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Ultimate Collection Original recording remastered, Import, Best of, Box set

4 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 34.54 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Jan. 22 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Import, Best of, Box set
  • Label: Universal
  • ASIN: B000MQ559I
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Product Description

2007 reissue of the digitally remastered three CD anthology from the '70s superstar duo who ruled the airwaves for the first half of the decade. With Karen's angelic voice and Richard's melodic harmony, their multi-tracked vocal blend was simply irresistible. They recorded a long string of chart hits that includes "Close To You", "We've Only Just Begun", "Rainy Days & Mondays", "Top Of The World", "Sing", "Yesterday Once More", "Only Yesterday" and many more. Those hits also brought further acclaim to composers as well like Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Paul Williams and Leon Russell. 42 tracks total. Universal.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of the Carpenter's but never got around to actually purchasing their music. Well that changed with this purcahse of the best of the best of their duo career. I am very satisfied with the compliation of songs, the package presentation and of course the quality of the sound on these three CDs. A must have for anyone wanting to own the Carpenter's music without going through the hastle of buying every CD.
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By jovigirl on Nov. 26 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Call me cheesy but I have always loved The Carpenters. Something so haunting about her voice and so sad that she died so young. So when I saw this collection on line I couldn't resist! Not disappointed....and when you start playing it you realize just how many hits they had and that you know them all! lol! Great music for sitting by the fire and sipping on a glass of wine!
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By dann denis on Dec 23 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
very good collection of carpeters nice i like listen again about good music ......thank you very much for wonferful music
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By Kelly Lipinski on Nov. 17 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
very good
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 82 reviews
91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
By barry - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
To review this cd collection is simple - short and sweet it has all the hits plus some added extras and the remastering is pure perfection. It seems that with every new collection that came out Richard tinkered with the orchestration, vocal intensity and the songs over time lost all their essence of beauty and power that was there when first recorded.

These songs are all great due to the wonderful arrangements by Richard, the excellent song selection but foremost the rare vocal ability that Karen possessed. Her voice was always so pure with open, honest emotion and an ever constant tinge of melancholy/sadness. To change this in any way denies us of the gift that is Karen Carpenter. Her voice is one of the best of all times. Perfection cannot be enhanced as those other collections tried to do.

These songs I can guarantee are the original versions remastered perfectly and it is very emotional to hear that voice come out so clear, so pure - the voice of an angel. These are the original songs in their original form as you remember them.

All Carpenter fans - this cd will be a dream come true. Purchase it and Karen will live on for you forever.
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Hardly the ultimate for fans, but the best so far for new listeners July 9 2006
By Reyman in SD - Published on
Format: Audio CD
As a die-hard Carpenters fan, I am always happy when another release of their hits comes out, if only to keep their music accessible for new fans. I was particularly pleased with this collection for that group of listeners because of the purity of the content. Ever since A&M and/or Richard Carpenter had been churning out anthologies and hits of collections since Karen's untimely death in 1983, there was always some tinkering done with the original tunes (mostly in re-mixing and re-recorded or newly recorded instrumentals added to the tunes). Soon these "doctored" versions became the only ones you would hear on the radio and on subsequent issues of new hits packages over the years. I believe the only reason this new collection could be made is due to the remastering of all the original Caprenters albums which came out a few years back. The first two discs of this collection plays out (for the most part) as a history of their single releases in chonological order, although these are all the ALBUM versions of those songs. This is not a true all-encompassing "Singles" collection, as there are some actual single releases missing (Merry Christmas Darling, Honolulu City Lights - both of which I assume were not included because a remastered version does not exist for these as yet) and some that are included that to the best of my knowledge were not actual single releases (This Masquerade, Desperado). It is really wonderful, however, to hear the bulk of their early hits in their pristine, original form as I remember them from the old LPs they came from, and more importantly, without the somewhat irritating flourishes Richard added to some of these hits post 1983 (which particularly made We've Only Just Begun and Superstar become heavyhanded and unlistenable IMHO). Why he chose to tinker with the lovely arrangements he orginally committed to vinyl back in 1970-71 is still a mystery to me. I am glad that recent converts to the Carpenters sound can now hear these two tunes in the versions that earned Richard well deserved Grammy nominations as arranger in 1970 and 1971. As I know what a perfectionist Richard is, I was puzzled with why Yesterday Once More was not better edited to omit the motorcycle intro (which on the album led to their oldies medley - on this collection it doesn't make any sense to have left it in). The reason I call this collection as hardly being the ultimate for true Carpenters fans is that if it is really an Ultimate Collection, it should either be a true singles collection, with the original version of Merry Christmas Darling and Karen's Magic Lamp releases, OR it should be an ultimate collection in the sense that it contain more historical recordings such as their RCA sessions, alternate takes of their hits, and the always sought after unreleased material such as the work from their TV shows that have not been released, or appearances on Carol Burnett or the Tonight Show. Now THAT would be an Ultimate Collection!
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Time to clear up the confusion: There are two Carpenters collections with this name, this is the less desirable one Jan. 23 2010
By David Pearlman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Reading the reviews already written for this collection, I can see there's some confusion. Some say the collection includes "Goofus", some say it doesn't. Some say it uses the original mixes, rarely used on CDs, others suggest no.

Here's the answer: A 3 disc version of this collection, The Ultimate Collection, was issued in The Netherlands that A) contained Goofus (among other substitutions) and B) used all the original mixes. (The 3rd CD, included as a bonus, added 7 tracks from Karen and Richard solo efforts.)

This Dutch version of The Ultimate Collection was quickly deleted from the catalog, and it is widely believed that that occurred because he Richard Carpenter did not authorize a collection using the original mixes. (Richard has remixed many of the Carpenters tracks for the CD age, sometimes multiple times, and those who grew up with the original versions do not necessarily consider this a plus).

Subsequently, another Carpenters collection, also titled "The Ultimate Collection", was issued in Europe and other parts of the world. THAT'S the collection listed here. In place of Goofus, it substitutes Sandy, and there are a few other track substitutions as well. This collection uses the CD era mixes for songs that have been used on basically every other Carpenters collection issued in the CD era.

While the Dutch "Ultimate Collection" is desirable for the uncommon original mixes, this collection is no better or worse than the many similar 2CD best-ofs that are available. The material is excellent and the mixes are modern (for good or bad).

For those curious, here's the track listing for the original Dutch "The Ultimate Collection". These were all the original mixes, and by comparison to the track listing for the CD being sold here, you can determine the handful of song differences:

Disc 1:

1. Ticket to Ride
2. (They Long to Be) Close to You
3. We've Only Just Begun
4. For All We Know
5. Rainy Days and Mondays
6. Superstar
7. Bless the Beasts and Children
8. Hurting Each Other
9. It's Going to Take Some Time
10. Goodbye to Love
11. Top of the World
12. I Won't Last a Day Without You
13. Sing
14. Yesterday Once More
15. This Masquerade
16. Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
17. Please Mr. Postman

Disc 2:

1. Desperado
2. Only Yesterday
3. Solitaire
4. There's a Kind of Hush
5. I Need to Be In Love
6. Goofus *
7. All You Get from Love is a Love Song
8. Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft (The Recognized Anthem of World Contact Day)
9. Sweet Sweet Smile
10. I Believe You
11. Touch Me When We're Dancing
12. (Want You) Back In My Life Again *
13. Those Good Old Dreams
14. Beechwood 4-5789
15. Now
16. Make Believe It's Your First Time *
17. Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again

Disc 3:

1. Lovelines (Karen Carpenter)
2. If I Had You (Karen Carpenter)
3. Still Crazy After All These Years (Karen Carpenter)
4. When Time Was All We Had (Richard Carpenter)
5. Calling Your Name Again (Richard Carpenter)
6. Sandy (Richard Carpenter)
7. Karen's Theme (Richard Carpenter)

Here's a link to the original Dutch issue on Amazon. It's out of print, but a used copy might eventually show up. Be very careful, if one does, to contact the seller first to ensure they have not mis-listed the CD based only on title...

The Ultimate Collection
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not the original "Ultimate Collection". Jan. 8 2011
By Jack Bert - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well after listening to it more - the remixes are satisfying. Though frustrating at first after extended listening I like it as an alternative to the others. The music is so basically great it allows a 2nd access to it through some changes that give a much "bigger & better" feeling to the production.

As you shop the Carpenters you have the original radio hits and then remixes. Yes it is confusing:
Check first! One of these "Carpenters, The Ultimate Collection" is NOT the one commented on by five & four star reviewers but a new substituted group of disks. Remixes have been substituted for the best originals. Check for the substitutes below and you have found the fake version of "The Ultimate Collection" then buy the real version with the originals not remixes.


2. (They Long To Be) Close To You (1991 Remix)
4. For All We Know (From "Lovers & Other Strangers")
12. I Won't Last A Day Without You (1991 Remix)
22. I Need To Be In Love (1991 Remix)
35. Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again (1995 "Interpretations" Version)

I leave this review as a 1 rating only to show how much this different form grows on you becoming a 5 rating over time.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
ORIGINAL versions of Carpenters classics! July 14 2010
By Charles F. Held Jr. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Richard Carpenter has been compared to George Lucas... a backhanded compliment acknowledging his artistic and technical genius but lamenting his inability to get out of his own way. Case in point: his (apparent) squelching of this outstanding and unique compilation after learning that Dutch Universal had used the ORIGINAL ALBUM VERSIONS, taken from the same digital masters as the "Remastered Classics" series. This version of "Ultimate Collection" was quickly pulled from the market and re-released with a different track listing and with Richard's latter-day remixes.

So, if you want the airplane sound at the end of "Yesterday Once More" the long false end to "Close To You" and all the songs as originally released on album before RC started re-recording piano and bass parts and drenching the vocals in reverb, you have two choices: track down all the discs in the Remastered Classics series (super-difficult and expensive, as many of those discs are also currently out-of-print), or hunt down a copy of this set. Make absolutely sure you confirm with the seller that you're getting the correct version - the easiest way is to ask if the song has "Goofus" as track 6 on disc 2.