My Mum loved the Carpenters. She could sing along to just about every song on every album. She owned the discography of three artists and the Carpenters were one of the esteemed three.
She did however insist on lifting the needle on the Passage album before the end. That final song was a stepping stone too far for her. It was just too odd. As a child I was not allowed near the Pye radiogram, even though I was a worldly 11 years old when this piece of furniture came into our collective lives. I was promised that I could touch it one day bit until then I had to seek approval for my listening choices from my parents, of course this was a major purchase for a working class family in the day and to be treated with reverence.
This is not the actual radiogram that is long gone to the stereo heaven in the sky.
Once I reached 12 I was given lessons in how to properly operate this portal to another world. I was however limited to my parents listening choices at the time. And that mysterious track on the end of side 2. of the passage album remained out of reach while I was so closely monitored.
The first time after these lessons and I was left alone in the house it was time to discover what that secret last song on the Passage album was. Suddenly I was confronted with Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. Strings, choirs, horns and guitar solos along with Karen Carpenters voice and well sci-fi music, next stop outer space.
As an only child I did not have siblings to confront me with their music, all I had was my parents taste and the odd smatterings I got when I visited the neighbors or got to see occasionally on television on Saturday mornings. I did live quite a sheltered life and the joys of music from left field was about to open up to me, this was after all the time when the rest of the world was discovering punk rock and my brain was being expanded by The Carpenters cover of an odd Klaatu track.