James Taylor, Greatest Hits (1976)
James Taylor became more interesting to me when I found out what a cunt he was in the 1970s – a jerk and a junkie and not at all nice. And that’s not because I find those qualities at all attractive in a human being, nor that I think it makes Taylor cool but it is just so at odds with how I had perceived him via this music that it is, at the very least, interesting. And it made the music more interesting. He’s a great player, writer, singer – and yet he’s held up as some boring, white, safe pop-chart version of folk’s influence. I already had a copy of this album, had written about it too (twice, if you count this poem) but the subject of that first Vinyl Countdown post and the poem was the fact that the record didn’t really work. So when a friend was offloading some records recently I added their copy of James Taylor’s Greatest Hits to my pile. It had been years since I’d heard it – and having recently read a Taylor bio – I was suddenly enthused to go back to it. Geez, but it is a fantastic, nearly perfect collection. He might not be your cup of tea, it might be easy to dismiss his soft sound, but every song here’s a gem. And in my wee den where the records sound extra nice when you’ve got a cup of baileys in your paw it’s found a new home. It lives again.
Sample Track: Fire And Rain
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown