I Feel the Earth Move

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"I Feel the Earth Move"
Single by Carole King
from the album Tapestry
A-side "It's Too Late"
Released April 1971
Format 7"
Genre Pop, rock
Length 3:00
Label Ode Records
Writer(s) Carole King
Producer(s) Lou Adler
Carole King singles chronology
"He's a Bad Boy"
"It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move"
"So Far Away"/"Smackwater Jack"

"I Feel the Earth Move" is a song written and recorded by pop singer-songwriter Carole King on her album Tapestry, the song is one half of the double A-sided single, the flip side which was "It's Too Late". Together, both "I Feel the Earth Move" and "It's Too Late" became among the biggest mainstream pop hits for the year 1971.

A showcase for King's upbeat piano style, "I Feel the Earth Move" has lyrics with the same percussive feel:

I feel the earth - move - under my feet
I feel the sky tum-b-ling down - tum-b-ling down
I feel my heart start to trem-b-ling -
Whenever you're around

Jon Landau's review of the album Tapestry (1971) for Rolling Stone praised King's voice on this track, saying it negotiates turns from "raunchy" to "bluesy" to "harsh" to "soothing", with the last echoing the development of the song's melody into its chorus.[1] Landau describes the melody of the refrain as "a pretty pop line."[1] 40 years later, Rolling Stone stated the King's "warm, earnest singing" brought "earthy joy" to the song.[2] Music journalist Harvey Kubernik wrote that "I Feel the Earth Move" was "probably the most sexually aggressive song on the Tapestry album" and a "brave" opening to an album whose mood is mostly "mellow confessionality."[3] Allmusic critic Stewart Mason describes the song as "the ultimate in hippie-chick eroticism" and writes that it "sounds like the unleashing of an entire generation of soft-spoken college girls' collective libidos."[4]

Author James Perone praised the way the lyrics and music work together.[5] Aa a prime example, he notes the syncopated rhythm to the melody on which King sings "tumbling down."[5] This rhythm, putting the accent at the end of the word "tumbling" rather than at the beginning, produces a "musical equivalent of a tumble."[5] Perone also notes that the fast tempo allows the listener to feel the singer's excitement over being near her lover, and that the lyrics also express sexual tension even though that tension is left implicit.[5] Perone attributes some of the song's success to producer Lou Adler's decision to highlight King's piano playing in the mix, giving it a different feel from the guitar-based singer-songwriter approach King took in her prior album.[5] Mason also attributes the song's success to the "piano-led groove" and to King's vocal delivery.[4]

King's version of "I Feel the Earth Move" peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated June 19, 1971. It remained there for five consecutive weeks.[6] It also peaked at #6 in the United Kingdom.

Given its upbeat nature, Ode Records selected "I Feel the Earth Move" as the A-side to Tapestry's first single. It achieved airplay, but then disc jockeys and listeners began to prefer the slower, lamenting B-side "It's Too Late". Both sides received airplay for a while, but eventually "It's Too Late" dominated. In fact, on the concurrent Cash Box singles chart, which still tracked the progress of both sides of a single separately, "It's Too Late" spent four weeks at number one while "I Feel the Earth Move" did not chart at all. Regardless, since Billboard had declared the record a double A-side and their chart gradually became seen by many as the "official" singles chart, it is generally listed in books and articles that both "I Feel the Earth Move" and "It's Too Late" reached #1.

Together with "It's Too Late", "I Feel the Earth Move" was named by the RIAA as number 213 of 365 Songs of the Century.

On Tuesday, March 18, 2008, King performed the song on The Colbert Report.


Martika version[edit]

"I Feel the Earth Move"
Single by Martika
from the album Martika
Released July 1989
Genre Pop rock
Length 4:12
Label Sony
Writer(s) Carole King
Producer(s) Martika, Michael Jay
Martika singles chronology
"Toy Soldiers"
"I Feel the Earth Move"

Released in summer 1989, "I Feel the Earth Move" was the third single from Martika's self-titled debut, Martika. "I Feel the Earth Move" reached number 7 in the UK and number 2 in Australia. The high energy music video was shot during the promotional tour for this album. The single also reached number 25 on the pop charts in the U.S., but quickly fell down the chart after radio stations pulled it from their playlists in the wake of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake.

Track listing[edit]

For the cassette or 7" single:

  • Side A – "I Feel the Earth Move"
  • Side B – "Quiero Entregarte Mi Amor" (Spanish version of "More Than You Know")

Other versions[edit]

American musician Paul Gilbert recorded a shred guitar version of "I Feel the Earth Move" and released it in his 2003 album Paul the Young Dude/The Best of Paul Gilbert.

Peggy Lee never recorded "I Feel the Earth Move" for an album, but performed the song live.[7]

British vocal group Design recorded a version of this song on their 1973 album Day of the Fox.

Loretta Swit performed the song on The Muppet Show in 1980.

Mandy Moore included her version on the 2003 album Coverage; it was later included on The Best of Mandy Moore and on the 2005 benefit album Love Rocks.

Australian songstress Delta Goodrem featured the song on her 2005 Visualise Tour.

Jazz/funk guitarist Ivan "Boogaloo Joe" Jones recorded an instrumental version of this song.

Japanese singer UA recorded a version of this song (in English) included on her "Colony" single. It was also part of her live album Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds.

In the episode "Praying for Time" of Eli Stone, in a vision seen by the title character, Taylor Weathersby (Natasha Henstridge) and Maggie Dekker (Julie Gonzalo) sing it, signifying what may be an upcoming earthquake in San Francisco, as well as giving Eli an insight into his lovelife.

Tori Amos has added parts of this songs as a bridge to her song "Take to the Sky" (a B-side from her debut album Little Earthquakes in 1992) in live performances. Most recently, on her Sinful Attraction Tour in Sydney on November 16, 2009, but also at the Dranouter Festival on August 8, 2008, and many times during her 2003 Tour. She comments on this in her book Piece by Piece.

Rock band Super 400 recorded a version at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee for their 2009 album Sweet Fist.

In 1989, "I Feel the Earth Move" was scheduled to be the debut single for English boy band Big Fun, but was pulled at the last minute (due to Martika's imminent UK release of the same song) in favour of "Blame It on the Boogie", a cover of The Jacksons hit, written by Mick Jackson (no relation). The Big Fun version of the song appeared as a bonus track on the CD and Cassette versions of their 1989 album A Pocket Full of Dreams.

In 2010, Chinese singer Olivia Ong recorded a cover for her album Olivia.

In 2011, Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart sang a duet of this song in season 10 of American Idol.

In 2013 Shinedown recorded a cover which was released on the album The Warner Sound Live EP.


The first 22 seconds of the Carole King version is used for the earthquake room exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI) in Portland, Oregon.

The song was playing on KHJ (AM) in Los Angeles when the 1971 San Fernando earthquake struck.

During an NHL game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, another earthquake occurred. During the first break-in-play after the earthquake, the Kings DJ played Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move".

In Rocky director John Avildsen's Slow Dancing in the Big City with Paul Sorvino and Anne Ditchburn the song is featured prominently, though it did not appear on that film's soundtrack.

The song was used in Japan for a Toyota RAV4 commercial in 2001.

On the popular NBC sitcom Will & Grace, the character Jack McFarland sings a piano solo version of this song as a part of his one-man cabaret.


  1. ^ a b Landau, Jon (April 29, 1971). "Carole King: Tapestry". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Tapestry". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  3. ^ Kubernik, H. "Troubadours: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter: Carole King’s Monumental Tapestry Album". pbs.org. Retrieved 2014-04-06. 
  4. ^ a b Mason, S. "I Feel the Earth Move". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Perone, J.D. (2006). The Words and Music of Carole King. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 33–34. ISBN 9780275990275. 
  6. ^ "The Hot 100: June 19, 1971". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  7. ^ Aronowitz, Alfred G. (March 20, 1972). "Miss Peggy Lee". New York Post. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Want Ads" by The Honey Cone
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
(Carole King version) double A-side with "It's Too Late"

June 19, 1971 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Indian Reservation" by The Raiders