Deep Tracks From 1971: “You’ve Got A Friend” -Carole King. I recall the first time I played Carole King’s Tapestry album- it sounded like every song on the album was a hit single. In reality there were two singles from that album- “It’s Too Late” went to #1 and “So Far Away” #14. “You’ve Got A Friend” of course was a #1 hit- but not for Carole King but for James Taylor. Carole King had a huge impact on the top of the charts in the summer of 1971- “It’s Too Late” was #1 for 5 weeks- then “Indian Reservation” by The Raiders had one week at the top followed by the Carole King written “You’ve Got A Friend” by James Taylor. Carole King’s album which has sold 10 million copies and spent 15 consecutive weeks at #1- which is still a record for a female solo artist. It also spent 302 weeks- six years on the album chart, another record for a female artist. Tapestry would get my vote as the greatest singer-songwriter album of that era.
While James Taylor would win a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “You’ve Got A Friend”- King won the Grammy for Song Of The Year. Carole King has stated that “the song was as close to pure inspiration as I’ve ever experienced. The song wrote itself. It was written by something outside myself, through me.” According to James Taylor, King told him that the song was a response to a line in Taylor’s earlier song “Fire And Rain” that “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend.” The Carole King original came first- and her friend James Taylor played acoustic guitar and sang backing vocals on King’s version. When Tapestry was first released in the spring of 1971- the two toured together with King opening for Taylor.