List of Ten: Carole King’s top ten all-time hits

Carole King performing live at Boston Strong benefit, 2010. (Credit: Elissa Kline from Ms. King's web site)

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2014 – Songwriter and singer Carole King, a giant in the recording industry, is now being honored with a Broadway show dedicated to her music.

“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” a new musical telling the story of King and her remarkable career, opened on Broadway on Jan. 12, featuring many of her best hits. Jessie Mueller stars in the title role of King who was born in Manhattan, New York, as Carole Klein. This week, The List of Ten looks at Carole King’s top ten hits.

10. “Jazzman” (1974) – This was King’s second biggest hit in the U.S., reaching the No. 2 spot. The song is notable for Tom Scott’s lengthy sax solo. David Palmer, formerly of Steely Dan, wrote the lyrics, while King wrote the music. It appeared on King’s third No. 1 hit album, “Wrap Around Joy.”

9. “I Feel The Earth Move” (1971) – This song peaked at No. 1 on June, 19, 1971, and spent five weeks at the top. The single spent 12 weeks in the top 40 as one half of what Billboard declared a double A-sided single with the song “It’s Too Late.” The song reached No. 6 in the U.K.

8. “Where You Lead” (1971) – This was another great song from the brilliant “Tapestry” album. Inspired by the “Book of Ruth” in the Bible, it was written by King and Toni Stern. King later recorded the song in 2000 for the TV series “Gilmore Girls” with her daughter Louise Goffin.

7. “So Far Away” (1971) – James Taylor played acoustic guitar on this track from the “Tapestry” album, which earned King a No. 14 hit on the Billboard Top 40.

6. “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” (1971) – Written by the husband and wife team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, this song was originally recorded by The Shirelles in 1960 and earned the all-girl group a No. 1 hit. The song appeared on King’s “Tapestry” album and has since been recorded, or performed, by over 85 major recording artists, including the Bee Gees, Neil Diamond and Lauryn Hill.

5. “It Might As Well Rain Until September” (1962) – This was King’s first hit on the Billboard Top 40 reaching No. 22. It would be another nine years before she had another hit song as a singer. It was written by King and Gerry Goffin and intended to be recorded by Bobby Vee. It remains King’s highest peaking song in the United Kingdom where it reached No. 3.

4. “Tapestry” (1971) – This was the title song from her breakthrough masterpiece album “Tapestry” and was never released as a single. With its heartfelt lyrics and soothing pop sounds, the “Tapestry” album became the first release by a female solo artist to sell more than 10 million copies. It remains one of the best-loved albums in pop history. It remained 15 weeks on the charts for more than six years.

3. “One Fine Day” (1980) – Carole King and Gerry Goffin wrote this song in 1963 and it was a huge international hit for the Chiffons reaching No. 5 in the U.S. charts. King recorded the song herself in 1980, and it reached No 12 on the Billboard Top 40. It was her last big hit on the U.S. charts.

2. “It’s Too Late” (1971) – This double A-sided single with “I Feel The Earth Move,” was King’s best selling record and her only No. 1 hit in the U.S. It was also a No. 1 hit for five weeks on the Billboard Adult Contemporary. The song won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year (1971) and has been covered by over 18 other artists, including Gloria Estefan and Andy Williams.

1. “You’ve Got A Friend” (1971) – This was probably King’s most popular song ever. It was made famous by her friend and contemporary, James Taylor, who had a No. 1 hit with the song in 1971 and No. 4 hit on the U.K. charts. Taylor’s version remained for 12 weeks in the Top 40 in the U.S. and was his only No. 1 hit. King recorded her version on the “Tapestry” album. The song won a Grammy for both Taylor and King.

Compiled by John Haydon

Sources: Epic Records, Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits and Wikipedia.

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