JAMES TAYLOR *SWEET BABY JAMES*
RARE ETCH: (SIDE 1) "HI JAMES" & (SIDE 2) "THAT'S ALL FOLKS"
VINYL: EXCELLENT 9/10
JACKET: 8/10 (No seam splits but some edge wear from age)
The heart of James Taylor's appeal is that you can take him two ways. On the one hand, his music, including that warm voice, is soothing; its minor key melodies and restrained playing draw in the listener. On the other hand, his world view, especially on such songs as "Fire and Rain," reflects the pessimism and desperation of the 1960s hangover that was the early '70s. That may not be intentional: "Fire and Rain" was about the suicide of a fellow inmate of Taylor's at a mental institution, not the national malaise. But Taylor's sense of wounded hopelessness -- "I'm all in pieces, you can have your own choice," he sings in "Country Road" -- struck a chord with music fans, especially because of its attractive mixture of folk, country, gospel, and blues elements, all of them carefully understated and distanced. Taylor didn't break your heart; he understood that it was already broken, as was his own, and he offered comfort. As a result, Sweet Baby James sold millions of copies, spawned a Top Ten hit in "Fire and Rain" and a Top 40 hit in "Country Road," and launched not only Taylor's career as a pop superstar but also the entire singer/songwriter movement of the early '70s that included Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Cat Stevens, and others. A second legacy became clear two decades later, when country stars like Garth Brooks began to cite Taylor, with his use of steel guitar, references to Jesus, and rural and Western imagery on Sweet Baby James, as a major influence. (AMDB)
James Taylor – Sweet Baby James
Label: Warner Bros. Records – WS 1843, Warner Bros. Records – 1843
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US Released: 1970
A1 Sweet Baby James
A2 Lo And Behold
A3 Sunny Skies
A5 Country Road
A6 Oh, Susannah Written-By – Stephen Foster
B1 Fire And Rain
B3 Anywhere Like Heaven
B4 Oh Baby, Don't You Loose Your Lip On Me
B5 Suite For 20G
Record Company – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Produced For – Marylebone Productions, Inc.
Published By – Country Road Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Sunset Sound
Arranged By [Brass] – Jack Bielan
Bass – Bobby West*, John London, Randy Meisner
Drums – Russ Kunkel
Engineer – Bill Lazerus
Fiddle – Chris Darrow
Guitar – Danny Kootch*
Guitar, Vocals – James Taylor
Photography By – Henry Diltz
Piano – Carole King
Producer – Peter Asher
Steel Guitar – Red Rhodes
Written-By – James Taylor (2) (tracks: A1 to A5, B1 to B5)
Cat# on labels is "WS 1843"
Cat# on sleeve (front, spine and back) is "1843"
Recorded at Sunset Sound, December '69
Produced for Marylebone Productions, Inc.
Published by Country Road Music Inc. BMI/Blackwood Music, Inc.
Warner Bros. Records Inc.,
a Subsidiary & Licensee of
Warner Bros. Inc.,
4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, Calif.
488 Madison Ave., New York, N.Y.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Matrix / Runout (Side A - Label): S39638
Matrix / Runout (Side A - Runout): 39638 WS1843A-1C
Matrix / Runout (Side B - Label): S39639
Matrix / Runout (Side B - Runout): WS 39639-B D2
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