The Best of James Taylor
Audio CD | Remastered
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First signed to The Beatles Apple label, gifted American troubadour James Taylor released his eponymous debut album in 1969. Back in the states in 1970, he delivered Sweet Baby James as his Warner Bros. label debut. Throughout the '70s he continued to build his reputation as one of pop's most beloved and influential recording artists, following up with multimillion-sellers like Mud Slide Slim and The Blue Horizon, One Man Dog, Walking Man, Gorilla, In The Pocket, and his first Greatest Hits album chronicling his Warner Bros. output, which has since sold more than 12 million copies. After switching to Columbia Records in 1977, Taylor's hit streak continues to this day. He has 4 Grammys under his belt, as well as inductions into both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1998 he was honored with the Billboard Century Award. Now, as his career is once again on the upswing thanks to his latest platinum two-time Grammy-nominated October Road CD, the timing is perfect to renew the love affair America has had with his early work - with THE BEST OF JAMES TAYLOR.
Any good singer can interpret a song, but it takes a stylist to make it his own. James Taylor is a stylist. This 20-track anthology obviously can't chronicle much more than the hits and high points of Taylor's career, but it nonetheless captures the artistic essence of a performer who's become a virtual synonym for "singer-songwriter" since his emergence in the late '60s. A lot of ink has been spilled ruminating about Taylor's role in soothing a '60s-burned generation, but given his own well-known demons (depression, addiction) his gentle voice often sounds like the physician wisely healing himself. His muse seems fully formed from the opening "Something in the Way She Moves," a track cut for the Beatles' Apple label in late 68 (and one that seems to share some symbiotic relationship with George Harrison's own classic "Something" from the period), its tone at once familiar and inviting--if ripe for a few decades of parody--as it wends its way from his seminal early '70s hits through a slate of later originals, R&B ("How Sweet It Is," "Handy Man") and pop ("Up On the Roof") covers. Tellingly, he delivers those chestnuts with an offhand confidence and illumination that makes them his own, a sense that informs even his jazz and Brazilian ("Only a Dream a Rio") flirtations. The set's newly recorded bonus cut, John Sheldon's "Bittersweet," is a pleasant pop confection that showcases Taylor's knack for being laconic and upbeat in the same breath. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
Maybe I'm being kind of picky but many others have noticed and commented in detail about this. It's like a little itch I can't really scratch that bothers me though I still enjoy this collection. For that I'm giving "the best of James Taylor" only 4 stars.
Hope this helps someone!
Wonderful originals and covers ....you know the names.
Great fidelity .