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Sweet Baby James

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Editors’ Notes

James Taylor’s second album (released in 1970) lifted the singer/songwriter to rock-star status. Led by the waltz-time lullaby of “Sweet Baby James” (written for his nephew), the album swoons and swells in equal measure. There’s a purity here, and Taylor was always more clever than he was given credit for: the ironic “Sunny Skies” follows Taylor through troubled days, and “Streamroller” gently mocks white-boy blues (and was covered by Elvis Presley). The acoustic beauty of “Fire and Rain” (that’s Carole King on piano) is a study in moods that pretty much ushered in the singer/songwriter milieu of the '70s.

Customer Reviews

Uh, Not Good? Really? Are You Serious?

Not sure what planet you are from or upon what basis your blurb is authored, but it's truly ignorant of anything related to music, talent or enduring quality.
It may not be to your taste of pop emo slacker dreck, but SBJ is a treasure of the American genre of one man one voice that will be listened to and enjoyed by millions of people hundreds of years hence, long after we are gone and forgotten. It is an indisputable masterpiece of composition and vocal arrangement that rings as true today as it did 4 decades ago.
Need proof? JT and Carole King are in the midst of their "Troubadour Tour 2010" right now, playing most of the songs on this album to sold-out arenas from San Diego to Miami to Seattle to Maine and 65 cities in between. JT's ability to stand and deliver SBJ's songs today with the clarity and passion that he did in 1970 is testament to the magnificence and strength of the songs on this album.
Against that backdrop, it would appear your "not good" appraisal is as ludicrous as it is laughable.

Not the Steamroller from the original album!

Buyer Beware!
Although this is a fantastic album in it's original state, iTunes (once again) screwed it up. The version of Steamroller on this version of the album is not the same Steamroller as the one on the original version. The version here is a live version, The version on the original Sweet Baby James album is a studio version. Buyer Beware!

My Lullaby

My name first and middle names are Ian James and my dad would sing Sweet Baby James and play his guitar every night from when I was born until I was 8 years old. It's one of the most cherished memories from my childhood. If I ever have a son, I'm going to name him James so I can sing this song to him when he's little and pass on the tradition.


Born: March 12, 1948 in Belmont, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When people use the term "singer/songwriter" (often modified by the word "sensitive") in praise or in criticism, they're thinking of James Taylor. In the early '70s, when he appeared with his introspective songs, acoustic guitar, and calm, understated singing style, he mirrored a generation's emotional exhaustion after tumultuous times. Just as Bing Crosby's reassuring voice brought the country out of the Depression and through World War II, Taylor's eased the transition from '60s activism and its...
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