If you are a Carpenters fan, then you know that this duo has been immortalized in a plethora of CD box sets over the years.  Perhaps you’ve wondered which box set of Richard and Karen’s works came first.  The answer might surprise you.

The first Carpenters CD box set was released in 1986 by A&M in Japan and is titled Carpenters Collection.  This set contains 12 CDs and was released under catalog number D300Y3243.  The ‘300’ in the catalog number likely reflects a retail price back then of ¥30,000.

Carpenters Collection contains the ten studio albums from Ticket to Ride through Voice of the Heart.  Disc 11 is Live at The Palladium, a live album that has never been released on CD in the U.S.  This also represents the first release of this live album on CD.  Disc 12 is a 5″ CD single of “Honolulu City Lights”, with “Slow Dance” serving as the “B-side”.  This disc represents the first release of these two songs on CD.

The individual CDs show catalog numbers D300Y3243-1 through D300Y3243-12 and are each packaged in a standard jewel case with a booklet and back insert.  The discs are housed in a white box with a 188-page book.  The book provides lyrics in Japanese and English as well as other Carpenters tidbits, such as a “Singles Chartgraphy”.

All 12 discs in this set were pressed by CBS/Sony.  1986 was a changeover period for the CBS/Sony plant in terms of pressing equipment, so some discs show the early CBS/Sony neat, stamped matrix code font, while others in the set show a later “laser-etched” matrix code font.  Although barcodes began appearing on Japanese CD issues by 1986, these discs do not have barcodes since they are part of the box set and were, therefore, not sold separately.  The discs also do not have obi strips.

In my experience, Carpenters Collection is very rare.  I have only seen the complete set for sale once and have occasionally seen individual titles offered.  It appears as though the sellers of these individual discs were not aware that they came from a box set.

Shown below are pictures of the front of the Carpenters Collection box, the covers to Live at the Palladium and “Honolulu City Lights”/”Slow Dance”, and one disc from the set.

 

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The cover to the box for Carpenters Collection (A&M, catalog number D300Y3243).

 

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The cover for Carpenters Live at The Palladium from the Carpenters Collection box set (A&M, catalog number D300Y3243-11).   This is the first CD issue of this album.

 

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The cover for the Carpenters “Honolulu City Lights” 5″ CD single from the Carpenters Collection box set (A&M, catalog number D300Y3243-12).   The “B-side” is “Slow Dance”.  This disc represents the first release of these two songs on CD.

 

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Carpenters A Kind of Hush CD from the Carpenters Collection box set (A&M, catalog number D300Y3243-7).  The disc was pressed by CBS/Sony.  It has “CSR” stamped on the plastic ring, and the matrix code is “D300Y-3243-7 21A2 +++++”.

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