Tapestry (album)

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This article is about the Carole King album. For other albums, see Tapestry (disambiguation)#Album.
King seated and holding a tapestry with a cat in front of her
Studio album by Carole King
Released February 10, 1971 (1971-02-10)
Recorded January 1971 in Studio B, A&M Recording Studios
Genre Folk, pop[1]
Length 44:31
Label Ode
Producer Lou 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
Carole King's "It's Too Late" from Tapestry

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Tapestry is the second 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.[2] It received four Grammy Awards in 1972, including Album of the Year. The lead single from the album — "It's Too Late"/"I Feel the Earth Move" — spent five weeks at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100[3] and Easy Listening[4] charts. In 2003, Tapestry was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[5]


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 cover photograph was taken by A&M staff photographer Jim McCrary at King's Laurel Canyon home.[6] It shows her sitting in a window frame, holding a tapestry she hand-stitched herself, with her cat Telemachus at her feet.[7]


Commercial success[edit]

Tapestry was number one on the Billboard 200 for 15 consecutive weeks,[8] and held the record for most 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.[9] It still holds the record for most consecutive weeks at number one by a female solo artist.[10] The album has been listed on the Billboard 200 for over 300 weeks between 1971 and 2011, the longest by a female solo artist.[11][12] In terms of time on the charts, it ranks fifth overall,[13] and in terms of length on the charts for solo musical acts it ranks second.[13] Of all the albums by female artists to be certified diamond, it was the first released, although it was not the first being certified.[14]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[15]
Robert Christgau A−[16]
Okayplayer (96/100; 2008 Legacy Edition)[17]
Q Magazine 5/5 stars
Rolling Stone (positive)[18]
Uncut 4/5 stars[19]

The album was well received by critics; Robert Christgau felt that her voice, raw and imperfect, free of "technical decorum", would liberate female singers[16] 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".[18]


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.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 36 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[5] In 2001, the VH1 TV network named Tapestry the 39th greatest album ever. In 2003, it was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.[20] The album remained on the Billboard charts for 513 weeks (second only to Pink Floyd's 724 weeks with "Dark Side of the Moon").[21]

Grammy Awards
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


Several of the songs on Tapestry were recorded by other artists and became hit singles while the album was still on the charts: James Taylor's 1971 recording of "You've Got a Friend" hit number one in the US[22] and number four in the UK,[23] and Barbra Streisand's 1971 studio recording of "Where You Lead" reached number 40[24] 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.[24]

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

In 2003, Tapestry was named number 36 on Rolling Stone‍ '​s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time,[5] was listed by VH1 as number 39 on their list of 100 Greatest Albums,[25] and was one of 50 recordings chosen to be added to the National Recording Registry.[20] Recordings added to the National Recording Registry are picked to be preserved in the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, as they are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important."[20]

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" (lyrics by Toni 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

The album was reissued in 1999 on CD, with two previously unreleased bonus tracks.

  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 2-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
Technical personnel



Region Certification Sales/shipments
Japan (RIAJ)[37]
1991 reissue
Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[38] 2x Platinum 600,000dagger^
United States (RIAA)[39] 10× Platinum 10,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

dagger BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Counterbalance No. 66: Carole King’s 'Tapestry'". PopMatters. 
  2. ^ RIAA Gold and Platinum Retrieved February 27, 2010
  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. ^ a b c 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. 
  6. ^ Valerie J. Nelson (May 6, 2012). "Jim McCrary obituary: Rock photographer dies at 72 - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ Helen Brown (April 22, 2009). "Carole King interview". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  8. ^ Bronson, Fred (March 5, 2009). "Chart Beat: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Taylor Swift : Billboard.com". Retrieved June 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. p. 365. 
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. pp. 974–982. 
  11. ^ "Adele remains at No. 1; 'Idol' boosts Crystal Bowersox, Carole King". USA Today. May 4, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Music Albums, Top 200 Albums & Music Album Charts". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2010). Joel Whitburn Presents Top Pop Albums, Seventh Edition. Record Research. p. 969. 
  14. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved December 26, 2011. 
  15. ^ Ankeny, Jason. Tapestry (album) at AllMusic
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Carole King: Tapestry > Consumer Guide Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  17. ^ Book, John (June 5, 2008). "Carole King Tapestry (Legacy Ed.) > Review". Okayplayer. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. 
  18. ^ a b Landau, Jon (April 29, 1971). "Carole King Tapestry > Review". Rolling Stone (81). Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  19. ^ David Cavanagh Uncut magazine, September 2008.
  20. ^ a b c The National Recording Registry 2003 National Recording Board of the Library of Congress
  21. ^ Menconi, David. "Carole King's all-Star Greatest-Hits Dream Album." News & Observer: 0. July 17, 2005. Web.
  22. ^ http://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1971-07-31
  23. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/archive-chart/_/1/1971-10-16/
  24. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2009). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955-2008. Record Research. p. 943. 
  25. ^ VH1: 100 Greatest Albums. MTV. September 1, 2003. ISBN 978-0743448765. 
  26. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  27. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 15, No. 21" (PHP). RPM. July 10, 1971. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  28. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9. 
  29. ^ "norwegiancharts.com Carole King – Tapestry" (ASP). Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  30. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  31. ^ "Carole King > Artists > Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Allmusic: Tapestry : Charts & Awards : Billboard Albums". allmusic.com. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  33. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on August 13, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2007. 
  34. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1971". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1972". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Billboard.BIZ Top Pop Albums of 1973". billboard.biz. Archived from the original on December 31, 2012. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  37. ^ "RIAJ > The Record > February 1996 > Page 5 > Certified Awards (December 1995)" (PDF). Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  38. ^ "British album certifications – Carole King – Tapestry". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved March 9, 2014.  Enter Tapestry in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select ' in the field By Award. Click Search
  39. ^ "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]

Preceded by
Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 19 – October 1, 1971
Succeeded by
Every Picture Tells a Story by Rod Stewart