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Official Review [Single]: 2. "(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU"/"I KEPT ON LOVING YOU" (1183)

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU"

    Votes: 38 84.4%
  • Side B: "(I KEPT ON LOVING YOU)"

    Votes: 7 15.6%

  • Total voters
    45

Mark-T

Well-Known Member
Meant to add, I'm not sure why we feel compelled to pit Karen against Richard in our discussions. And I even fall into that as well in some discussions. They are both gifted from God with their talents. Separately both are good, together, great.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
I had forgotten that Richard Carpenter received five Grammy Nominations for arrangements,
and, these songs span an interesting gamut:
Close To You
Superstar
Sing
Calling Occupants

The fifth escapes memory.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I had forgotten that Richard Carpenter received five Grammy Nominations for arrangements,
and, these songs span an interesting gamut:
Close To You
Superstar
Sing
Calling Occupants

The fifth escapes memory.
Occupants should have won the Grammy for that. It goes to show, whatever their personal and professional issues at the time, he still had the magic touch for the song to be nominated.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
Even in that medley, it's interesting how Richard was highlighted quite a bit---and he wasn't even playing piano--- and he even had I Kept On Loving You, which seemed to be the best song of the medley, for himself. And I think that was missing from the later albums and appearances that "duo".
 

Brian

Well-Known Member
The choice of Richard as lead vocalist on some of the earlier Carpenters recordings has recently been discussed on other threads. In this case, his performance was also considered for a single 'A' side, (I think). From memory, earlier pressings of 'Close to You' had 'I Kept On Loving You' with the lowest catalogue number. This indicated the preferred 'A' side. Neither side had the large, prominent 'A'. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I remember. I'm guessing this has already been discussed in this thread, but I haven't been back and read the past comments.

I like 'I Kept On Loving You'. It has a lot of energy and is a fun song. I like the background vocals.

Another of Richard's songs that I like is 'Get Together'. Generally, I'm as big a fan of Richard as I am of Karen for his respective talents but I usually don't particularly like his lead singing vocals.

I think I like 'Close to You' marginally better than 'I Kept On Loving You'.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
I had forgotten that Richard performs portions of
I Kept On Loving You
in this Carol Burnett Show Medley:
First time I have seen this, thanks for posting.

Maybe a little off topic but I find it curious that they selected An Old Fashioned Love Song to start the medley, considering it was a song written specifically with the duo in mind, but Richard rejected it outright.
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
I had forgotten that Richard performs portions of
I Kept On Loving You
in this Carol Burnett Show Medley:
Will you look at that? Richard having fun! I also have to hand it to his ear! He sounds phenomenal in the background - coming up with parts I wasn't expecting and really centering the harmonic structures. Carol Burnett, for her part, is a woefully-underrated singer and she more than holds her own in that department.

Ed
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Will you look at that? Richard having fun! I also have to hand it to his ear! He sounds phenomenal in the background - coming up with parts I wasn't expecting and really centering the harmonic structures. Carol Burnett, for her part, is a woefully-underrated singer and she more than holds her own in that department.

I agree with your "take" on Carol Burnett. She is very good in this Bacharach medley:


When she blurts out "I love it!" and hugs Karen at the end, you can tell those were spontaneous moments. Carol was a good friend to the duo early in their careers.
 

John Adam

Well-Known Member
The Carpenters first number one single is my #9 single of my favorite singles. When it was said this single will be a complete flop or a #1 hit, that rings so true. Luckily it was a #1 or maybe we wouldn't be talking about the Carpenters on A&M corner??

Richard made this a good single. The lyrics must of been interesting to work with. Over the years this song has grown on me, because I might of been one of those who would of made it a flop. So this single, as popular as it was, the Carpenter's biggest hit, is going to be my first single than gets less than a perfect 10.

9/10
 

adam

Active Member
They long to be close to you. chart facts.

Australia. 1
Brazil. 3
Canada .1
Ireland. 6
Israel. 8
Malaysia. 1
Mexico. 4
Netherlands. 30
New zealand. 9
Spain. 8
Uk. 6
USA.1
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
It's compressed to ridiculous levels. That whole compilation is compressed to the maximum.
 

leadmister

Well-Known Member
(They Long To Be) Close To You was that breakout hit. It was Karen saying, "Here I am!" The first touch of that magic that would carry her into legend status and put her right up there with all of the heavy hitters of the day. Growing up in her part of town, just a few years after her passing, I remember this track being played on the local stations and treated with such reverence, like the sacred thing it was. Some people would stop and listen with a little bit of a wistful smile as it came on at the supermarket. This was back when there was still a lot of pride in Karen the hometown girl, and whenever anything Carpenters came up, someone would always say, "She's from Downey, you know!"

That whispery opening vocal still gives me chills despite having heard it countless times.

I Kept On Loving You was cool too, but it seemed more like filler to me than anything else. I understand that a lot of fans ended up really liking this one, and it was definitely one of Richard's best lead vocal performances. It's just not on par with the A side here.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Carpenters - (They Long To Be) Close To You
Discogs (linked above) has updated their listings, here is a photo of the 45 where
I Kept On Loving You is presumably the "A" side (1961-S)
and
Close To You the "B" side (1962-S).
Note the "US SONGS, Inc" publishers for Close To You.


This has been discussed previously: that I Kept On Loving You (not, Close To You)
was intended to be the initial single.
What is interesting in hindsight is this: it is not easy to decide which songs are chosen for a single release
and which songs will become a "hit".....

Obviously, Richard Carpenter felt that way in 1970 (as he stated regards CTY: "either hit number one or stiff completely").
It is easy in hindsight to point at Close To You and say, that it is hit material,
but......not at all easy if you place yourself in that timeframe.
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
After hearing the new RPO recordings, the new version of Close To You is my favorite, as it enhances the technical clarity of every aspect while remaining true to the original arrangement.
 
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