It's Too Late (Carole King song)

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"It's Too Late"
It's Too Late by Carole King US vinyl single double A-side.jpg
US vinyl single; picture is also used for the "I Feel the Earth Move" side and the parent album Tapestry
Single by Carole King
from the album Tapestry
A-side"I Feel the Earth Move"
ReleasedApril 16, 1971
GenreSoft rock
Length3:51
LabelOde
Songwriter(s)Carole King, Toni Stern
Producer(s)Lou Adler
Carole King singles chronology
"Up on the Roof"
(1970)
"It's Too Late" / "I Feel the Earth Move"
(1971)
"So Far Away" / "Smackwater Jack"
(1971)
Official audio
"It's Too Late" on YouTube

"It's Too Late" is a song from Carole King's 1971 album Tapestry. Toni Stern wrote the lyrics and King wrote the music. It was released as a single in April 1971 and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. Sales were later gold-certified by the RIAA. Billboard ranked "It's Too Late" and its fellow A-side, "I Feel the Earth Move", as the No. 3 record for 1971.

Music and lyrics[edit]

The lyrics describe the blameless end of a loving relationship.[1] Music critic Dave Marsh saw implicit feminism because the woman left the man.[2] Marsh also remarked on the maturity of the theme.[2] Music critic Robert Christgau wrote that "if there's a truer song about breaking up than 'It's Too Late,' the world (or at least AM radio) isn't ready for it."[3] Marsh described the melody as Tin Pan Alley and the arrangement as a cross between light jazz and "L.A. studio craftsmanship."[2] Rolling Stone remarked that King's "warm, earnest singing" on the song brought out the song's sadness.[4] According to author James Perone, the feel of the song is enhanced by the instrumental work of Danny Kortchmar on guitar, Curtis Amy on saxophone and King on piano.[1] Kortchmar and Amy each have an instrumental solo.[1] Cash Box described the song as "a sensitive ballad with a strong rock under-beat."[5]

Toni Stern told author Sheila Weller that she wrote the lyrics in a single day, after her love affair with James Taylor ended.[6][7] The recording won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1972, and the song is included in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Personnel[edit]

Soundtracks[edit]

"It's Too Late" has been featured in Hollywood films, including Fandango (1985), The Lake House (2006), and Invincible (2006).[8][9]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Charts[edit]

Gloria Estefan version[edit]

"It's Too Late"
Gloria Estefan It's Too Late Single.jpg
Single by Gloria Estefan
from the album Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
ReleasedMay 9, 1995 (1995-05-09)
Recorded1993–1994
GenrePop
Length3:57
LabelEpic
Songwriter(s)
  • Carole King
  • Toni Stern
Producer(s)
Gloria Estefan singles chronology
"Everlasting Love"
(1995)
"It's Too Late"
(1995)
"Cherchez La Femme"
(1995)
Music video
"It's Too Late" on YouTube

In 1995, Cuban American singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan released her cover of "It's Too Late" as the third promotional single (in the US), and fourth overall single released from her fourth studio album, Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic editor Eddie Huffman described the song as a "moment of genuine pathos" in his review of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me.[23] Phil Shanklin of ReviewsRevues stated that "King’s voice does possess the same warmth as Estefan’s."[24]

Official versions[edit]

  1. Album version – 3:57
  2. Piano mix – 3:38
  3. Radio mix – 3:19

Release history[edit]

Region Date
US May 9, 1995[25]
Europe June 12, 1995

Charts[edit]

Formats and track listings[edit]

US promo CD single (ESK 77877)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
2."It's Too Late" (Album Version)Carole King, Toni Stern3:57
3."It's Too Late" (Piano Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:58
Europe CD single (EPC 662040 1)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
2."It's Too Late" (Piano Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:58
UK CD-maxi single (662044 2) [Cancelled / Unreleased]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
2."It's Too Late" (Piano Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:58
3."Cherchez La Femme" (Radio Club Mix)August Darnell, Stony Browder, Jr.3:54
4."Cherchez La Femme" (Album Version)August Darnell, Stony Browder, Jr.4:58
UK promo CD single (XPCD 652)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
Mexico promo CD single #1 (PRCD 96384)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Album Version)Carole King, Toni Stern3:57
2."Cherchez La Femme" (Album Version)August Darnell, Stony Browder, Jr.4:58
Mexico promo CD single #2 (PRCD 96605)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
Australia CD-maxi single (662020 2)
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."It's Too Late" (Radio Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:19
2."It's Too Late" (Album Version)Carole King, Toni Stern3:57
3."It's Too Late" (Piano Mix)Carole King, Toni Stern3:58
4."Cherchez La Femme" (Doom Dub)August Darnell, Stony Browder, Jr.8:17
5."Cherchez La Femme" (Piano Mix)August Darnell, Stony Browder, Jr.6:41

Other versions[edit]

The song has been covered by

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Perone, J.E. (2006). The Words and Music of Carole King. Greenwood Publishing. pp. 34–35. ISBN 9780275990275.
  2. ^ a b c Marsh, D. (1999). The Heart of Rock and Soul. Da Capo Press. pp. 312–313. ISBN 9780306809019.
  3. ^ Christgau, R. "Carole King". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  4. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Tapestry". Rolling Stone. 31 May 2009. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  5. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. May 1, 1971. p. 24. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  6. ^ Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, volume 2. Scarecrow Press. pp. 326–327. ISBN 978-0810882959.
  7. ^ Sheila Weller (2009). Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation. Washington Square Press. pp. 325–328. ISBN 9780743491488.
  8. ^ "Fandango". imdb.com. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  9. ^ "Toni Stern". imdb.com. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  10. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2016-06-02. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  11. ^ "Item: 7739 - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  12. ^ "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  13. ^ a b c d Hawtin, Steve; et al. "Song title 422 - It's Too Late". tsort.info. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  14. ^ "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  15. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". Cash Box Magazine. 1971-07-17. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
  16. ^ Joel Whitburn's Bubbling Under the Billboard Hot 100 1959-2004
  17. ^ [1][dead link]
  18. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1971/Top 100 Songs of 1971". Musicoutfitters.com.
  19. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1971". Cashboxmagazine.com. 1971-12-25. Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  20. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  21. ^ "British single certifications – Carole King – Its Too Late". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  22. ^ "American single certifications – Carole King – It's Too Late". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 20, 2021.
  23. ^ Huffman, Eddie. "Gloria Estefan - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  24. ^ Shanklin, Phil (2015-11-22). "100 Essential CDs – Number 72 –Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me –Gloria Estefan". Reviewsrevues.com. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
  25. ^ "Radio & Records" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. 1995-05-05. p. 30. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  26. ^ "Radio & Records" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. 1995-07-14. p. 58. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  27. ^ "Radio & Records" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. 1998-07-17. p. 56. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  28. ^ "Radio & Records" (PDF). Americanradiohistory.com. 1995-12-22. p. 53. Retrieved 2022-03-22.
  29. ^ "Brother, Brother, Brother > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles" at AllMusic. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  30. ^ "The Stylistics - Round 2". Discogs.
  31. ^ Soldiers on the Moon - David Lasley | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2022-01-03
  32. ^ "Quartz - It's Too Late ft Dina Carroll". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 October 2011.
  33. ^ "Various- 80's Re:Covered - Your Songs With The 80's Sound". discogs.com. Retrieved 23 December 2015.

External links[edit]