(They Long to Be) Close to You
"(They Long to Be) Close to You" is a song recorded by American duo the Carpenters for their second studio album Close to You (1970). It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and produced by Jack Daugherty. Released on May 15, 1970, the song topped both the US Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. It also reached the top of the Canadian and Australian charts, and peaked at number six on the charts of both the UK and Ireland. The song was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in August 1970.
|"(They Long to Be) Close to You"|
A-side label of U.S. 7-inch single
|Single by The Carpenters|
|from the album Close to You|
|B-side||"I Kept on Lovin' You"|
|Released||May 15, 1970|
|The Carpenters singles chronology|
The song was first recorded by Richard Chamberlain and released as a single in 1963 as "They Long to Be Close to You". However, while the single's B-side, "Blue Guitar", became a hit, the A-side did not. The tune was also recorded as a demo by Dionne Warwick in 1963 and re-recorded with a Burt Bacharach arrangement for her album Make Way for Dionne Warwick (1964), and was released as the B-side of her 1965 single "Here I Am". Dusty Springfield recorded the song in August 1964, but her version was not released commercially until it appeared on her album Where Am I Going? (1967). Bacharach released his own version in 1971. But the version recorded by Carpenters with instrumental backing by L.A. studio musicians from the Wrecking Crew, which became a hit in 1970, was the most successful.
In 1970, "(They Long To Be) Close To You" was released by the Carpenters on their album Close to You (1970), and became their breakthrough hit. The song stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.
Bacharach and David gave Herb Alpert the song after he scored a number one hit in 1968 with "This Guy's in Love with You", which the duo had also written. Alpert recorded the song, but was displeased with the recording and did not release it. After The Carpenters achieved their first chart success with "Ticket to Ride" in 1969, Alpert convinced them to record their version of the song, believing it was well-suited for them.
Carpenter and Alpert collaborated on the song, and the finished product was a 4-minute, 36-second long song. When A&M Records decided to remove the extended coda and release it as a 3-minute, 40-second long single in May 1970, it became A&M's biggest hit since Alpert's "This Guy's in Love with You" from 1968. Billboard ranked it as the number two song for 1970.
"(They Long to Be) Close to You" earned the Carpenters a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus in 1971. It became the first of three Grammy Awards they would win during their careers. The song was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 12, 1970.
Richard had originally written the flugelhorn solo part for Herb Alpert, but when he was unavailable, Chuck Findley was brought in. Richard later commented: "Chuck didn't play it that way at first, but I worked with him and he nailed it. A lot of people thought it was Herb – Bacharach thought so, too. But it's the way Findley is playing it."
Other notable versionsEdit
- Diana Ross recorded a version for her 1970 album Everything Is Everything and performed it on her TV special Diana! the following year.
- This song was on Isaac Hayes' 1971 album Black Moses.
- Bobby Womack in his 1971 album Communication (Bobby Womack album) sings the song in a medley, after the monologue about producers pushing him to be 'commercial'.
- In 1972 the song again became a hit when recorded by Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager. It went to number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.
- In 1972, Stevie Wonder covered the song, along with the Jackson 5's Never Can Say Goodbye on a live television appearance.
- In 1976 another hit version was released by B. T. Express, peaking at number 31 on the R&B chart.
- Gwen Guthrie had a UK number 25 hit with a version released in 1986.
- Matt Monro covered it in 1988; this version was used in From Paris with Love, starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
- The Cranberries have a version of this song as a bonus track on No Need to Argue: The Complete Sessions 1994–1995.
- Josefine Cronholm recorded a version for the 2005 film MirrorMask and was included on the film's soundtrack.
- In 2015, the character played by Chord Overstreet covered the song on the television program Glee.
- In 2016, the cover by Stevie Wonder was sampled on Frank Ocean's Close To You which was featured on his sophomore album Blonde (Frank Ocean album), released on August 20, 2016. The album was met with critical and commercial acclaim.
In popular cultureEdit
- In the 1978 TV special Mickey's 50, on which The Carpenters made a guest appearance, Karen Carpenter sings the lyrics "M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E" to the opening bars of the song.
- It was a theme song for the 2002 Hong Kong action film So Close, starring Shu Qi, Zhao Wei, and Karen Mok.
- In the 2014 miniseries Olive Kitteridge, Martha Wainwright performs a cover of the song.
- In 2015, the song was played in the South Korean drama She Was Pretty.
- It is Homer and Marge Simpson's song. It features in the episode "The Way We Was" which depicts Homer and Marge first getting together. It is also in The Simpsons Movie.
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- "She Was Pretty: Episode 1 » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps". Dramabeans. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2018-09-10.