Nominated by Kim Davis
Tapestry was one of the biggest selling albums in the world on its release in 1971 and it’s still marvellous. I knew more of the songs than I realised and it was superb to listen to the full album in one sing-along go. (My musical backdrop for making lemon curd in my new pressure cooker).
Where Setting Sons was boys talking to boys, this is a woman talking to other women, or maybe just to herself.
Her rendition of Will You Still Love me Tomorrow? is a thoughtful pondering, maybe a question to a sleeping partner (or maybe, back in 1960 when she co-wrote it with Gerry Griffin, to the departing figure of a man she’d chastely kissed goodnight). The song was a hit for the The Shirelles, making them the first all-girl group to reach number 1 in the USA.
She’s wrestling with the uncertainty of relationships in I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, and the title track Tapestry, and sitting alone in her bedsit for Home Again.
And You’ve Got a Friend – well that’s for everyone. ‘I’ll come running to see you again.. It’s winter, spring, summer or …’ sniff. Carole King got me. I knew it was going to happen.
There are certain pieces of music where I might make it to the chorus without convulsing in tears, but usually it’s three bars and I’m gone. It can get embarrassing. If anyone out there really understands how music works at this semi-conscious, instinctive level, I’d love to know more.
A few examples – Father and Son (Cat Stevens original only), Glenn Campbell’s Wichata Linesman and the theme tune to the Onedin Line. (At least that’s the Adagio of Spartacus and Phyrgia by Khachaturian, rather than something by Tony Hatch). And don’t get me started on the trailer for the film version of War Horse.
But I digress.
My favourite track is Beautiful.
‘You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face
And show the world all the love in your heart
Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes, you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel’
That’s so right. It’s a lovely, lovely song, beautifully sung.
And accidentally capturing the zeitgeist, Beautiful is the title of the juke-box musical about King that’s just opened in Broadway. I know a slow burner when I hear one…
A footnote on the album cover. Photographer Jim McCary moved King’s cat, Telemachus, from a pillow across the room to the windowsill to create a shot that brings the viewer in. He looks a bit confused, but I think it was worth it.