Tapestry (Carole King album)

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A woman seated and holding a tapestry with a cat in front of her
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 10, 1971 (1971-02-10)
RecordedJanuary 1971
StudioA&M Recording Studios, Studio B
ProducerLou Adler
Carole King chronology
Singles from Tapestry
  1. "It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move"
    Released: April 1971
  2. "So Far Away"/"Smackwater Jack"
    Released: March 1971

Tapestry is the second studio album by American singer-songwriter Carole King, released in 1971 on Ode Records and produced by Lou Adler. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. In the United States, it has been certified Diamond by the RIAA with more than 10 million copies sold.[3] It received four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. The lead singles from the album—"It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move"—spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100[4] and Easy Listening[5] charts. In 2000 it was voted number 74 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums.[6] In 2003, Tapestry was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[7]


King wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, several of which had already been hits for other artists such as Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and The Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (in 1960). Three songs were co-written with King's ex-husband Gerry Goffin. James Taylor, who encouraged King to sing her own songs and who also played on Tapestry, would later have a number one hit with "You've Got a Friend". Two songs were co-written with Toni Stern: "It's Too Late" and "Where You Lead".

The album was recorded at Studio B, A&M Recording Studios during January 1971 with the support of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, plus various experienced session musicians. Several of the musicians worked simultaneously on Taylor's Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon album.

The cover photograph was taken by A&M staff photographer Jim McCrary at King's Laurel Canyon home.[8] It shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry that she'd hand-stitched herself, with her cat Telemachus at her feet.[9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[10]
Christgau's Record GuideA–[11]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[12]
The Great Rock Discography8/10[12]
Music Story5/5 stars[12]
MusicHound Rock5/5[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide5/5 stars[12]
Uncut4/5 stars[14]

The album was critically well-received; Village Voice critic Robert Christgau felt that her voice, free of "technical decorum", would liberate female singers;[11] while Jon Landau in Rolling Stone felt that King was one of the most creative pop music figures and had created an album of "surpassing personal-intimacy and musical accomplishment".[15]


Along with being selected Album of the Year, it also received Grammys for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, Record of the Year ("It's Too Late"), and Song of the Year ("You've Got a Friend"), making King the first solo female artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, and the first woman to win the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

The album remained on the Billboard charts for 313 weeks (second only to Pink Floyd's 724 weeks with The Dark Side of the Moon).[16]

Grammy Awards nominations for Tapestry
Year Winner Category
1972 Tapestry Album of the Year
1972 "It's Too Late" Record of the Year
1972 "You've Got a Friend" Song of the Year
1972 Tapestry Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female

Commercial performance[edit]

Tapestry was number one on the Billboard 200 for 15 consecutive weeks.[17] It held the record for most non-consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist for over 20 years, until surpassed by Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard: Original Soundtrack Album in 1993, which spent 20 weeks at number one.[18] Tapestry still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist.[19]

Carole King's Tapestry is a triumph of mass culture. In less than two years it has sold well over five million copies, putting it in a class with the best-selling albums of all time, and it is still on the charts … Such statistics are so overwhelming that they seem to transform a mere record into some sort of ineluctable cultural presence, and in a sense they do.

Robert Christgau (Newsday, November 1972)[20]

The album was listed on the Billboard 200 for 318 weeks between 1971 and 2011 (302 weeks consecutively from April 10, 1971 to January 15, 1977), the longest by a female solo artist until Adele's 21 surpassed it in 2017.[21][22][23] In terms of time on the charts, it ranks fifth overall,[24] and in terms of length on the charts for solo musical acts it ranks second.[24] Of all the albums by female artists to be certified Diamond, it was the first released, although it was not the first being certified.[25] In Canada, the album was number one for 9 weeks beginning July 3, 1971.[26]


Several songs from the album were recorded by other artists and became hits while the album was still on the charts: James Taylor's 1971 cover of "You've Got a Friend" hit number one in the US[27] and number four in the UK,[28] and Barbra Streisand's 1971 studio recording of "Where You Lead" reached number 40[29] while a live recording of a medley in which Streisand paired the song with the Sweet Inspirations hit "Sweet Inspiration" reached number 37 the following year.[29]

Various artists combined to re-record all the original tracks for more than one tribute album. The first, released in 1995 and entitled Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King, was certified gold. The second, in 2003, was entitled A New Tapestry – Carole King Tribute. In 2010 Australian recording artist Marcia Hines recorded a tribute album, Marcia Sings Tapestry.

"Her songs are like stories or sonic movies," observed Tori Amos. "You want to walk into them. With 'I Feel the Earth Move' or 'It's Too Late', you're right there."[30]

Tapestry frequently appears on critics' lists of the best albums.[12] In 2003, it ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[7] maintaining the rating in a 2012 revised list,[31] and was listed by VH1 as number 39 on their list of 100 Greatest Albums,[32] and was one of 50 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry.[33] Recordings added to the National Recording Registry are picked to be preserved in the Library of Congress as they are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important."[33] Based on such listings, Acclaimed Music ranks Tapestry as the 72nd most acclaimed album in history.[12]

In March 2016 it was announced that Carole King would perform the album live in its entirety for the first time at the British Summer Time Festival in Hyde Park, London on July 3, 2016.[34] The performance was released the next year as Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park.[35]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Carole King except where noted.

Side 1

  1. "I Feel the Earth Move" – 3:00
  2. "So Far Away" – 3:55
  3. "It's Too Late" (lyrics by Toni Stern) – 3:54
  4. "Home Again" – 2:29
  5. "Beautiful" – 3:08
  6. "Way Over Yonder" – 4:49

Side 2

  1. "You've Got a Friend" – 5:09
  2. "Where You Lead" (King, Stern) – 3:20
  3. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (Gerry Goffin, King) – 4:13
  4. "Smackwater Jack" (Goffin, King) – 3:42
  5. "Tapestry" – 3:15
  6. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Goffin, King, Jerry Wexler) – 3:59

1999 CD reissue

  1. "Out in the Cold" (bonus track) – 2:44
  2. "Smackwater Jack" (Live in Boston, May 21, 1973) (bonus track) – 3:21

2008 "Legacy Edition"

In 2008, Sony/BMG, Epic, and Ode released a two-disc "Legacy Edition". One disc is the original album remastered; the second disc is live performances of 11 of the 12 songs, recorded in 1973 at Boston; Columbia, Maryland; and Central Park, New York; and in 1976 at the San Francisco Opera House. "Where You Lead" is the song not included on the live disc.

Live disc track listing

  1. "I Feel the Earth Move" – 4:17
  2. "So Far Away" – 4:44
  3. "It's Too Late" – 5:06
  4. "Home Again" – 3:33
  5. "Beautiful" – 3:39
  6. "Way Over Yonder" – 5:35
  7. "You've Got a Friend" – 6:00
  8. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" – 4:31
  9. "Smackwater Jack" – 4:18
  10. "Tapestry" – 4:13
  11. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" – 5:11


Additional musicians[edit]


Charts and certifications[edit]

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[49] 8× Platinum 560,000[48]
Japan (RIAJ)[50]
1991 reissue
Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[51] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] 2× Platinum 600,000dagger*
United States (RIAA)[53] Diamond 10,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Richie Unterberger (April 29, 1999). The Rough Guide to Music USA. Rough Guides. p. 396. ISBN 978-1-85828-421-7.
  2. ^ Mendelsohn, Jason; Klinger, Eric (January 27, 2012). "Counterbalance No. 66: Carole King's 'Tapestry'". PopMatters. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum: Tapestry (Retrieved March 13, 2017.)
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955–2008. Record Research. p. 534.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007). Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard Top Adult Songs, 1961–2006. Record Research. p. 149.
  6. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 66. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  7. ^ a b Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "36 | Tapestry – Carole King". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  8. ^ Valerie J. Nelson (May 6, 2012). "Jim McCrary obituary: Rock photographer dies at 72 – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  9. ^ Helen Brown (April 22, 2009). "Carole King interview". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  10. ^ Ankeny, Jason. Tapestry at AllMusic
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: K". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 28, 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g "Tapestry". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  13. ^ Pelly, Jenn (December 22, 2019). "Carole King: Tapestry". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  14. ^ David Cavanagh Uncut magazine, September 2008.
  15. ^ Landau, Jon (April 29, 1971). "Carole King Tapestry > Review". Rolling Stone (81). Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  16. ^ Menconi, David. "Carole King's all-Star Greatest-Hits Dream Album." News & Observer: 0. July 17, 2005. Web.
  17. ^ Bronson, Fred (March 5, 2009). "Chart Beat: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Taylor Swift : Billboard.com". Archived from the original on June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  18. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. p. 365.
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. pp. 974–982.
  20. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 1972). "Carole King: Five Million Friends". Newsday. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  21. ^ Keith Caulfield. "Adele's '21' Breaks Record for Longest-Charting Album by a Woman on the Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  22. ^ "Adele remains at No. 1; 'Idol' boosts Crystal Bowersox, Carole King". USA Today. May 4, 2011.
  23. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  24. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. p. 969.
  25. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  26. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums – July 3, 1971". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  27. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs – Billboard Hot 100 Chart".
  28. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 50 – Official Charts Company".
  29. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955–2008. Record Research. p. 943.
  30. ^ Mojo, date unknown
  31. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time Rolling Stone's definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time". Rolling Stone. 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  32. ^ VH1: 100 Greatest Albums. MTV. September 1, 2003. ISBN 978-0743448765.
  33. ^ a b The National Recording Registry 2003 National Recording Board of the Library of Congress
  34. ^ music, Guardian (March 8, 2016). "Carole King to perform Tapestry in its entirety for the first time – in London" – via The Guardian.
  35. ^ "Carole King's "Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park" to be released September 1". Legacy Recordings. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  36. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  37. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 15, No. 21". RPM. July 10, 1971. Archived from the original (PHP) on January 6, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  38. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  39. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Carole King – Tapestry" (ASP). Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  40. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  41. ^ "Carole King > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  42. ^ "Allmusic: Tapestry : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  43. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
  44. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1971". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  45. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1972". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  46. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  47. ^ "2018 Annual ARIA Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  48. ^ "2018 Annual ARIA Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  49. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  50. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > February 1996 > Page 5 > Certified Awards (December 1995)". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  51. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  52. ^ "British album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 9, 2014. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Tapestry in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  53. ^ "American album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved March 9, 2014. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]