Out-of-print in the US. The original and still the best James Taylor compilation, filled with wonderful musical memories of a singer/songwriter at his prime and doing what he does best (which is singing and songwriting if you didn't already know). Perhaps one of the most distinctive voices of his generation, Taylor released some of the finest singles during his '70s heyday and all the best ones are here: 'Fire And Rain', 'You've Got A Friend', 'Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight', 'How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)' and many more. Whether you heard him on AM or FM radio, he always sounded great and he remains one of the truly gifted interpreters of song. Warner.
James Taylor's mid-'70s departure from Warner Bros. may be one of the best things that ever happened to the label; otherwise, it might not have been in such a rush to compile his Greatest Hits
, one of the company's biggest sellers ever at 11 million and counting. Taylor's style, which all but defines the word diffident, has more backbone than it's often given credit for. Here, as surprisingly complex songs like "Carolina in My Mind" (in a newly recorded version) and "Steamroller" stack up, he sounds like an artist worth spending some time with. At the least, few of his singer-songwriter cohorts came up with a melody as lovely as "Sweet Baby James." --Rickey Wright