Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Album of the Day #171: TAPESTRY - Carole King

Artist: Carole King

Title: Tapestry
Year: 1971
Label: Ode
Songs: I Feel The Earth Move/So Far Away/It's Too Late*/Home Again/Beautiful/Way Over Yonder/You've Got A Friend/Where You Lead*/Will You Love Me Tomorrow**/Smackwater Jack**/Tapestry/(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman+
Written by: Carole King, except *Carole King & Toni Stern, **Gerry Goffin & Carole King and +Gerry Goffin, Carole King & Jerry Wexler
Produced by: Lou Adler
Thoughts: Carole King was the writer of so many amazing hits throughout the sixties with her then-husband, Gerry Goffin, but she had never had any success as a performer herself until Tapestry.
The album has since proven to be a cultural phenomenon that has survived over the years simply because it's pretty hard for such beautiful songs to age. This twelve song platter is really a kind of 'greatest hits' for King and it features many of the songs that were already familiar hits for others ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "...Natural Woman" were standards by 1971 and James Taylor just had a hit with "You've Got A Friend"). It was kind of like her Freewheelin' album.
To try to pick a favorite from this album is a really tough thing to do, but if you really wanted me to chose, I would have to say "It's Too Late". It's such an amazing song about pain and heartbreak and, for some reason, those are the kind of songs I like. Of the obscure songs on the album, which in reality are those that weren't released as singles, "Home Again" is pretty good and the title track is really something else.
The truth about Tapestry is that it is literally a Murderer's Row of songs. I really love King's voice and would like to pick up a few more of her records, but she never reached the heights of Tapestry again. You have to admit, it certainly doesn't help when you unload all of your best songs on one album. Still, that's what makes Tapestry so after song you already know. Plus, it means that there's no filler...all killer and in this case, the killer is a little Jewish girl from Brooklyn.

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