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.
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 3 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.
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.
The Cranberries sang this at Woodstock '94, and included it as the B-side to their 1995 single "I Can't Be With You."
|Release Date: May 15, 1970|