(They Long to Be) Close to You

Album: Close to You (1970)
Charted: 6 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was written by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was originally released as the B-side of "Blue Guitar" by Richard Chamberlain in 1963. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Richard - Toronto, Canada
  • Dusty Springfield recorded an early version of this song in 1964, which was originally scheduled for release as a single and potential follow-up to her hit "I Just Don't Know What To Do with Myself." However, it wasn't until three years later, in 1967, that her version was finally was released on her album Where Am I Going?.
  • The Carpenters signed with A&M Records in 1969, which was co-owned by Herb Alpert. Burt Bacharach asked Alpert to record the song himself, but he didn't feel comfortable with the lyrical content - "Moondust in your hair" - and instead produced a new arrangement for the Carpenters. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Richard Carpenter said of recording this song: "He (Herb Alpert) just gave me a lead sheet, and he said, 'I have a recording of this, but I don't want you to hear it. I don't want anything to influence what I may come up with. Just keep, at the end of the first bridge, two piano quintuplets.' That record, that song, the arrangement, all of it, is misleading to the uninitiated, because it sounds simple. And it's anything but simple."
  • In their first sessions for this song, Karen Carpenter played the drums, which Alpert didn't like. Said the producer: "I thought it was a little light. And so I asked them to go back in the studio again, because Karen was playing drums. And they recorded it the second time and I still felt they were missing a little something on the groove, so I suggested very carefully to Karen that maybe Hal Blaine should come in and play drums on it."

    Blaine replaced Karen on drums and they got the take they liked with Richard on piano, Joe Osborn on bass, and Karen singing.
  • The trumpet part in the middle of the song didn't come easy: Richard had a very specific sound in mind, and had multiple trumpets trying to play it, which wasn't working because each trumpet was playing slightly different. Chuck Findley solved the problem by playing all the parts himself, then layering them together to create the elusive sound Richard wanted.
  • This was the first of a string of hits for the Carpenters. They dominated Easy Listening radio in the early '70s.
  • The Carpenters' first single was a cover of The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride," which hit #54 in the US. This was their second single.
  • This was featured in the 1989 movie Parenthood, starring Steve Martin. It was used in a scene where Rick Morranis' character sings to apologize to his wife in the middle of teaching her class. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Britney - Calabasas, CA
  • The Cranberries sang this at Woodstock '94, and included it as the B-side to their 1995 single "I Can't Be With You."
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Comments: 40

  • Henry from Sanford, Florida, UsaThis has to be the signature song for the Carpenters... Sad personal fact: Karen Carpenter died on Feb. 4, 1983, which was my 21st birthday.
  • Kawa from Tokyo, JapanHi Music lovers.

    I think that idea of this lyrics of this song came from the song 'The End Of The World' sung by Skeeter Davis in 1962. It became a big hit. Both the lyrics of the two songs are very similar. Let's take a look at both starting lines of the lyrics of the two songs. They starts a line with 'Why do'.
    I think 'Close To you' were written by influenced the song 'The End Of The World'. There is more !
    If you'd like to know more about this, please check my blog.

    http://tracethinkandwrite.blogspot.com

    To be continued,
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 18th 1976, B.T. Express'* covered version of "Close To You" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #90; three weeks later on February 8th it would peak at #82 and that was also its last week on the chart...
    It reached #31 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Besides the Carpenters; the duo of Jerry Butler and Brenda Eager also covered the song, their version peaked at #92 on the Top 100 in 1972..
    * The group's original name was Brooklyn Transit Express.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 18th 1970, the Carpenters performed "(They Long to Be) Close To You" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Four months earlier on June 14th, 1970 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #56; and five weeks later on July 19th it peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks}...
    And on the same 'Sullivan' show the duo also performed "We've Only Just Begun"; at the time the song was at #4 on the Top 100, the following week it would peaked at #2 {for 4 weeks} and both songs spent 17 weeks each on the Top 100...
    R.I.P Karen {1950 - 1983} and Richard celebrated his 68th birthday three days ago on October 15th {2014}.
  • Joel from Victoria, BcI play the piano and want to branch into composing music for fun. I found out I always just know the singer but don't know the composer. This website should help me a lot I hope.
  • Heidi from Frankfurt, GermanyIsaac Hayes did a cover of this song that's different but as good as the Carpenters version.
  • Jeff from Austin, Txthe Carpenters were before my time, so I obviously got into them after Karen died. Knowing her story gives every one of their songs a very dramatic edge for me.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxThe cut of Alpert singing this is available on the his CD 'Lost Treasures.' It's not bad, all things considered, but like the tweak that someone has 'a face made for radio,' Herb always had a voice made for a trumpet player.
  • Larry from Coral Springs, FlI first heard tis sone it was 40 years ago in summer camp. Nice song..but didn't tink much of it till years later..then that's when I realy liked it
  • Cheyenne from Litchfield Park, AzThank you to Jim who seems to be the only one who got the correct facts about the day Karen passed! And Ernie...it was NOT Herb Alpert that was on trumpet on "Close to You," it was a man named Chuck Finley.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOnly four songs out of the first 16 records that they charted with didn't make the Top 10!!! {And one of the four, "I Won't Last A Day Without You", just missed, peaking at #11!!!
  • Lalubabie from San Fransico, CaHey ok, hers the big deal here. what is all this about ok???? i am this person who is looking for facts about this freakin song and you guys are telling me bascially that you are talking about the stupid producer!!! give me the stupid facts you dumb bones!!!!!!
  • Rebekah from Seattle, WaWell, I am currently singing this song for a solo audition, and it is only after practicing this over and over again (I have a deeper alto voice, but Karen had a beautiful and haunting tone to her voice and it is hard to duplicate!) at the ordering of my Director.
    It makes me very sad that someone so beautiful tied the way she did, too many women see themselves as fat. Very, very sad.
  • Anthony from Union Point, GaWho cares if The Carpenters made sappy love songs. They are wonderful with a capital W.
  • Joel from Kenosha, WiI hate to admit this but I kinda dig this song. I know it's sappy and corny and all but damn Karen did have a beautiful voice.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! Today is my dad's 63rd birthday,he loves Karen Carpenter's voice.
  • Jeff from Long Island, NyThe drummer on the single was Hal Blaine, but in the early years it was Karen Carpenter herself who played the drums in concert. She was also drummer on several of the album cuts from the Close to You album. She was an accomplished drummer (praised by Hal Blaine, Cubby O'Brien, Buddy Rich and in a May 1983 article in Modern Drummer magazine) before she was a singer, but eventually they decided that she should be out front because of her amazing singing ability.
  • Denise from Lapuente, Cahis woman had a beautiful voice
  • Denise from Lapuente, Cathis had a beautiful voice it is to bad she was taken from this world to soon
  • Maria from Cincinnati, Ohthe voice of an angel...r.i.p. karen..thank you for leaving such a lovely song
  • Jim from Boston, MaRumors aside, Karen did not die in a hospital room.

    Karen died at her parents' house in Downey, CA on the morning of February 4, 1983. She was the first to get up that morning, so she went downstairs to start the coffee, then went back upstairs to get dressed. Her mother Agnes awoke, went downstairs to get breakfast started, called for Karen, heard total silence, so she went upstairs and found Karen naked on the floor 1/2 in and 1/2 out of her closet, where Karen had gone to choose an outfit for that day. Karen died shortly afterward. Pictures of the ambulance taking her away from her parents' home exist. It's hard to believe this happened almost exactly 25 years ago. (check out YouTube.com, there are clips an interview of Agnes Carpenter recalling that day) May she rest in peace...she was taken much too soon, and she is missed greatly by many.
  • Dillon from Franklin, KyA cover of this song was featured in the 2005 movie "MirrorMask".
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlI'm gonna come out of the closet and admit I like the Carpenter's music. I'm not ashamed ! hahahahaha
  • Brian from New York, NyThis was used in a Simpsons episode where they get it as a doorbell, the doorbell malfunctions, and Marge incorrectly sings "Why do birds suddenly appear...over there, over here."
  • Mike from Ft. Lauderdale, FlSupposedly, this was going to be the song that played for the ending credits of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Apparently, Tobe Hooper came to his senses.
  • Stewart from Seattle, WaBurt Bacharach was never satisfied with his final production/arrangement of this song. When he heard the Carpenter's version, he realized Richard Carpenter had nailed it.
  • Lisa from Melbourne, Australiaits a fact that she did put the coffee on and went upstairs had a shower and collapsed after while naked in her parents closet, and her mother came up and found her then the paramedics were called.. she dies not long after being taken to hospital.. for more info on Karen or The Carpenters, head to leadsister.com
  • George from Richmond, Vaahhh, my song for my first true love. The song lasted longer on the charts than that two week true love of mine. LOL
  • Ernie from KranjBy the way, Herb Alpert contributed the trumpet solo to the track.
  • Don from San Antonio, TxThe Circle Jerks used "Fairy Dust" when they covered this for the brilliant track "Golden Shower of Hits (Jerks on 45)".
  • Elias from Oost-souburg, NetherlandsI've heard Karen collapsed in the kitchen at her parents house. There she was found dead by her mother.
  • Steve from Melrose, MaAnna from Boston is correct. You can watch the "Good Morning America" interview with Karen's parents and Richard Carpenter shortly after her death on Leadsister.com
  • Timmt from Orange, CaIn the song "close to you" they are sprinkling "moon dust" not "fairy dust".
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhoever those squares are that spread the nasty rumors about Karen Carpenter's Cause Of Death, go jump off a balcony! Karen Carpenter was diagnosed with Anorexia nervosa in 1981, when they found out her weight had dropped to 77 pounds. During the time that she was in the hospital room, she gained 10 pounds during one week. You don't gain ten pounds in one week, it's not good for your heart! Karen suffered a fatal heart attack, due to a sudden weight gain after years and years of starvation. She died in a hospital room, not in a closet!
  • Timmt from Orange, Ca"Close To You" spent 4 weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard singles chart and sold just under two million copies. It's parent album "close To You" spent near 100 weeks on the album chart. Both the single and album were a huge success.
  • Anna from Boston, MaFiction: She died in her sleep while spending the night at her parent's home in Downey CA.
    - Charles, Charlotte, NC

    That's funny, if that's true, then a closet is a funny place for a person to decide to go to sleep. Because that's where her mother claimed SHE found her, just barely clinging to life. If I recall her parents and brother were on "Good Morning America" shortly after her death. Her mother said that Karen had awoken earlier that morning and put the water on for the coffee, and then went upstairs to dress, and apparently collapsed while in her closet.
  • Charles from Charlotte, NcFact: Karen Carpenter suffered from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder.
    Fiction: Karen did not die while in rehab. She died in her sleep while spending the night at her parent's home in Downey CA.
  • Ashley from St. Paul, MnIronic place to die...
  • Belinda from Miami, FlLead singer Karen Carpenter died in anorexia rehab.
  • Mark from Akron, OhThe song was originally given to A&M Record President Herb Alpert to sing. He turned down the song after deciding he could not sing about "angels sprinkling fairy dust" etc... It was then given to the Carpenters who turned it into a #1 hit.
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