Close to You (The Carpenters album)
|Close to You|
|Studio album by The Carpenters|
|Released||August 19, 1970|
|Recorded||1969 – May 15, 1970|
|Studio||A&M Studios, Hollywood|
|Genre||Pop, easy listening, Soft rock|
|The Carpenters chronology|
|Singles from Close to You|
Close to You is the second studio album by American duo The Carpenters, released on August 19, 1970. In 2003, the album was ranked number 175 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. The album contains the hit singles "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and "We've Only Just Begun". The former was the duo's song that gained the Carpenters an international reputation for a decade. The album topped the Canadian Albums Chart and peaked at #2 on the US Billboard albums chart. It was also successful in the United Kingdom, entering the top 50 of the official chart for 76 weeks during the first half of the 1970s.
"(They Long to Be) Close to You" was the first Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition Carpenters covered. The song was recorded time and time again during the sixties, but didn't do well at all until the Carpenters version. It became Richard and Karen Carpenter's first RIAA-certified Gold single, as well as their first Billboard Hot 100 single that reached the Top 10. It stayed at number 1 for 4 weeks, and became Carpenters' iconic song.
"We've Only Just Begun" started out as a commercial for Crocker Citizen's Bank in 1970, composed by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols. The commercial showed a couple getting married and starting their life together. In August 1970, it became the Carpenters' second RIAA-certified Gold single. Richard regards this as the duo's signature song.
Originally written by Ralph Carmichael for the early contemporary Christian musical Tell It Like It Is, "Love Is Surrender" was a song Richard and Karen heard during their teen years. Several of the overtly Christian lyrics were changed for this version, notably from "Without Him, love is not to be found" to "Without love you are not to be found" and "You must surrender to His will" to "You must surrender if you care." The arrangement is based on one recorded by Carmichael on his album, I Looked for Love. The original Carmichael recording was mid-tempo, but Richard recorded it up-tempo with extra percussion. The Carpenters' recording is one of only two tracks on the album on which Richard Carpenter performs lead vocals.
"Maybe It's You" is a song written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis for their previous band, Spectrum. It's a very low-key song, with an oboe solo by Doug Strawn.
"Reason to Believe" is a song composed by Tim Hardin in the 1960s. Rod Stewart made a hit with it in 1971. Karen claimed in a live concert that the reason why they love the song is because it was one of the first songs they performed together as a group.
"Help!" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney in early 1965. Carpenters produced three Beatles covers ("Ticket to Ride", "Help", and "Can't Buy Me Love", the last from Your Navy Presents).
"I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is the third consecutive Burt Bacharach composition on the album. It was included on their medley the following year, on the album Carpenters. According to Tom Riddle of Your Navy Presents, there was a 29 part vocal harmony on the song. Originally part of the score for Bacharach and David's 1968 musical Promises, Promises, the song had provided a top-ten hit for Dionne Warwick in January 1970.
Originally performed by Karen and Richard in the California State University, Long Beach choir in 1969, "Crescent Noon" is a song composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis.
"Mr. Guder" was dedicated to Richard Carpenter and John Bettis's boss at Disneyland, Vic Guder. It was a bit of a last tease to the man who fired the duo. They were hired to play old-time music on piano and banjo at the park's "Coke Corner" on Main Street, U.S.A., but they persisted in playing contemporary tunes that the patrons requested. The lyrics say:
- You're everything a robot lives for:
- Walk in at nine, and roll out the door at five.
- You reflect the company image;
- You maintain their rules to live by.
- Shine your shoes, let's keep a neat haircut,
- Now that you're wearing a coat and tie.
Many of their later recordings that were composed in the late 1960s were written during their Disneyland career.
"I Kept on Loving You", a song written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols, features Richard on lead vocal and despite being uncredited in the album's liner notes, a guitarist is playing on the song, possibly either Gary Sims or a Los Angeles-based session guitarist.
"Another Song" was another Carpenter/Bettis creation that was very different from the typical Carpenters song and is essentially a suite in three movements: a pop section (0:00–1:45), a medieval-influenced section (1:45–2:28), and a jazz section (2:28–4:22). The song opens with a short prelude based on the harmony and melodic contour of the accompanied recitative "And, lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them" from Part I of George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah (1742).
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
Close to You was nominated for Album of the Year. AllMusic's retrospective review deemed Close to You "a surprisingly strong album", particularly praising Richard Carpenter's original compositions "Maybe it's You", "Crescent Noon", and "Mr. Guder", describing them as superlative displays of both Karen Carpenter's vocal work and Richard's arranging talents. They also derided contemporary criticism against the album, insinuating that the negative reaction stemmed from Close to You being a successful pop record at a time of great political turmoil.
All lead vocals by Karen Carpenter except where noted.
|1.||"We've Only Just Begun" (lead vocals by Karen and Richard Carpenter)||3:04|
|2.||"Love Is Surrender" (lead vocals by Karen and Richard Carpenter)||Ralph Carmichael||1:59|
|3.||"Maybe It's You"||
|4.||"Reason to Believe"||Tim Hardin||3:02|
|6.||"(They Long to Be) Close to You"||4:34|
|7.||"Baby It's You"||2:50|
|8.||"I'll Never Fall in Love Again"||
|11.||"I Kept On Loving You" (lead vocals by Richard Carpenter)||
- Jack Daugherty – producer
- Karen Carpenter – vocals, drums
- Hal Blaine – drums
- Richard Carpenter – vocals, keyboards, arrangements and orchestration
- Joe Osborn – bass
- Danny Woodhams – bass
- Jim Horn – woodwinds
- Bob Messenger – woodwinds
- Doug Strawn – woodwinds
- Ray Gerhardt – engineer
- Dick Bogert – engineer
- Tom Wilkes – art direction
- Kessel/Brehm Photography – photography
- 175) Close to You : Rolling Stone
- Live in Budokan, 1972
- Eder, Bruce. Close to You at AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-02.
- Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 140. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top RPM Albums: Issue 3735". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "– Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Carpenters" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. Archived from a-カーペンターズ the original Check
|url=value (help) on 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- "Carpenters | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- "Carpenters Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
- 1971 Year-end Albums – The Billboard Pop Albums. Retrieved 2011-10-03.
- "American album certifications – Carpenters – Close to You". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
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