We've Only Just Begun _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byCarpentersand reaching number 28 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date14/01/1971Duration of dance - 3.02 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andy, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
"We've Only Just Begun" is a song written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams. It was first used in a wedding-themed television commercial for Crocker National Bank in California in the winter of 1970 with Williams on vocals. Richard Carpenter liked the song so much that he chose to record it for the Carpenters' third single release as a follow-up to their million seller "Close To You". It went on to become their second gold record in the US, peaking at #2 on Billboard and #1 on Cash Box. In the UK, it was a completely different story as the song got no higher than a rather measly #28.
"We've Only Just Begun" was also the second Carpenters single (of five) that needed the dance troupe treatment as the US duo wasn't available for performing. The Pan's People routine aired on 14/01/1971, when the single had climbed the charts from #45 to #37. This is one of the very few surviving TOTP shows from that year, although it only exists in a raw unedited state. Famously it includes about a minute of rehearsal footage from WOJB which ends with one of the dancers getting out of step and looking rather desperate, a sequence that was repeated on "Tales of TV Centre".
"We've Only Just Begun" is a nice tune and probably one of the Carpenters' best known recordings. The Pan's People performance shows the girls in long skirts - a bit old fashioned maybe -, all dressed in different colours, moving elegantly with a great deal of spins and a fair number of jumps. To me the dance doesn't look simple at all, in fact I find the steps quite complicated, which is why I have a lot of sympathy for poor Babs.
Yet this is one performance that I could never really warm up to. It's all nice and easy but not exactly electrifying. Possibly it's one for the Grandads
For me Pans People and the Carpenters did not seem to make an ideal partnership and of course you'd hardly leap onto the dance floor to bop to the syrupy music this duo produced even though Karen did have the voice of an Angel. No, this is just not dance music and at times the Carpenters virtually boarded the elevator. This is better than the scary Close to You as far as I'm concerned but the slow rhythm and the jerky interludes make for troubled waters into which a Dancer or two can be seen to tumble. Having said all this the Troupe look good in their outfits and I do like some of the dancing so I am giving this 6/10 and my eyes are drawn to Andi so she gets my vote for DotD. Now maybe if Please Mr Postman was miraculously discovered I would have to change my tune......
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
There's a fantastic visual display happening here, not least because of the multi-coloured array of costumes, & I think that everybody's in their regular colours, assuming the reason for that being an aid to the uninitiated, for easy identification of each dancer.
Having all of the ladies looking so obviously different from each other, makes this dance routine heaps more interesting.
& as for the dancing itself, graceful seems like an appropriate word to discribe it for this gentle Carpenters ballad, & that's what I've come to expect from Pan's People.
I really like the involved choreography, even if it results in the occasional uncertainty. It fits the song very well while the ladies outfits work a treat for those dance steps. It isn't a block buster but is still one I get much enjoyment from watching and am therefore giving it an 8. And, for her leading the line with nary a falter, Andrea is my Dotd.
Maybe i'm seeing this differently to you Vin, but this was by far Flicks worst performance as a dancer in my view. Quite often a split second behind the rest (between 0.59 secs and 1.09 mins she just look plain lethargic). The whole thing looked a complete mess around the 2.10 mins mark with arms flailing and mis-timed spins a plenty by 2 or 3 of them. Indeed the annoying TOTPs blue banner does seem to mask some of the frailties.
Yeah its a rotten song to dance to and the outfits the girls are decked out in just make the situation worse. Sorry to be so downbeat and to commit the ultimate sin of criticizing Flick.
Rating--Not the best day at the office for Pans, so i will award it `3.5 out of 10`, and most of that score is coz the BBC didn't wipe it, so saving it for future nitpickers like me to gripe about it.
I prefer this early period of the Carpenters catalogue containing some real gems of 'easy listening', before the production technique changed and even Karen's fine voice was ruined with horribly obvious double-tracking techniques later, on covers like There's a Kind of Hush and Please Mr Postman. Pan's accompaniment blends well with the style of the track and the beautiful blend of dress colours really adds to the visual. Had this not survived in colour though the dress style would probably come across as rather drab.
There are some lovely moves in his one... the spins, the fanning of the dresses, the hands behind the head, the kicks. However, for whatever reason there does seem to be a lack of synchronism throughout which can't help but detract from the overall result. The existing out-take of dear Babs losing her way (almost the same happens in take 2) does make you wonder if there wasn't enough rehearsal time as the routine is reasonably complex in places and others, including Flick herself, seem to be unsure of what comes next.
Andrea quite literally leads the pack, resplendent in a blue even deeper than Babs, so is my DotD. 7.5
I think this is one of those occasions when the song was better than the dance. Some great vocals from Karen Carpenter but there seems to be a few timing issues with the dancing, and it all looks a bit scratchy. I do like their dresses though.
I wouldn't say this is poor but it is not as good as their usual performance levels, so I will score it 7 out of 10 with Andrea as DOTD.
It's a simple decision but having an attractive range of colours does make a significant difference, even though I'm not taken with the gypsy style. The dance does have an 'in training' feel to it and the choreography at times seems aimless or misjudged with, for example, the graceful fanning working much better with the tempo than those early fast spins. Occasionally it seems about to gain direction, such as when the jumps are timed with the stabs of brass. But ultimately I find this pretty dull and I can't help thinking that Flick would have come up with something better later in her TOTP career.
Only a few months since the previous Carpenters routine and clearly a lot of changes went on in the visuals of the show at the end of 1970 (which we can't see ), and now the longer stage gives a chance for the added movement along a line as we see here. Its very bright and colourful, and nice for the regulation colour scheme to make another appearance. It does however look like a work in progress, potentially very good, some highly technical sequenced spins, the ever popular high kicks and a graceful flow befitting the song but some timing issues from a few prevents a high score. I do like it a lot however and for ambition alone i'll give it 8/10.
Well I must say that if I ever met the person responsible for those TOTP captions I'd like to thank them by sticking a red hot poker where the sun don't shine. It even manages to totally obliterate the girls at one point. Still I suppose it's better this than being hoarded away. Not the greatest dance, but it's old, it's colour and it's the original line up 8/10.
Dotd: We don't get to see much of her in colour, so I'll give it to the guv'nor Flick.
oh dear, how can this Blues fan ever like any Carpenters number ? Heaven sent Chuck Berry to save us from this. The dancers are tasteful and colourful but not given much to do. I'm in a good mood and suggest 5 and DOTD as Babs.
I really enjoyed this song when it was released and it was sad it only limped into the bottom twenties. The album fared much better in terms of longevity on the charts. The dance itself was not one of my favourites as the outfits are so lumpy (coloured versions of Without You's). The girls seemed to be having trouble keeping up with each other on here but with all that material to carry around one can understand it. I have the out-take to this in my own collection and one went quite wrong in part and I got the feeling it was Babs. From the whole performance though it was good and energetic. I will give the dance an eight out of ten and Babs will get my DOTD as she tried hard.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
I sat here and watched the entire routine, including the false start and it looks like Babs really was having trouble with this routine, even in the final version. Ruth clearly didn't look too happy having to start again, but it only took two takes which is very good. I don't think the ladies look too bad, in fact I thought the choice of colour gave it a summer feel even though it is the winter. Then I guess with the BBC's industrial heaters it must have been very hot in there. The highlight of the routine was the lovely dancing of Flick.