - chart hits for, respectively, Anne Murray and George Benson, but songs recorded years earlier by The Carpenters. "These refreshed tracks more than ever showcase Karen's remarkable voice," Richard says. "And that to me was reason number one for undertaking the project." The Carpenter Sound, like you've never heard before, on Carpenters with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.




1. Overture
2. Yesterday Once More
3. Hurting Each Other
4. I Need To Be In Love
5. For All We Know
6. Touch Me When We're Dancing
7. I Believe You
8. I Just Fall In Love Again
9. Merry Christmas, Darling
10. Baby It's You
11. (They Long To Be) Close To You
12. Superstar
13. Rainy Days and Mondays
14. This Masquerade
15. Ticket To Ride
16. Goodbye To Love
17. Top of The World
18. We've Only Just Begun

Carpenters with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra(2 LP Vinyl)

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