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When thinking back on what the ‘70s sounded like, acoustic guitar, pensive lyrics, and relaxed, humble singing are key parts of the decade. James Taylor is one of the artists who led the way down that road, reflecting the uncertainty, exhaustion, and conflict of the decade, as the activism and public engagement of the ‘60s bled into the ‘70s. James Taylor is known for his music performances—he has even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a performer and released a number one album as recently as 2015. However, he has been equally, if not more, influential with his songwriting and collaborations, working with countless artists in his decades-long career.
Like many of history’s most fruitful and impactful artists, James Taylor has faced hardships that have shaped his work. He became a heroin addict as a teen; he did not become sober until he was in his mid-30s. He moved across the world, and eventually entered rehab, to kick the habit. In 2015, he released a new album, Before This World, after a 13-year break. Reflecting on his prior experience with addiction, Taylor told the Telegraph that “a big part of my story is recovery from addiction. It freezes you.” In ’69, Taylor has in a motorcycle accident, which resulted in two broken hands, rendering him unable to perform or write. Plus, in introspection, many have considered Taylor a voice of the alienated—someone who struggled with mental health and personal relationships. In troubadour style, Taylor takes these experiences and opinions, using them to inform his performances and writings.
Some well-known and well-loved songs written by James Taylor include: “Carolina In My Mind,” “You’ve Got A Friend,” “Fire And Rain,” “Something in the Way She Moves,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Country Road,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “Rainy Day Man,” and “Your Smiling Face.” His songwriting is associated with the likes of Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Carole King, Bob Dylan, and Paul McCartney. Despite these songwriting successes, James Taylor is a stand out performer. His big break was being discovered by The Beatles and supported by their recording label; Taylor was a fly on the wall when they worked on the White album. “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” “Everyday,” “Steamroller,” “Fire And Rain,” “Country Road,” “Copperline,” “Mexico,” and “Her Town Too” are some of his best performed songs, and many have been covered by other artists over the years.
Taylor’s honest, heartfelt, calm approach to music has continued to reach out to people for decades. His vulnerability and sincerity can be seen on stage to this day, whether on single tour or double tour, teaming up with long-time friends like Carole King or going out to support political figures like Barack Obama. Learn about what ticket options are available by searching the website for James Taylor.