It cannot be said that the life of James Taylor has been a raft of oil, these 50 plus years have brought lights and shadows, storms and calm, fame and oblivion, everything that should leave a residue and a trace of restlessness and mistrust in his artistic projection.
But fortunately for all of us what we have after so long is an inspired James Taylor. But let no one believe that James Taylor lives in a cloud or that he overlooks his lowest moments. There are no qualms about confronting the ghosts of recovery from heroin addiction, the loves, and heartbreaks, the socio-political situation around the world.
Impossible not to get hooked on the songs of James Taylor. In 1948, American artist James Taylor was born in the city of Boston, remembered for his musical journey in the 70s. Fame did not come until the publication of his second album ‘Sweet baby James’. The following year he won a Grammy for the emotional song ‘You’ve Got a Friend,’ written by Carole King and included on the album ‘Mudslide slip and the blue zone’. Below are The 5 Songs That Will Get You Hooked On James Taylor’s Music:
Carolina in My Mind (1968)
Taylor composed this nostalgic lament while in London recording for the Beatles’ Apple Records label. This song from their self-titled debut album is already considered the unofficial anthem of the state of North Carolina.
“Because my audience responds well to it, and because it wears well, I like ‘Carolina In My Mind.’ I play it almost every time I perform, and I haven’t tired of it.”
Fire and Rain (1970)
Sad and comforting at the same time, this suggestive song addresses defining events early in his career, including his battle with depression and drugs, the collapse of his band The Flying Machine, and the suicide of his childhood friend, Susanne. Schnerr.
“‘Fire and Rain.’ It seemed like a matter-of-fact song, but it was heavy. When I wrote it, I played just the chorus for Joel O’Brien, who was the drummer in the band we had in New York. He said, ‘You’ve just written your hit. That’s the song.’”
Sweet Baby James (1970)
Taylor considers this the best song in his musical catalog, which he composed for his baby nephew, also named James, who is personified as a cowboy. This lullaby composed as a waltz is a classic in their concerts.
“‘Sweet Baby James’ has a rhyming scheme that’s positively Byzantine. For every line, there are three internal rhymes. Every verse is like a Chinese puzzle. It starts as a lullaby for my namesake, [my nephew] baby James, imagining a young cowboy song for him. The second verse is about my own life. It goes from the specific to the general and talks about the spiritual food that music is. The song does a lot.”
You’ve Got a Friend (1971)
This popular ode to friendship, and her only #1 hit, was written by Carole King. Both released versions almost simultaneously. King told Taylor that she was inspired to write the song after hearing this line in “Fire and Rain”: “I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain. I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I’ve seen lonely times when I couldn’t find a friend, but I always thought that I’d see you again.”
“‘You’ve Got a Friend.’ In spite of the fact that Carole King was recording her own album at the time [Tapestry], she let me have that tune. We just ripped off a quick version. I sheepishly brought it to Carole and said, ‘Listen, I’m sorry we’ve cut this tune of yours.’ She had written it in response to the line in ‘Fire and Rain’ where I said, ‘I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend,’ and she said, ‘Well, you’ve got a friend.’ So it was profound for me. And it went No. 1.”
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (1975)
Carly Simon sings backing vocals on Taylor’s casual, soft-rock version of this Motown classic first released by Marvin Gaye in 1964. This James Taylor’s version could be said to be timeless and eternal, it gives the feeling that his music passes unaware of influences and fashions, there is no urgency, only quality, and good taste.