Top of the World (The Carpenters song)

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"Top of the World"
Top of the World (The Carpenters song) coverart.jpg
Artwork for U.S. vinyl single
Single by Carpenters
from the album A Song for You
B-side"Heather"
ReleasedSeptember 17, 1973[1]
Format7" single
Recorded1972
GenreCountry pop
Length2:56
LabelA&M
1468
Songwriter(s)Richard Carpenter, John Bettis
Producer(s)Jack Daugherty
Carpenters singles chronology
"Yesterday Once More"
(1973)
"Top of the World"
(1973)
"Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"
(1974)

"Top of the World" is a 1972 song written and composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis and first recorded by American pop duo Carpenters. It was a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit for the duo for two consecutive weeks in 1973.

Carpenters originally intended the song to be only an album cut. However, after country singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and it became a number two hit on the country charts, they reconsidered.

The Carpenters version[edit]

Background[edit]

Originally recorded for and released on the duo's 1972 studio album A Song for You, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in late 1973, becoming the duo's second of three No. 1 singles, following "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and preceding "Please Mr. Postman." Karen Carpenter re-recorded it for the band's first compilation as she was not quite satisfied with the original.

In Japan, it was used as the opening theme song for the 1995 Japanese drama Miseinen. In 2003, another drama, Beginner, had it as its ending theme song. It is heard in Shrek Forever After as Shrek enjoys being a "real ogre" and terrifying the villagers, as well as in a prominent scene of the 2012 film Dark Shadows, where a performance by the Carpenters is seen on a television screen.

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973–74) Peak
position
Australia 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[2] 2
Dutch Mega Single Top 100[3] 12
German Media Control Charts[4] 38
Irish Singles Charts 3
Japanese Oricon Singles 21
New Zealand [5] 14
UK Singles Chart 5
Ultratop Flanders[6] 27
US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Billboard Easy Listening 2
US Record World 3

Lynn Anderson version[edit]

"Top of the World"
Top Of The World by Lynn Anderson US side label vinyl.jpg
Side label of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Lynn Anderson
from the album Top of the World
A-side"Top of the World"
ReleasedJune 1973
Format45 rpm record
Recorded1973
GenreCountry pop
Length2:55
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Richard Carpenter, John Bettis
Producer(s)Glenn Sutton, Clive Davis
Lynn Anderson singles chronology
"Keep Me in Mind"
(1973)
"Top of the World"
(1973)
"Sing About Love"
(1973)

Background[edit]

Country music singer Lynn Anderson covered the song in 1973 for her studio album Top of the World, released on Columbia Records. It was the first single released from her album and her version became the first hit. Anderson's cover reached No. 2 on the US country singles chart and No. 74 on Billboard Hot 100 in mid-1973. The success of Anderson's version prompted the Carpenters to release a new version as a single, where it topped the US pop singles chart for two weeks in December 1973.[7] Anderson's cover was produced by her husband Glenn Sutton and Clive Davis. She later re-recorded the song for her 2004 album, The Bluegrass Sessions.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1973) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot Country Singles 2
US Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 34
US Billboard Hot 100 74
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 30

Other versions[edit]

  • In early 1973, New Zealand male singer Steve Allen took his version to #1 in New Zealand for a week, sharing the top with The Carpenters version.[8]
  • In 1973, Icelandic singer Þuríður Sigurðardóttir covered the song with the title "Undraheimur" on the album Þuríður & Pálmi. Icelandic words by Jónas Friðrik.
  • Also in 1973 The Maguires covered the song recorded on RCA. The Maguires was a nom-de-plume for the pop star Clodagh Rodgers, who was joined on the record by her sister Lavinia and brother Louis.
  • In 1973 Swedish singer Siv Inger Svensson (Siw Inger) published a German cover version of the song. Her single was called "Ich hab' es gern".
  • In 1974 Ray Conniff had the song on the Album "The Way We Are"
  • Swedish dansband Vikingarna had a 1974 Svensktoppen hit with a cover version in Swedish, "På världens tak", which was the first Vikingarna song to chart on the Svensktoppen.[9]
  • In 1974, the Finnish singer Fredi recorded Top of the World in Finnish Tänään huipulla, (Lyrics by Pertti Reponen).
  • In 1975, the French Canadian singer Claude Valade recorded Top of the World in French Au bout du monde, (Lyrics by Christine Charbonneau). The song was part of her album «Collection Country» released by London-Deram.[10]
  • It was covered by Ami Aspelund in Finnish as Tänään Huipulla.
  • Mark O'Connor did an acoustic guitar and mandolin (David Grisman) version of the song on his 1979 album Markology.
  • The Gilman Street punk band Stikky recorded a cover containing only the chorus and released it on their EP Cuddle in 1988.
  • In 1990, Belgian singer Dana Winner covered the song as "Op het dak van de wereld".
  • In 1992, The Sugarcubes, with Björk as lead singer, covered the song. The song was included as a B-side on the single for "Walkabout", the second single from the album Stick Around for Joy.
  • In 1992, the Finnish singer Tarja Ylitalo recorded Top of the World in Finnish Tänään huipulla, (Lyrics by Pertti Reponen).
  • Shonen Knife's cover appeared on the 1994 tribute album If I Were a Carpenter. It was the ending theme song to the 1995 film The Last Supper and appeared in the 1998 film The Parent Trap, the 2000 film The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, and the 2016 revival of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.
  • The Québécois singer Bourbon Gautier recorded a Quebec French cover in 2006 titled "Au bout du monde" on the album Quand le Country dit bonjour...[11] released by AMP Records, with lyrics by Christine Charbonneau.
  • In 2006, a bossa nova version of the song was performed by Naomi & Goro and appeared on their album titled [HOME].
  • In 2008, the Finnish singer Anne Mattila recorded Top of the World in Finnish Tänään huipulla, (Lyrics by Pertti Reponen).
  • Mona Gustafsson recorded the song on her 2010 album Countrypärlor.[12]
  • A Cantonese Christian song by the name of "冰天的太陽" ("Season of Ice and Sun") was written using the melody of the song.
  • Rose Chung (舒雅頌) and Ervinna (愛慧娜) covered the song as "我的小情人" in 1974.
  • Punk supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes covered the song on their 2014 album Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!.
  • Slim Whitman, on the 1977 album Home on the Range
  • Stabbing Westward covered the song in 2001 for the second compilation CD of Andrew Denton's Musical Challenge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.45cat.com/record/am1468
  2. ^ "Item Display – RPM – Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1973-12-15. Retrieved 2019-02-18.
  3. ^ Steffen Hung. "Carpenters – Top Of The World". Dutchcharts.nl. Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  4. ^ "Home – Offizielle Deutsche Charts". Officialcharts.de. 2016-09-30. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  5. ^ "flavour of new zealand – search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  6. ^ "Carpenters – Top Of The World". Ultratop.be. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  7. ^ Randy L. Schmidt. Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. Books.google.com. p. 122. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  8. ^ NZ Top 20 1973
  9. ^ "** SVENSKTOPPEN **" (TXT). Sr.se. 1974-01-06. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  10. ^ "CLAUDE VALADE Biographie". Biographiesartistesquebecois.com. 2008-09-17. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Countrypärlor" (in Swedish). Svensk mediedatabas. 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2011.

External links[edit]