One of the greatest songwriters of the ‘60s!
Perhaps best known for her masterpiece Tapestry (1971), Carole King is first and foremost an extremely successful songwriter who started out writing hits more than a decade before Tapestry became the best-selling record by a female artist. Let’s take a look at the best tunes Carole King wrote.
Her first release was one of her biggest, Will You Love Me Tomorrow? Released by The Shirelles in 1960, it made it to #1 and was the first in doing so by an African-American girl group.
Following The Shirelles, several other artists and bands have covered it, including Dusty Springfield, Frankie Valli, Norah Jones, and Amy Winehouse. The best version, in my opinion, appears on the aforementioned album Tapestry, as a ballad.
The following year, she had another #1 in Take Good Care Of My Baby. First released by Bobby Vee, then covered by Frankie Valli, Smokey, Donny Osmond, and even The Beatles.
In 1962, it was time for another worldwide hit as The Loco-Motion (or Locomotion) was released by Little Eva, then successfully covered by Kylie Minogue, Grand Funk Railroad, and later recorded by Carole herself. Check out the live version with Slash on guitar in the (very long) playlist above!
The next year, we get One Fine Day, first released by The Chiffons, then covered by the Carpenters, Bette Midler, and of course, Carole herself.
Her next big tune came in 1967 with Pleasant Valley Sunday (The Monkees), and the same year, one of her all-time classics was recorded by Aretha Franklin, the amazing (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.
All tunes listed so far were written by Carole King, with lyrics by her husband Gerry Goffin. As they divorced in 1968, the partnership came to an end.
Carole relocated from New York to L.A. and formed a short-lived band named The City. When that didn’t work out, she released her debut album, suitably named, Writer (1970). It wasn’t received well, only entering the charts after her next release, Tapestry (1971).
Recognized as one of the greatest albums of all time, Tapestry has the tunes I Feel the Earth Move, It’s Too Late, You’ve Got A Friend, Will You Love Me Tomorrow?, and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. That’s five worldwide recognized tunes on one album, leading to it remaining in the charts for six years!
This enormous success led her to release a further ten albums in the ‘70s, none of them having a single tune living up to the legacy she’d created so far.
Her best release post-Tapestry comes in 1980 with Pearls, a collection of songs she’d written with her first husband.
She released a further seven albums after Pearls, all with the same outcome, no hits.
Perhaps Carole King’s career can teach us all something here: If you find a songwriting partner that you click with, don’t let them go!
Carole King tunes | Related pages
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Learn how to play (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin/Carol King using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, and the original recordings.
| C | G/B | Bb | F F C/E Dm |
Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired…
You’ve Got A Friend
Learn how to play You’ve Got A Friend by Carole King and James Taylor using chords, lyrics, chord analysis, TAB, and the original recordings.
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When you’re down and troubled and you need some lovin’ care...