Carole King changed the face of pop music with her hit album Tapestry. Let’s revisit her career and the iconic album.
Carole King is such a prolific singer-songwriter that there is an entire Broadway musical written about her. (By the way, if you haven’t seen Beautiful yet, do so as soon as possible!) But we’re not here to discuss the play; we’re here to discuss the woman herself and how her album Tapestry changed the popular music scene in the 1970s.
Before Tapestry, Carole King began her career as a songwriter in the early days of pop and rock music. Her songs have become so well-known that we still sing them today. She wrote “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” in the 1960s, which became The Shirelles’ first number-one hit. In 1962, she wrote “Up on the Roof” for The Drifters, and she wrote “The Locomotion,” which would go on to make Kylie Minogue an international sensation in the 1980s.
She’s written songs for megastars like Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion. And that doesn’t even account for her work with James Taylor on “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Fire and Rain.”
Finding Her Voice
It wasn’t until King divorced her songwriting partner Gerry Goffin and broke out of the Brill Building system that she became one of the most popular singer-songwriters of all time. (The Brill Building was a building in New York that housed numerous music publishers, record labels, and recording studios. It has its own rich history, which is fascinating and worth a Google search.)
King quickly fell into the Laurel Canyon songwriting scene in California with the likes of James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and David Crosby. She continued to write for others but also began to write for herself. She combined the knowledge she’d gained from the Brill Building as well as her songwriter friends, to create her most famous album, Tapestry.
Carole King became the first solo female artist to win Grammy Awards for Best Song of the Year and Best Album of the Year with Tapestry. It would spend over 300 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 charts and receive Diamond status (you’ve heard of Gold and Platinum records, but what about Diamond?!). Let’s just say it’s an album that is still making history.
Learn more about the impact of Tapestry in the video below: