When I first perused the lineup of albums released in 1971 to prepare for this list, I immediately knew which would wind up at #1. Carole King’s Tapestry is one of the greatest albums of the 70s and one of the greatest of all time. It’s certainly the best album of 1971.
Recorded in January of that year and released in February, Tapestry would eventually sell more than 25 million copies worldwide and spend more than six years on the Billboard charts, second only to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It took home Grammys for Album, Record and Song of the Year.
Not bad for the sophomore album by a woman who was told she was better off writing songs for other singers.
Just two more songs in the 30 Day Music Challenge. Day 29 asks us to get nostalgic and name ‘A Song That You Remember From Your Childhood.’
Aside from the heavy doses of Frank Sinatra provided by my parents, my childhood musical memories mostly center around their old reel-to-reel tape machine (which, in our retro-happy world, is apparently the new vinyl).
Best Albums of the 70s – #3
Tapestry – Carole King (1971)
Carole King released 10 albums in the 70s, and I couldn’t name a single song from nine of them if you put a gun to my head. Nor could I name a single song on the five albums of original material she’s recorded in the 30+ years since.
But Tapestry, her second solo record — that one I can recite by heart. As can the millions of people who have made it one of the best-selling records of all time.
This will seem like a weird comparison, but I look at Carole King’s 1971 Tapestry as the female Graceland. If the latter is the best album ever recorded by a solo male artist, this is the best album ever recorded by a solo woman. I guess you could say those two albums are the king and queen of my musical kingdom.
It feels odd to write that because it’s not as if I play Tapestry constantly. It’s probably been more than a year since I’ve given it a full listen. But if somebody stops going to church for awhile, that doesn’t mean they stop believing in God. And considering that music and movies are my only religion, maybe that’s as apt a metaphor as any.