‘Live At The Palladium’: When The Carpenters Ruled The London Stage

Now deleted, the album was only released in the UK and Japan and is something of a collectors’ item for fans of Karen and Richard.

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Carpenters 'Live At The Palladium' artwork - Courtesy: UMG
Carpenters 'Live At The Palladium' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

In the time between their albums A Kind Of Hush and Passagethe Carpenters took time to visit their huge British fan base, and play a week of shows at the world-famous London Palladium. The results were recorded for an album that’s something of a collector’s item for fans of Karen and Richard, as Live At The Palladium was only released in the UK and Japan, and is now sadly deleted. On January 8, 1977, the album made its debut on the British charts.

Three years earlier, the Carpenters had performed at the Festival Hall in Osaka, a performance captured on Live In Japan, an even greater rarity in their catalog as it was only issued in that country, in 1975. There’s never been an official live album by the duo issued in the US.

Live At The Palladium contained a 15-minute medley of their hits, in a show featuring their A-list band including guitarist Tony Peluso, who was on hand to reprise his famous solo on “Goodbye To Love.” In 2012, journalist Ian Tasker, who was at one of the shows, reminisced about it in The Guardian newspaper.

Close to perfection

“What they served up was about as close to perfection as pop music can get,” he wrote. “Karen Carpenter’s voice was surely one of pop music’s finest, and her effortlessly warm and velvety voice was a revelation as she and the band went through ‘Close To You,’ ‘Only Yesterday,’ and ‘Rainy Days and Mondays.’”

The set, and the album, also included a George Gershwin medley showcasing Karen on drums, taking in “Strike Up The Band,” “S’Wonderful” and “Fascinatin’ Rhythm.” Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” was followed by a version of Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On.”

The album debuted at its No.28 peak in the UK, but it’s a record remembered with great fondness by their millions of admirers. uDiscover Music reader Geoff Ward has a particular reason to recall it with affection. “I was Karen’s driver on that UK tour that included the Palladium,” he told us. “She was one lovely lady. I have some lovely memories of her and of taking her mum and dad to my boss’s restaurant.”

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




  1. Carol L Graves

    January 8, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    So Lovely We lost a Great Lady and a Great voice i am sure she is singing with God and we have the memories Thanks so much Carol Graves.

  2. shelly;;y of Virginia

    January 9, 2015 at 4:33 am

    I was a young married mom when Karen was singing her songs and I enjoyed her so much and so did my little girl, who by the way, still loved her as a young woman herself. Karen surpasses generation gaps. My favorite song….We’ve Only Just Begun.
    Shelly of Virginia

  3. Karen Knight

    January 9, 2015 at 8:23 am

    i remember buying the album straight away, lucky to have it on vinyl & CD. Terrific. I did not see Richard, Karen & the Crew in London, but at the Birmingham Hippadrome In 1976. Never forget it. Since then my late Father told me that he was so worried that I would be disappointed. He was there too, & could not believe how marvellous Karen’s voice was live. Me, I new it would be & Dad loved her voice for ever.

    • Denise

      November 21, 2015 at 1:35 am

      Hi Karen. Just wanted to tell you I too saw Karen and Richard at Birmingham Hippodrome on 20 November 1976, I was at the first of the two concerts they gave that evening. I was practically falling over myself with excitement, having missed out on seeing them in Birmingham the previous year when they had to cancel their tour due to Karen’s illness.

      It was a wonderful concert, and something happened that I, just turned 18 at the time, honestly didn’t totally appreciate the significance of. I was there with my Mum and we were incredibly lucky to be sitting on the front row. During their performance of “Sing”, Karen and Richard came down into the audience and Karen got people on our row singing along with her in the “lalalalala” chorus. There was a heartstopping moment when she nearly tripped over my Mum’s bag (and commented on it!), but it didn’t stop her holding the mic out to Mum and me and getting us to sing along with her. It was a lovely moment, but to be honest It only really hit me a few years ago that I, and my Mum, had shared a mic with probably the greatest female pop vocalist of all time. I can’t believe this time next year will mark the 40th anniversary of that concert – where did all those years go?

  4. alisa

    January 9, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I was lucky enough to see them 3 times in concerts on the US east coast. Perfection each time.

  5. Pavel Janovjak

    January 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Although I am comming from Europe and in the time Carpenters were at their hights, i found this music in my teenage time so beautiful and different from other mainstreams. i am still touched by the song “Calling occupants from Interplanetary craft”. Sorry that Karen past away so early. I agree she plays with the God up there.

  6. R James

    February 5, 2015 at 12:02 am

    WOW. what a talentfor the ages. Beyond words in concert. Missin ya. God Bless

  7. geoff ward

    September 5, 2015 at 12:04 am

    I was Karens driver on that UK tour that included the Palladium. She was one lovely lady. I have some lovely memories of her and of taking her Mum and Dad to my boss’s restaurant

  8. Kenny

    January 9, 2016 at 12:43 am

    wasn’t this actually at the new London now 53 and have loved them since I was 7 years old sadly never seen them live.

  9. David Lee

    January 9, 2016 at 2:38 am

    1975, I am almost 12-year-old and spending some time at my aunt’s house during the summer school holiday. I was rather new to music in general, and up to that moment never bought a vinyl by myself. My 17-year-old cousin had the ‘Horizon’ album and I started playing it. I could not believe how extraordinary it was and how much Karen’s voice influenced me. The city where my aunt lived was very small and isolated, so there was only one music shop; I said to myself: I want this. I really want ‘Horizon’. So off I went to the shop but all I could find was ‘Ticket To Ride’ from 1969.. I was disappointed, but I bought it nevertheless. Yes, it was indeed the first album I ever bought! And it didn’t disappoint, although ‘Horizon’ was more complete as an album, ‘Ticket To Ride’ had it beautiful charm and I still have it 41 years later! Needless to say, when I returned home in September I bought ‘Horizon’ and then started collecting them, the last one was of course ‘Made in America’ (1981). I love Karen so much, her voice, but not just her voice. Her beautiful personality and her truth which always shined through her singing. And Richard completed her so well with his music; what a magical duo. The Carpenters have a great part of my early teens to this day. I will always love them. Here is to you, Karen & Richard!

  10. Colm mcmahon

    January 10, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I Love the carpenters I.have all her LP and DVDs and I watch the carpenters on YouTube I wish she was still alive today. So sad

  11. Andy

    October 29, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    I saw The Carpenters at the Palladium…fantastic night!….Tony Peluso had his leg in a plaster cast…but it didn’t affect his playing!…Happy Memories!

    • Denise

      November 11, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Glad you mentioned Tony Peluso. He did indeed have his leg in a plaster cast, having suffered what must have been a severe break as I’m pretty sure the accident had occurred around 12 months earlier. It didn’t stop him performing brilliantly however, and he was totally wonderful in his iconic “Goodbye to Love” solo. I was lucky enough to see the band at Birmingham Hippodrome and will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of that wonderful occasion on Sunday 20 November by watching a recording of the BBC special and raising a glass to the memory of our dear, much missed Karen and remembering Tony P as well.

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