Sunday, August 21, 2011

James Taylor

Way back in time in my early childhood there was guy I didn't know much about but to which I heard this record 'You've Got A Friend' which I think was the first 45 I ever bought myself and so begun a love affair with some of his singles.

Because it was the early 70's I had no albums by him and so many decades after the event, I'm building up a small collection of his albums for the first time on cd a number of which are from labels specializing in higher than average sound quality.

James was born in Boston, M.A. on March 12th 1948 moving to The South in his childhood, learning to Cello and the guitar by 1960.

In 1967 following episodes of depression he moved to London, England making contact with Peter Asher the A&R man of Apple records - the company founded by no less than The Beatles - and was signed on the strengths of his demonstration recordings. Whilst there he wrote Caroline on my mind and released an album James Taylor on Apple which was remastered in 2010.

In October 1969 He signed a new contract with Warner Brothers and with help from Songstress Carole King released the album Sweet Baby James in February 1970 with the hits single 'Fire and Rain'.

This album is held to be a masterpiece of folk rock winning many wards over the years.

In April1971 he issued Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon that featured the single by him I first heard with backing vocals by Joni Mitchell that went top ten even in England.My current copy  is the Audio Fidelity high quality version in April 2012 although I did have the stock European issue from the 1980's

The concept album One Man Dog was issued in November 1972 with the lead off single Don't let Me Be Lonely Tonight' but this only reached #18 on the US charts which was a sign the album wasn't selling well.

Much the same followed Walking Man issued June 1974 which only sold 300,000 copies in the States with the title track issued on 45 missing the hot 100. These first four Warner albums are out on Audio Fidelity as is Gorilla his 1975 album issued in 2013, however another label Mobile Fidelity (Mofi) of Chicago Ill. are tackling the later ones such as the acclaimed 'comeback' album JT from 1977 album, Flag and Dad Loves His Work from 1981.

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