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Official Review [Single]: 3. "WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN"/"ALL OF MY LIFE" (1217)

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by Chris May, May 8, 2016.

Which side is your favorite?


    26 vote(s)
  2. Side B: "ALL OF MY LIFE"

    5 vote(s)
  1. John Tkacik

    John Tkacik Active Member

    I was watching the PBS special on the Carpenters last night and something Paul Williams said about "We've Only Just Begun" sounded a little strange. He said that when Richard called him to ask about the song, "he (Paul) would have lied through his teeth because getting a Carpenters record would have been a big deal." According to "Little Girl Blue", this conversation happened before the release of the single "Close To You". Were Richard and Karen that highly regarded in the Spring of 1970 based only on the results of "Offering" and "Ticket To Ride"? Was Paul more confident than Richard was that "Close To You" would be a monster hit?
  2. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Interesting observation, John !
    This is a timeline for which I will have to do some digging.
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Richard Carpenter 2009:
    Right around the time we finished recording “Close To You,”
    I heard “We’ve Only Just Begun,” and created the arrangement.
    We were now putting together the album, and I was having serious thoughts about holding up “Close To You” and putting out “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
    Close To You” was just so different and understated for Top Forty radio that I worried.
    That track...we had to revert to a “click” because it was just so deliberate. (Bassist) Joe Osborn and Karen were like metronomes,
    (drummer) Hal Blaine and I tended to rush a little.
    But I remember Hal Blaine saying, “That’s the one,” about “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
    It turns out both of them were the ones."

    HuffPost Exclusive: The 40th Anniversary of Carpenters / Interview with Richard Carpenter »
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    "The Carpenters hit song that was originally written for a bank commercial"
    Big Joe Henry
    October 8, 2016 10:12 AM

    "Thirty-six years ago this week, The Carpenters were at No. 2 on the singles chart with
    “We’ve Only Just Begun.”
    Sure, lots of people remember that, but did you know that song was originally written for a bank advertisement?"

    "The story doesn’t end here, in fact It comes full circle as it was used this year in a commercial for
    Lowes Home Improvement. Featuring a cover by Taiwanese-American singer-songwriter Joanna Wang."

    WATCH THIS: The Carpenters hit song that was originally written for a bank commercial |
    WATCH THIS: The Carpenters hit song that was originally written for a bank commercial »
  5. theninjarabbit

    theninjarabbit Well-Known Member

    Uh, I think they mean fourty-six years ago! Imagine "Begun" in 1980 :biglaugh:
    Jamesj75, natureaker and GaryAlan like this.
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    When I pause to ponder the brilliance of Richard Carpenter,
    this is the song that cements it for me !
    Everything is here:
    Vocal arrangement and harmonies,
    Instrumental arrangement and placement,
    Karen's lead vocals up front, powerful,
    the tempo, the rhythm, the lyric.....
  7. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    One of my favorites- and THE ONE that started it all for me.
    Carpe diem and Jamesj75 like this.
  8. Carpe diem

    Carpe diem Well-Known Member

    Thanks for digging up this thread! Since I am here, I vote for Side A. One of the "definitive" Carpenters songs. I love how Karen sings the lyrics "we fly" coming out of that first stanza. Goosebumps! Beautiful arrangement from Richard. I like Side B also. A lovely little song, beautiful vocals from KC. When I hear it I think of that scene in The Karen Carpenter Story where the character who plays Joe Osborn realizes he has discovered "The Voice".
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Forgot to mention, each time I listen to (one of my favorites)
    All Of My Life,
    that darn snippet of music used on The CBS-TV Karen Carpenter Story
    creeps into my head.....that sequence where actress Gibb starts singing
    in the very high-off-key performance following which is the
    Karen Carpenter performance we all know and love.

    I wonder who sang that off-key/high note part ?
  10. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    It was Cynthia Gibb :laugh:
  11. David A

    David A Active Member

    That "touch of sadness" is one of the things that in my view, defines Karen's singing. It's part of what Herb felt from day one, when he first heard her voice (as he has publicly stated). There's a rich melancholy in many of her vocal performances, and yet it is subtle enough that the songs don't become depressing or outright "sad". I think this is why many people describe listening to Karen's vocal performances as "as if she was singing to me personally".

    Hats off to Richard for song selections and framing her voice musically in a way that accentuated that strength.

    For me, A-side in a landslide. WOJB has it's rightful place as one of the best songs the Carpenters ever recorded.
    Mark-T likes this.

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