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A Classic By Anyone's Standards
on 22 March 2007
Of all the introspective styled singer-songwriters of the early seventies Carole King would perhaps seem a most unlikely candidate to adopt that genre - after all her success was at its peak a decade earlier when she was predominantly a songwriter alongside her husband Gerry Goffin penning a great many fondly remembered classics aimed at the teen market. Fortunately, her forte had always been strong melodies and 'Tapestry', her second album is no exception although its style is more intimate than the style of her early career.
Actually, it's not unrealistic to regard 'Tapestry' as one of only a handful of truly great albums because there are very few albums that are so consistently great from start to finish without the odd filler. 'Tapestry' certainly isn't amongst those groundbreaking albums often touted for in the best album polls but it really doesn't need to be because it's the album's simplicity that is its biggest asset.
Carole mixes a couple of her old songs with her newer efforts - 'Will You Love Me Tomorrow' and 'Natural Woman' and although these versions are never going to eclipse the well known originals in terms of profile they are nevertheless both highly effective at interpreting the songs differently but also successfully. A number of the newer songs have also acquired classic status - especially 'It's Too Late' and 'You've Got A Friend' - best known through James Taylor's cover but it's really hard to imagine these original versions ever being bettered whoever decided to record them.
'Intimate', 'Sincere', 'Direct' are all words that have been used to describe 'Tapestry' over the years and they are all accurate. 'Classic' has also been used on occasions, too, and this term (despite being overused generally in popular music) is equally applicable in this case.
'Tapestry' is definitely a strong contender for the best album ever made.