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Pop / Rock 21/02/2008

Carole King's 1971 Masterpiece Tapestry Released as a Deluxe Two-CD Version

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NEW YORK, NY. (Top40 Charts/ Legacy Recordings) - Carole King's 1971 masterpiece, Tapestry, endures as an artistic benchmark, a cornerstone of '70s pop, and an industry phenomenon. The original home to such classics as "It's Too Late," "I Feel the Earth Move," and "You've Got a Friend," the album is now being released with a second CD of live performances. Tapestry: Legacy Edition arrives in stores April 15th on Epic/Ode/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

Original album producer and Ode Records founder Lou Adler, who served as King's manager for those years, was also her West Coast music publishing rep for nearly a decade prior to Tapestry - no one was closer to Carole King's music, except Carole King herself. He knew the power of her meticulously crafted piano & vocal demo recordings, going back to the Brill Building era. Adler always sensed that King's solo moments in concert (before and/or after the band joined her onstage) came closest to capturing the spirit of her demos, especially the Tapestry demos.

The humble roots of Tapestry are those very demos that Carole King would share with Lou Adler at the Ode office on LaBrea Avenue in Los Angeles. For those who have lived and loved the album down the years, from LP to 8-track to cassette to its half-dozen different CD configurations, this Legacy Edition finally offers a chance to experience Carole King's vision in its original "unplugged" brilliance - winter, spring, summer or fall.

Tapestry: Legacy Edition finally realizes Adler's decades-long dream concept, as it marries a newly remastered version of the classic 12-song album with a second CD containing previously unreleased live piano-voice concert versions of songs from the album (in the same order) recorded in 1973 (Boston; Columbia, Maryland; and New York's Central Park), and 1976 (San Francisco Opera House).

A 1,700-word liner notes essay has been written by L.A. music journalist Harvey Kubernik, who describes the live material: "What you will hear is completely unadorned: King at the piano, spilling her soul to the faithful, utterly in the moment and at one with the wind...and her gift. The intimacy intoned is palpable, and these emotive efforts impart an unbridled perspective of some of the most endearing songs of the 20th Century."

The release of Tapestry: Legacy Edition also acknowledges Carole King's 50th year as a recording artist. It was 1958 when she graduated from New York's High School Of Performing Arts (PA), met songwriting partner and future husband Gerry Goffin at Queens College, and signed with Al Nevins and Don Kirshner's Aldon Music (in the legendary Brill Building). Her debut single, "The Right Girl" was released on ABC-Paramount Records in May 1958.

A decade of songwriting success followed, during which Goffin-King penned a dazzling run of U.S. and U.K. hits: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (Shirelles), "Some Kind Of Wonderful" (Drifters), "Halfway To Paradise" (Tony Orlando), "Every Breath I Take" (Gene Pitney), "Take Good Care Of My Baby" (Bobby Vee), "Crying In the Rain" (Everly Brothers), "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva), "Up On the Roof" (Drifters), "Chains" (Cookies), "Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence), "Don't Say Nothin' (Bad About My Baby)" (Cookies), "One Fine Day" (Chiffons), "Hey, Girl" (Freddie Scott), "I'm Into Somethin' Good" (Herman's Hermits), "Don't Bring Me Down" (Animals), "Take a Giant Step" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (Monkees), "A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)" (Aretha Franklin), "Goin' Back" and "Wasn't Born To Follow" (Byrds), "So Much Love" and "Hi-De-Ho" (Blood, Sweat & Tears), and many more. The songwriting partnership dissolved in 1968, after their divorce, as Carole King (by then a single mother of two) earnestly began to pursue a solo recording career again.

Released in late-March 1971, Tapestry struck a universal chord at an opportune time in pop music history - the intersection of folk-rock's introspective and socially conscious sense of romanticism in a world-gone- crazy, with the burgeoning rise of sunny West Coast naturalism centered in the saturated Los Angeles music colony known as Laurel Canyon. The tinderbox was the deregulation of the FM bandwidth, which resulted in a mini-explosion of so-called new 'progressive' or 'underground' or 'free-form' radio stations eager to nurture their own artists and playlists separate from the mainstream Top 40. Carole King was the rare artist who lived in both worlds.

The first single from Tapestry, "It's Too Late" b/w "I Feel the Earth Move" hit the Billboard Hot 100 a month later, in April. Also in April, Carole's close pal James Taylor - who played on five Tapestry tracks - issued "You've Got a Friend" [a different recording than on Tapestry] as the first single from his new album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. In addition to hosting sessions for Carole King and James Taylor, A&M Studios was also being used by Joni Mitchell during this period, and Mitchell and Taylor ended up adding vocals to "Will You Love Me Tomorrow."

In the issue dated June 19th, both "It's Too Late" and Tapestry hit the No 1 spot together - "It's Too Late" for a 5-week stay, and Tapestry for a 15-week stay, the beginning of a fabled 302-week chart juggernaut.

At the 14th annual Grammy Awards ceremonies in March 1972, Carole King became the first woman to win the "grand slam" - Record Of the Year ("It's Too Late"), Album Of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal (both for Tapestry), and Song Of the Year (James Taylor's version of "You've Got a Friend," for which he won Best Male Pop Vocal).

When asked to comment about the impact of Tapestry, Carole King said, "I feel honored that Tapestry has made a difference in small ways and large ways in people's lives around the world. It's been a major part of my life, too," she adds. "As a songwriter, I'm so happy that the songs have held up for all of these years. As a performer, I'm still enjoying playing them live, most recently on my Living Room Tour."






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