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The Legendary Demos [CD]

Carole King Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 9.27 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Concord
  • ASIN: B007N0CLQ6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,630 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Pleasant Valley Sunday 2:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. So Goes Love 2:520.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Take Good Care Of My Baby 2:170.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman 2:510.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Like Little Children 3:120.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Beautiful 2:230.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Crying In The Rain 1:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Way Over Yonder 3:240.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Yours Until Tomorrow 3:160.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. It's Too Late 3:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Tapestry 3:000.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Just Once In My Life 4:020.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. You've Got A Friend 4:090.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 24 April 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
When Carole King released the iconic album "Tapestry" in 1971 she had already spent ten years as a professional songwriter in partnership with Gerry Goffin and others, writing a string of hits for The Shirelles, Little Eva, The Monkees and Bobby Vee. She must be the most successful female songwriter in the history of popular music.

This collection of 13 demos, recorded between 1961 and 1970, features some of the most recognisable pop songs of all time including six that were included on "Tapestry". Despite not being for commercial release the performances have a dramatic intensity and vibrancy as Carole sings to her own piano and occasional guitar accompaniment. These are the building blocks from which would be constructed some of the classic recordings of the sixties.

Not only do these demos prove that she is one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century they also show that they were an inspiration to those artists who performed her material. Hear her perform "Cryin' In The Rain" and it's undeniable that the Everly Brothers based their #6 US hit on the King demo. The backing on Bobby Vee's #1 hit "Take Good Care Of My Baby" was surely inspired by the piano on the King demo, too.

Perhaps the most remarkable track on the album is "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Born Woman". Carole invests it with a raw and sincere emotion and an inspired piano accompaniment. It rivals the classic Aretha Franklin version, a US #2.

Other gems include spontaneous demos of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" a Monkees #3, "Just Once In My Life", a #9 for the Righteous Brothers, and "You've Got A Friend" a #1 hit for James Taylor.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Demos 13 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD
Very fresh readings of some of the greatest songs ever written. A must if you are a fan of good singer-songwriter music and/or the Tapestry album (six tracks of which appear here in demo form). A real treat, too, to hear Carole King singing 'Pleasant Valley Sunday', which was famously turned into a 1967 Monkees hit.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carole King. 18 July 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Good CD.Fast delivery.Booklet with pics gives a good insight in music in the 1960 / 1970 and the way the music business worked.
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2 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better 6 Jun 2012
By Richard
Format:Audio CD
The sleeve could have been better and it should have concentrated on demos from the early days.
As there are quite a number of dress photos in the book one of these should have been used to give this more a sense of period
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, could this woman pitch a song... 24 April 2012
By Me - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
...and could she ever write hits! Over 100 of which would grace Billboard's top 100 ranking.

If you remember the sounds of the 60's and 70's and you enjoyed Carole King or the songs she penned for other artists, you will love this CD. The production sounds just like I what I remember, but yet more alive (some of us only had AM radio, not FM).

The feel of the production is not at all like what you would find in most modern recordings, but I really like that quality.

These cuts are raw, they are meant to be. They are demos. Simple, yet very interesting and intimate. And nostalgic. Her vocals and piano dominate, for the many tracks. While listening to this CD, at times, I felt like I had stumbled into a practice room or a studio that King happened to be playing in, and I mean that in a good way.

Everytime I hear Carole King performing the songs that she has written, I feel like I am living in an alternate universe. How in the world can someone else turn one of her songs into pure perfection, yet King can manage to exhibit her own perfection with the same song? It just defies logic.

King's songwriting partner and then-husband, Gerry Goffin was an integral part of the formula being that he was the lyricist, as was the replacement lyricist Toni Stern.

King's songs were recorded by a wide range of artists. Aretha Franklin, The Osmonds, Dionne Warwick, The Monkees, The Turtles, The Isley Brothers, Dee Dee Warwick, Gloria Estefan, to name a few.

This is not like her Tapestry CD (a wonderful double CD set, by the way), nor should it be. It is just fine as it is.

AND, she is a wonderful pianist.

I enjoyed every cut though I do have my favorites.

Song list:

Pleasant Valley Sunday (circa 1966) - Recorded by The Monkees
So Goes Love (circa 1966)- Recorded by the Monkees. This tune made it on their Missing Links album after missing the cut on their debut album.
Take Good Care Of My Baby (circa 1961)- recorded by Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton, Dion, and others
You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman (circa 1967)- Aretha Franklin
Like Little Children (circa 1966) - Recorded by the Knickerbockers
Beautiful (circa 1970)- King eventually recorded this song on her Tapestry album
Crying in the Rain (circa 1962) - Everly Brothers
Way Over Yonder (circa 1970) - King eventually recorded this song on her Tapestry album
Yours Until Tomorrow (circa 1966) - Dee Dee Warwick and Cher
It's Too Late (circa 1970) - an Isley Brothers classic. King also recorded this song on her Tapestry album.
Just Once in My Life (circa 1965) - Recorded by the Righteous Brothers.
You've Got a Friend (circa 1970)- A classic recorded by James Taylor.

If you are a fan or just curious, she has a newly released memoir out as well, entitled A Natural Woman: A Memoir.

The only downside is that there are so few songs. If you need another fix, check out Brill Building Legends, a pricey import.

On a side note, If I am not mistaken, King played piano during the Whitney Houston funeral service. And she did so beautifully.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Beautiful 25 April 2012
By Musicman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Just bought it right now, opened it and cranked up the volume in the car while driving home...if her studio albums don't already give off that intimate aura, this cd will do the job. You FEEL like you're sitting next to you, witnessing the making of a successful 'natural woman'. Hence, the beauty of demos-we have the joy of experiencing her first thoughts in rough sketches. This album effectively showcases her early talent and the talent that would evolve as a solo artist starting off with The City and later with Writer and the commercial success of Tapestry, which some songs are presented on this cd. If you are a fan of Carole King or meaningful music, look no further and purchase one right away. Totally worth it.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Going Back with Carole King 24 April 2012
By Ron Scroggin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"The Legendary Demos" sounds so excellent, it is a really a great gift to the listener. By going back Carole brings something very new. I believe many listeners will feel this is really the "Essential Carole King". I very much enjoy the songs here- that i have never heard, "Yours Until Tomorrow" is really wonderful. I have never really been a fan of Demos being released, but i will now have to rethink that belief. Carole King has given her listeners a lifetime of wonderful music, from yesterday right up to now. It is my hope Carole will continue to release new material along with the vintage.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars +1/2 - A too-brief set of `60s and `70s Carole King demos 24 April 2012
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Demos are an industry currency that fans don't often get to hear. They're an audio notebook in which songwriters sketch their vision, either for themselves, or more intriguingly, for those to whom they wish to sell songs. In the case of a singer-songwriter like Carole King, there are both kinds of entries in her notebooks - writer's demos that were inclined towards the sound and style of a potential client and initial renderings of songs that King would sing herself, including five tunes written for her 1971 breakthrough, Tapestry, and another, "Like Little Children," written in the mid-60s but recorded 30 years later for the film Crazy in Alabama.

An earlier, unauthorized, volume of King's demos and early solo recordings, Brill Building Legends: The Right Girl, gave a glimpse into her years as a Brill Building songwriter. But that volume fell short of its full promise, by including demos for songs that were never commercially recorded or never broke on the charts. Though interesting in their own right, these lesser works said more about the hard work that goes into getting a hit single than they did about the development of King's best-known titles. Not so with this authorized volume of King demos, which not only offers up a few key Brill Building-era demos, but extends into her solo work as a successful performer.

The three major Brill-era hits included here in demo form are the Monkees' "Pleasant Valley Sunday," Bobby Vee's "Take Good Care of My Baby" and the Everly Brothers' "Crying in the Rain." The first is surprisingly different from the hit single, with King's folk-rock demo more wistful and forgiving than the skeptical and mocking tone of the Monkees take. The second, on the other hand, seems to anticipate Bobby Vee's style, and though the single is more fully orchestrated, the mood and hooks were all there in the demo. Others, such as "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," reveal their foundations - in this case, the gospel chords of King's piano and the freedom of her vocals - even more clearly in these stripped down versions.

As with The Right Girl, this volume is only a small taste of the demos that led to King's catalog of hits and terrific album tracks. The Monkees' obscure "So Goes Love" (recorded for, but not released on, their first album) is no substitute for "Take a Giant Step," "Sometime in the Morning," "Star Collector" or "The Porpoise Song," and demos for hits by Gene Pitney, the Cookies, Little Eva, Steve Lawrence, Freddie Scott, the Chiffons, the Drifters, Maxine Brown and many others, not to mention most of King's terrific solo work, are still to be heard. Rumors have swirled as to the song publishers blocking release of King's demos, but with this peek inside the vault now public, it's time for whatever else that can be found to see the digital light of day. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [2012 Hyperbolium]
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carole King's 'The Legendary Demos' is a wrap-around joy 25 April 2012
By Dawn Lee Wakefield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Legendary Demos

The beauty of Carole King's long-awaited CD, "The Legendary Demos," released today, is when you unwrap it and push "play," your every expectation of anticipation and wonderment is met with pure delight and then some. At last, you hear how it was back in the day, the rough studio demo presented to other artists, producers, and label executives for their choosing. And it makes sense why so many people consider her a music genius.

Thirteen songs grace this CD, seven of them chart-topping smashes, and six of them wonderful compositions that are not as easily recognizable, yet they reflect the magic of King's talent nonetheless. Several of the tunes on this track anchor her life's story.

In "Pleasant Valley Sunday" I never knew the lyric was: "Creature comfort goals can only numb my soul. I need a change of scenery." As much as I respect Micky Dolenz' vocals, with all the musical buildup of the production behind The Monkees' vocal tracks, I had no earthly idea that this was what he was singing, on another in a series of Carole King and Gerry Goffin compositions for the hitmaker teens of television fame.

At last the lyrics are clear, because Carole is singing them, beautifully, a song beloved for 45 years that is, in fact, the rhythmic anthem of discontent for Gerry Goffin living in a New Jersey suburb, for his family's sake, when he'd much rather be back in Queens in the middle of the city. The song begins with a guitar, and even has a banjo sound to it. A slightly slower tempo, almost unnoticeable, is found here, vs. The Monkees' version you're used to hearing, more frantically paced in the group's #1 version.

"So Goes Love" is less familiar, but a gentle and pleasant love ballad composed by King and Goffin. Had it been released as a single at the time it was written, circa 1966, it very well could have been a hit, just in how King delivers the message. As becomes clearer in King's biography, presently at the No. 6 spot on the New York Times' Best Sellers list, after being out for 2 weeks, for a myriad of reasons, she didn't see herself as a recording artist, but rather as a songwriter. And that's what she kept telling herself for the next 10+ years.

In "Take Good Care of My Baby," sung with feeling, piano chords punctuating the song with charm, you hear the true studio sound. She's sings "my baby" as though it were her own child. And, she even speaks the end lyrics, as if to make the message even more personal. The piano's hollow sound in places brings to mind a multistory brick building, indiscriminately placed along rows of hundreds of other buildings in New York. Listening, you believe the only objects in the room were Carole and the piano, and that's all. And yet, Bobby Vee took this King/Goffin tune and made it his very own. That's what happens when the right material reaches the right artist: a big hit.

Continue reading on Examiner.com National classic rock music | Examiner.com
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