After much waiting, Richard Charpentier released his new Collection of songs for piano, which brings together solo versions of famous pieces by The carpenters.
The legendary songwriter began teasing the project in October 2021, when he released a new version of “(They Long To Be) Close To You.”
“As for ‘Close To You’ being part of this album, the arrangement I put together for Karen and I was more of a slow mix,” Richard explained. “What I found difficult was keeping the arrangement that worked for the solo piano record. You’ll never know by listening to the finished project, that’s how you want it to sound. You want it to sound like a breeze.
The first single – which Carpenter released on his 75th birthday (October 15) – is as light and magical as he describes it, using the original melody to explore the themes buried beneath the original’s top layer.
On the album, Carpenter brings his unique interpretations to some of the most beloved melodies in the entire pop canon, including enduring hits from his sister Karen and himself like “(They yearn to be) close to you”, “Yesterday Once More”, “Top of the World”, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, and “Rainy Days and Mondays”.
Other highly regarded songs he features from a catalog that has sold over 120 million records worldwide include “I Won’t Last a Day Without You”, “I Need To Be In Love” and “The Rainbow Connection”. It also offers a medley with “Sing”, “Goodbye to Love”, “Eve” and “Rainy Days and Mondays”.
Said Carpenter of the new project: “I’ve not only been into music since I was a kid, but also into records and everything to do with it. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the three big labels were: Columbia, Victor and Decca…Bing Crosby was on Decca!
“When the label asked me if I might be interested in recording an album of Carpenters songs on solo piano, all I could think of was my mom and dad, and what a huge compliment that got. been for their son, who never wanted to practice.
“But it was a challenge. For someone who likes to put everything into production, like our records, adapting them to solo piano was a daunting task, but the piano is a remarkable instrument, with a remarkable range, and I believe I have gave the chosen songs a fairly good read.
Buy or stream Richard Carpenter’s Piano Songbook here.