"(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 1963as "They Long to Be Close to You", without parentheses. However, it was the single's flip side, "Blue Guitar", that became a hit. The tune was also recorded as a demo byDionne 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, which became a hit in 1970, is the best known.


 [hide*1 The Carpenters version

The Carpenters version[edit]Edit

"(They Long to Be) Close to You"

The Carpenters release as a single in 1970.

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 version)

3:40 (7" single)

Label A&M


Writer(s) Burt BacharachHal David
Producer(s) 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"

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 theBillboard Hot 100 for four weeks. This song was originally given to Herb Alpert as a follow up to his Number 1 hit, "This Guy's in Love with You". Alpert was not thrilled with his version and shelved the recording. He decided to give it to the new act he had signed to A&M Records, The Carpenters. Alpert's version finally saw an official release in 2005 on a new Tijuana Brass release called Lost Treasures 1963–1974. Richard had stated that when Alpert introduced the song to him back in early 1970, he was a bit apprehensive about the song.[citation needed] 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.


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

In popular culture[edit]Edit

"(They Long to Be) Close to You" is Homer and Marge's love song on The Simpsons. The song plays in the background when Homer sees Marge for the first time in "The Way We Was". The song would later appear in The Simpsons Movie, as the first song Homer and Marge dance at their wedding in a video. The affection for this song can also explain Marge's melody choice when buying a musical doorbell in "Maximum Homerdrive" episode (The Simpsons Season 10 Episode 17).

In the 1989 film "Parenthood", Nathan (Rick Moranis) comes to his wife Susan's (Harley Jane Kozak) class and sings the song to serenade her.

In the Red Dwarf episode "Back in the Red", the Cat quotes the song when he says "There's a six-month waiting list for birds to suddenly appear every time that I am near!"

David Alan Grier's character, Don 'No Soul' Simmons, covered the song in a sketch for Amazon Women on the Moon.

Janet Jackson used an interpolation of the song for her single "I Want You".

In a 2013 episode of Coronation Street, characters Roy and Hayley Cropper danced to an organ version of the song in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.


Other cover versions[edit]Edit

[2][3]"Close to You",Harry Connick, Jr.single (2009)*In 2009, Faryl Smith covered the song in her album Wonderland.

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