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Before This World [CD/DVD Combo][Super Deluxe]

4.5 out of 5 stars 917 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 16, 2015
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Editorial Reviews

Taylor's first album of original material in 13 years, featuring guest appearances by Sting and Yo-Yo Ma

The Super Deluxe Edition consists of a 40-page hard bound book with 2 CDs and 1 DVD. This beautiful and collectable package includes 5 bonus audio tracks, a DVD of the 35-minute documentary 'There We Were: The Recording of James Taylor's Before This World' (Expanded Edition), handwritten lyric facsimiles, new photos of Taylor taken throughout the recording process; plus a free HD audio download of the full album and MP3s of bonus tracks all housed in a numbered, die-cut slip case.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Today Today Today
  2. You And I Again
  3. Angels Of Fenway
  4. Stretch Of The Highway
  5. Montana
  6. Watchin' Over Me
  7. SnowTime
  8. Before This World / Jolly Springtime
  9. Far Afghanistan
  10. Wild Mountain Thyme

Disc: 2

  1. 9lb Hammer (Demo)
  2. 6/4 Shuffle (Instrumental)
  3. Joshua Gone Barbados (Unreleased recording)
  4. Whenever You're Ready (Live)
  5. SnowTimeLine (Evolution of the song "SnowTime")

Disc: 3

  1. There We Were: The Recording of James Taylor's Before This World (Expanded Edition)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 16, 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B00VXVBQZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (917 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Phil (not) in Mågnoliá TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 16, 2015
Format: Audio CD
I hadn't realized that it's been 13 years since James Taylor had issued a studio album with new original material, but it turns out that is has been that long (to be strictly correct, October Road, which was released in 2002, was his last studio album with new material; others released since then were Covers in 2008 and with his interpretations of songs written by other artists; Live at the Troubadour, with Carole King, with a mixture of songs written by Taylor, King, and others; A Christmas Album (2004); James Taylor At Christmas (2006); and the live album Amchitka The 1970 Concert That Launched Greenpeace with Joni Mitchell and Phil Ochs, that was released in 2009).

To write these new songs, James borrowed a friend's apartment in Newport, Rhode Island, and for one weekend a month over several months in 2013 and 2014 he worked undisturbed and focused on writing, as he hadn't been able to do for over a decade. The results are worth the long wait (well, we would have liked something sooner of course, but now that it's here I think his fans are grateful to receive it!).
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Format: MP3 Music
So what can I tell you about the long-awaited album? Well, it will remind you of the best songs of Taylor’s early 1970’s catalog. JT’s signature storytelling skills are matched with his signature vocals surrounded by mostly mellow mix of folk, light rock, and acoustic blues. It’s like hearing from an old friend who has been gone for a long time.
Before This World is an intimate, largely autobiographical album of nine new Taylor songs, plus the classic Scottish folk tune “Wild Mountain Thyme”. Close friends Sting and Yo-Yo Ma guest on the album. So, put on some coffee and take a listen. Here are a few brief thoughts on each song:
Today, Today, Today – was the first single released from the album. Taylor’s friend and collaborator Don Grolnick, a jazz and pop pianist who died in 1996, inadvertently helped inspire the song title years ago during a car trip out of Manhattan. Taylor states “One day, driving out of the city, he held up traffic at the Triborough Bridge toll booth, looking for quarters. Behind him, a cabby rolled down his window and yelled at him, ‘Today, TODAY!’ Grolnick would say that whenever he grew impatient: ‘TODAY!’”
You and I Again – is a beautiful tender piano ballad about his wife Kim that features some wonderful accompanying strings.
Angels of Fenway – is a tribute to his Boston Red Sox and his grandmother who was a big Red Sox fan as well. After 86 years of frustration, the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. Unfortunately, it was against my St. Louis Cardinals, and I was at the clinching game in St. Louis as the Red Sox swept the Cardinals. Features harmony vocals from wife Kim and son Henry. Even though I’m not a Red Sox fan, I’m a baseball fan and I loved this song, which is one of my favorites on the album.
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Format: Audio CD
He's James Taylor, the humble, honeyed-voiced god of '70s folk-rock, and he's back after a lengthy recording break with "Before This World".

This multi platinum artist has released another winner. I find this release is similar in tone and delivery to his last release "October Road", and standing up to the best of his work from the 70's, classic JT.

Beginning with his 1970 breakthrough classic "Sweet Baby James", which catapulted him to worldwide fame, Taylor has turned out a formidable discography throughout the ’70s and ’80s. His mesmerizing, melodic material grabs you from the start wrapping you in a warm blanket of "feels so good".

On this release he is accompanied by guest stars Sting and Yo Yo Ma on the nautical, haunting title song “Before This World/ Jolly Springtime.

“You and I Again,” featuring Yo-Yo Ma’s reverent cello, is a simple but affecting love song, presumably for Taylor’s wife, Kim.

His easy groove on “Stretch of the Highway” and “Montana,” sees Taylor settling into his classic style. Listening to "Montana" made me briefly reflect on John Denver's style, very similar.

Before This World, "reacquaints us with an old friend, one who we wish would visit more often." Looks good on you JT. Keep 'em coming!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
If you love JT, you will NOT be disappointed with this album. Beautiful, poetic & that amazing familiar voice. He sounds just like he did in the 70's. How does he do it? The arrangements are delightful. The song Before This World with Sting is so beautiful it brings tears to my eyes. Their harmonies together are incredible. Thank you JT!!! You are a wonder.
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