At Urbaneer, we're a pretty romantic bunch.
Which is why we get positively giddy on Valentine's Day!
Whether you're single or attached, today is a day to celebrate fate casting its magic spell, the joy of Cupid pointing his bow and arrow, and how we can trust the stars to align and manifest LOVE in all its forms - not just for sweethearts - but our love for friends and family too!
Today we encourage you to take the opportunity to snuggle closer to someone dear! For the past seven years, I've chosen a Music Video that represents my ever evolving view on matters of the heart. Having representing all the shades of love and lust - with plenty of camp - I present this year's ode to love with: '(They Long To Be) Close To You' performed by Karen Carpenter.
In 1969 The Carpenters penned a deal with A&M Records and their version of Close To You song was their breakthrough hit (though many more followed!). The Carpenters achieved considerable commercial success throughout the 1970s, and while Karen started out playing the drums for the group full-time, she transitioned into the role of frontwoman.
Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David (just like last year's song pick 'Say A Little Prayer'), the song was performed by Richard Chamberlain in 1963, Dionne Warwick in 1964, and Dusty Springfield in 1967. But none caught on the way Karen Carpenter's rendition did, and her delicate alto became the iconic version of this legendary tune. It quickly soared to Number #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained in the top spot for 4 weeks!! 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 - the first of three career Grammys!
For me, this 1970 release represents the bloom of youth, and young love. Not my own, but my big sister who was 15 years old at the time, and crazy for a boy. To witness her becoming of age had only one parallel for me - rooted in a Wonderful World Of Disney kind of way - which was the show every family in Canada in the 60s and 70s would watch on television on Sunday evenings. It's rooted in a trope which still exists in shaping young minds today, which are the signature scenes in Disney Fairy Tales where woodland creatures surround the heroine with unconditional love. It always begins with a few birds chirping a sweet song to make her smile - or all the forest critters turning up en masse to celebrate a particularly joyous moment. (Ironically my sister looked a lot like Karen, as you can see in the photo below with my brother and I!! )
The song is uplifting, optimistic, and an excellent foundation for all matters of the heart. The song opens with "Why do birds suddenly appear / Every time you are near?" It's pretty clear... nothing feels quite like wading through those intial stage of infatuation! Crushes are cute, fun, and innocent - and good for the heart! Sadly, Karen's own heart never recovered after battling anorexia for much of her life, and she died in 1983 at the far-too-young young age of 32. For me, this tragedy coincided with one of my own childhood besties confessing her own journey navigating the grips or an eating disorder, so the resonance of this song runs deep.
But Karen's voice still lives on with this track as the theme to several iconic movie moments, and the overture to many of my own crushes! Happy Valentine's Day, and may LOVE be with you - today and always!
If you're curious to hear my personal picks for stellar love themes, here are my past V-Day posts:
- A joyful song of devotion, Say A Little Prayer performed by Dionne Warwick, was what I was feeling in 2018!
- Representing all the shades of love and lust - with plenty of camp - with my 2017 pick of the Madonna' 1989 track "Express Yourself"
- My 2016 naughty seductive indulgence with Madonna's controversial 1990 video 'Justify My Love'
- A 2015 celebration of love and real estate with the B52's Love Shack (including a cameo by RuPaul)
- A 2014 homage to The Captain and Tenille (Steve's first 45 record) in Hello Cupid
- The classic rock anthem "Addicted To Love" in our 2013 Happy Valentine's post
- A hysterically funny 2012 Thumpty-Thump "Love Is In The Air" post (especially for those of you who love camp)
- An ode to romance, roller skates and "Xanudu" in our 2011 post called A Million Lights Are Dancing & There You Are...!
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