BACK TO THE VINYL :Tapestry (Carole King)
I can’t imagine the music world without the Tapestry album or a world without a Carole King. Considered as one of the greatest album of all time Tapestry is King’s second album. Carole King’s masterpiece features the 12 songs she wrote and co-wrote and were considered timeless songs. It won the Album of the Year in the Grammys, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the year and Song of the Year for the great track “You’ve Got a Friend”.
The opening track “I Feel The Earth Move” is an uptempo song which was released as the first single and went to number one in the singles chart. A good opening track that will capture the listener’s attention, highlighting King’s piano and vocals. The next track “So Far Away” a slow heartfelt song about longing for a loved one. James Taylor plays the acoustic guitar in the track. The addition of the flute at the end part of the song is beautiful. “It’s Too Late” is another slow track about a break up song. Toni Stern wrote the lyrics and King wrote the music. This was released as a B Side of the single “I Feel The Earth Move” but it got a lot of airplay so it was decided it is also an A Side. It eventually made it to No. 1 and won the Record of the Year in the Grammys(1972). For me the highlight is the instrumental jazzy part in the middle of the song. There is just no equal listening to this song in vinyl. “Home Again”, “Beautiful” and “Way Over Yonder” completes Side 1.
Side 2 starts with one the most famous songs ever written, “You’ve Got a Friend”. James Taylor’s version is the most popular one but Carole King’s version is more pure and you can feel the vulnerability of her voice. The assuring message of this song as she sings “winter spring summer or fall, all you got do is call, and I will be there” is just powerful. James Taylor plays the acoustic guitar and backing vocals plus Joni Mitchell also on background vocals. One of the most famous songs in the 60s was “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” which was popularized by the Shirelles. This track was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. In this album Carole King slows it down and strips it bare, her version makes the song her own, with Joni Mitchell and James Taylor on the backing vocals makes this song even more special. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” a song popularized by Aretha Franklin was written by King and Goffin. King’s version is raw, slow and sentimental that it makes the song stray away from Aretha’s version.
The album is aptly titled as she sings in “Tapestry”, ‘My life has been a tapestry, or rich and royal hue, an everalsting vision, of the ever-changing view, A wondrous woven magic, in bits of blue and gold, A tapestry to feel and see, Impossible to hold.’. This is Carole King’s gift to us all, the songs shows her personal journey as a composer, singer and more importantly as a natural woman.