|Studio album by|
|Released||February 10, 1971|
|Carole King chronology|
|Singles from Tapestry|
Tapestry is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1971 on Ode Records and produced by Lou Adler. The lead singles from the album—"It's Too Late" and "I Feel the Earth Move"—spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Easy Listening charts.
Tapestry has been certified 14× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in the US, and has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2000, it ranked 74th in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums, and in 2020, it ranked 25th on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Tapestry won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
King wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, two of which had already been hits for other artists: Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (in 1967), and The Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (in 1960). King's ex-husband Gerry Goffin wrote the lyrics for three of the songs. James Taylor, who encouraged King to sing her own songs and who also played on Tapestry, had a number one hit with "You've Got a Friend" later in 1971. Two songs were co-written with Toni Stern: "It's Too Late" and "Where You Lead".
The album was recorded at A&M Recording Studios' Studio B during January 1971 with the support of Taylor and Joni Mitchell, plus various experienced session musicians. Several of the musicians worked simultaneously on Taylor's album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon.
A&M staff photographer Jim McCrary took the cover photograph at King's Laurel Canyon home. It shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry that she hand-stitched herself, with her cat, named after Telemachus, at her feet.
|Christgau's Record Guide||A−|
|‘’The Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Great Rock Discography||8/10|
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
The album was met with widespread critical acclaim; Village Voice critic Robert Christgau felt that her voice, free of "technical decorum", would liberate female singers; Jon Landau of Rolling Stone wrote that King was one of the most creative pop music figures and had created an album of "surpassing personal-intimacy and musical accomplishment".
Along with being selected Album of the Year, Tapestry received Grammys for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year ("It's Too Late"), and Song of the Year ("You've Got a Friend"), making King the first solo female artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
The album remained on the Billboard charts for 313 weeks (second only to The Dark Side of the Moon's 724 weeks).
|1972||Tapestry||Album of the Year|
|1972||"It's Too Late"||Record of the Year|
|1972||"You've Got a Friend"||Song of the Year|
|1972||Tapestry||Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female|
Carole King's Tapestry is a triumph of mass culture. In less than two years it has sold well over five million copies, putting it in a class with the best-selling albums of all time, and it is still on the charts … Such statistics are so overwhelming that they seem to transform a mere record into some sort of ineluctable cultural presence, and in a sense they do.
Tapestry was a big commercial success. It spent 15 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200. It still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist. The album also spent nearly six years charting US Billboard 200 (318 weeks), on which King also spent 302 consecutive weeks. For more than 40 years, Tapestry held the record for the longest-charting album by a female solo artist in the U.S., until Adele's 21 broke the record in 2017. In Canada, the album was on the Top 100 chart from April 14, 1971, to January 20, 1973, and again from September 22, 1973, to February 16, 1974.
Tapestry was also very successful across the world. In Canada, it spent nine weeks at number one beginning July 3, 1971. In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 32 on UK Albums Chart but eventually rose to number four and spent 136 weeks in the Top 100. Tapestry reportedly sold over 7 million copies in its first year, and around 30 million copies worldwide to date.
Several songs from the album were recorded by other artists and became hits while the album was still on the charts: James Taylor's 1971 recording of "You've Got a Friend" hit number one in the U.S. and number four in the U.K., and Barbra Streisand's 1971 studio recording of "Where You Lead" reached number 40, while a live recording of a medley in which Streisand paired the song with the Sweet Inspirations hit "Sweet Inspiration" reached number 37 the following year.
Various artists have combined to rerecord more than one tribute album. The first, released in 1995 and titled Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King, was certified gold. The second, in 2003, was titled A New Tapestry – Carole King Tribute. In 2010 Australian recording artist Marcia Hines recorded a tribute album, Marcia Sings Tapestry.
"Her songs are like stories or sonic movies", Tori Amos said. "You want to walk into them. With 'I Feel the Earth Move' or 'It's Too Late', you're right there."
Tapestry frequently appears on critics' lists of the best albums. In 2003, it ranked 36th on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, maintaining that rating in a 2012 revised list, but moving up to 25th in a 2020 update of the list. The album was also listed 39th by VH1 on its list of 100 Greatest Albums, and was one of 50 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry. Recordings added to the National Recording Registry are picked to be preserved in the Library of Congress as they are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important." Based on such listings, Acclaimed Music ranks Tapestry as the 69th most acclaimed album in history.
In 2015, for its sixth and final season, American TV series Glee paid tribute to this album, alongside Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, in its episode "Jagged Little Tapestry". Five songs from Tapestry are performed by various artists. Two of them, "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away", are performed on their own, while the other three are used in a mashup with a song from Jagged Little Pill. "I Feel the Earth Move" is mashed up with "Hand in My Pocket", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" with "Head Over Feet", and "You've Got a Friend" with "You Learn". The episode was watched by 1.98 million viewers and received a 0.7/2 in the adult 18-49 demographic.
In March 2016 it was announced that King would perform the album live in its entirety for the first time at the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London, on July 3, 2016. The performance was released the following year as Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park.
All songs written by Carole King except where noted.
1999 CD reissue bonus tracks
2008 "Legacy Edition"
In 2008, Sony/BMG, Epic, and Ode released a two-disc "Legacy Edition". One disc is the original album remastered; the second is live performances of 11 of the 12 songs, recorded in 1973 in Boston; Columbia, Maryland; and Central Park, New York; and in 1976 at the San Francisco Opera House. "Where You Lead" is the song not included on the live disc.
Live disc track listing
|US Billboard 200||10|
|US Billboard 200 (Women)||4|
|Australia (ARIA)||8× Platinum||560,000‡|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||2× Platinum||600,000*|
|United States (RIAA)||14× Platinum||14,000,000‡|
* Sales figures based on certification alone.