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The Best of James Taylor

Audio CD | Remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 271 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, April 8, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Something In The Way She Moves - James Taylor
  2. Sweet Baby James (Remastered Version) - James Taylor
  3. Fire And Rain (Remastered Version) - James Taylor
  4. Country Road (Remastered Single Version)
  5. You've Got A Friend (Remastered Version)
  6. You Can Close Your Eyes (Remastered Version)
  7. Long Ago And Far Away
  8. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight (Remastered Version)
  9. Walking Man (Remastered Version)
  10. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) (Remastered Version)
  11. Mexico (Remastered Version)
  12. Shower The People (Remastered Version)
  13. Golden Moments (Remastered Version)
  14. Steamroller (Remastered Live Version)
  15. Carolina In My Mind (Remastered Version) - James Taylor
  16. Handyman - James Taylor
  17. Your Smiling Face - James Taylor
  18. Up On The Roof - James Taylor
  19. Only A Dream In Rio - James Taylor
  20. Bittersweet - James Taylor


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