Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
The 2007 Ode/Epic/Japanese Mini LP reissue of this album marks its first appearance in the American catalog since 1969, when a switch of distributors by Ode, from Columbia to A&M, ended up getting it deleted prematurely. The original LP became a collector's item with a triple-digit price and was even bootlegged with a bad black-and-white reproduction of the original jacket. It was briefly in print on CD in Japan during the early 1990s, but this reissue is an improvement -- King lacked some confidence, and this remastering captures the subtle, deep, expressive aspect of King's singing, which was easy to lose, especially because King sometimes sounds a little outnumbered, trying to work within a "group" context.
The City has more of an integrated ensemble sound, and less prominence to King, than her subsequent records, even though she used bigger backing groups on most of her solo sides. The new CD squeezes the best out of her voice (and piano, which sounds gloriously resonant) as it existed then. The soft but clear, gently tapped percussion in the opening seconds of "Snow Queen," and the close-up twang and crunch of Danny Kortchmar's guitar on "Wasn't Born to Follow," also enhance the listening. King wasn't yet filling her albums wall-to-wall with memorable songs, and there's some material here that might better have been held back at the time, but this release is the best way to hear this record.
By 1968, Goffin and King were divorced and were starting to lose contact. King moved to Laurel Canyon with her two daughters and formed the City, a music trio consisting of Charles Larkey, her future husband, on bass, Danny Kortchmar on guitar and vocals, and King on piano and vocals. The City produced one album, Now That Everything's Been Said in 1968, but King's reluctance to perform live meant sales were slow, and after a change of distributors it got deleted early, and the group disbanded in 1969.
|The City (Carole King) - Promo Single US 1968|
While in Laurel Canyon, King met James Taylor and Joni Mitchell as well as Toni Stern, with whom she would collaborate on songs. King made her first solo album, Writer, in 1970 for Lou Adler's Ode label, with Taylor playing acoustic guitar and providing backing vocals. It peaked at number 84 in the Billboard Top 200. King followed Writer in 1971 with Tapestry, featuring recent solo compositions as well as reinterpretations of two Goffin-King songs, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman". The album was recorded in an overlap with Taylor's Mud Slide Slim on which King, Danny Kortchmar, and Joni Mitchell appeared as they did on Tapestry, with both albums including "You've Got a Friend", which was a number 1 hit for Taylor; King said in a 1972 interview, that she "didn't write it with James or anybody really specifically in mind. But when James heard it he really liked it and wanted to record it". Tapestry was an instant success. With numerous hit singles – including a Billboard No.1 with "It's Too Late" – Tapestry held the No.1 spot for 15 consecutive weeks, remained on the charts for nearly six years, and has sold over 25 million copies worldwide.
Carole King: Music was released in December 1971, certified gold on December 9, 1971. It entered the top ten at 8, becoming the first of many weeks Tapestry and Carole King: Music simultaneously occupied the top 10. The following week it rose to No.3 and finally to No.1 on January 1, 1972, staying there for three weeks. The album also spawned a top 10 hit, "Sweet Seasons" (US No.9 and AC #2). Carole King: Music stayed on the Billboard pop album charts for 44 weeks and was eventually certified platinum.
Rhymes and Reasons (1972), and Fantasy (1973) followed, each earning gold certifications. Rhymes and Reasons produced another hit, "Been to Canaan" (US No.24 and AC No.1), and Fantasy produced two hits, "Believe in Humanity" (US #28) and "Corazon" (US No.37 and AC #5), as well as another song that charted on the Hot 100, "You Light Up My Life" (US No.68 and AC #6).
In 1973, King performed a free concert in New York City's Central Park with 100,000 attending.
In September 1974, King released her album Wrap Around Joy, which was certified gold on October 16, 1974 and entered the top ten at 7 on October 19, 1974. Two weeks later it reached 1 and stayed there one week. She toured to promote the album. Wrap Around Joy spawned two hits. "Jazzman" was a single and reached 2 on November 9 but fell out of the top ten the next week. "Nightingale", a single on December 17, went to No.9 on March 1, 1975. [AMG + Wikipedia]
♣ Charles Larkey - Bass
♣ Jim Gordon - Drums [Guest]
♣ Danny Kortchmar - Guitar, Vocals
♣ Carole King - Vocals, Keyboards
♣ Producer – Lou Adler
01. Snow Queen 4:10
02. I Wasn't Born To Follow 3:42
03. Now That Everything's Been Said 2:19
04. Paradise Alley 3:01
05. Man Without A Dream 3:46
06. Victim Of Circumstance 2:31
07. Why Are You Leaving 3:55
08. Lady 2:57
09. My Sweet Home 3:09
10. I Don't Believe It 2:38
11. That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) 3:22
12. All My Time 3:16
|Carole King Family Tree|
(open picture in a NEW WINDOW for bigger size)