As a singer, Carole King won over millions of fans with her honest portrayals of love and life. As a songwriter, she penned dozens of hits for others, many of which became American pop standards. Now for the first time, these two aspects of a long and celebrated career are combined, presenting the best of Carole King as both singer and songwriter. From her record-breaking and iconic Tapestry, to more recent works, with Celine Dion and Babyface, Disc 1 covers the best of Carole King’s own performances: the Grammy®-winning songs “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got A Friend;” plus collaborations with Celine Dion and Babyface. Disc 2 highlights the best of Carole’s best-known and most beloved compositions, as performed by others: “Up On The Roof” (The Drifters); “Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin); and “Chains” (The Beatles). Together, these songs tell the complete story of an extraordinarily gifted and successful artist, who is still actively performing to this day, more than four decades later.



    1. It Might As Well Rain Until September
    2. Child Of Mine
    3. I Feel The Earth Move
    4. So Far Away
    5. It’s Too Late
    6. You’ve Got A Friend
    7. Sweet Seasons
    8. Been To Canaan
    9. Corazón
    10. Jazzman
    11. Nightingale
    12. Only Love Is Real
    13. Medley with James Taylor: Will You Love Tomorrow/Some Kind Of Wonderful/Up On The Roof
    14. Really Rosie
    15. Pierre
    16. You Can Do Anything with Babyface
    17. The Reason with Celine Dion
    18. Now And Forever


    1. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles
    2. Take Good Care Of My Baby – Bobby Vee
    3. Every Breath I Take – Gene Pitney
    4. Crying In the Rain – Everly Brothers
    5. The Loco-Motion – Little Eva
    6. Up On the Roof – The Drifters
    7. Chains – The Cookies
    8. One Fine Day – The Chiffons
    9. Oh No Not My Baby – Maxine Brown
    10. Just Once In My Life – The Righteous Brothers
    11. Pleasant Valley Sunday – The Monkees
    12. (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman – Aretha Franklin
    13. No Easy Way Down – Dusty Springfield
    14. Wasn’t Born To Follow – The Byrds
    15. Hey Girl – Billy Joel


      Most albums in Legacy’s “Essential” series are expanded greatest hits sets. But The Essential Carole King has an interesting twist, underscoring King’s joint careers as a singer and songwriter. The album opens with “It Might as Well Rain Until September,” which was a modest hit in 1962. Four tracks from the landmark 1971 album “Tapestry” are included and still resonate with a range of emotions — “I Feel the Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late” and “You’ve Got a Friend.”

      Carole King wrote some of the most famous pop songs on the charts, like Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion” and The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day”.  The second disc sports some of the better selections, but the choices feel odd. The Billy Joel number was a surprise, but I just wonder if there weren’t stronger offerings out there. Oh well, you take what you can get.

      The CD booklet has track-by-track discographical information including chart positions, original source and producer credits, as well as two short essays. Vic Anesini has remastered both discs with his customary excellence, with the individual instrumentation on Disc One’s tracks sounding especially crisp and present.

      If you’re only a fan of the mega hits, you will spend the majority of your time on the first disc. I can’t blame you for sticking with favorites. A lot of her material for others was all over the board. Could Sony have selected better tracks? Sure, it’s not like these were the only songs she wrote for people. What matters is that we’re getting the greatest hits with a few favorites for extra measure. I’d recommend the purchase.


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