Ten Days of Tapestry

A legendary album turns 50 – part VI

This is part VI of Ten Days of Tapestry, a celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the legendary Carole King album released on February 10, 1971. Parts I-V covered the six tracks on the record’s A-side: I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, It’s Too Late, Home Again, Beautiful and Way Over Yonder. On to side B!

The opening track of the B-side is one of Carole’s best known tunes, mainly because of James Taylor’s great cover: You’ve Got a Friend. It’s yet another track with beautifully written lyrics by Carole who also composed the music.

When you’re down and troubled/And you need some love and care/And nothing, nothing is going right/Close your eyes and think of me/And soon I will be there/To brighten up even your darkest night…Such a great pick her upper!

As quoted by Songfacts, Carole said the song “was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside of myself, through me.”

Notably, You’ve Got a Friend never became a hit for Carole. Instead, it was the aforementioned great cover by her friend James Taylor that topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, giving him his only no. 1 single in the U.S. to this day. Taylor, who played guitar on Tapestry, was working on his third studio album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon in parallel and recorded the tune for that album.

Sources: Wikipedia; Songfacts; YouTube

17 thoughts on “Ten Days of Tapestry”

  1. Since King had been around as a songwriter for a decade or so before Tapestry I am always shocked when I realize she wasn’t yet 30 when this album came out.

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    1. Yep. Young age isn’t a barrier for greatness. Think about, The Beatles were in their early to mid-’20s when they wrote some of the best pop and rock music ever recorded.

      For example, when they made what I generally consider their Mt. Rushmore, Sgt. Pepper, John, Paul, George and Ringo were 27, 25, 24 and 27 years old, respectively. It’s kind of mind-boggling to me…

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      1. I was going to say the same thing…this is the first version I heard I believe.
        He did a great job on his version…it’s just something pure about Carole’s version.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Both James Taylor and her version are both pretty great. Nowadays I think I’d rather hear the James Taylor one because musically and instrumentally it’s excellent. She does a better job at singing it though. That same year it was also a hit by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, and there were also versions that year by Michael Jackson and Al Green and Barbra Streisand and Aretha Franklin and I think a couple more.

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    1. I imagined many other artists had covered this great tune. Michael Jackson was a suprise. I actually like his Motown style version. It’s pretty groovy, and the bassline is just awesome. I wonder whether this was James Jamerson.

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  3. I don’t know who that was. I think James Jamerson was probably gone by then. Idk.
    I looked it up and there were about 20 recordings of You’ve Got a Friend even before the end of 1971. And hundreds after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. James Jamerson was a great bassist known for his melodic playing. He played on many Motown hits, e.g., You Can’t Hurry Love, My Girl, I Heard It Through the Grapevine and I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch). Jamerson is one of Paul McCartney’s key influences.

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