(They Long to Be) Close to You

(They Long to Be) Close to You
"(They Long to Be) Close to You"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album Close to You
A-side "(They Long to Be) Close to You"
B-side "I Kept On Lovin' You"
Released May 15, 1970
Format 7" single
Recorded 1970
Genre Pop
Length 4:33 (LP Album)
3:40 (7´Single)
Label A&M
Writer(s) Burt Bacharach; Hal David
Producer Jack Daugherty
Certification Gold single
The Carpenters singles chronology
"Ticket to Ride"
"(They Long to Be) Close to You"
"We've Only Just Begun"
Close to You track listing
Side one
  1. "We've Only Just Begun"
  2. "Love Is Surrender"
  3. "Maybe It's You"
  4. "Reason to Believe"
  5. "Help!"
  6. "(They Long to Be) Close to You"
Side two
  1. "Baby It's You"
  2. "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"
  3. "Crescent Noon"
  4. "Mr. Guder"
  5. "I Kept on Loving You"
  6. "Another Song"

"(They Long to Be) Close to You" is a popular song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was first recorded by Richard Chamberlain and released as a single in 1963 as "They Long to Be Close to You," without parentheses. However, it was the single's flip side, "Blue Guitar," that became a hit. Although Richard Chamberlain recorded the first version, the tune was also recorded as a demo by Dionne Warwick in 1963 and re-recorded with a Burt Bacharach arrangement for her 1964 album Make Way for Dionne Warwick, and was released as the B-side of her 1965 single "Here I Am." Bacharach released his own version in 1968. But the version recorded by The Carpenters is the most well known, which became a hit in 1970.


The Carpenters version

In 1970, it was released by Karen and Richard Carpenter on their album Close to You, and it became their breakthrough hit. The song stayed at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Richard had stated that when Herb Alpert introduced the song to him back in early 1970, he was a bit apprehensive about the song, and didn't have confidence in it. He and Alpert collaborated on the song, and the finished product was a 4-minute, 36-second long song. When A&M Records decided to release it in May 1970, it became A&M's biggest hit since Alpert's "This Guy's in Love with You" from 1968.

With "(They Long to Be) Close to You," The Carpenters earned 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.

This song is Homer and Marge's love song on The Simpsons, and is played numerous times in the series, as well as in the movie.

The song was also used in the film Open Season 2, at the very end of the film.


Chart (1970) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1
U.S. Billboard Easy Listening 1
Record World 1
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Oricon (Japanese) Singles Chart 71
UK Singles Chart 6

Other cover versions

  • In 1964, the song was recorded by Dusty Springfield, but released on her 1967 album Where Am I Going?.
  • In 1970, Hawaiian singer Al Stroud recorded the song as a demo, with Nick De Caro as the producer and arranger, just prior to the Carpenter's Release. Artie Price told Stroud's managers the song would never be a hit.
  • In 1971, Claudine Longet recorded the song and included some lyrics in French on her album, We've Only Just Begun. That same year, it was performed on The Burt Bacharach Show by the show's host and Barbra Streisand.
  • Also in 1971, Frank Sinatra recorded the song for his album Sinatra and Company.
  • The Ladybirds recorded the song for The Benny Hill Show (episode 9, recorded March 4, 1971 for broadcast Mar. 24, 1971)[1]
  • In 1972, the song again became a hit when recorded by Jerry Butler and Brenda Lee Eager. It went to #6 on the Billboard R&B chart.
  • In 1974, The Clams recorded the song on a 45-rpm record in a spoof style reminiscent of Spike Jones.
  • Jazz pianist Erroll Garner played a highly re-worked instrumental version on the last album he recorded before his death, Magician, in 1973.
  • In 1976, another hit version was released by B.T. Express, peaking at #31 on the R&B chart. A year later it was performed on The Muppet Show by Connie Stevens with Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.
  • In 1977, Brazilian singer Ronnie Von covered the song on his self-titled album.
  • In 1983, The Circle Jerks covered the song as one of the six cover versions on "Golden Shower of Hits (Jerks on 45)", which appears on their third album with the same title.
  • Gwen Guthrie had a UK #25 hit with a version released in 1986.
  • The song is sung a capella by Nathan (Rick Moranis) in the 1989 comedy movie Parenthood, in a scene where he enters the classroom where his wife is teaching, thus trying to win back her love.
  • This song, an accurate Indian translation, was sung at Apu's wedding on the Simpsons; an Indian vocal group was hired to sing, while Alf Clausen wrote the instrumental part.
  • Irish rock band The Cranberries recorded the song and released it as the b-side to their 1995 single "I Can't Be With You", from the album No Need to Argue.
  • Carl Winslow (Played by Reginald VelJohnson) sung the song to his wife Harriet Winslow (Played by Jo Marie Payton) before the episode, Talk's Cheap, ended on the sitcom Family Matters in 1995.
  • In 1998, Japanese-American singer Utada Hikaru (using the stage name Cubic U) released Close to You as the first and only single from her 1998 album Precious
  • Cantonese pop-rock singer Karen Mok covered the song to promote the 2002 girls with guns action film So Close, in which she stars. Mok's version, titled Close to You, was used as the main theme of the movie.
  • Paul Daniels recorded an intentionally off-pitch version, along with several other celebrities, for a series of commercials for Heineken in the UK, circa 2001.
  • The song was covered by Paul Weller on his 2004 covers album Studio 150.
  • The song has been recorded by many other artists, including Bobby Womack, Perry Como, Barenaked Ladies, Isaac Hayes (on Black Moses, 1971), Les Mouches, Jimmy Bo Horne, Ethyl Meatplow, Freya Lin, Corrinne May, Rie fu, Rick Astley, Emil Chau, Johnny Mathis, Vincy Chan Tuck & Patti and Tamia as a duet with Gerald Levert.
  • In 2005, an eerie and very mechanical version the song was featured in the film MirrorMask
  • In 2007, A Hong Kong Singer, Vincy Chan covered this song. This song has been released in 2007 in the album Close To You at 15/10.
  • In 2008, Tina Arena covered the song on her chart topping album Songs of Love & Loss 2.
  • In 2009, Japanese singer BENI covered the song for the Japanese tribute album for The Carpenters. In the same year the Japanese duo Every Little Thing covered the song, inserted in their single CD "Tsumetai Ame."
"Close to You," Harry Connick, Jr. single (2009)
  • The song is the lead single from Harry Connick, Jr.'s 2009 album, Your Songs, and it was released exclusively on Amazon.com, on August 25, 2009, by Sony Music. The album is a collaboration between Connick and leading music executive Clive Davis, who recommended "(They Long to Be) Close to You" for the album. Connick sings backed by his big band, a piano, and a string orchestra. The song features New Orleans trumpeter Leroy Jones.[2] Barnes & Noble streamed the song in its entirety, from two weeks before its release, on their website for the Your Songs album.[3] On the single's release date, a music video of the song, featuring pictures and film from the recording of the album, was put up at Amazon.com.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins released a cover of the song in their Live Smashing Pumpkins album series.
  • The song was covered by saxophonist Gerald Albright on his 2010 album Pushing The Envelope.[4][5]
  • A cover version of the song by Ronald Isley and Lauryn Hill was leaked onto the internet on September 8, 2010. The duet will be on Isley's forthcoming album, Mr. I.[6]


Preceded by
"Song of Joy" by Miguel Rios
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (The Carprenters version)
July 11, 1970 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Just Can't Help Believing" by B.J. Thomas
Preceded by
"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" by Three Dog Night
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 25, 1970 (four weeks)
Succeeded by
"Make It With You" by Bread
Preceded by
"A Song of Joy"
RPM number-one single
August 8–15, 1970
Succeeded by
"As the Years Go By" by Mashmakhan
Preceded by
"In the Summertime" by The Mixtures
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single
19 October 1970 - 2 November 1970
Succeeded by
"Lookin' Out My Back Door" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

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