By 1971, James Taylor, was recognized as the living embodiment of the post-hippie singer-songwriter movement. But until YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND, culled from his third album, he hadn’t enjoyed a No.1 single. The song was written by former Brill Building tune-smith Carole King, who had fled New York for laid-back California and during the early '70s, was herself making the transition to solo recording artist.
Taylor and King were introduced to each other by Danny Kortchmar, a guitarist who had previously worked with him in the Flying Machine and with her in the City. As Carole was recording her landmark album Tapestry, James was a few blocks down the street cutting his own Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, and You’ve Got a Friend appeared on both sets. King decided not to release her version as single, so Taylor did-though when they toured together that summer, they usually shared the song in a show-closing duet.
Time Life's AM Gold '70s series provides a highly enjoyable history lesson. Each year is represented by songs drawn from a wide range of sources, features all very big hits all the time and plays like an hour of true golden oldies radio. As usual with the series, you'll get a pretty good idea of what was going on in the charts from this disc and would be hard-pressed to find a better single-disc collection of hits from the year.