CLOSE TO YOU - The Carpenters
TRACK LISTING: We've Only Just Begun, Love Is Surrender, Maybe It's You, Reason To Believe, Help!, (They Long To Be) Close To You, Baby It's You, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Crescent Noon, Mr. Guder, I Kept On Loving You, Another Song
IMPRESSIONS: This is an album that was floating around in my mother's record collection since I was knee-high to a participle and I can remember playing it at a very early age. In the 1990s, the Carpenters came back into vogue and respectability after many years asa punchline; the absolutely sublime voice of Karen and the magnificent production skills of Richard were touted by many contemporary artists and a tribute cd ("If I Were A Carpenter") was released featuring cover versions of Carpenters songs by "alternative" artists such as Matthew Sweet, Shonen Knife and the Cranberries. Just look at that cover photo! What freshly-scrubbed faces and that long, loooooong ankle-length 1970 dress newly in vogue. For some reason, I've always imagined that this album made frequent appearances on Mary Richards' turntable in 1970 Minneapolis!
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: We've Only Just Begun, Maybe It's You, Reason To Believe, Help!, (They Long To Be) Close To You, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Crescent Noon, Mr. Guder, I Kept On Loving You
FACT SHEET: CLOSE TO YOU is the Carpenters' second album; it was rushed out after the blockbuster title song and "We've Only Just Begun" became a smash hits. Despite that fact, it's a really solid album which Rolling Stone magazine rated #175 on the list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Paul Williams and Roger Nichols wrote both "We've Only Just Begun" and "I Kept On Loving You". "We've Only Just Begun", which Richard Carpenter regards as the duo's signature song, was first seen by Richard on a Crocker Citizens Bank TV commercial. "Reason To Believe" is the much-covered (but not at this time) Tim Hardin song. "Help!" of course, is a Beatles cover. "(They Long To Be) Close To You" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" were written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David while "Baby, It's You" was written by Burt Bacharach, Mack David and Barney Williams. "Maybe It's You", "Crescent Noon", "Mr. Guder" and "Another Song" were written by John Bettis and Richard Carpenter. "Maybe It's You" was written for Carpenter & Bettis' former group Spectrum. "Mr. Guder" is a song about the songwriters' former boss at Disneyland who fired them for playing contemporary music requests when they were supposed to play old-time piano and banjo music. "Crescent Noon" is a song about the gloom and bleakness of autumn and winter. In an unusual move, Richard Carpenter sings lead vocal on "I Kept On Loving You".