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⭐ Official Review [Album]: "CLOSE TO YOU" (SP-4271)

HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ALBUM?

  • ***** (BEST)

    Votes: 39 52.7%
  • ****

    Votes: 29 39.2%
  • ***

    Votes: 5 6.8%
  • **

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • *

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    74

crescentnoon

Active Member
I had not seen that before. It keeps getting removed because of those who own the rights? I wish it wasn't so hard to have these gems available to the public for common viewing. I know this is a simplistic or naive take but I think just for historical purposes alone, there should be many copies of these performances kept safe. I hope there's a better quality copy of this one out there somewhere for posterity.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I love "Help", but For All We Know...I mean you can't push that aside. But "Help" solidifies their early coolness, and shows any non-fan that they had real variety. I mean it's the total opposite of CTY.

Since were on the topic of CTY (song and album) does anybody know if this video is from a show or a promo video? I've seen it a million times yet I don't know.



Answering 7 years later....lol. The lip-synced clip from CTY above is from The Don Knotts Show.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Reason To Believe remains a favorite cut off of this album.


Richard's notes are illuminating (as discussed previously):
"This 1966 Tim Hardin folk classic was among the first songs I asked Karen to sing for the "Magic Lamp" sessions (1966 - 1968).
The song worked well for her then, and later for our multi-tracked vocals as well. With the exception of one 4-track,
all
tapes from the Magic Lamp experiment were lost in a fire that destroyed the Osborn's home outside Nashville, TN,
where they had moved in 1974.

I will say, I also enjoy the version by Peter, Paul and Mary:

 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
“With the exception of one 4-track, all tapes from the Magic Lamp experiment were lost in a fire that destroyed the Osborn's home outside Nashville, TN, where they had moved in 1974”.

Being the super-archivist that he is, I’m very surprised that by 1974 Richard hadn’t asked Joe for a copy of the tapes for his own personal collection. He must kick himself now that he didn’t at the time.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Reason To Believe remains a favorite cut off of this album.


Richard's notes are illuminating (as discussed previously):
"This 1966 Tim Hardin folk classic was among the first songs I asked Karen to sing for the "Magic Lamp" sessions (1966 - 1968).
The song worked well for her then, and later for our multi-tracked vocals as well. With the exception of one 4-track,
all
tapes from the Magic Lamp experiment were lost in a fire that destroyed the Osborn's home outside Nashville, TN,
where they had moved in 1974.

I will say, I also enjoy the version by Peter, Paul and Mary:


"Reason To Believe remains a favorite cut off of this album."

Amen to that Gary! I absolutely love the duo's version of this great song.
 

John Tkacik

Well-Known Member
Just this past week I finally obtained the 33 1/3 RPM, 7", jukebox LP for CLOSE TO YOU.

View attachment 5723View attachment 5724View attachment 5725View attachment 5726View attachment 5727
Interesting that I KEPT ON LOVING YOU was not included since it was the "b side" of (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU. Looking at this first batch of songs from the album, I think they were correct in releasing TLTBCTY as the 1st single. None of the other songs shown give me the same "Wow" as CTY.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Congrats to the duo (Karen is looking down and flashing that incredible smile!) for the 50th anniversary of CTY. I wonder if Richard will say anything on his Instagram about this noteworthy event? Hope so...I find it quite interesting that just 2 days after release of this album, WOJB was released as a single. That was some great timing...Quite a one/two punch to the music world! And BTW, count me as one who LOVES this album cover!! :)
 

Don Malcolm

Well-Known Member
Even though it's evidently a day late with respect to the exact original release date (listed as August 28, 1970), I'm thinking that we really should follow up on Harry's recent posts and join hands (virtually, of course!) to officially celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of CLOSE TO YOU as a still under-appreciated landmark in pop music history. Less than a year earlier, Richard and Karen released OFFERING, which showed their great promise in fits and starts. Over the next nine months, however, they would evolve together into a monumental artistic and commercial force.

Karen's vocal talent blossoms fully on CLOSE TO YOU, with arguably more variations of her indelible sound contained in the LP's twelve tracks than on any other album release over the course of their career. Similarly, Richard's producing/arranging skills grow by leaps and bounds, as he effortlessly merges genres and influences into a seamless but still highly varied whole.

While it is certainly possible to prefer later LPs such as A SONG FOR YOU or HORIZON for their considerable merits, I remain an unabashed fan of CLOSE TO YOU as the flashpoint of greatness in the collaboration between a brother and sister whose impact on popular music was both profound and controversial. The entire LP is permanently imprinted in my mental soundscape, containing a sequence of songs that I never tire of hearing exactly as they were ordered when the record first hit stores a half century ago. Those who remember our earlier "Top 20" poll of favorite songs might also recall that my extreme love for this LP resulted in seven of its songs being listed on my personal top 20 list. The youthful abandon, ambition, and achievement on CLOSE TO YOU is a magical moment that created and sustained a timeless legend: the greatest female singer in the history of pop music and the great musical mind who built a brilliant sound around her unmatched talents.

So please feel free to spend some extra time with CLOSE TO YOU this weekend to honor and celebrate a true musical landmark that I'm confident will be producing the same level of appreciation in another fifty years. Thanks again to Richard and Karen (and all the incredible musicians who worked with them) for bringing us this timeless treasure!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I'm playing CLOSE TO YOU as I type this. I'm reminded of the time 50 years ago as I played the album for the first time. We'd gone through a summer of hearing the title single played endlessly. It had been burned into our brains as the number one song that just kept getting airplay on pop, MOR, and Top 40 stations, not to mention my own 45.

Then the refreshing release of "We've Only Just Begun" to replace it in the rotations and the near concurrent release of the CLOSE TO YOU album. What a joy it was to hear "(They Long To Be) Close To You" refreshed on the album with the little extension at the end.

I'm noticing that on "Maybe It's You" that Karen has already shown her Matt Monro affectation. "Couldn't we stay, or must you g-e-ohhh..." Listen at around 2:25.

One of the great hallmarks of this album is that full "Carpenters sound" with lots of luscious overdubs by both Karen AND Richard all throughout many of the songs. And I so missed that sound later on as the albums became showcases for Karen's solo leads, but it's in full force here.

It's a great album, and it deserves all of the accolades it can get, even 50 years later.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
I've followed up the playing of CLOSE TO YOU with an attempt at playing the CLOSE TO YOU REMIX album. Well, two thirds of the album have been remixed in one form or another.

We've Only Just Begun (RPO mix)
Love Is Surrender (1987 remix)
Maybe It's You (1990 remix)
Reason To Believe (1987 remix)
Help - never released in a remixed form
(They Long To Be) Close To You (RPO mix)
Baby It's You (RPO Mix)
I'll Never Fall In Love Again - never released in a remixed form
Crescent Noon - never released in a remixed form
Mr. Guder (1990 remix)
I Kept On Loving You (clean open, but not remixed)
Another Song (1994 remix)
 

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
The entire LP is permanently imprinted in my mental soundscape, containing a sequence of songs that I never tire of hearing exactly as they were ordered when the record first hit stores a half century ago.
Don, I agree with all you said, but this one line expresses why I love this disc so much. If I pick the album into individual songs, it’s not as strong. But heard in this way, it’s easily the greatest album in their discography.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
^ Yes! When I went the second time through, playing the remixed stuff, the "playlist" didn't hold together nearly as well as the originals.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Even though it's evidently a day late with respect to the exact original release date (listed as August 28, 1970), I'm thinking that we really should follow up on Harry's recent posts and join hands (virtually, of course!) to officially celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of CLOSE TO YOU as a still under-appreciated landmark in pop music history. Less than a year earlier, Richard and Karen released OFFERING, which showed their great promise in fits and starts. Over the next nine months, however, they would evolve together into a monumental artistic and commercial force.

Karen's vocal talent blossoms fully on CLOSE TO YOU, with arguably more variations of her indelible sound contained in the LP's twelve tracks than on any other album release over the course of their career. Similarly, Richard's producing/arranging skills grow by leaps and bounds, as he effortlessly merges genres and influences into a seamless but still highly varied whole.

While it is certainly possible to prefer later LPs such as A SONG FOR YOU or HORIZON for their considerable merits, I remain an unabashed fan of CLOSE TO YOU as the flashpoint of greatness in the collaboration between a brother and sister whose impact on popular music was both profound and controversial. The entire LP is permanently imprinted in my mental soundscape, containing a sequence of songs that I never tire of hearing exactly as they were ordered when the record first hit stores a half century ago. Those who remember our earlier "Top 20" poll of favorite songs might also recall that my extreme love for this LP resulted in seven of its songs being listed on my personal top 20 list. The youthful abandon, ambition, and achievement on CLOSE TO YOU is a magical moment that created and sustained a timeless legend: the greatest female singer in the history of pop music and the great musical mind who built a brilliant sound around her unmatched talents.

So please feel free to spend some extra time with CLOSE TO YOU this weekend to honor and celebrate a true musical landmark that I'm confident will be producing the same level of appreciation in another fifty years. Thanks again to Richard and Karen (and all the incredible musicians who worked with them) for bringing us this timeless treasure!

Nice suggestion Don. Hello all fellow Carpenters fanatics, let's give CTY a spin this weekend in honor of this significant anniversary!! :)
 
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