Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 (2021 Record Store Day Black Friday LP)

On Record Store Day Black Friday in 2021, a limited edition live LP by two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Carole King was issued. Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 was recorded during the year when King’s hugely successful Tapestry album was released. This vinyl LP was limited to 6,550 copies.

This concert was performed on July 15, 1971 at the BBC Television Centre in London, and its original BBC broadcast took place on October 2nd of that year. King was backed by the band Jo Mama, which included King’s former collaborators in the folk-rock trio known as The City: her then-husband Charles Larkey on bass, and Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar on conga and electric guitar. James Taylor, another frequent collaborator, made a guest appearance playing acoustic guitar on “So Far Away”.

For a time during the ‘70’s, the Tapestry album held the title of the best-selling album of all time. As of this writing, the album is the 38th all-time best-seller, having sold over 13 million copies in the U.S., and over 25 million copies worldwide. Before achieving this spectacular success, King had co-written many hit songs of the '60's with Gerry Goffin, her first husband, for other artists.

This concert took place five months after the release of Tapestry, and contains seven selections from that album, along with “Up On The Roof” from King's 1970 debut album Writer. Two of the Tapestry selections were King co-compositions which were earlier hits for other performers: "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" was a signature Top 10 hit for Aretha Franklin in 1967, and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was a #1 hit for the Shirelles in 1960.

Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 contains performances which are faithful to the studio versions, arranged in the same gentle piano-based pop style. Most of the better-known selections are on the first side, highlighted by Taylor's welcome guest spot playing the acoustic guitar on "So Far Away". However, some of the better moments come on the second side, when King is joined by two additional instrumentalists for the slightly more up-tempo "Smackwater Jack", and sings a soulful duet with Abigail Haness on "Way Over Yonder". One minor quibble: Although "Up On The Roof" is a good show-closer, and is proven to sound good without strings, I would have liked to hear James Taylor play guitar on this song as he did on the studio version, since he was present for this event, but he did not. No matter. Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971 is a satisfying companion piece to King's landmark Tapestry album.

Carole King “Carole King In Concert: Live At The BBC, 1971” (BBC/Legacy 19439853751) 2021

Track Listing:

1. I Feel The Earth Move
2. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
3. So Far Away
4. It’s Too Late
5. Smackwater Jack
6. Way Over Yonder
7. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
8. Up On The Roof