Carpenters first album, OFFERING, 1969   Carpenters album TICKET TO RIDE, aka OFFERING, 1969


    Music is simple magic. A rhythm, a melody, a dash of words...presto. It's medicine for the soul, food for love, the essence of divinity, a reason for being. It can soar through an infinite range of ups and downs, strike a million dissonant chords, and topple the strongest resistance. But for all its travels, however wide, however deep, it never forgets to make its simple offering. Enclosed, neatly tucked between the confines of this cardboard jacket, is one of the most beautiful gifts two people can offer. The vocal sound is a product of Richard and Karen Carpenter. In addition to the vocals Karen (age 19) plays drums on all the selections and on two of the offerings she plays electric bass... Her brother, Richard, sings, plays the keyboard instruments, composed ten of the songs, and arranged all of them. It is with pleasure A&M Presents: CARPENTERS

                        -Herb Alpert (1969)

    **This album was previously released under the title of "OFFERING". It has been re-designed and re-titled "TICKET TO RIDE". However, the tunes remain the same. CARPENTERS/TICKET TO RIDE/SP 4205

Carpenters TICKET TO RIDE album, back cover, Lake Tahoe, 1969

    Karen & I signed with A&M Records in April, 1969, and almost immediately started work on this album. It is definitely a reflection of its time (pre-1969), with the exception of Ticket To Ride. A number of selections on “Offering” were being performed by our group Spectrum as early as 1967. At that time, Karen was not as much into singing as she later became. This explains the number of my leads on this album. We were so anxious to start recording that we recorded our existing repertoire rather than searching for, or writing new material. The drum, bass, cello, solo, keyboards, and background vocals on Bettis’s and my 1967 anti-establishment song, Your Wonderful Parade are from the demo done in Joe Osborn’s garage studio. Only a new lead and real strings were added. All I Can Do is the demo in its entirety. Both were recorded in 1968. This, to a degree, explains the divergence in approach between the albums “Offering” and “Close To You”.  

    Ticket to Ride is one of our finest tracks.  Since many of The Beatles’ up-tempo songs are as melodic as the ballads, they can be made, with the right approach, into ballads as well.  Not only did I slow the piece down, but changed, or added, some chord changes as well, along with the melody at the end of the choruses, with Karen resolving on a very effective major seven.  This put her in her marvelous lower register on the word “care”, which sounds terrific and adds to the plangent character of the entire chart; after all Ticket To Ride is a sad lyric.  The arrangement ends with a tag of four part harmony (overdubbed, 12 voices in all) singing “Think I’m gonna be sad” that foreshadows the happier “wah” tag that I would later fashion for the ending of Close To You. For a debut album by a young act, “Offering” is not too shabby.  It certainly is filled with a spirit of musical adventure, and exemplifies my assimilation of the many styles of music surrounding me while growing up.  Writes Tom Nolan:  Those unfamiliar with the Carpenters’ origins might be startled to hear their atypical debut LP, released as “Offering” and later retitled “Ticket To Ride”. Some of the later elements of the Carpenters’ style are present, to be sure – a relatively polished production, Karen’s distinctive lead on many tracks, and even a foreshadowing of their subsequent breakthrough single in the lyric of the Richard Carpenter /John Bettis song, Someday, in which Karen sings the very precognitive phrase “close to you” – but the record is unmistakably a product of the pop-rock mainstream of its time.

 The a cappella (sic) Invocation beginning side one echoes the choral religiosity of the Beach Boys’ Our PrayerYour Wonderful Parade is prefaced by Richard declaiming a circus barker’s sleazy-surrealistic monologue a la Herman Hesse via Joseph Byrd, leader of the art-rocking United States of America; while the song itself could have been written by Van Dyke Parks for Harper’s Bizarre.  Other influences discernible throughout include the Mamas & Papas, We Five, and early Nilsson.  There is restrained use of the then-chic toy, phasing.  There are tempo changes; soft but extended jazz-like solos; shimmering Buffalo Springfield-type guitar – and a Buffalo tune, Clancy; as well as the folk-rock staple, Let’s Get Together.  “Offering” tends toward being the sort of album many rock critics were encouraging at the time:  a post-folk, soft-psychedelic Southern Californian mini-oratorio.

“Offering” was later re-packaged and re-released as “Ticket To Ride”, after the minor success of the single of the same name, and the major success of “Close To You”.

                        -Richard Carpenter (1986)

1.                  Invocation     1:01

2.                  Your Wonderful Parade    2:54

3.                  Someday    5:13

4.                  Get Together    2:36

5.                  All Of My Life    3:02

6.                  Turn Away    3:10

7.                  Ticket To Ride    4:10

8.                  Don’t Be Afraid    2:06

9.                  What’s The Use    2:43

10.             All I Can Do    1:41

11.             Eve    2:52

12.             Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing   4:18

13.             Benediction    :43   


Producer: Jack Daugherty

Engineer: Ray Gerhardt

Guest Artists: Herb Alpert

Special Credits:

Bass: Joe Osborn and Bob Messenger

Guitar: Gary Sims

Shaker: Herb Alpert

Art Director: Tom Wilkes

Photography: Jim McCrary


Last Updated June 4, 2008
May 2004  © Richard Carpenter

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