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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 on February 10, 1971,[3] by Ode Records and produced by Lou Adler. The album's lead singles, "It's Too Late" and "I Feel the Earth Move", spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100[4] and Easy Listening[5] charts.

Tapestry has been certified 14× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA),[6] making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. In 2000, it ranked 74th in Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums,[7] and in 2020, it ranked 25th on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[8] Tapestry won four Grammy Awards at the 14th Annual Grammys in 1972, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year. In 1998, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[9]



King wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album. Two songs were co-written with Toni Stern: "It's Too Late" and "Where You Lead"; King wrote the music and Stern the lyrics. King's ex-husband Gerry Goffin co-wrote the lyrics for three of the songs, two of which had already been hits for other artists: Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (in 1967), and The Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" (in 1960).

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.

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

A&M staff photographer Jim McCrary took the cover photograph in the living room of King's home at 8815 Appian Way, Laurel Canyon, California.[10][11][12] It shows her sitting barefoot on a cushion on a bench beside a window, holding a tapestry that she hand-stitched herself, with her cat, named after Telemachus, near her foot.[13][14]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[16]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[17]
The Great Rock Discography8/10[18]
Music Story[citation needed]
MusicHound Rock5/5[19]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[21]

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;[16] Jon Landau of Rolling Stone wrote that King was one of the most creative pop music figures and had created an album of "surpassing personal-intimacy and musical accomplishment".[23]



Along with being selected Album of the Year, Tapestry 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 The Dark Side of the Moon's 724 weeks).[24]

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


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)[25]

Tapestry was a huge commercial success. It spent 15 consecutive weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.[26][27] It still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist.[28] The album also spent nearly six years charting U.S. Billboard 200 (318 weeks), on which King 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 U.S., until Adele's 21 broke the record in 2017.[29][30][31] In Canada, the album was on the Top 100 chart from April 14, 1971, to January 20, 1973, and again from September 22, 1973, to February 16, 1974.

Tapestry was also very successful across the world. In Canada, it spent nine weeks at number one beginning July 3, 1971.[32] In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number 32 on UK Albums Chart but eventually rose to number four and spent 136 weeks in the Top 100.[33] Tapestry reportedly sold over 7 million[34] copies in its first year, and 14 million copies in the US to date.

Cultural impact


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 recording of "You've Got a Friend" hit number one in the U.S.[35] and number four in the U.K.,[36] and Barbra Streisand's 1971 studio recording of "Where You Lead" reached number 40,[37] 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.[37]

Various artists have combined to rerecord more than one tribute album. The first, released in 1995 and titled Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King, was certified gold. The second, in 2003, was titled A New Tapestry – Carole King Tribute. In 2010 Australian recording artist Marcia Hines recorded a tribute album, Marcia Sings Tapestry.

"My mum loved Carole King's Tapestry. That was always in the house." —Amy Winehouse[38]

"Her songs are like stories or sonic movies", Tori Amos said. "You want to walk into them. With 'I Feel the Earth Move' or 'It's Too Late', you're right there."[39]

Tapestry has appeared on critics' lists of the best albums. In 2003, it ranked 36th on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[40] maintaining that rating in a 2012 revised list,[41] but moving up to 25th in a 2020 update of the list.[8] The album was also listed 39th by VH1 on its list of 100 Greatest Albums,[42] and was one of 50 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry.[43] 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."[43]

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". Five songs from Tapestry are performed by various artists. Two of them, "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away", are performed on their own, while the other three are used in a mashup with a song 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.[44]

In March 2016 it was announced that 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.[45] The performance was released the following year as Tapestry: Live at Hyde Park.[46]

Track listing


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" (Toni Stern, King) – 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" (Stern, King) – 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 bonus tracks

  1. "Out in the Cold" – 2:44
  2. "Smackwater Jack" (Live in Boston, May 21, 1973) – 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 is live performances of 11 of the 12 songs, recorded in 1973 in 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





All-time charts

All-time chart performance for Tapestry
Chart Position
U.S. Billboard 200[60] 10
U.S. Billboard 200 (Women)[61] 4

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[62] 8× Platinum 560,000
Japan (RIAJ)[63]
1991 reissue
Gold 100,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[64] Platinum 15,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[65] 2× Platinum 600,000*
United States (RIAA)[66] 14× Platinum 14,000,000

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

See also



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  2. ^ Mendelsohn, Jason; Klinger, Eric (January 27, 2012). "Counterbalance No. 66: Carole King's 'Tapestry'". PopMatters. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  3. ^ Mike Segretto, 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Minute: A Critical Trip Through the Rock LP Era, 1955–1999 (Backbeat Books, 2022) p.591
  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. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum: Tapestry (Retrieved May 10, 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. ^ https://www.grammy.com/awards/hall-of-fame-award#t
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  11. ^ Marc (December 18, 2015). "Carole King's Former Home On Appian Way In Los Angeles". History Of Rock Music. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Helen Brown (April 22, 2009). "Carole King interview". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on April 25, 2009.
  14. ^ Hart, Ron (February 10, 2021). "The Tale of Telemachus, the Tapestry Cat". Rock and Roll Globe. Retrieved February 9, 2024.
  15. ^ Ankeny, Jason. Tapestry at AllMusic
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  39. ^ Mojo, date unknown
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