Her Town Too

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"Her Town Too"
Her Town Too cover.jpeg
Single by James Taylor with J. D. Souther
from the album Dad Loves His Work
B-side"Believe It or Not"
Released1981
GenreSoft rock
Length4:35
LabelColumbia Records
Songwriter(s)James Taylor, J. D. Souther & Waddy Wachtel
Producer(s)Peter Asher
James Taylor singles chronology
"Up on the Roof"
(1979)
"Her Town Too"
(1981)
"Hard Times"
(1981)

"Her Town Too" is a song written by James Taylor, J. D. Souther and Waddy Wachtel. It was first released as a duet between Taylor and Souther on Taylor's 1981 album Dad Loves His Work. It was also released as a single in 1981, peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The song had entered the Hot 100 chart at #38, making it one of the few songs to enter the chart in the Top 40 but not reach the Top 10.[2] As of 2014, it is Taylor's last single to reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100.[3] "Her Town Too" also reached #5 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and #21 on the Mainstream Rock chart.[1]

The subject of "Her Town Too" is the aftermath of a breakup of a long term relationship.[4][5] Taylor has called it "a tender, well-meaning song about how difficult it was to be friends" with both parties after the breakup.[4] Since Taylor's marriage to Carly Simon was breaking up at the time, there was speculation that the song was about their relationship.[4] However, Taylor has stated that the song was about "the ex-wife of a mutual friend."[4] Author Sheila Weller has written that the subject was Betsy Asher, who had recently divorced from Taylor's longtime manager and producer Peter Asher.[6]

Taylor has said of the song that it "showed a maturity in song structure that had been developing since I wrote 'Your Smiling Face' for JT."[7] "Your Smiling Face and JT had been issued four years earlier, in 1977. Taylor also claimed that the song had "a relentless bolero quality."[7] The Rolling Stone Album Guide called it a "gently incisive divorce song" that was "among [Taylor's] finest pieces of writing."[8] Rolling Stone critic Don Shewey notes that despite the song's worthy ambitions, the narrative never quite reaches a resolution, and thus the song "comes across as merely a catchy, mindless ditty."[5] Montreal Gazette critic John Griffin praised the song's "mellifluous melody" and the way lyrics such as "she always figured that they were her friends but maybe they can live without her" resonates with people who have had friendships with one or the other partner disintegrate after a relationship ends.[9]

"Her Town Too" was later released on the 2000 compilation album Greatest Hits Volume 2.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dad Loves His Work awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  2. ^ "Chartbeat". Billboard. January 8, 1983. p. 73. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  3. ^ "James Taylor awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  4. ^ a b c d White, T. (2009). Long Ago and Far Away. Omnibus Press. pp. 276–277. ISBN 9780857120069.
  5. ^ a b Shewey, D. (May 28, 1981). "Dad Loves His Work". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  6. ^ Weller, S. (2008). Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--And the Journey of a Generation. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781416564775.
  7. ^ a b Musician Issues 111-1116. Amordian Press. 1988. p. 82. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  8. ^ Coleman, M.; Edmonds, B. (2004). Brackett, N.; Hoard, C. (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Fireside. p. 804. ISBN 0743201698.
  9. ^ Griffin, J. (May 2, 1981). "'Talk Memphis' Says Plenty for Winchester". The Montreal Gazette. p. 68. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  10. ^ Ruhlmann, W. "Greatest Hits Volume 2". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-05-31.