Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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(They Long to Be) Close to You

First recorded (as “They Long to Be Close to You”) by Richard Chamberlain (1963).
Also recorded by Dionne Warwick (B-side 1964), Dusty Springfield (1964, released 1967), Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (1968, released 2005).
Hit version by The Carpenters (US #1/UK #6/CAN #1 1970).

From the wiki: “‘(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.

“Dusty Springfield recorded an early version of ‘Close to You’ in 1964, which was originally scheduled to be released as the follow-up single to ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do with Myself’. However, it wasn’t until 3 years later, in 1967, that her version was released – as an album track – on Where Am I Going?

“The song was given to Herb Alpert by the co-writer, Burt Bacharach, intending it to a follow-up to Alpert’s 1968 #1 hit, ‘This Guy’s in Love with You’. But, Alpert was not thrilled with his recording and shelved it. (Alpert’s version finally saw an official release in 2005 on a new Tijuana Brass release called Lost Treasures 1963–1974.) Instead, Alpert decided to give ‘Close to You’ to the new act he had signed to his A&M Records label, The Carpenters. Richard Carpenter has stated that when Alpert introduced the song to him back in early 1970, he was a bit apprehensive about it. But, he and Alpert collaborated on the song and the finished product was released as the title track of The Carpenters’ second album, Close to You (1970), and was the album’s lead single.

“Along with topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in July-August 1970, ‘Close to You’ would also earn The Carpenters a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo (Group or Chorus) in 1971.”

Dionne Warwick, “They Long to Be Close to You” (1964):

Dusty Springfield, “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (1967):

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (1968):

The Carpenters, “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (1970):

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