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For All We Know (1970 song)

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Title: For All We Know (1970 song)  
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Subject: Robb Royer, Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer, Merry Christmas Darling, Fred Karlin
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For All We Know (1970 song)

"For All We Know" is a soft rock song written for the 1970 film Lovers and Other Strangers, by Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson (Robb Royer) and Arthur James (Jimmy Griffin). Both Royer and Griffin were founding members of the soft-rock group Bread. It was originally performed by Larry Meredith.[1] It is best known for a cover version by American pop duo The Carpenters in 1971, which reached No. 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and No. 1 on the US Billboard Easy Listening chart. The song was also a hit for Shirley Bassey at the same time in the United Kingdom. It has since been covered by a large number of artists.

The song became a Gold record. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1971.[1]


  • The Carpenters version 1
    • Personnel 1.1
    • Charts 1.2
  • Shirley Bassey version 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

The Carpenters version

"For All We Know"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album Carpenters
B-side "Don't Be Afraid"
Released January 15, 1971
Format 7" single
Recorded Late 1970
Genre Soft rock, traditional pop
Length 2:33
Label A&M
Writer(s) Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson,[1] Arthur James
Producer(s) Jack Daugherty
Certification Gold
The Carpenters singles chronology
"Merry Christmas Darling"
"For All We Know"
"Rainy Days and Mondays"

Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters heard the song during an evening of relaxation at the movies while on tour. He decided it would be ideal for the duo. It became a hit for them in 1971, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and number one for three weeks on the U.S. easy listening chart.[2]

When the original song was nominated for an Academy Award, the Carpenters were not allowed to perform it at the ceremony as they had not appeared in a film. At their request, the song was performed by British singer Petula Clark. (Clark would later perform the song in concert on February 6, 1983, in tribute to Karen Carpenter, who had died two days before.)

According to Richard, the English horn intro was originally played on guitar. They had run into Jose Feliciano in a restaurant, who was a big fan of theirs and wanted to play on one of their records. They went into the studio and the intro was devised by Feliciano, using his nylon string acoustic guitar. The next day, though, Richard got a phone call from Feliciano's manager, demanding that he be removed from the recording. Richard essentially did as requested and replaced Feliciano's guitar intro with that of Earle Dumler's oboe.[3] The other instruments heard on the song were recorded by session musicians later known as the Wrecking Crew.[4][5]

In 1972, Richard and Karen appeared on Tom Jones' Special London Bridge Special, where they performed "For All We Know". This version was not released to the public until 2000, with the release of The Singles: 1969–1981.



Chart Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 7
UK Singles Chart[1] 18
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Easy Listening 1


  • Released as a double A-side with "Superstar" in the UK

Shirley Bassey version

The song became a hit in the UK for Dame Shirley Bassey in 1971, at the same time as the Carpenters' version, with the two songs competing for chart strength.[1] Bassey's version peaked at #6 during a 24-week chart run.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Carpenters Fans Ask- Richard Answers, May 2005". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  4. ^ Hartman, Kent (2012). The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret. Macmillan. p. 263.  
  5. ^  
  6. ^ "ChartArchive - The Chart Archive". Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
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