Monday, 9 March 2015

Gwen Guthrie '(They Long To Be) Close To You'

Chart Peak: 25
A hit for the Carpenters in 1970, this Bacharach and David song gave Gwen her second Top 30 hit in Britain following the Top 5 smash 'Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent'.
If you're taking notes - and why wouldn't you be? - this is the fourth song title on Now 8 to start with a bracketed subtitle, with three of the four having shown up on the first disc. Perhaps it was a fashion in 1986. Gwen Guthrie's first hit was an Eighties pop-soul anthem, albeit one that sparked some controversy for its lyrical insistence "You've got to have a JOB if you wanna be with me," which didn't go down well with some unemployed people.

Despite writing that song herself, she stuck to tried and tested material for the follow-up though this (self-produced) rendition is a broad interpretation of the song; she plays about with the lyric and melody like a jazz singer to produce an admirably un-syrupy performance over a club-friendly beat of the era. It's certainly distinctive but it seems to have confused the marketplace a bit and became only a moderate hit. She never had another and sadly died in 1999.

Available on: True Love (3 CD Set)

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