Covers (James Taylor album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 30, 2008 (2008-09-30)
RecordedJanuary 2008 (2008-01)
LabelHear Music
James Taylor chronology
One Man Band
Other Covers
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[2]
Toronto Star3/4 stars[3]

Covers is the eighteenth studio album and the first "covers" album by singer-songwriter James Taylor, released on September 30, 2008. The album was recorded by Taylor's regular touring band. Some of the tunes Taylor had been performing off and on in concerts for years, while others were new to his repertoire. The effort garnered modestly good reviews and two Grammy Award nominations.


The album was recorded over ten snowed-in days in January 2008, in a converted barn in Weston, Massachusetts. Taylor was able to assemble his regular touring group (lately dubbed "The Band of Legends") to all be present at the same time, which was rare in the contemporary recording scene. Thus, few if any overdubs were necessary during the recording process. Some of the tunes Taylor had been performing off and on in concerts for years, while others were new to his repertoire. Altogether, 20 songs were recorded.

In promotion of Covers, Taylor appeared on numerous television shows. On the September 30 edition of The Colbert Report, he humorously answered a question regarding his philosophy by simply performing "(I'm a) Road Runner" in its entirety.

The effort garnered two Grammy Award nominations, for Best Pop Vocal Album and, concerning "Wichita Lineman", Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.[4]

Some of the bonus tracks issued for different manifestations of the album ended up also being released on 2009's Other Covers mini-album follow-up.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "It's Growing" (Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore) - 4:07
  2. "(I'm a) Road Runner" (Holland-Dozier-Holland) - 3:19
  3. "Wichita Lineman" (Jimmy Webb) - 3:41
  4. "Why Baby Why" (Darrell Edwards, George Jones) - 2:41
  5. "Some Days You Gotta Dance" (Troy Johnson, Marshall Morgan) - 2:41
  6. "Seminole Wind" (John Anderson) - 4:50
  7. "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen) - 3:36
  8. "Hound Dog" (Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller) - 3:03
  9. "Sadie" (Joseph Jefferson, Charles Simmons, Bruce Hawes) - 4:34
  10. "On Broadway" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann) - 4:11
  11. "Summertime Blues" (Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart) - 2:39
  12. "Not Fade Away" (Buddy Holly, Norman Petty) - 2:45

QVC bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Get a Job" (The Silhouettes) - 4:07
  2. "In the Midnight Hour" (Wilson Pickett, Steve Cropper) - 3:14
  3. "Knock on Wood" (Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper) - 3:52
  4. "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II) - 3:10
  5. Video on making of the album

Home shopping channel QVC made available this bonus CD/DVD on September 12, 2008. Taylor and his band appeared live during two half-hour segments on QVC that date, to play songs from the album and a couple of old favorites. Over 14,000 copies of the album sold during the shows.

UK bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" (Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II)
  2. "Knock on Wood" (Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper)
  3. "Shiver Me Timbers" (Tom Waits) - 4:19

The album was scheduled for release in the UK on February 2, 2009, and included three additional tracks.[5] The tracks were not tacked at the end, but rather inserted at the front, before the penultimate, and at the end, respectively.[6] This was part of a practice to make U.S. releases less attractive for overseas sales.


As listed in the album's liner notes:This is the first album since 1997 featuring James Taylor's touring band all in one setting for the entire album.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
U.S. Billboard 200 4
Canadian Albums Chart 21


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ "James Taylor: Album Guide". Archived from the original on January 5, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Toronto Star review
  4. ^ [1] Archived December 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "James Taylor: Covers (2009): CD". 2005-12-15. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  6. ^ "Buy James Taylor - Covers online at and read reviews. Free delivery to UK and Europe!". 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2012-02-10.