“Made it, Ma! Top of the World!”*

(ign.com): “ “White Heat” is Raoul Walsh’s 1949 mini-epic, widely recognised as one of the greatest gangster movies ever made.

Deranged and disturbed in every way, the only place criminal gang leader Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) can find relief from his mental headaches is in the Oedipal embrace of his mother. When she dies, he becomes even more unhinged, spiralling out of control and leading to a climactic police standoff atop a giant gas storage tank. Cornered and outnumbered, and with the tank about to explode, he bellows *the infamous line to the heavens, just in time for the whole thing to go up in flames.”

From Wikipedia:

“ “Goodbye to Love” is a song composed by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. It was released by the Carpenters in 1972, and the first Carpenters hit.”

From: Little Girl Blue (2010), by Randy L Schmidt:

“…Returning to the States with Bettis’s contributions, Richard sat down with “Goodbye to Love” and came up with a novel idea. In constructing the arrangement he imagined the unlikely sound of a melodic fuzz guitar solo. Jack Daugherty suggested they bring in an established session guitarist…

…(Tony) Peluso…could not read music but was a quick study, and when Richard gave him a chord sheet with instructions to play the melody on the first couple of bars and then improvise, the recording was complete in only two takes. The result was one of the first known uses of a fuzz tone guitar solo on a ballad. “When I got the record I actually cried the first time I heard it,” John Bettis recalled. “I had never heard an electric guitar sound like that and have very few times since. Tony had a certain almost cello-sounding guitar growl that worked against that wonderful melancholia of that song. The way it growls at you, especially at the end, is unbelievable. It may be my favourite single I’ve ever had with anybody.”…

…By mid-1972, Peluso had accepted an offer to become a full-fledged member of the Carpenters’ touring band. As the entourage grew to fourteen, the need for adequate transportation was filled with the acquisition of two Learjets, aptly named Carpenter 1 and Carpenter 2, which were used to travel between one-nighters. It was on one such trip that Bettis came up with the song title “Top of the World.” According to the lyricist, “When I got in the plane and took off I thought, ‘Are we on top of the world now or what? Look at this!’ I saw the visual symbolism. I was at the top of the world. I took the title and wrote it with another guy, Kerry Chater…”

From: Little Girl Blue (2010), by Randy L Schmidt:

“In the spring of 1973 Sherwin Bash was contacted on behalf of President Nixon with a request for the Carpenters to entertain at the White House following a state dinner honouring West German Chancellor Willy Brandt. Bash was quick to accept the invitation on the group’s behalf, and on April 30, 1973, during a hectic touring schedule of one-nighters, the exhausted Carpenters entourage flew into Washington, D.C. Unbeknownst to them, the Watergate scandal was on the verge of erupting. In fact, just one day prior the president had met with key advisors Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman at Camp David, where he confirmed their suspicions that they would be asked to resign their positions.”

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