Top of the World (The Carpenters song)

"Top of the World" is a 1972 song written and composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis and first recorded by American pop duo Carpenters. It was a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit for the duo for two consecutive weeks in 1973.

"Top of the World"
Top of the World (The Carpenters song) coverart.jpg
Artwork for U.S. vinyl single
Single by Carpenters
from the album A Song for You
ReleasedSeptember 17, 1973[1]
Recorded1972 (album version) 1973 (single version)
StudioA&M Studios
GenreCountry pop
Songwriter(s)Richard Carpenter, John Bettis
Producer(s)Jack Daugherty
Carpenters singles chronology
"Yesterday Once More"
"Top of the World"
"Jambalaya (On the Bayou)"

Carpenters originally intended the song to be only an album cut. However, after country singer Lynn Anderson covered the song and it became a number two hit on the country charts, they reconsidered.

The Carpenters versionEdit


Originally recorded for and released on the duo's 1972 studio album A Song for You, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in late 1973, becoming the duo's second of three No. 1 singles, following "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and preceding "Please Mr. Postman." Karen Carpenter re-recorded it for the band's first compilation as she was not quite satisfied with the original.

In Japan, it was used as the opening theme song for the 1995 Japanese drama Miseinen. In 2003, another drama, Beginner, had it as its ending theme song. It is heard in Shrek Forever After as Shrek enjoys being a "real ogre" and terrifying the villagers, as well as in a prominent scene of the 2012 film Dark Shadows, where a performance by the Carpenters is seen on a television screen. It has been used as the opening song of the Season 2, Episode 1 of Netflix series After Life.

Cash Box praised Karen Carpenter's "strong lead vocal" and the pair's harmonies.[2]


Chart performanceEdit


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Japan (RIAJ)[11]
Platinum 250,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[13] Gold 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Lynn Anderson versionEdit

"Top of the World"
Side label of U.S. vinyl single
Single by Lynn Anderson
from the album Top of the World
B-side"I Wish I Was a Little Boy Again"
ReleasedJune 1973
GenreCountry pop
Songwriter(s)Richard Carpenter, John Bettis
Producer(s)Glenn Sutton, Clive Davis
Lynn Anderson singles chronology
"Keep Me in Mind"
"Top of the World"
"Sing About Love"


Country music singer Lynn Anderson covered the song in 1973 for her studio album Top of the World, released on Columbia Records. It was the first single released from her album and her version became the first hit. Anderson's cover reached No. 2 on the US country singles chart and No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 in mid-1973. The success of Anderson's version prompted the Carpenters to release a new version as a single, where it topped the US pop singles chart for two weeks in December 1973.[14] Anderson's recording was produced by her husband Glenn Sutton and Clive Davis. She later re-recorded the song for her 2004 album, The Bluegrass Sessions.

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1973) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 74
US Billboard Hot Country Singles 2
US Billboard Easy Listening 34
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 30

Other versionsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Carpenters - Top of the World".
  2. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. September 29, 1973. p. 14. Retrieved 2021-12-11.
  3. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - December 8, 1973" (PDF).
  4. ^ "RPM Top AC Singles - December 15, 1973" (PDF).
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Carpenters – Top Of The World". Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  6. ^ "Home – Offizielle Deutsche Charts". 2016-09-30. Archived from the original on February 8, 2015. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  7. ^ "flavour of new zealand – search listener". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  8. ^ "Carpenters – Top Of The World". Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  9. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of '73 - December 29, 1973" (PDF).
  10. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Japanese digital single certifications – カーペンターズ – トップ・オブ・ザ・ワールド" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 19 October 2020. Select 2020年9月 on the drop-down menu
  12. ^ "British single certifications – The Carpenters – Top of the World". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  13. ^ "American single certifications – The Carpenters – Top of the World". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  14. ^ Randy L. Schmidt (2011). Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter. p. 122. ISBN 9781569768181. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  15. ^ NZ Top 20 1973
  16. ^ "** SVENSKTOPPEN **" (TXT). 1974-01-06. Retrieved 2016-10-08.

External linksEdit