Well, this is a big one. You know her. You love her. This week I have been listening to the mighty Carole King. Does someone of that calibre even need an introduction?
Carole King is one of the most adored, prolific and cited American singer-songwriters of the last sixty years. She’s sold an estimated 75 million records worldwide, won four Grammy Awards, been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is a Kennedy Center Honoree. As far as I know, she’s also the only Music Jar entrant to have a Broadway musical about her life. There. Did you even need that?
My introduction to King’s music is a strange one because I didn’t realise it was her. On The Beatles debut, Please Please Me, there’s a song called Chains which I took as a Lennon/McCartney original, not recognising how many rock standards they were using at the time as they toured the seedy underbelly of Hamberg. I even learnt to play it and didn’t clock who the song was accredited to.
There are other markers along the way. It’s impossible to have got anywhere without knowing at least all of Tapestry, King’s second, and maybe most lauded album. Every song that came in was a reality check that I do know her and her music. I’d just never put a name to those beautiful lyrics. In the summer, I met with a friend to talk creative endeavours and he waxed lyrical about Carole King, so I messaged him this week to ask which of her twenty-two albums is his favourite. Pearls he said, so Pearls I listened to. It’s great. It all is.
I don’t feel there is anything I can say that hasn’t been dealt with in a much better way elsewhere. If you know Carole King, then you know. If you don’t, trust this fool and go and discover what you already know.
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