(They Long to Be) Close to You
|"(They Long to Be) Close to You"|
A-side label of U.S. 7-inch single
|Single by Carpenters|
|from the album Close to You|
|B-side||"I Kept on Lovin' You"|
|Released||May 15, 1970|
|Genre||Pop, soft rock|
|Carpenters singles chronology|
|Close to You track listing|
The song was first recorded by Richard Chamberlain and released as a single in 1963 as "They Long to Be Close to You", without parentheses. However, only that single's flip side, "Blue Guitar", became a hit. The tune was also recorded as a demo by Dionne Warwick in 1963 and re-recorded with a Burt Bacharach arrangement for her 1964 album Make Way for Dionne Warwick, and was released as the B-side of her 1965 single "Here I Am". Bacharach released his own version in 1971. But the version recorded by Carpenters with instrumental backing by L.A. studio musicians from the Wrecking Crew, which became a hit in 1970, is the best known.
In 1970, it was released by the Carpenters on their album Close to You, and it became their breakthrough hit. The song stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. This song was originally given to Herb Alpert as a follow up to his number one hit, "This Guy's in Love with You", another Bacharach-David composition. Alpert was not thrilled with his version and shelved the recording. Looking for a follow-up to their first A&M Records/Billboard number 54 recording "Ticket to Ride", in 1969 Alpert decided to give it to the Carpenters (Alpert's version was released in 2005 on the Tijuana Brass album Lost Treasures 1963–1974). Richard had stated that when Alpert introduced the song to him back in early 1970, he was a bit apprehensive about the song. He and Alpert collaborated on the song, and the finished product was a 4-minute, 36-second long song. When A&M Records decided to remove the extended coda and release it as a 3-minute, 40-second long single in May 1970, it became A&M's biggest hit since Alpert's "This Guy's in Love with You" from 1968. Billboard ranked it as the number 2 song for 1970.
With "(They Long to Be) Close to You", Carpenters earned a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1971. It became the first of three Grammy Awards they would win during their careers.
Richard had originally written the flugelhorn solo part for Herb Alpert, but when he was unavailable, Chuck Findley was brought in. Richard later commented: "Chuck didn't play it that way at first, but I worked with him and he nailed it. A lot of people thought it was Herb – Bacharach thought so, too. But it's the way Findley is playing it."
- Karen Carpenter – lead and backing vocals
- Richard Carpenter – backing vocals, piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, harpsichord, orchestration
- Joe Osborn – bass
- Hal Blaine – drums
- Chuck Findley – trumpet
- Bob Messenger – flute
- uncredited – vibraphone
Other cover versions
- In 1966 Adrienne Posta released a single version on Decca in the UK.
- In 1972 the song again became a hit when recorded by Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager. It went to number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.
- In 1976 another hit version was released by B.T. Express, peaking at number 31 on the R&B chart.
- Gwen Guthrie had a UK number 25 hit with a version released in 1986.
- Matt Monro covered it in 1988; this version was used in From Paris with Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
- The Cranberries covered it in 1994; this version was used on No Need To Argue (The Complete Sessions 1994-1995).
- It was also a theme song for the 2002 Hong Kong action film So Close, starring Shu Qi, Zhao Wei, and Karen Mok.
- Josefine Cronholm recorded a version for the 2005 film MirrorMask and was included on the film's soundtrack
- Barry Manilow covered it on his 2007 album "The Greatest Songs of the Seventies".
- The song is the lead single from Harry Connick, Jr.'s 2009 album, Your Songs, and it was released on August 25, 2009. Clive Davisrecommended "(They Long to Be) Close to You" for the album. Connick sings backed by his big band, a piano, and a string orchestra, with a solo by trumpeter Leroy Jones.
- Jacob Collier arranged, produced, and performed a re-harmonized cover of the song in 2014.
In popular culture
- In episode of The Simpsons, The Way We Was (1991) in a flashback scene when Homer first meets Marge the song is playing in his mind. Later in the series, in The Two Mrs. Nahasapeemapetilons (1997) an Indian translation of the song can be heard at Apu's wedding. In Maximum Homerdrive (1999) Marge is determined to find a doorbell that plays the song. It also features in The Simpsons Movie (2007), in which it is revealed that it was played at the wedding of Homer and Marge as well. As background music, it can be heard in an episode released ten years later, Moho House (2017), as Homer delivers a gift to Marge.
- In 1997, a documentary on the Carpenters was made, titled Close to You: Remembering The Carpenters.
- In 2002, another documentary was made by BBC, titled Close to You: Story of the Carpenters.
- The song was played in the trailer of the 2016 film The Angry Birds Movie.
- In the 1989 film, Parenthood , Nathan serenades his wife with "Close To You".
- In the 1978 TV special Mickey's 50, on which The Carpenters made a guest appearance, Karen Carpenter sings the lyrics "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E" to the opening bars of the song.
- Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew. St. Martin’s Griffin. pp. 261–263. ISBN 978-1-250-03046-7.
- "Carpenters Close To You (Album 1970) Karen Carpenter". leadsister.com. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1970
- Randy L. Schmidt (2012). Yesterday Once More: The Carpenters Reader. Chicago Review Press. p. 303.
- Schmidt, Randy L. (13 August 2017). "Yesterday Once More: The Carpenters Reader". Chicago Review Press. Retrieved 13 August 2017 – via Google Books.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1970-08-15. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – (They Long to Be) Close to You". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- "Carpenters: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "Carpenters Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "Carpenters Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "Cash Box Top 100 8/08/70". Tropicalglen.com. 1970-08-08. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Australian Chart Book". Austchartbook.com.au. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". collectionscanada.gc.ca.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1970/Top 100 Songs of 1970". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1970". Tropicalglen.com. 1970-12-26. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
- Harry Connick Jr. Announces New Album Produced by Clive Davis, Vintageguitar.com, July 30, 2009. Accessed 2009-08-13. Archived 2009-08-15.
- Collier, Jacob. "Close to You - Jacob Collier". YouTube. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
- Hadi, Eddino Abdul. "Ill, but still so entertaining". The Straits Times. Retrieved 8 July 2018.