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Various Artists

Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King

Release Date: 10/31/1995
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Price: $13.99

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Carole King's 1971 album Tapestry was one of the best-selling LPs of the early '70s and has had a lasting influence on pop singer/songwriters ever since. The idea of this ribute album was to re-create the album track-for-track using other artists. Since King had begun her career as a songwriter, with songs such as "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" hitting for other artists before turning up on Tapestry, it was an appropriate concept. Though each artist was asked to submit a finished track, there was some musical continuity in that several tracks -- "You've Got a Friend," by BeBe CeCe Winans, featuring Aretha Franklin, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?," by the Bee Gees, and "Smackwater Jack," by the Manhattan Transfer -- were produced by Arif Mardin, and a couple of others -- "So Far Away," by Rod Stewart, and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," by Celine Dion -- were handled by David Foster. In such a project, casting is everything, and the best versions were turned in by artists who grew up with the original album, such as Amy Grant ("It's Too Late"), Richard Marx ("Beautiful"), and Faith Hill ("Where You Lead"). Such artists achieved a reasonable compromise between the King versions and their own sound. Artists like the Bee Gees and Stewart, who were King's contemporaries, seemed to be going through the motions, and a raft of newer artists, such as Eternal, Curtis Stigers, Blessid Union of Souls, All-4-One, and Dion, seemed to be on the album because someone at their management companies thought it would be a good idea and displayed little feel for the material. But King's music has a flexibility that allows for many interpretations, and while this album could not be recommended over the original, the new performances didn't do it much harm. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi

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