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

Which side is your favorite?

  • Side A: "WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN"

    Votes: 41 85.4%
  • Side B: "ALL OF MY LIFE"

    Votes: 7 14.6%

  • Total voters
    48

John Adam

"Two Lives"
For some unknown reason I had to see this video today;

What a great live performance by our beloved Karen. To see her little dance is good for the soul! I especially love the way she stylizes the lyric "comes" at 2:14. Those little nuances... 21 yr old mega-talent!:love:

Perfect in every way!!!
 

LongAgo

Active Member
ALL OF MY LIFE has been a favorite album cut since I purchased my first CLOSE TO YOU album. WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN has been my personal anthem for almost 50 years! Karen's vocal performance, Richard's arrangement and the music and lyrics and music of Williams & Nichols are the formula of perfection. I listen to this song every day. It fills my soul, warms my heart and allows me to power through my life. I am grateful.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^ It was a hard choice, I love both songs. You might or might not be aware of this great live performance of All Of My Life from "Your Navy Presents". The song begins at 10:23;

 

David A

Well-Known Member
ALL OF MY LIFE has been a favorite album cut since I purchased my first CLOSE TO YOU album. WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN has been my personal anthem for almost 50 years! Karen's vocal performance, Richard's arrangement and the music and lyrics and music of Williams & Nichols are the formula of perfection. I listen to this song every day. It fills my soul, warms my heart and allows me to power through my life. I am grateful.

WOJB is one of their "perfect" songs. Magical. It is on every collection I have ever made of Carpenters songs, along with Rainy Days and Mondays. And not surprisingly, the same creative formula on Rainy Days.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Perfect in every way!!!

That is a terrific performance - all the live segments from their 1971 BBC show were great, in fact. I love the way she harmonises with the band instead of singing 'before the rising sun' - it just makes the version even more special.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
^^ Interesting! I checked up on who Freddie Allen was and his version of the song was the first to be released, but the first to be recorded was the Paul Williams version. You can hear it here:

Original versions of We've Only Just Begun by Freddie Allen | SecondHandSongs

What’s fascinating about the Williams version is the ending, where the keyboard plays the closing notes that Richard emulated and transposed into a different key for the scene in the TV movie where it switches from their living room to recording the song in the studio. Seamless.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
Hear Ariel Pink and Bonnie “Prince” Billy Cover the Carpenters for a Rejected Advertising Campaign
Rob Arcand // August 4, 2019
In 2018, the advertising geniuses at Snake Accident commissioned TV On The Radio to record their own version of the
1970s Carpenters hit “We’ve Only Just Begun” for a commercial for the asset management company Nuveen.
Earlier in the campaign, the group apparently reached out to a variety of artists including Ariel Pink and Bonnie “Prince” Billy,
who each recorded their own take on the Carpenters classic. Now, the advertising group has made the rejected covers publicly
available on SoundCloud, as Stereogum points out. For his rendition, Ariel Pink stayed fairly true to the original, using twinkling synths and retro drum machines to play up the sincerity of his rendition. Will Oldham took things even further, with thin acoustic guitars and multi-tracked vocals that become a dead match for the ’70s song. Eventually, Oldham’s rendition erupts into a noisy ruckus with strings and electric guitars to rival some of his strongest Palace Music recordings."

Scroll down and hear them here:
Ariel Pink and Bonnie "Prince" Billy Cover the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun": Listen
 

David A

Well-Known Member
Haven't been on his YouTube channel since last year and I missed this little Christmas present. I was so preoccupied with the RPO album.
You could say this strips it down to the essential ingredient, Karen. :wink:


Yes this is amazing, there are a couple of versions of this, if memory serves. And now, for an astonishingly new observation: what a beautiful, supremely talented woman Karen Carpenter was.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Yes this is amazing, there are a couple of versions of this, if memory serves. And now, for an astonishingly new observation: what a beautiful, supremely talented woman Karen Carpenter was.

Amen!! When I heard that she played electric bass on two of the tracks on the "Offering" album, it just solidified by admiration for her.
 
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Simon KC1950

Well-Known Member
"We've Only Just Begun" by Carpenters has been certified silver in the UK for 200,000 units. This follows the song being covered in a bank advert (a homage to the song being used in a US bank commercial exactly 50 years ago) leading to the Carpenters version getting renewed interest and charting on the streaming/digital charts. This is the Carpenters 28th title to receive an official certification from Britain.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
"We've Only Just Begun" by Carpenters has been certified silver in the UK for 200,000 units. This follows the song being covered in a bank advert (a homage to the song being used in a US bank commercial exactly 50 years ago) leading to the Carpenters version getting renewed interest and charting on the streaming/digital charts. This is the Carpenters 28th title to receive an official certification from Britain.
What loyal fans the duo has had in the UK and Japan throughout the years. Ironic; a Paul Williams vocal on a bank commerical in 1970, gave rise to the classic version of by the duo, then we have this 2020 Lloyds Bank version by Bats For Lashes, and we then see an up tick in downloads in the definitive Carpenters version. Convinces me further that their music will always be played...
 
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JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Wow, the more I listen to We've Only Just Begun,
the more I love it !
Absolutely a masterpiece of arranging, lead and background vocals.
As I have oft repeated, this is an instance---for me--where everything fits.
Cynical as I am prone to be--this is a song which never ceases to amaze me.
...
Yes, that says it for me too - not only one of the Carpenter's best, but one of the very best pop/rock songs ever, a wonderful musical conception that's always a joy to hear...

It sounds just as good today as it did 50 years ago when I first heard it - that was in my car on my way to work in a traffic jam - I can even picture the intersection where I was stalled, and cranking up the volume on the radio and saying something like "Who the **** is that!? (referring mostly to the female singer with the gorgeous voice).That voice hadn't really stood out so much on "Close to You".

As I said recently (Top Album Rating thread) it's impossible not to love this song and its the first one I'd play to initiate a newbie.

As I also said on that thread "All of My life" is a really nice song that I like almost as much as "Don't Be Afraid" on the "Offering" album, but not in the same elevated class as WOJB (but then only a few songs that came after ever were either).
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
I also wanted to say that WOJB is the only song that Karen double-tracks her lead vocal on that I will never complain about - I'll give her a pass on this one because it's just too incredibly good of a recording to ever say anything negative about it...
 

Jarred

Well-Known Member
I also wanted to say that WOJB is the only song that Karen double-tracks her lead vocal on that I will never complain about - I'll give her a pass on this one because it's just too incredibly good of a recording to ever say anything negative about it...

Listen to this, it brings back just her singular voice to parts of the song and you can really hear the emotion she puts into the words that get lost in Richard’s overdubs. Further fleshes out the feeling we hear her convey in the official version:

 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Listen to this, it brings back just her singular voice to parts of the song and you can really hear the emotion she puts into the words that get lost in Richard’s overdubs. Further fleshes out the feeling we hear her convey in the official version:

I believe I like this version better than the original. "Intimate" is the operative word here. Tears well-up when I see a beautiful, young, and healthy Karen on the video and total gooseflesh on the audio. Thanks for posting!
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Listen to this, it brings back just her singular voice to parts of the song and you can really hear the emotion she puts into the words that get lost in Richard’s overdubs. Further fleshes out the feeling we hear her convey in the official version:


The original version is pretty much spot-on already in my opinion, but it is a treat to hear some of Karen's vocals more clearly in this version. That 'so much of life ahead' line at the end is both gorgeous and slightly heartbreaking when heard in isolation like this.
 

JohnFB

Well-Known Member
Listen to this, it brings back just her singular voice to parts of the song and you can really hear the emotion she puts into the words that get lost in Richard’s overdubs. Further fleshes out the feeling we hear her convey in the official version:

Thanks so much for this - this is really lovely - it's always great to hear Karen's unadulterated natural voice - hearing it here on the chorus where it was double-tracked (at least) on the original is a joy -

The only difference is this: there was in the original a beautiful, attention-grabbing, goosebump-raising contrast between the end of the chorus and the beginning of the 3rd verse - the double-tracked chorus ends, the volume softens and the tempo slows, and Karen's pure, gorgeous, natural voice starts the 3rd verse with "And when the evening comes..." - this was always such a beautiful moment in the recording (a stroke of arranging genius on Richard's part) - now, on this version, that contrast has slightly lessened, although not too dramatically or detrimentaly, and is compensated for elsewhere...

And, yes, Karen does look healthy and lovely here!
 
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