Carol King – Tapestry

-Carol King?

Yeah, what of it?

-My mom listens to that crap! What are you smoking?

Crack…with a little speed sprinkled on top.  I call it speedballing!

-But, Carol King?!?!

Have you listened to the album?

-No, but…

Then shut up and take notes.

I too found it weird that I would like an album like this…until I listened to it and said: “Damn…that’s that shit, right there!” Hell, I would never have picked it up if I hadn’t been perusing the ‘Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums of All Time’ list, spotted it and gave it a spin.

More people should give that method a try.

I’ve always had a soft spot for singer/songwriters…or anyone who has a profession that has a slash in it.  I admire multi-taskers.  Born in Brooklyn, King learned piano at an early age before moving on to singing. While attending Queens college, she made some new musical friends like Neil Sedaka (who wrote “Oh! Carol” for her,) Paul Simon and Gerry Goffin.  It was her partnership with Gerry that would launch her career.

The two formed a partnership working as songwriters for Aldon Music, who was churning out hits all through the sixties.  Their first big hit was ‘Will You Love me Tomorrow?’by the Shirelles which topped the charts in 1961 and was later covered by folks like Dusty Springfield, Laura Branigan and The Four Seasons.   The two eventually married and had two daughters.

Over the course of their career, the two penned a slew of hits like ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’ for the Monkees, ‘The Loco-Motion’ by Little Eva and ‘(You Make me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ for Aretha Franklin.

As the sixties came to a close, King and Goffin grew apart and divorced, as King began to focus on her own singing career.  After a few failed albums( “Now That Everything’s Been Said” and “Writer”), and modest hits, she had yet to crack the top 10.

Until 1971, that is.

That’s when King released “Tapestry,” a piano fueled folksy collection of her early hits and new compositions.  You know she struck gold when “Tapestry” held the title of best selling pop solo album ever until it was de-throned by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” twelve years later.  The LP is chock full of wonderful singles like ‘I Feel The Earth Move,’ ‘It’s Too Late’ and ‘You’ve Got A Friend.’ And the vibe is warm and inviting…and sometimes rocking!

“Tapestry” Still remains a landmark album and a testament to the power of the singer/songwriter era of the early seventies.

And you don’t have to smoke crack to enjoy it.



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