The Carpenters' Offering

Carpenters Offering LP cover
Offering LP cover. Karen in a nun's habit?

In 1969 Richard and Karen Carpenter released their first album on the A&M label, Offering. The album features some of the smooth soon-to-be famous Carpenter pop sound, but is marred by some questionable song selections ("Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing," a great song but not the version here), and a somewhat peculiar cover. The album's single, "Ticket to Ride," didn't do much on the charts, and neither did the album.

In 1970 the Carpenter's released their second album on A&M, Close To You, and the title song, with the Carpenter sound now firmly established, rocketed to #1 on the pop charts, and the rest, to use a tiresome but accurate phrase, is history. Perhaps to cash in on the modest success of "Ticket to Ride," or perhaps unhappiness with the cover photo (it makes Karen look like she weighs about 300 pounds), Offering was retitled Ticket to Ride, and new front and back cover photos were used. The new graphic design was similar to the one on Close To You. The new photos show Richard and Karen relaxing blissfully on a sailboat. The liner notes (by Herb Albert), song lineup and catalog number remained the same.

While the Offering cover has been reproduced widely, the original back cover photo is not quite so well known. Richard and Karen have a little bit of a deer-caught-in-the-headlight look about them. Perhaps the old carpenter's axiom would fit here: "measure twice and saw once."

Carpenters Offering LP back cover
Offering back cover photo.


Carpenters Ticket to Ride LP coverCarpenters Ticket to Ride LP back cover
Repackaged and retitled as Ticket to Ride.