In the 1960s, King was a prominent hitmaker as a songwriter. At the end of the decade, she struck out with a solo career, and her second album Tapestry is an all but unanimous choice as her best. It’s firmly part of the singer-songwriter movement of the early 1970s – James Taylor is on guitars and backing vocals, while the usual soft rock backing musicians like Danny Kortchmar and Russ Kunkel are also present.
Even though King is a limited vocalist, with her nasal voice, the material on Tapestry is so strong that it’s barely an issue. King interprets ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow?’, hit songs she composed as a songwriter. New hits ‘I Feel The Earth Move’ and ‘It’s Too Late’ are just as memorable, there’s no reason why ‘So Far Away’, ‘Home Again’, and the gospel-tinged ‘Way Over Yonder’ don’t merit the same attention, while the gentle title track is my favourite piece on the album.
Carole King’s never matched the artistic heights of Tapestry again, despite a lengthy solo career, and it’s the album that she’ll be remembered for.