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That's Why I'm Here

James Taylor

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Album Review

James Taylor took four and a half years off from record-making in the early '80s, returning with That's Why I'm Here, which suggested he had found his long-term niche with baby boomer fans now permanently tuned to soft rock radio — this was Taylor's first record to spawn three Top Ten adult contemporary hits, with the title track, "Only One," and a cover of Buddy Holly's "Everyday." Taylor's sound had invaded country music by this time, too, and both "Everyday" and "Only One" made the country singles chart. But those boomers just don't go to the record store as often as their children, and Taylor managed only one pop chart entry with "Everyday" (number 61), while the album failed to go gold and was his lowest charting effort since his breakthrough with Sweet Baby James in 1970. If, in the title song, he had reconciled himself to the notion that the reason he was here was to sing "Fire and Rain" at summer concerts, that also meant he was settling for a complacent position. (Notwithstanding its initial commercial reception, That's Why I'm Here eventually went platinum.)

Biography

Born: 12 March 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...
Full bio