"We've Only Just Begun" is The Carpenters' signature song. Although it was recorded in early 1970, it is still much in demand as a wedding anthem. Written by the songwriting team of Roger Nichols (music) and Paul Williams (lyrics), the song originally debuted in a commercial for Crocker National Bank in California in 1970, with Williams providing the vocals. It is ranked #405 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Believing that the song had hit potential, Richard Carpenter selected the composition for the duo's third single and included it on the LP Close to You. Released in the late summer of 1970, the single featured his sister Karen's lead vocals and the overdubbed harmonies of both siblings. Following their hit "(They Long To Be) Close to You" onto the charts, "We've Only Just Begun" crested at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming the pair's second gold single and was considered by both Karen and Richard to be their signature song. According to The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th edition), on the U.S. Adult Contemporary singles chart, it was the duo's best-performing tune, lasting seven weeks at #1 (besting the six-week stay at the top of "Close To You"). The song helped them to win two Grammy Awards in 1971. One was for the Best New Artist (The Carpenters), and the other was for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus (Close to You).
In 1996, Grant Lee Buffalo covered this song on If I Was Carpenter: A Tribute to The Carpenters. Example used it as a backing track to his song "So Many Roads".
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||2|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||1|
|Canadian Singles Chart||2|
|Oricon (Japanese) Singles Chart||71|
|UK Singles Chart||28|