‘Horizon’: Another Hit Album Comes Into View For The Carpenters

Their sixth LP included such signature songs as ‘Please Mr. Postman,’ ‘Only Yesterday,’ and ‘Solitaire.’

Published on

Carpenters 'Horizon' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Carpenters 'Horizon' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

When the Carpenters’ sixth studio album Horizon was released on June 6, 1975, it already boasted two smash hits, with a third just weeks away. By the end of July, the LP itself was starting a second spell at No.1 in one of the bedrocks of the duo’s fan base, the UK.

It was the Carpenters’ clever choice of singles, released ahead of the album, that helped Horizon to be such a phenomenal success. First up was their cover of the Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman,” released in November 1974, which went to No.1 in the US and Australia and was a major success around the world.

A final US Top 10 hit

Their next single release from the album was “Only Yesterday,” a song written by Richard and longtime collaborator, John Bettis. It made No.4 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 29, 1974 and became a Top 5 global single; it also has the distinction of being the duo’s twelfth and last Top 10 American hit. For their next move, Richard and Karen Carpenter would release their version of Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody’s “Solitaire,” which became another hit. But before the July release of that single, Horizon itself was in the spotlight.

Carpenters - Only Yesterday

Click to load video

It debuted on the Billboard album chart at No.38 and climbed into the Top 20 in its fourth week, but perhaps surprisingly, its progress then slowed down. The LP ran out of momentum in a three-week stay at No.13, but the set would nevertheless become the duo’s sixth consecutive US platinum release. Horizon topped the international countdown in Japan, and had two spells at No.1 in the UK: for two weeks from July 5, and three more from July 26.

Listen to the best of the Carpenters on Apple Music and Spotify. 

The other attractions on the record included a version of the 1930s copyright (and 1949 Andrews Sisters hit) “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” and a cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado.” Ironically, the album climbed to No.13 in the US in the week that that band hit the top of the list with their One Of These Nights LP.

‘Diaphonous multiharmonies’

In a positive review for Rolling Stone at the time, Stephen Holden wrote: “Against the carefully structured sound of the Carpenter formula, wherein Karen’s solos burst in and out of diaphonous multiharmonies, Richard has imposed more elaborately orchestrated textures than before and wisely mixed them at a level that doesn’t distract attention from Karen’s intimately mixed singing.”

Billboard, for their part, observed that the “grand, eloquent sound of their superb backup arrangements gives this act a special launching pad with which to catapult its vocal sound.”

Buy or stream the Carpenters’ Horizon.



  1. Eduardi

    July 1, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    me gusta la numero 4 pero todas las canciones son hermosas, a mi esposa Monica y a mi nos agrada mucho y disfrutamos de esta musica inolvidable. gracias

  2. Barry Slaney

    July 2, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Solitaire was my favourite Carpenters song.

    • Barry Slaney

      July 2, 2015 at 6:54 am

      I said was, but life changes over the years . . Look forward to future happiness.

  3. marcela

    July 26, 2015 at 1:37 am

    they were part of my teen agers seasons and i i never can undersatnd why she is not here with us never can left to listen theirs music.

  4. Richard

    July 26, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Loved their music, and was heart broken when she left us

  5. Håkan Blomqvist

    July 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Voi sitä oltiin nuoria,kun nämä ilmestyivät.Tosi ihanaa ja mukavaa musiikkia heillä..

  6. Dammike Jayakody

    July 26, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Oh my God…How much I loved them…!!! Such a feelings coming over me…

  7. Sue

    July 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    Such a waste of talent when Karen died. I still love their music and have all their albums.

  8. Jose Rivera

    July 27, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    How much I love this brothers its so sad that that she left us.

  9. Richard Pilgreen

    July 31, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    How strangely rare it was that a young boy was born, Richard, who was very early recognized as being a musical genius, would just happen to have, a few years later, a little baby sister who would grow to become, arguably, the best female pop singer of the twentieth century! How rare indeed? Richard and Karen, blessed by the angels, became a national treasure and we, who love beauty in art, are to this day, blessed by their having lived!

  10. Ronney Hamilton

    June 28, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    They were wonderful together and made so many marvelous musical memories! I feel richer for having their rich music qualities they gave to us all! They touched so many lives!

  11. Shelton Bailey

    July 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

    I was just 10 years old when the “Horizon” LP was released. The entire album is exquisite but “Only Yesterday” became my instant favourite and is still one of my all-time favourite songs. Karen Carpenter’s voice and the songs that were perfectly tailored to fit have made me a lifelong fan.

  12. Leandro

    June 6, 2024 at 11:42 am

    My favorite album ever!
    Only Yesterday is my favorite song ever!
    That song has so much beauty, warmth, emotion, and richness.

    IMHO releasing the album so long after the two lead singles was the reason the album didn’t chart better. It should have been released one month after Only Yesterday hit the stations.
    Nevertheless, it’s still a real masterpiece!

    Karen is the best!
    Always miss her S2

  13. David Small

    June 6, 2024 at 1:11 pm

    A classic album arguably their best. The production was sublime with Richsrd Carpenter mastering the 24 track technology for the first time. The previous couple of albums had been 16 track and 8 track for their first. Several tracks were strong enough to be singles and that was their goal when recording Horizon. Only Yesterday remains my favourite Richard Carpenter/John Bettis composition.

  14. Carolien Martens

    June 7, 2024 at 12:13 am

    From the first note I heard from Karen,in 1973, when I was almost 13 years old,
    I was mezmorized by her voice. After more than 50 years, I´ m still a big fan. This album, and ‘When time goes by’ are still missing from my collection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter (Limited-Edition Smoke Color LP)
Johnny Cash - Songwriter CD
Johnny Cash
Songwriter CD
Johnny Cash - Songwriter LP
Johnny Cash
Songwriter LP
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP+7
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping (Limited 2LP + 7″)
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2CD
Paul McCartney & Wings - One Hand Clapping 2LP
Paul McCartney & Wings
One Hand Clapping 2LP
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top