One Man Parade
|"One Man Parade"|
Single label (version backed with "Nobody But You")
|Single by James Taylor|
|from the album One Man Dog|
|A-side||"One Morning in May" (Europe)|
|B-side||"Hymn" or "Nobody But You" (US)|
|James Taylor singles chronology|
"One Man Parade" is a song written by James Taylor that was first released as the first track on his 1972 album One Man Dog. It was also released as the second single from the album, following up on the Top 20 hit "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," after receiving significant airplay as an album track. The single was issued twice with two different B-sides, "Hymn" and "Nobody But You." It did not achieve the same chart success as "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," peaking at #67 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also charted on the Adult Contemporary chart in Canada, reaching #55. In some countries, such as in Europe, it was released as the B-side of the single release of "One Morning in May."
Taylor said he had written "One Man Parade" during the year preceding the album release and he had begun playing it live in concert as early as the Fall of 1971. Like "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "One Man Parade" was recorded on a portable recording console at Taylor's home with his new bride Carly Simon in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Simon, Carole King and Abigale Haness provided harmony vocals. "One Man Parade" was originally intended to be the title track of the album, but Taylor changed the album title "for no particular reason" to One Man Dog, in reference to his shepherd dog who is mentioned in the song. Donald Langis of L'Evangeline praised the word play of the lines "All I want is a little dog to be walking at my right hand / talking 'bout a one man dog / Nobody's friend but mine." Langis interprets the dog as a metaphor for the type of friend Taylor is sekking.
Billboard Magazine rated "One Man Parade" as one of Taylor's best songs ever, saying that it is "full of melodic surprises" and "lyrical weirdness." It also noted that although the song is "rollicking" it fits within Taylor's brand of gentle pop music. Rolling Stone Magazine critic Jon Landau praises how the song "starts right in and never lets up," and also praises Taylor's vocal performance for sounding like he was "standing while singing for the very first time. Langis believed it had potential to be a hit. Several reviewers praised Taylor's live performances of the song in the early 1970s.
"One Man Parade" was included on the 2003 compilation album Best of James Taylor.
"Hymn," also a song from One Man Dog was the B-side of the "One Man Parade" single and was also the followup single in March 1973, backed with "Fanfare." Both "Hymn" and "Fanfare" were part of a suite of short songs on side 2 of the album. Both songs were recorded at A&R Studios in New York. Landau rated "Hymn" as the best song on the album, calling attention to the line "As a man and a woman stand alone in the light/Give us reason to be, like the sun on the sea." Langis regards the song as being semi-religious with lines such as "Let the winter wind blow/Where will we hide when it comes from inside?" The single failed to chart.
- "Pop Picks". Billboard Magazine. February 17, 1973. p. 59. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
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- White, T. (December 5, 1988). "A Portrait of the Artist". Billboard Magazine. p. 18. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
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- "Best of James Taylor". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-07-02.