Now & Then (The Carpenters album)

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Now & Then
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1, 1973
StudioA&M Studios, Hollywood
  • Richard Carpenter
  • Karen Carpenter
Carpenters chronology
A Song for You
Now & Then
The Singles: 1969–1973
Carpenters studio album chronology
A Song for You
Now & Then
Singles from Now & Then
  1. "Sing"
    Released: January 13, 1973
  2. "Yesterday Once More"
    Released: May 16, 1973
  3. "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"
    Released: 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone(Unfavorable)[2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[3]

Now & Then is the fifth studio album by American music duo Carpenters, released on May 1, 1973. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart on July 21, 1973,[4] and ranked No. 20 on the Cash Box year-end pop albums chart.[5] The title, suggested by Karen and Richard's mother Agnes, was taken from a leftover song that did not appear on the album.[6]


As an outgrowth of the Rick Nelson Garden Party incident, an oldies revival occurred in pop music around 1973, and Side B of the album features an oldies medley.[citation needed] The medley starts with the Carpenters' original song "Yesterday Once More". Tony Peluso, the Carpenters' guitarist who made his debut on the 1972 album A Song for You, is heard as a radio DJ throughout the medley, which includes such songs as "The End of the World", "Dead Man's Curve", "Johnny Angel" and "One Fine Day".[citation needed] Peluso would also be heard as a DJ on the Carpenters' "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft" recording in 1977. The medley also features Mark Rudolph, a cousin of the Carpenters, as the listener who calls in during "Guess the Golden Goodies Group Contest".[citation needed]

Now & Then is one of only two albums for which Karen Carpenter performed all or most of the drumming, the other being Offering (later re-released as Ticket to Ride). She plays all of the drum tracks with the exception of "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)", for which session drummer Hal Blaine played drums.[citation needed]

The album was released on May 1, 1973, the same day on which the Carpenters performed at the White House following a state dinner for West German chancellor Willy Brandt.


The album's lead track, "Sing", was written by Sesame Street's frequent composer Joe Raposo. Karen and Richard had first heard the song while on the set of a Robert Young television special. A&M Records did not wish to release it as a single, but Richard insisted, confident it would be a hit. "Sing" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 21, 1973.[6][7]

Richard wrote "Yesterday Once More" after hearing the melody in his head while driving one day. The temporary lyrics for the chorus, which he intended to change later, were kept after lyricist and former bandmate John Bettis told Richard, "This 'Sha-la-la-wo-wo-wo' stuff sounds pretty good!"[6] The single peaked at No. 2 on July 28, 1973,[8] and became the duo's biggest worldwide hit.[6]

"Yesterday Once More" was issued as a promo single in the UK in 1973[9] and "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" was issued as a promo single in the UK in 1974.</ref>[10]


The LP album features a three-panel cover that folds out, showing a panoramic view of Karen and Richard Carpenter driving past the Carpenter family home on Newville Avenue in Downey, California. Karen and Richard had bought the five-bedroom house for their parents in 1970. Karen collapsed in the upstairs bedroom of the house while suffering the heart attack that ultimately claimed her life in 1983. The property also contained an annex, now destroyed, that served as Richard and Karen's home studio and housed their awards and certification plaques.

In February 2008, fans created a worldwide awareness campaign about the impending demolition of the Carpenter family house that appears on the album cover, which had become a tourist attraction.[citation needed] The home's owners, who had purchased it in 1997 from Richard Carpenter after his mother's death in 1996, were frustrated with fans coming to the house and asking to be shown around, and they wanted to raze it.[citation needed]

The car pictured on the cover is Richard's 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ("Daytona"). He later sold the car, but bought another of the same type in 1995.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Sing" (Joe Raposo)3:20
2."This Masquerade" (Leon Russell)4:50
3."Heather" (Johnny Pearson)2:47
4."Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" (Hank Williams)3:40
5."I Can't Make Music" (Randy Edelman)3:17
Side two
6."Yesterday Once More" 18:05
7."Yesterday Once More (reprise)" (Bettis, Carpenter)0:58
CD edition
6."Yesterday Once More"3:50
7."Fun, Fun, Fun"1:32
8."The End of the World"2:25
9."Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)"1:43
10."Dead Man's Curve"1:40
11."Johnny Angel"1:30
12."The Night Has a Thousand Eyes"1:45
13."Our Day Will Come"2:00
14."One Fine Day"1:40
15."Yesterday Once More" (reprise)0:58


  • Richard Carpenter – keyboards, lead and backing vocals, arranger, orchestration, producer
  • Karen Carpenter – drums (except on "Jambalaya"), lead and backing vocals, producer
  • Hal Blaine – drums on "Jambalaya"
  • Joe Osborn – bass
  • Bob Messenger – flute, tenor saxophone
  • Doug Strawn – baritone saxophone
  • Tom Scott – recorder
  • Tony Peluso – lead and rhythm guitars, spoken word (DJ) on "Yesterday Once More"
  • Gary Sims – rhythm guitar
  • Buddy Emmons – steel guitar
  • Jay Dee Maness – steel guitar
  • Earl Dumler – oboe, bass oboe, English horn
  • The Jimmy Joyce Children's Chorus – backing vocals on "Sing"


  • Ray Gerhardt – engineer
  • Roger Young – assistant engineer
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering engineer
  • Roland Young – art direction
  • Jim McCrary – photography (front cover)
  • Design Maru – illustrations (front cover)
  • Len Freas – illustrations (inside cover)


Decade-end charts[edit]

Chart (1970s) Position
Japanese Albums Chart[23] 25


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (Oricon Charts) 514,000[24]
Netherlands (NVPI)[25] Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[26] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[27] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. Now & Then at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-29.
  2. ^ Fletcher, Gordon (July 5, 1973). "Music Reviews : Now and Then by the Carpenters". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  3. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 140. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  4. ^ "Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  5. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Albums - 1973". Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  6. ^ a b c d Schmidt, Randy (2012). Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-769-3.
  7. ^ "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  8. ^ "The Hot 100 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 4877". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  13. ^ " – Carpenters – Now & Then" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  14. ^ "Yamachan Land (Japanese Chart Archives) - Albums Chart Daijiten - Carpenters" (in Japanese). Original Confidence. 2007-12-30. Retrieved 2012-02-22.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ " – Carpenters – Now & the Then". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  16. ^ "Carpenters | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  17. ^ "Carpenters Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  18. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1973" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Top-ten of the Japanese Year-End Albums Charts 1970-1974" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-10.
  20. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Archived from the original on 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2011-09-12.
  21. ^ "Top Pop Albums of 1973". Retrieved 2012-02-21.
  22. ^ "Dutch charts jaaroverzichten 1974" (ASP) (in Dutch). Retrieved April 2, 2014.
  23. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  24. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  25. ^ Van Der Beek, Frans (8 June 1974). "Amsterdam". Billboard. p. 48. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  26. ^ "British album certifications – Carpenters – Now and Then". British Phonographic Industry.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Now and Then in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  27. ^ "American album certifications – Carpenters – Now and Then". Recording Industry Association of America.