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 (Hollywood)
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 received four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. The lead singles from the album—"It's Too Late" and "I Feel the Earth Move"—spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100[3] and Easy Listening[4] charts.

Tapestry has been certified 14× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in the US,[5] and has sold an estimated 30 million copies worldwide,[6] making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2000, it attained number 74 in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums,[7] and in 2020, it was ranked number 25 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[8] Tapestry won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.


King wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, two of which had already been hits for other artists such as Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (in 1967), and The Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (in 1960). King's ex-husband Gerry Goffin wrote the lyrics for three of the songs. James Taylor, who encouraged King to sing her own songs and who also played on Tapestry, had a number one hit with "You've Got a Friend," later in 1971. Two songs were co-written with Toni Stern: "It's Too Late" and "Where You Lead".

The album was recorded at A&M Recording Studios' Studio B 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.[9] It shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry that she had hand-stitched herself, with her cat Telemachus at her feet.[10]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[12]
‘’The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[13]
The Great Rock Discography8/10[14]
Music Story[14]
MusicHound Rock5/5[14]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[14]

The album was met with widespread critical acclaim; Village Voice critic Robert Christgau felt that her voice, free of "technical decorum", would liberate female singers;[12] 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".[17]


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).[18]

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]

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)[19]

Tapestry was a big commercial success. It spent 15 consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200.[20][21] To date, Tapestry still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist.[22] The album also spent nearly 6 years charting US Billboard 200 (318 weeks), in which she also spent 302 consecutive weeks. For more than 40 years, Tapestry held the record for the longest charting album by a female solo artist in the US until Adele's 21 broke the record in 2017.[23][24][25] It the fifth album to spend more weeks by female artist on the Billboard 200.

Tapestry was also very successful across the world. In Canada, it spent 9 weeks at number-one beginning July 3, 1971.[26] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number thirty-two on UK Albums Chart but eventually rose to its peak at number four and went on to spend 136 weeks in the Top 100.[27] Tapestry has reportedly sold over 7 million[28] copies in its first year, and around 25 million copies worldwide to date.[6]

Cultural impact[edit]

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[29] and number four in the UK,[30] and Barbra Streisand's 1971 studio recording of "Where You Lead" reached number 40[31] 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.[31]

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."[32]

Tapestry frequently appears on critics' lists of the best albums.[14] In 2003, it ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[33] maintaining that rating in a 2012 revised list,[34] but moving up to No. 25 in a 2020 update of the list.[8] The album was also listed by VH1 at number 39 on their list of 100 Greatest Albums,[35] and was one of 50 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry.[36] 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."[36] Based on such listings, Acclaimed Music ranks Tapestry as the 69th most acclaimed album in history.[14]

In 2015, for its sixth and final season, American TV series Glee paid tribute to this album, alongside Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill, in its episode "Jagged Little Tapestry" airing January 16, 2015. Five songs from this album is performed by various artists. Two of them performed on its own, "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away", while the other three are used in a mashup with one of the songs from Jagged Little Pill. "I Feel the Earth Move" is mashed up with "Hand in My Pocket", "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" with "Head Over Feet", and "You've Got a Friend" with "You Learn". The episode was watched by 1.98 million viewers and received a 0.7/2 in the adult 18-49 demographic.[37]

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.[38] The performance was released the next year as Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park.[39]

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




Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[52] 8× Platinum 560,000double-dagger
Japan (RIAJ)[53]
1991 reissue
Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[54] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[55] 2× Platinum 600,000*
United States (RIAA)[56] 14× Platinum 14,000,000double-dagger
Worldwide 25,000,000[6]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

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. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955–2008. Record Research. p. 534.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007). Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard Top Adult Songs, 1961–2006. Record Research. p. 149.
  5. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum: Tapestry (Retrieved May 10, 2022.)
  6. ^ a b c "'Tapestry' at 50: How Carole King 'bet on herself' to record a singer-songwriter classic". L.A. Times. February 4, 2020. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  7. ^ Colin Larkin (2000). All Time Top 1000 Albums (3rd ed.). Virgin Books. p. 66. ISBN 0-7535-0493-6.
  8. ^ a b "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Helen Brown (April 22, 2009). "Carole King interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009.
  11. ^ Ankeny, Jason. Tapestry at AllMusic
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Tapestry". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Pelly, Jenn (December 22, 2019). "Carole King: Tapestry". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  16. ^ David Cavanagh Uncut magazine, September 2008.
  17. ^ Landau, Jon (April 29, 1971). "Carole King Tapestry > Review". Rolling Stone. No. 81. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
  18. ^ Menconi, David. "Carole King's all-Star Greatest-Hits Dream Album." News & Observer: 0. July 17, 2005. Web.
  19. ^ Christgau, Robert (November 1972). "Carole King: Five Million Friends". Newsday. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  20. ^ Bronson, Fred (March 5, 2009). "Chart Beat: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Taylor Swift : Billboard.com". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 6, 2010. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. p. 365.
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. pp. 974–982.
  23. ^ Keith Caulfield. "Adele's '21' Breaks Record for Longest-Charting Album by a Woman on the Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  24. ^ "Adele remains at No. 1; 'Idol' boosts Crystal Bowersox, Carole King". USA Today. May 4, 2011.
  25. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 26, 2011.
  26. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums – July 3, 1971". Library and Archives Canada. July 17, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  27. ^ "Carole King | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  28. ^ "'Tapestry'". NPR.org. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  29. ^ "Music: Top 100 Songs – Billboard Hot 100 Chart". Billboard.
  30. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 50 – Official Charts Company". OfficialCharts.com.
  31. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955–2008. Record Research. p. 943.
  32. ^ Mojo, date unknown
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ VH1: 100 Greatest Albums. MTV. September 1, 2003. ISBN 978-0743448765.
  36. ^ a b The National Recording Registry 2003 National Recording Board of the Library of Congress
  37. ^ Bibel, Sara (January 20, 2015). "Friday Final Ratings: 'Hawaii Five-0' Adjusted Up; No Adjustments to 'Constantine' or 'Glee'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 21, 2015.
  38. ^ music, Guardian (March 8, 2016). "Carole King to perform Tapestry in its entirety for the first time – in London" – via The Guardian.
  39. ^ "Carole King's "Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park" to be released September 1". Legacy Recordings. June 12, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  40. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  41. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 15, No. 21". RPM. July 10, 1971. Archived from the original (PHP) on January 6, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  42. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  43. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Carole King – Tapestry" (ASP). Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  44. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  45. ^ "Carole King > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  46. ^ "Allmusic: Tapestry : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  47. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on December 17, 2007. Retrieved December 17, 2007.
  48. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1971". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  49. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1972". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  50. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014.
  51. ^ "2018 Annual ARIA Albums Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  52. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2018 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  53. ^ "Japanese album certifications – キャロル・キング – つづれおり" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved March 9, 2014. Select 1995年12月 on the drop-down menu
  54. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  55. ^ "British album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
  56. ^ "American album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved May 7, 2022.

External links[edit]