This album has an unfair advantage over every other album in the list; it contains the original recording of ‘Where You Lead’ aka the theme song from Gilmore Girls, my favourite television show of all time. The moment the chorus started all I could think of was how much I would like to dig out the boxset and start it again… but instead I satisfied myself with a number of Gilmore Girls animated gifs.
Anyway, my wish to one day be the male Lorelai Gilmore aside… Tapestry is an album that really sounds like a greatest hits. With songs like ‘You’ve Got A Friend’, ”Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ and ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ you would be excused thinking that this was a cover album; that is until you realise she wrote all these songs for other artists and Tapestry gave her the chance to perform them herself.
It is true that Carole King hasn’t got the pipes that Aretha Franklin has as she belts out ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ but she has an earnestness that sells these songs. On a track like ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ you need sincerity to let the song become truly effective. Whilst we are talking about this song, in many ways it forms the emotional core of this album. The opener ‘I Feel The Earth’ and third-track ‘It’s Too Late’ served as an ideal double A-side since they really are the best material that had not already been covered. ‘Way Over Yonder’ (which reminds of Patty Griffin’s ‘Up To The Mountain (MLK Song)’) serves as good closer to the ‘Original’ side of Tapestry before you flip the more well known tracks.
In many ways this is one of the best albums so far that I had not previously listened to. It does, however, mean that I have even fewer female solo albums to go on this list since they are still rather in the minority. Something tells me the next list update won’t do anything to change that.