This is the first of an occasional series looking at some great music from my past.
Carole King is now 75 years old. She is one of the most prolific songwriters of the modern era, and even if you have never heard her name, I guarantee you will know some of the countless songs she has been responsible for. She married Gerry Goffin when she was just 17, and the pair formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 1960s. Just some of the songs they wrote at the time might jog your memory.
‘Halfway to Paradise’
‘It might as well rain until September’
‘Up on the roof’
‘Will you still love me tomorrow’
‘One fine day’
And many more.
Carole didn’t enjoy much success as a performer at first, despite recording some of her own compositions. But in 1971, her second album, ‘Tapestry’ caught the mood, and became a huge success. It went on to win numerous awards, and eventually sold 25,000,000 copies, making it one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. I bought my copy that same year, and I didn’t know anyone who didn’t have their own too. This is the original track listing. See how many of the songs are familiar to you now.
All songs written by Carole King except where noted.
“I Feel the Earth Move” – 3:00
“So Far Away” – 3:55
“It’s Too Late” (lyrics by Toni Stern) – 3:54
“Home Again” – 2:29
“Beautiful” – 3:08
“Way Over Yonder” – 4:49
“You’ve Got a Friend” – 5:09
“Where You Lead” (lyrics by Carole King and Toni Stern) – 3:20
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” (Gerry Goffin, King) – 4:13
“Smackwater Jack” (Goffin, King) – 3:42
“Tapestry” – 3:15
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Goffin, King, Jerry Wexler) – 3:59
I played the vinyl almost to extinction, and later bought the CD version, with its two bonus tracks. The songs delivered everything, from mournful ballads, simple love songs, and rocking piano-led beats. Carole’s voice suited her own songs in a way that all the cover versions could never capture. Her emotion came through on every track, and she sung each one right from the heart.
This album is listed high up in the definitive list of the greatest albums of all time.
And I can only agree with that accolade.