Music

Listen to James Taylor Cover The Beatles in 1971

With Paul McCartney in the house, Taylor opens with a Sgt. Pepper's staple.

Music Features James Taylor
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Listen to James Taylor Cover The Beatles in 1971

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On Jan. 25, 1971, James Taylor performed two benefit shows at the Fillmore East in New York behind his star-making second album, Sweet Baby James, three months before the release of his third, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. With soon-to-be-classics overflowing from both albums, this concert abounds with memorable performances, including pitch-perfect renditions of “Carolina in My Mind” and “Long Ago & Far Away” (which you can find here and here).

Read: The 50 Best Beatles Covers of All Time

Loose and funny, Taylor peppers his set with a handful of covers and novelty songs, including a 1951 Snuff jingle (which he notes was the first song he ever learned to play) and a brief take on the old Coca-Cola ditty, “Things Go Better With Coke.” Taylor mentions early on that Paul McCartney is in the audience, which may explain why he opens the show with a very Taylor-esque take on The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” Listen to that recording below.

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