Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
23 DEC 10 ANNE FARNSWORTH
James Taylor and Carole King were the reigning king and queen of the 1970's music scene. Critical and commercial successes, they spearheaded a gentler, more thoughtful rock, a soothing antidote to the spiraling decadence that was defining the music by the end of the '60's. In 2007, they revisited one of their old haunts, Hollywood's historic Troubadour, co-leading the band that had been with them from the beginning. Fortunately, the historic concert was recorded and released as Live At The Troubadour.
King and her husband Gerry Goffin were successful songwriters in the '60s, ensconced in the storied Brill Building during its golden era. She was only 18 when The Shirelle's hit number one with her song "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow." When she later recorded it herself, on the groundbreaking, multi-award-winning Tapestry, her slowed, ruminative version was a revelation. Everybody's doing introspective covers of '60s pop hits now -- King did it in 1971.
It's a testament to King's stature in the industry that the younger Taylor was too shy to meet her, much less work with her, until he had been signed to the Beatles' Apple label by legendary producer Peter Asher, who produced this current album. Having Paul McCartney and George Harrison sing backup on the original recording of "Carolina On My Mind" (reprised in this collection) gave him the confidence to forge a professional alliance with King, resulting in his breakthrough release, 1970's Fire And Rain.
Available as a 2-disc CD and MP3 download (the download also includes a digital version of the packaging with illuminating liner notes and some fantastic photos), Live At The Troubadour is part of Concord's holiday gift promotion. And it's no nostalgic ego trip down memory lane by two doddering legends. On the contrary, each of them, including the now superstar sidemen, Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar and Russ Kunkel, are at the top of their game. The years have been kind to their voices and have enriched their musical perspective, making this release truly one in a million.
Fire And Rain
James Taylor & Carole King, from Live At ...