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

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, Feb 4, 2013.


  1. ***** (BEST)

    32 vote(s)
  2. ****

    17 vote(s)
  3. ***

    5 vote(s)
  4. **

    1 vote(s)
  5. *

    0 vote(s)
  1. I think I recall hearing that shortened version many moons ago and pretty much dismissed it. In fact, when I first read your post, I wasn't even sure I had the 45 - but it turns out I have three of them. So many of the Carpenters 45s that I do have are the promo versions for radio, with only an a-side in stereo and the same song in mono on the b-side. So, there are a number of b-sides that I've never heard, generally assuming that they are pretty much the same as the album versions.

    But the first rule of Carpenters recordings is to 'never assume.' I learned that the hard way with the two different Japanese Anthology sets and the different variations for SINGLES 69-73. And, as I said, it will be interesting to see what the new Singles package from PBS does. Will the shortened "Mr. Guder" appear for authenticity? I hope so.

  2. It just hit me! When I tried to assemble my own version of this new set, my first disc came out too long and I had to eliminate the last song, "Heather". But if "Mr. Guder" is the shorter version, then it WOULD all fit. That could be proof that "Mr. Guder" will be shortened on the PBS set.

    Geographer likes this.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  4. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Amazing to see that at that point, 'Close To You' the single had sold more than three times as many copies as the album.
  5. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    Not really THAT amazing, considering the single was released 3 months ahead of the album. If they had already been majorly popular at that time, it would be more amazing but most of the Carpenters early fans probably discovered them through that single. That's how it happened with me, at least.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  7. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Active Member

    I actually really liked this version of "Close to You" from the New Men a cappella group at Oxford. Not the usual approach, but quite nice.

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  8. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    After a long hiatus from listening to their music, I put this on for a spin on Monday. Its just incredible! After all these years, the album brags me and makes me listen to them afresh. It may be my new favorite album replacing long time fav, Horizon. Maybe...
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  9. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    ...it's you....maybe it's me...maybe it's just the constant rhythm of the sea :)

    (sorry, had to!)
    Jamesj75 likes this.
  10. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    the album GRABS me (not brags me)
  11. Tapdancer

    Tapdancer Active Member

    But saying "...the album BRAGS me" is nonetheless a very interesting use of that term. The music is so good on that album, it's fair to say it "brags"!
    Nick Sphnix and Jamesj75 like this.
  12. NowhereMan

    NowhereMan Active Member

    I found a clip of Hal Riney talking about the ad campaign that spawned "We've Only Just Begun." I thought it was funny that he described the Crocker Bank as an institution where the customers were old and dying and that they needed to attract a younger clientele.

  13. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    I was reading post#152, which has the scan of the December 1970 review for Close To You album,
    lovingly presented to us by Rick-AnOrdinary Fool !
    That review says (regarding Karen's drumming) :
    "....her drumming, on recordings, is not of high enough quality--especially for this album"
    (my underlining and boldtype).
    Isn't Hal Blaine drumming on the majority of songs for this album?

    I notice in that early review, Karen's placement in the writing is in the second paragraph.
    The first paragraph is all about the arranging and song "concept".
    Next paragraph, enter Karen Carpenter, drumming ,then her singing.
    Well, were I writing the review I would reverse the focus---only because this is the
    first thing the record-buying public focuses upon---Karen Carpenter's Voice !
    Don Malcolm likes this.
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Brilliant video to accompany a brilliant song :
    70sFan and theninjarabbit like this.
  15. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    Carpenters made the cover of Cashbox on Oct 31, 1970 with an insert article about the cover and 1 additional photo inside.

  16. Tapdancer

    Tapdancer Active Member

    "...the Carpenters have finished the foundation and are in the process of building their first story of hits."

    Ha ha! I think the writer meant "storey", but "story" in the sense that these years were all part of a wonderful Carpenters legend in the making is equally valid.
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Listening to this great album this morn,
    I am taken once again by the brilliance of
    Crescent Noon....

    Then, I am astounded at how few times this song appears on
    CD compilation releases....just Once....
    Don Malcolm and 70sFan like this.
  18. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    More from 2009 Richard Carpenter Interview:
    HuffPost Exclusive: The 40th Anniversary of Carpenters / Interview with Richard Carpenter »

    : And now you were recording the second album.

    RC: Well, as far as doing another album, Herbie said we could just do a couple tracks here, have a listen, a couple tracks there...
    Well, the first ones were “Love Is Surrender” and “Mr. Guder” in Studio C.
    We were in a hurry, why, I don’t know, we didn’t have a tight schedule yet.
    In the midst of all of that, “Close To You” came out, and it pretty much “happened” overnight.
    Then we get the call from Jerry (Moss).
    “Album! Need an album!!” From that moment on, the schedule was never relaxed.

    MR: What about some of the other tracks on Close To You?

    RC: For years, I liked “Reason To Believe,” and we did some version of it previously at Joe Osborn’s studio.
    “Maybe It’s You” is something Bettis and I had written in ‘68...that’s one of my favorite ones;
    “Crescent Noon” is something else we wrote back in ‘68, and
    I Kept On Loving You” was shopped by Roger (Nichols) and Paul (Williams).
    Another Song”—very sixties—we came up with that piece of nonsense in ‘67.
    It was SO sixties with the wah-wah, the mystical stuff, and the recitative lifted from Handel.
    Though they differed in approach and sound from Offering,
    there was a little bit from that period of time in “Another Song,” “Crescent Noon,” and all.
    “Baby, It’s You,I love—the arrangement, Karen’s vocals, (Bob) Messenger’s sax solo, Osborn’s bass playing, “cheatin’”‘s perfect fifths—
    everything about it, even the intentionally hokey major seventh ending."
  19. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    So from the above, it sounds like there could have been another version of "Reason To Believe" not ever released? Richard says we did some version of it previously at Joe Osborn's studio, "some version" makes it sound like they recorded a prior version other than what appears on the album Close To You. Am I reading into this?
  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It sounds like there's a version of it that they recorded in the garage studio sessions in 67/68. I'm guessing if that's the case that it went up in flames when Joe Osborne's house caught fire in 1975.
  21. tomswift2002

    tomswift2002 Active Member

    Unless Richard has an acetate reference disc of it, or even a cassette copy.
  22. Song4uman

    Song4uman Active Member

    Crescent Noon is available for SATB choir in the Walton Catalog. My choir sang it a couple of years Agaon our winter concert. Great piece!! The arrangement sounds just like the album.

    Jamesj75 likes this.
  23. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    I think Close to You is easily a 5 star album, myself. Great, timeless classics like "We've Only Just Begun", "Baby It's You" (underrated, I'd say), and "Close to You". I also like the edition of the Carpenter/Bettis songs, "Maybe It's You" (a real summer song), and the haunting "Cresent Noon" and "Another Song". As for "Mr. Guder", well, I can't commend the reason for it, but I do enjoy it quite a bit.

    Vocally, they really advanced on Close to You. Richard's vocals really shine on "I Kept On Loving You", and I love Karen's country flair on "Reason to Believe". And who could forget the great trade-off of "Love Is Surrender"? Really showing their talents on that with the overdubbing there and on "I'll Never Fall in Love Again".

    Overall, the songs and wonderful crafting of the album are some of Karen and Richard's best. I wish that the production team had shown them a little more respect with the cover, being what the "Close to You" single had done on the charts.
  24. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Some forty years after the album's release, I think the album's cover has become iconic in a way (same with A Song For You's cover). I like it a lot. Then again, I grew up long after the initial "goody-two shoes" image flak, so I don't associate it with that.

    Very much in agreement. :)
    K.C. Jr and Jamesj75 like this.
  25. K.C. Jr

    K.C. Jr Well-Known Member

    You are right, it is very iconic. I probably should've mentioned in my above review that I actually like it, as well. :agree: I don't really associate it with that (despite what I have to say below). It's just a typical shot of the duo from that time, and when I first saw it, I honestly didn't even think about it.

    Later on and with more information, what I found unsettling was more the fact that Karen and Richard's opinions about it fell on deaf ears, so to speak. Why was more care not given to this? It certainly couldn't have added much value for sales with that photo! :freak: And yet, it still sold over a million, and still selling, soooo.."don't judge an album by it's cover"!
    GaryAlan likes this.

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