Hear James Taylor Cover Carole King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” on This Day in 1974Photos by Paul Morigi/Getty, Nicholas Hunt/Getty Music Features James Taylor
On this day (May 26) in 1974, one giant of the American singer/songwriter genre covered another—in this case: James Taylor takes a stab at a Carole King classic, “You’ve Got a Friend.” Everyone knows Carole King’s 1971 album, Tapestry, is untouchable, but Taylor is one of very few artists who’s well-suited to cover one of its tracks. King’s “You’ve Got a Friend” was also recorded for Taylor’s album from that year, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, and it featured some of the same backing musicians as King’s version, such as Joni Mitchell on background vocals.
Taylor covered the song live during a 1974 set at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. You can hear rounds of excited applause and shouts as Taylor announces the song and begins plucking away. The tour was promoting his fifth studio album Walking Man, and Taylor performed the last two shows of the run at Carnegie Hall.
Paste recently featured Taylor’s Sweet Baby James on our list of best albums of 1970. Read the full list here.
Listen to James Taylor’s cover via the Paste vault below.