Carole King: The Essential Carole King
On the two discs, “The Singer” and “The Songwriter,” of the just released The Essential Carole King it is quite apparent that Carole King is one of our best singers…and songwriters. This is a CD set for fans of C.K. as well as people with a passing interest. Really, songwriting and from-the-heart singing doesn’t get better then this.
Jaunty strings push along the first tune, the Goffin/King “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” while Carole ‘s voice and piano follow on the superb ballad “Child Of Mine” (2 songs in and the lady is already slaying you, thank you very much). Then comes the mega hits, “I Feel The Earth Move” with its pure funk bass and some real neat piano playing, “So Far Away” with that sly beat and ultra perfect arrangement, then “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got A Friend.” These amazing songs are enough to make any songwriter envious, but when one realizes this trio is from just one album, Carole King’s mega-hit Tapestry, that’s truly an accomplishment for any artist. This CD also has the upbeat “Sweet Sensations,” the sweet harmony vocals of “Been To Canaan,” the soft “Jazzman,” the actual jazzy “Only Love is Real,” then a live snippet of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Some Kind Of Wonderful/Up On The Roof” from The Carnegie Hall Concert-June 18, 1971, featuring James Taylor harmonies. “The Reason” with Celine Dion from 2007 then the MOR “Now and Forever” end the first CD.
“The Songwriter” disc begins with The Shirelles singing “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” Bobby Vee warbling “Take Good Care Of My Baby,” Gene Pitney’s low-tom-roll-take on “Every Breath I Take,” “Crying In The Rain” done by The Everly Brothers and 11 more hits from Gerry Goffin and Carole King. “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” “Up On The Roof,” and of course “The Loco-Motion” are all Goffin/King tunes as well and they are here too.
The Essential Carole King is a perfect collection, You get the lady herself singing some of her most personal songs and then you get those 50’s/60’s tunes she wrote, songs we all know so well, splattered across the second disc of the set. What more could you want from Carole King…other thaCarole Kingn hoping she keeps writing songs we can be moved and amazed by.