My first memory of Carole King ( and it seems so long ago now that I can hardly believe it was her ), was hearing her sing It Might As Well Rain Until September way back in 1962. The song's shifting melodic line and rich arrangement struck me as unusual. I was completely entranced by the sound. It makes me shiver to think that this wonderful slice of Brill Building pop might so easily have been handed to the saccharin-voiced Bobby Vee to record.
During this early period, working for Don Kirschner's Aldon Music, Carole and her lyricist husband Gerry Goffin wrote classic numbers for The Shirelles, The Drifters, The Chiffons and Maxine Brown, and lesser songs for the aforementioned Mr.Vee, Little Eva ( their babysitter at the time ), Herman's Hermits, Steve Lawrence, The Monkees and others.
It wasn't until until 1971, with the release of her solo album TAPESTRY , widely regarded today as one of the finest song compilations ever put together on one release, that Carole found what might be regarded as her true voice. The intimacy and mastery of her craft she reveals on this album puts her on a par with Joni Mitchell, who released her brilliant BLUE album the same year.
Admittedly Carole's career was rather overshadowed by Joni's phenomenal creative development from this point on, but by 1971 she had already compiled such a rare catalogue of never-to-be forgotten songs that she easily earns a place in my top 50.