Close To You (Album)(1970)

Close To You (1970)

Carpenters Close To You album cover 1970It all took off for Carpenters with the single “(They Long To Be) Close To You.” The song was first recorded and released as a single in 1963 by Richard Chamberlain and later that same year recorded again by Dionne Warwick. By the time Warwick recorded the song she had already recorded two albums filled with songs written and composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Dionne was known as Burt’s songbird. The song had been given to Herb Alpert as a follow up to his #1 hit, “This Guy’s in Love with You,” another Bacharach/David composition. Alpert was not thrilled with his version and shelved the recording. While working on a follow-up to their semi-hit “Ticket To Ride,” Herb brought the song to the studio and suggested Carpenters record it. At first, Richard Carpenter was apprehensive about the song, but Herb Alpert was certain the song was a good fit for them so they recorded it. The finished product was a true gem. The single was released on May 15, 1970 and on July 25th (just ten weeks later) it topped the charts for the first of four weeks. Billboard ranked the song #2 for the year of 1970 and song went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.

As the single “(They Long To Be) Close To You” climbed the charts Carpenters worked diligently to record and release an album to accompany their huge hit single. The resulting recording “Close To You” was released on August 19, 1970 and rose to #2 on the US charts on it’s way to selling over 2 million copies in the US alone.

The album “Close To You” focused more on what became the traditional Carpenters sound with songs such as “”(They Long To Be) Close To You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Maybe It’s You.” Though the album still maintained some of the versatility and variety we found on their debut album “Offering.” One of the less traditional songs is “Another Song” which is quirky number written and performed in movements similar to a classical piece. The song is jazz-fusion meets classical meets ballad. The extended instrumental jam at the end of the song proves that Carpenters were far more than just singers of love songs. They had deep roots in musicianship and experimentalism. Another such less traditional song is “Mr. Guder” another jazz influenced tune written about a man named Victor Guder who was Richard Carpenter’s boss when he worked at Disneyland (in Anaheim, CA). Mr. Guder ended up firing Richard from the job. The album also includes an ambitious cover of the Beatles’ “Help” laden with a progressive sounding harpsichord performance and a spright vocal performance by Karen Carpenter. “Help” had been slated to be released as a single to follow-up “Ticket To Ride,” though A&M decided against it’s release as they felt this would give the impression that Carpenters were a Beatles covers band.

Two days after the album was released the single “We’ve Only Just Begun” was issued as the second single. The single was released while “(They Long To Be) Close To You” was still in the Top 40. “We’ve Only Just Begun” went on to reach #2 in the US and #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart. The song became an anthem of it’s day having become a popular wedding song throughout the 70’s and was used as a graduation song during the early 70’s.

Album Information

Release Date: August 19, 1970
Catalog Number: SP-4271
Chart Positions: #2 US (87 weeks on chart), #23 UK (76 weeks on chart), #1 Canada, #16 Australia, #53 Japan
Singles: “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun”
B-Sides: “I Kept On Loving You” (b-side of “(They Long To Be) Close To You”), “Mr Guder” (b-side of “Merry Christmas Darling” in 1970 and b-side of “Jambalaya” in 1974), “Maybe It’s You” (B-side of “Hurting Each Other)

Click Here to Purchase Album” Close To You

Album Credits:

  • Producer: Jack Daugherty
  • Arrangements and orchestration: Richard Carpenter
  • All vocals: Karen and Richard Carpenter
  • Drums: Karen Carpenter (“Another Song,” “Mr. Guder” and “Help”) and Hal Blaine (Ludwig Drums)
  • Keyboards: Richard Carpenter (Wurlitzer Piano)
  • Bass: Joe Osborn and Danny Woodhams
  • Woodwinds: Jim Horn, Bob Messenger, Doug Strawn
  • Guitar: Louie Shelton
  • Harp: Gayle Levant
  • Trumpet: Charles Findley
  • Engineer: Ray Gerhardt and Dick Bogert
  • Orchestration/Arrangements: Ron Gorow
  • Art Direction: Tom Wilkes
  • Photography: Kessel/Brehm Photography


Billboard Magazine Album Review (August 1970)

Karen and Richard Carpenter have taken the music world by storm with their beautiful “Close to You” million seller, and they are on their way to repeating that success with their current “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Their smooth blend of voices is evident throughout this LP, which includes both those hits and they should skyrocket up the best selling album charts. Another gem is their treatment of “Baby It’s You.”

– Billboard, 1970.

 

Carpenters Close To You label aside 1970Carpenters close to you label bside 1970

 

 

 

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Close To You (1970)

Discography Links:
Offering (1969) Click Here
Close To You (1970) Click Here
Ticket To Ride (1971) Click Here
Carpenters (1971) Click Here
A Song For You (1972) Click Here
Now & Then (1973) Click Here
Horizon (1975) Click Here
A Kind Of Hush (1976) Click Here
Passage (1977) Click Here
Christmas Portrait (1978) Click Here
Karen Carpenter (Solo)(1980 – Released 1996) Click Here
Made In America (1981) Click Here
Voice Of The Heart (1983) Click Here
An Old Fashioned Christmas (1984) Click Here
Lovelines (1989) Click Here
As Time Goes By (2001) Click Here

 

 

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