Song of the Day #4,145: ‘Country Road’ – James Taylor

‘Country Road’ appeared on James Taylor’s great 1970 album Sweet Baby James. It was inspired by the area surrounding a Massachusetts hospital where Taylor sought treatment for depression.

‘Country Road’ reached the top 40 at #37, while the album’s first single, ‘Fire and Rain,’ made it all the way to #3. The album was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy but lost to Simon & Garfunkel’s final studio release, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

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Song of the Day #2,832: ‘Fire and Rain’ – James Taylor

james-taylor-sweet-baby-jamesJames Taylor’s second solo album, Sweet Baby James, was the singer-songwriter’s most successful and beloved record and the start of a burst of activity that lasted through the 70s.

Taylor would release seven more albums in that decade, matching hit output over the following 36 years. Must have been all the heroin.

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Song of the Day #1,926: ‘Something in the Way She Moves’ – James Taylor

james_taylorBy some measures, this is the first proper James Taylor post on this blog.

I’ve posted three tracks featuring Taylor over the past five years, but each earns as asterisk.

The one Taylor original, ‘Mexico,’ was posted without comment during one of my vacations. ‘Our Town‘ is a Randy Newman Pixar tune that Taylor performed (beautifully) for the movie Cars.

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Song of the Day #1,091: ‘Our Town’ – James Taylor

Cars 2 is currently in theaters and receiving the first ever negative reviews for a Pixar film. It sits in the low 30s on Rotten Tomatoes, bucking the trend of Pixar films that flirt with 100% positive reviews.

I’ll get around to seeing it and finding out for myself if the bad reviews are warranted (I’m guessing they are, based on the uninspiring trailers).

But one thing that bothers me about the reviews I’ve read is the frequent dismissal of the first Cars as Pixar’s worst film prior to this one.

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Song of the Day #50: ‘Sailing to Philadelphia’ – Mark Knopfler & James Taylor

Mark Knopfler is one of those artists I feel I should like even more than I do. He’s written and performed some truly magical songs (and albums) and I have to believe he has a ton of music I’ve never heard that I’d really love.

Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms is, of course, a masterpiece. And Making Movies is another stellar album, full of Knopfler’s other-worldly guitar work and terrific songwriting. Tunes such as ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘Brothers in Arms’ would make my short list of the greatest songs ever written.

And yet I don’t own any other Dire Straits albums and haven’t even tried to seek one out. I’m not sure why. It could be that their time sort of came and went before I got into them so there wasn’t the reminder that comes with new releases. And with so much new music to explore, it’s easy to forget about back catalogs.

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