The Carpenters were always different. In a world of glitter, glam, prog, rock and myriad styles of music they followed their own musical mantra, one where harmony, love of the old songs and melody reigned supreme. Yet theirs was no bland pop, not formulaic nor predictable, they produced some of the most inventive pop during their 14-year career. The Carpenters recorded 11 albums, released 31 singles, and toured the world with drummer/vocalist Karen beguiling audiences with her beautiful voice and Richard wowing the public with his keyboard skills and arranging abilities.
Their self-titled third album is for many the pinnacle of their achievements, including as it does, a fabulous medley of Bacharach songs, their 1971 hits "For All We Know," "Rainy Days and Mondays" and the exquisite, "Superstar," written by Bonnie Bramlett and Leon Russell. The latter shows Richard's brilliant ear for a song and is arguably one of Karen's greatest ever-vocal renditions. Even more remarkable is that Karen's first and only take of the track was used on the record. Carpenters earned the duo their second consecutive Album of the Year nomination at the 1972 Grammys, this time losing out to Carole King's Tapestry.