We've Only Just Begun / Love StoryWe've Only Just Begun / Love Story

  1. Snowbird
  2. (They Long To Be) Close To You
  3. What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?
  4. Everything Is Beautiful
  5. Make It With You
  6. Let It Be
  7. I'll Be There
  8. You've Made Me So Very Happy
  9. Everybody Knows
  10. Candida
  11. We've Only Just Begun
  12. Love Story (Where Do I Begin)
  13. Sweet Caroline
  14. It's Impossible
  15. Come Saturday Morning
  16. For The Good Times
  17. Watching Scotty Grow
  18. Rose Garden
  19. El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
  20. If You Could Read My Mind
  21. My Sweet Lord
  22. For All We Know

This 2-on-1 CD was released on March 19, 2002 (Collectables COL 7459 / Sony A-53867). Tracks 1-11 recorded and released in 1970 on Columbia C 30410; tracks 12-22 recorded and released in 1971 on Columbia C 30498.

Album credits, photos (in particular, Ray and his Bronco) and portions of the liner notes were omitted but have been reproduced in red below:

From We've Only Just Begun:

Produced by Jack Gold
Sound Supervision by Bob Ballard
Engineering: Jack Lattig, Bob Breault and Jerry Hochman

The real test of anything special is its ability to survive and flourish. Ray Conniff and his music have endured over many years and his popularity is greater than ever before. One of the reasons for this is the Conniff ability to grow with the times. In this album we are treated to the marvelous Conniff singers with their precisioned cadences, the imaginative and satisfying fills and swells of the Conniff arrangements, and the percussion and rhythm track of today's contemporary sounds.
Be sure to notice the fun-filled What Have They Done To My Song, Ma?, the tender and youthful They Long To Be Close To You and the jazz-tingled You've Made Me So Very Happy. Ray is playing trombone on Let It Be and singing on Everybody Knows (which he wrote).
The same Conniff enthusiasm that makes him so successful in music has poured over into another area. Ray is pictured here with the racing car he pilots when he is not in the studio. He drove this Ford Bronco in the 1970 Baja 1000, the annual Mexican off-road race.
By the way, that is Ray's beautiful wife, Vera, on the cover. He is very enthusiastic about her too.
— Jack Gold

From Love Story:

Produced by Jack Gold
Sound Supervision by Bob Ballard
Arranged and Conducted by Ray Conniff
Engineering: Jack Lattig
Front cover photo: Guy Webster
Back cover photo: CBS Photo Studios

In bursts of enthusiasm to capture the "now" sound, musicians sometimes forget that basic musical beauty lies in the melodic line, not necessarily in electronic magic. The artistry of Ray Conniff is the listening proof of this.
The view from the "live" side of the microphone as compared to the "listening" side of the microphone at a Conniff recording session is as different as Beethoven is to Bacharach. In the studio, each performer faces that "live" mike and hears only his own sound and that of his immediate neighbor. The "listening" side is the soundproof control booth where everything is hear and balanced for the finished result.
While recording, Ray stands in front of the orchestra and chorus, a headset on that enables him to receive this same complete sound. His practiced ear tells him immediately if some one performer is "off-mike." Each number is rehearsed until it meets with Ray's standards; then and only then does he call for a "take." Several of these takes may be required before he feels he has the one that echoes the perfection he demands on his albums.
As a member of the Conniff Singers for many years, our times together have been what "Memories Are Made of...," particularly when we have been on tour and have performed in front of a live audience. The stimulus of traveling all day and performing all night may sound exhausting, but it's the adrenaline that makes for excitement. The feel of a recording studio can never be compared with the feel of an audience, yet in Studio A at Columbia Records in Hollywood, Ray, like Merlin, re-creates the magic, and in so doing brings out the best in us all.
Looking out at "Mr. C." from our raised platforms is looking at a study in concentration, yet a man whose sense of humor shows itself repeatedly when he laughs with all of us at a sour note in the chorus or a "clinker" in the orchestra. His patience is much in evidence when trouble arises over a difficult musical passage, as he is a man who makes each member feel important to the entire arrangement.
There is no substitute for purity of sound. An audience may have varied musical tastes, but the success of Ray's music proves that a majority of people the world over prefer his straightforward arrangements. His instinct unfailingly leads him in his selection of songs that never grow old in popularity, a trend that has constantly grown ever since his first album, 'S Wonderful.
At that time he used only eight singers; four girls singing the same notes as the trumpets and clarinets and four boys following the trombones and saxophones. That was when the now famous "dah-d'dl-ee-yah-dat" was first heard in place of words. The singers actually became instruments, singing orchestral inflections instead of lyrics.
Through the years the chorus has grown to twenty-five singers, the "doo-doos" and "wah-das" having been replaced by words, and the original eight-part harmony expanding sometimes to sixteen separate vocal lines. Ray's creativity never lies dormant. It is ever-changing to continually present his own brand of distinctive listening pleasure.
Here is a man who creates a GOOD sound, a TRUE sound, a REAL sound, the Ray Conniff sound. — Rica Owen Moore

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