Carpenters is the third studio album by The Carpenters. Released on May 14, 1971, the album was successful, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and #12 in the United Kingdom. With the hit songs "For All We Know," "Rainy Days and Mondays," and "Superstar," Carpenters solidified Karen Carpenter as one of her generation's most endearing pop vocalists. It has been said that the strength of these recordings is what caused Richard Carpenter to ask his sister to front the band instead of playing behind the drums on every live performance. Amongst many fans, the album has simply been referred to as The Tan Album, because the album itself is like a tan envelope, and is presumably a play on The Beatles' so-called White Album. In Cash Box's Top 100 Albums of 1971, Carpenters peaked at #8. This is the first album to feature the familiar Carpenters emblem.
This is not the first album featuring tracks with Richard Carpenter singing lead vocal, with Karen in the background, as opposed to the other tracks. "Druscilla Penny" and "Saturday" are both led by Richard Carpenter, though neither were released as singles nor charted as hits.