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Carole King – Live at Montreux 1973 (Eagle Vision)

27 July 2019

After 46 years in the vault, Eagle Vision is releasing Carole King’s landmark 1973 performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival for the first time. The show begins with King alone at the piano, running through five songs from her groundbreaking 1971 album Tapestry alongside her smash soul single “Up on the Roof” written for the Drifters with songwriting partner Gerry Goffin. Tapestry tracks include the rocker “I Feel the Earth Move,” the rollicking folk of “Smackwater Jack,” world-weary “Home Again,” encouraging and carnivalesque “Beautiful,” and the kiss-off “It’s Too Late.” The intimate musical performance matches the setting. It had become a rarity for King as a global sensation, with the audience pulled up close and seated on the floor. “Usually, I don’t get to see my audiences,” remarks King. The performance was meant as a showcase for 1973’s Fantasy, however, and King brings an 11-piece band to the stage for a Technicolor performance of the bulk of the album’s story-cycle from “Fantasy Beginning” to “Fantasy End.” The six-player horn section (including Wings and Blues Brothers veteran reeds player Tom Scott) punctuates the jazz-infused soul-pop of “You’ve Been Around Too Long” and propulsive “Believe in Humanity.” The band exits as the show concludes with two more solo performances from Tapestry, including the tender “You’ve Got a Friend” and rapturous “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman.” The solo performances have an unforced appeal, featuring the unpretentious and conversational but charming and tuneful singing that made King an icon of the singer-songwriter explosion of the early ’70s.

The release is available on DVD+CD, CD and vinyl formats.