The Carpenters - Now & Then
Sometimes in life the only way you get to try something new is when you have no other choice. This was how I discovered my vinyl of the week - The Carpenters "Now & Then" . Back in the seventies a friend agreed to give us a lift in his camper van for a weekend of camping and surfing down in Croyde, North Devon. At the time, I must admit I was more into my reggae and Motown rather than the Carpenters. However, it was his van, his cassette player so his choice of music. After an hour into the journey, though, forced to listen to one great track after another off the fantastic "Now & Then” album I was a converted Carpenters fan. The music was like receiving a great big hug from a best friend.
In the seventies the brother and sister team of Richard and Karen Carpenter were the biggest selling group, producing hit after hit. Both extremely talented, it was actually Karen that was playing drums on this particular album. To be honest, in my humble opinion, every track is a winner including masterpieces like "Top of the World" .
The album sleeve itself is a absolute classic piece of seventies design. The three panel cover folds out to give a panoramic view of Karen and Richard Carpenter driving past the family home. To add to the delight the car featured was a 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 (Daytona) owned by Richard. The early tragic death of Karen in 1983 is well documented but is made extra sad when you think how much happiness she brought to people through her music. I would be surprised if you haven't heard some music from the Carpenters before but sometimes it's just nice to rediscover an album like this - just pop on the vinyl, put your feet up and let the Carpenters give you a great big hug.