Friday, May 09, 2008

Tapestry Revisited

Some albums hold a mythical place in our cultural consciousness. Tapestry, released in 1971 and quite possibly the pinnacle of Carole King’s career, is one such album. From the people involved in helping Carole make the album (James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, who both added supporting vocals), to the monumental success gained in record sales (over 24 million copies sold worldwide), to the artistic recognition the album garnered (winning Grammies for Record of the Year for It’s Too Late, Album of the year, Best Female Pop Vocal, and Song of the Year – James Taylor’s version of You’ve Got A Friend), Tapestry is an album that will probably never fade into the past.

A few weeks ago, Sony released what they call a Legacy Edition of the album. It’s a deluxe double disc release which not only acknowledges the impact the album made on the musical world, but also celebrates Carole’s 50th year as a recording artist. 50 years. Disc one is the original album remastered. Twelve classic cuts including It’s Too Late, I feel the Earth Move, (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman, You’ve Got A Friend, etc… Disc two is where the magic happens. On this disc the album is captured and recreated in the original order from live performances Carole gave of the songs in 1973 in Boston, Columbia, and NYC and in 1976 in San Francisco. These tracks, previously unreleased, are Carole and a piano. The only track missing from the second disc is Where You Lead, as there were no live recordings at that time of her playing that song.

Not only does the Legacy Edition include the extra disc of live material, it also contains liner notes penned by music journalist Harvey Kubernik, track-by-track annotations by Lou Adler, who worked as Carole’s manager and publishing rep for many years, and unpublished color pictures of the album’s 1971 recording session.

For those of you still spinning Tapestry on vinyl or clicking through the 8-track, here’s your chance to get it on CD with plenty of additional incentive.

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