- Released: October 25, 2010
- Label: Capitol
Rolling Stone - 4/19/69, p.28
"...Taylor's restrained delivery contributes to the power of his presentation. He lets the melody, lyric, guitar, and voice speak for themselves. He doesn't hit you with anything that isn't absolutely necessary to get the song across..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1174 stars out of 5
-- "[D]elightful, melding a trailblazing model of the singer-songwriter's art with an elegant funkiness redolent of country soul."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.904 stars out of 5
-- "History has been especially kind to the shuffling folk-funk tunes 'Knocking Round the Zoo' and 'Night Owl'..."
- 1.Don't Talk Now
- 2.Something's Wrong
- 3.Knocking 'Round the Zoo
- 4.Sunshine Sunshine
- 5.Taking It In
- 6.Something In the Way She Moves
- 7.Carolina In My Mind
- 8.Brighten Your Night With My Day
- 9.Night Owl
- 10.Rainy Day Man
- 11.Circle 'Round the Sun
- 12.The Blues is Just a Bad Dream
- 13.Sunny Skies [Previously Unreleased Demo Version]
- 14.Let Me Ride [Previously Unreleased Demo Version]
- 15.Sunshine Sunshine [Previously Unreleased Demo Version]
- 16.Carolina In My Mind [Previously Unreleased Demo Version]
Personnel includes: James Taylor (vocals, guitar, percussion, hand claps); Richard Hewson (conductor); Mick Wayne (guitar); Skaila Kanga (harp); Don Schinn (electric piano, harpsichord, organ); Freddie Redd (organ); Louis Cennamo, Paul McCartney (bass); Bishop O'Brien (drums, percussion); Peter Asher (tamborine, percussion, hand claps, background vocals); Aeolian String Quartet, Amici String Quartet.
Recorded at Trident Studios, London, England from July to October 1968.
Includes liner notes by Steve Kolanjian.
Audio Remasterers: Steve Rooke; Guy Massey.
Liner Note Authors: Andy Davis ; Peter Asher.
Recording information: Crystal Sound, Los Angeles, CA (07/1968-10/1968); London (07/1968-10/1968); Trident Studios, London (07/1968-10/1968); Crystal Sound, Los Angeles, CA (1968); London (1968); Trident Studios, London (1968); Crystal Sound, Los Angeles, CA (1969); London (1969); Trident Studios, London (1969).
Though James Taylor wasn't a commercial success until SWEET BABY JAMES made him a star in 1971, one of his finest works is this 1968 debut album. Recorded shortly after Taylor was signed to The Beatles' Apple label by producer Peter Asher, it finds the singer-songwriter brimming with confidence and energy. Featuring elaborate orchestration and even a guest appearance from Paul McCartney, Taylor's debut is more produced than SWEET BABY JAMES.
The ornate arrangements give the album a wonderfully late-'60s sound that perfectly complements Taylor's accomplished acoustic guitar work and warm, assured singing. In addition to containing such strong performances as the bluesy lament "Circle Round The Sun" and the concert favorite "Rainy Day Man," the album features the original high-spirited recordings of such Taylor classics as "Carolina In My Mind" and "Something In The Way She Moves," which are far superior to the more subdued versions that Taylor re-recorded (due to legal problems with Apple) for his greatest hits album in 1975.