Coming Up: 'We've Only Just Begun - The Paul Williams Songbook'

Out July 26 from Ace Records.


Paul Williams started out as an actor in the 60s, struggled to get work, and ended up almost by accident as a songwriter. Lucky us! He became one of the warmest, most successful songwriters America has ever seen, with songs full of generosity, humility and humanity. Right at the start, he wrote ‘Fill Your Heart’ with Biff Rose, covered by David Bowie on “Hunky Dory”, and ‘Someday Man’ for the Monkees. But it was in the 70s that he hit his stride, writing a ton of songs for the Carpenters, including ‘We've Only Just Begun’ and ‘I Won't Last a Day Without You’.

“We’ve Only Just Begun” is the first ever compilation of Paul Williams work as a songwriter, and it casts its net wide to find wonderful recordings of his songs by Scott Walker (‘We Could Be Flying’), Glen Campbell (‘Another Fine Mess’) and Elvis Presley (‘Where Do I Go From Here’). The familiar Carpenters hits are presented in wonderful, less heard renditions by Diana Ross (‘I Won't Last A Day Without You’), Freda Payne (‘Rainy Days And Mondays’) and Petula Clark (‘Let Me Be The One’). Despite being a songwriter he still worked in movies and ended up writing the theme for One On One by Seals & Crofts and ‘What Would They Say’ (recorded by Helen Reddy) from John Travolta's breakthrough movie The Boy In The Bubble. He found perfection with ‘The Rainbow Connection’ sung by Kermit the frog in the first Muppet Movie.

Compiled by Bob Stanley, “We’ve Only Just Begun” is a timely salute to a man hailed as a genius by, among others, Daft Punk. Now in his 80s, Williams is working on a musical of Pan’s Labyrinth with Guillermo Del Toro, hoping for a 2026 opening in London’s West End. He has been chairman of ASCAP for fifteen years now – an institution set up by Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and other forebears more than a century ago – and is long-recognised as one of America’s greatest living songwriters. He isn’t expecting a call from the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame any time soon, and it doesn’t bother him a jot. "Being clever isn't really important," he told Disc in 1972. "I'd rather be honest or moving."

Track list:

  1. Someday Man - The Monkees
  2. Bitter Honey - The Holy Mackerel
  3. I Won't Last A Day Without You - Diana Ross
  4. We've Only Just Begun - Freddie Allen
  5. Let's Ride - Roger Nichols & The Small Circle Of Friends
  6. We Could Be Flying - Scott Walker
  7. Talk It Over In The Morning - Anne Murray
  8. Somebody Waiting - Miguel Rios
  9. What Would They Say - Helen Reddy
  10. Rainy Days And Mondays - Freda Payne
  11. Travelling Boy - Art Garfunkel
  12. I Fell - The Four King Cousins
  13. Fill Your Heart - Biff Rose
  14. Let Me Be The One - Petula Clark
  15. Where Do I Go From Here - Elvis Presley
  16. Roan Pony - Paul Williams
  17. An Old Fashioned Love Song - Three Dog Night
  18. My Fair Share (Love Theme from One On One) - Seals & Crofts
  19. Trust - The Peppermint Trolley Company
  20. The Drifter - The Sandpipers
  21. Another Fine Mess - Glen Campbell
  22. Rainbow Connection - Kermit


  1. That documentary that came out some years ago about him surviving Hollywood and becoming sober was really good. I have always loved “Another Fine Mess” but did not know Williams wrote it!

  2. Yes! I loved the documentary: "Paul Williams: Still Alive." Highly recommended!


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