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Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

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Album Review

James Taylor had scored eight Top 40 hits by the fall of 1976 when Warner Brothers marked the end of his contract with this compilation. One of those hits, the Top Ten gold single "Mockingbird," a duet with his wife Carly Simon, was on Elektra Records, part of the Warner family of labels and presumably available, but it was left off. "Long Ago and Far Away," a lesser hit (though it made the Top Ten on the easy listening charts), wasn't used either. In addition to the six hits — "Fire and Rain," "Country Road," "You've Got a Friend," "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," and "Shower the People" — that were included, the album featured a couple of less successful singles, "Mexico" and "Walking Man," the album track "Sweet Baby James," and three previously unreleased recordings — a live version of "Steamroller" and newly recorded versions of "Something in the Way She Moves" and "Carolina in My Mind," songs featured on Taylor's 1968 debut album, recorded for Apple/Capitol. The result was a reasonable collection for an artist who wasn't particularly well-defined by his singles. One got little sense of Taylor's evolution from the dour, confessional songs of his first two albums to the more conventional pop songs of his sixth and seventh ones. But one did hear isolated examples of Taylor's undeniable warmth and facility for folk/country-tinged pop. By the next summer, Taylor was back in the Top Ten on Columbia, and Greatest Hits was out of date. But it remains a good sampler of Taylor's more popular early work.

Customer Reviews

James Taylor

James Taylor has a, light, cheerful, easy folk guitar sound to his music. In this album he does a great rendition of an earlier hit by Carole King, in which he delivers a graceful style using arpegio guitar and enhances this song with a great harmony near the end. Any guitar player could aspire to his method of playing because it is so simple, yet complex. Since I grew up to his music when his hits first made the airwaves, it is hard not to listen in awe to every nuance in each song he composes. Every time I listen to his songs, I hear something new that I never noticed before which even better encapsulates his music and further compliments his unique style. Mr Taylor could be easily noted as one of the all time greatest artists from the 20th (and 21st) centurie(s).


Un des meilleurs album que j 'ai acheté, une mélodie incroyable


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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