Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Living For The City


I am always amazed when a record can elude me for my entire life. I have had copies of The City's "Now That Everything's Been Said" come through my hands a number of times. Sold the CD in my store when it was reissued. Flipped over copies while record shopping. Yet, I hadn't heard a single note from it until last week after reading a paragraph singing its praises in a recent issue of Mojo.

The City was released in 1968. The band features Carole King, Danny Kortchmar, Charles Larkey and Jim Gordon. 

If I thought this record was going to sound like an early version of "Tapestry," I'd have been wrong. If I had judged a book by its cover, I'd have been wrong again, because what I heard inside is pure magic and not some half-assed California hippie music.

"Now That Everything's Been Changed" is big and beautiful. It's majestic folk pop, with sweeping harmonies. It's CSN, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne before they were CSN, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne.



If by now some of you are thinking, "Of course, you idiot! We know," then forgive me for arriving late to the party. But if you are like me and heard nothing from this record, do yourself a favor and give it a spin. The playing is stellar. The songs unfold like a more adventurous Mamas & Papas album. And if Carole King's version of "I Wasn't Born To Follow" doesn't leave you breathless, then maybe I need to get myself checked.

"Snow Queen" above opens up the record. "All My Time" below closes the record.  The aforementioned "I Wasn't Born To Follow" is here, as well.


Anonymous said...

Wow!! Absolutely love it!

Do you know anything about the Light In The Attic reissues?


Sal Nunziato said...

The Light In The Attic repress is fantastic, as is most of their stuff.

A Walk In The Woods said...

Excellent - never heard of it! Man, with playing like this, an ascendant star in Carole, and even a great band name, surprised I've never heard a word about them 'til now. Excellent stuff.

paulinca said...

I love when this happens, especially when those like you, Sal, note it. Funny how things slip by but what's great is that, regardless of when you discover the music, it's brand new. Its context is layered as you "hear" the age of the record but are aware of the first-time experiences you have as you listen.
I tripped over The City right as Light in the Attic re-issued it. Even as a huge Carole fan, I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Gonna put it on right now; thanks!


Mr. Baez said...

It's a really great album. I picked it up as a teenager when it was first came out at the record store (Aaron's Records) down the street from where I grew up. Have loved it ever since. My copy is pretty worn. Very happy to hear about Light In The Attic's re-issue of it. Will be placing an order for it. Burning Wood comes through again!

FD13NYC said...

Very nice album! I'm a little surprised to hear that you never got around to giving it a spin. But, some music falls through the cracks. Glad you're digging it now.

Zippy said...

I hear hints of early Jefferson Airplane, mixed with Tapestry, of course. Nice. :-)
Thanks Sal. :-)

Michael Giltz said...

It's nice to know I heard something classic BEFORE you. :) Doesn't happen much. The City was a pleasant surprise and I found it more interesting than most any other non-Tapestry Carole King album. Is there a solo album of hers other than that landmark that should be heard?

Anonymous said...

I've also been listening to this wonderful album. Obsessing over "So Goes Love" on the Turtles "Woodenhead" album (which I bought from Sal yesterday on Discogs!) led me into a deep dive on late period Goffin-King tunes. Love all the stuff they wrote for the Monkees, "I Wasn't Born to Follow," "Goin' Back," etc. "Snow Queen," from The City record, is a special favorite.

Coincidentally, my friend Tom Casciato, who I think is a Burning Wood reader if not a commenter, just wrote an excellent piece on "Music," King's underrated follow-up to "Tapestry" and also a #1 record in 1971. (Link below.) That was some year for King, but anyone who loves those records should definitely check out The City album and also "Writer," her precursor to "Tapestry."

Bruce H


A Walk In The Woods said...

Also, saw this: