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Carole King
Tapestry - Legacy Edition
Ode Records
www.caroleking.com


There is a timeless quality to the great music of the world, and Carole King has been responsible for a good part of that timelessness. Her album Tapestry was originally released back in 1971, moving the woman from songwriter extraordinaire to performer super-extraordinaire. The years she spent writing hits for artists in the 1960s paid off in spades with the release of her debut performance album, and the new Legacy Edition re-issue of Tapestry not only remasters the original recording, but adds a second disc filled with previously unreleased material.

From the opening notes of "I Feel The Earth Move" the world knew that there was something special about Carole, and the song sounds better than ever in this new remaster. All the classic tracks are here, sounding better than they have since FM radio first espoused King's music in the 70's… "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" still sits prettily amid introspective tracks like "So Far Away" and the funky soul of "It's Too Late." The classic "You've Got A Friend" is resplendent with its epic chord structure and beautiful lyric, and let us not forget the monumental "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," possibly the most heard King track most often mistaken for someone who was not a little white girl.

The second disc adds a depth and power to the songs included on Tapestry. Nearly the entire album is presented in stripped down form, simple piano and vocal live performances of the songs. Hearing "A Natural Woman" live is inspiring, the pure power of Carole King's voice as it weaves through the bliss of her songs is wonderful. The song is sultrier, less polished, than the album version. That is the case with most of these live tracks… "I Feel The Earth Move" has a weird syncopation that enhances the overall feel, while "So Far Away" is even more heartbreaking than it could have ever been from a recording studio. "Way Over Yonder" is exceptionally performed, with a light jump that is missing on the album version, and King's voice sounds absolutely stunning and resonant. The live performance is beautifully recorded, each nuance of the performance keenly heard and felt on the recording, as I'm certain it was in the room.

You've heard Carole King's Tapestry before. In this new Legacy Edition the original recording sounds clearer and more articulate than it ever has before, but the real meat and potatoes comes from the accompanying live performance disc. It is easy to see why King's songs carry such weight in this crazy world, but now, for the layman who has never gotten to experience Carole live, there is a beautiful presentation of some of her finest and most well-loved songs performed live… perfectly… beautifully.

-Embo Blake

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