The Second Disc

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Some Kind Of Wonderful: Carole King’s “Music” Set For SACD and LP Release

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Fronting a band called The City in 1968, Carole King titled her first full-length LP Now That Everything’s Been Said. Thankfully, King actually had much, much more to say. She began her solo career, proper, in 1970 with Writer, and had the breakthrough the following year with Tapestry. But how to follow an album that spawns three number one pop hits and wins four Grammy Awards, not to mention igniting the entire female singer/songwriter movement? King wasted no time, and less than one year later, she released the simply-titled Music. The LP reunited her with producer Lou Adler and much of the same personnel from Tapestry including James Taylor, Charles Larkey, Ralph Schuckett and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, her bandmate in The City. Percussionist Bobbye Hall joined drummer Russ Kunkel to give the album a unique sound, and befitting its title, Music drew on R&B, soul, gospel, rock and pop influences.  Mobile Fidelity has just confirmed release of Music as a hybrid SACD playable on all CD players and also a 180-gram audiophile vinyl edition. The release of Music was confirmed by The Second Disc last November, and was preceded by Mobile Fidelity’s release of The Carnegie Hall Concert in those same formats.

Eight of the twelve tracks featured on Music were self-written by King, including the haunting “Song of Long Ago” (a near-duet with Taylor), the bright, jazz-inflected title track and “Carry Your Load,” which continues the theme of “You’ve Got a Friend.” Three songs were co-written with Toni Stern, who had contributed lyrics to “It’s Too Late” and “Where You Lead” on Tapestry. King and Stern wrote the album’s two most commercial tracks: “Sweet Seasons,” the album’s highest charting single (No. 9) and “It’s Going to Take Some Time,” subsequently covered later in 1972 by the Carpenters in a more lush arrangement. Richard and Karen’s take on the wistful yet hopeful song was rewarded with a No. 12 pop placement. One song was taken from the classic Goffin and King song, and the new arrangement of “Some Kind of Wonderful” (a minor 1961 hit for The Drifters) was stripped down to the song’s essence.  Hit the jump for more, including track listing and ordering info!

Inevitably, Music was a commercial letdown compared to Tapestry, but what wouldn’t have been? It entered the Top 10 at No. 8 (Tapestry was still residing in the Top 10, too) and eventually climbed to the top spot where it remained for three weeks. Music was certified gold within days of its release, and went platinum in 1995. Mobile Fidelity’s upcoming release should allow listeners to rediscover this buried treasure in the Carole King solo collection. It couldn’t come at a better time, with King having announced plans for a memoir to hit stores in April 2012 as well as a holiday album, her first ever such collection. It reportedly will be a collaboration with her daughter Louise Goffin as producer and Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Warren Zevon) as engineer.

Mobile Fidelity’s limited edition of Music is available for pre-order now from Acoustic Sounds, and we’ve got the links below!  It will be available from other retailers soon.

Carole King, Music (Ode SP 77013, 1971 – reissued Mobile Fidelity SACD: CMFSA2068 & 180-gram LP: LMF352, 2011)

  1. Brother, Brother
  2. It’s Going to Take Some Time
  3. Sweet Seasons
  4. Some Kind of Wonderful
  5. Surely
  6. Carry Your Load
  7. Music
  8. Song of Long Ago
  9. Brighter
  10. Growing Away From Me
  11. Too Much Rain
  12. Back to California

Written by Joe Marchese

June 29, 2011 at 13:06

Posted in Carole King, News, Reissues

4 Responses

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  1. “Tapestry. But how to follow an album that . . . ignit[ed][ing] the entire female singer/songwriter movement?” The “female singer/songwriter movement” was WELL UNDERWAY with, just to name one, Joni Mitchell, whose third album, “Ladies of the Canyon” was released some 15 months earlier, and whose “Blue” was released only 3 months later. This is not intended to undermine the influence of Carole King (songwriter par excellence for the Shirelles, Little Eva, etc., etc. and a wonderful performer in her own right), but to call the bluff on this, IMO, unfounded statement.

    Martin

    June 30, 2011 at 00:38

    • Thanks for reading, Martin. No slight to Joni MItchell was intended, and you will hardly find a bigger Mitchell fan than yours truly. But I stand by my statement. I’m not sure whether you’re applying undue resonance to the word “ignite,” which I meant as nothing other than “to catch fire,” not “to originate.” “Tapestry,” indeed, reached far more listeners than Joni’s first three albums or any the other significant pre-“Tapestry” female singer/songwriter albums I could name including King’s own “Writer.” King’s LP broke into the mainstream in the way that none of those albums did, however brilliant they may be. (And brilliant, Mitchell’s are.) Joni was still being classified a folk artist at that time, even picking up a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance for “Clouds.” I do believe it was King’s commercial savvy as a songwriter-for-hire that allowed her to create the album which combined a confessional style and a pop sensibility to scale the heights that few, if any, of her contemporaries in either the singer/songwriter field or Brill Building scene did.

      Thanks to its overwhelming success (four Grammy Awards, three No. 1 singles, 10x platinum sales, 15 consecutive weeks at No. 1) Carole King and “Tapestry” opened doors and empowered future singer/songwriters in a way that no single other album or artist did. That doesn’t take away from the many other influential performers of her generation whose work also endures and inspires. No slight was meant to those who came before Carole King, including Joni Mitchell, but I do humbly assert that “Tapestry” did indeed catch fire as a touchstone for an entire movement and an entire generation. Let’s chalk it up to semantics – and thanks again for keeping me honest!

      Joe Marchese

      June 30, 2011 at 10:20

      • Thanks, Joe, for posting, reading and replying to my comments. I feel comfortable with your expression and exposition. Never let it be said that I am anti-semantic.

        Martin

        June 30, 2011 at 10:46

      • A wonderful, thoughtful and considered reply. It’s marvellous to read debates like these in the world of popular music, especially so in this case, as it’s an album that became such a part of so many lives. Thanks and best wishes, you made my night!

        Paul English

        February 1, 2013 at 18:18


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