30 Songs, 1 Hour 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though James Taylor defined the early-'70s singer/songwriter movement, he continued to write and record songs of great lyrical and melodic import for decades. His exquisite acoustic guitar skills turned songs such as “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James,” and Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” into standards for both radio and acoustic guitarists. (In fact, Taylor offers detailed lessons on how to play his songs at his website.) A number of greatest-hits collections aim to summarize his career; The Essential James Taylor, with 30 tracks, is among the best, as more is always better in Taylor’s case. The ‘70s hits are covered here, but so are his later efforts. “Copperline” has become another classic. “Her Town Too” pairs him with unofficial Eagles member J.D. Souther, and the set ends with live tracks of “My Traveling Star” and ”You Can Close Your Eyes,” which further illustrate how Taylor can hold an audience captive without dance routines or dry ice. Musical talent and well-crafted, understated songs sometimes get the job done, too.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Though James Taylor defined the early-'70s singer/songwriter movement, he continued to write and record songs of great lyrical and melodic import for decades. His exquisite acoustic guitar skills turned songs such as “Fire and Rain,” “Sweet Baby James,” and Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” into standards for both radio and acoustic guitarists. (In fact, Taylor offers detailed lessons on how to play his songs at his website.) A number of greatest-hits collections aim to summarize his career; The Essential James Taylor, with 30 tracks, is among the best, as more is always better in Taylor’s case. The ‘70s hits are covered here, but so are his later efforts. “Copperline” has become another classic. “Her Town Too” pairs him with unofficial Eagles member J.D. Souther, and the set ends with live tracks of “My Traveling Star” and ”You Can Close Your Eyes,” which further illustrate how Taylor can hold an audience captive without dance routines or dry ice. Musical talent and well-crafted, understated songs sometimes get the job done, too.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
31 Ratings
31 Ratings
Pam in New England ,

From Pam to JT

You always get 5 stars from moi. Done. Dusted.

globesessions99 ,

So obvious James didn't have a say in picking songs

Where is 'The Frozen Man' first of all,& 'Hey Mister', what about 'That Lonesome Road'?Nothing from the covers albums? He needs to release a box set... This is a decent collection but another strike against it, why is half of it album only? James Taylor is a legend of music but it's a shame he's represented this way here.

Bowie chick ,

Jackpot!!!!

James never goes out of style. What a great addition to my music selection. My old cd skips too bad for iPod

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