Tapestry cover



There’s something truly magical in the intimacy of this record that all its ubiquity can’t ever seem to dissipate. Other giga-selling albums of the 70s — Eagles, Zeppelin, ABBA, Floyd, Bee Gees — might have equal emotional impact at points, but all of them in some way wear their production and grandiosity like character armour. Not so Tapestry, which still feels convincingly like what it was: a woman finding her confidence as an individual and showing her pride and vulnerability in that to the world while jamming with a band of friends. It just so happened that woman was one of the greatest songwriters pop music had ever known, and her friends the finest sessions musicians in Laurel Canyon, but that excellence only serves to boost the realness, not overshadow it. As well as being possessed of pop genius, King was also a lower-middle class young mother from Brooklyn coming to terms with divorce and moving out of her husband’s shadow, just as the world was changing to make independence a viable reality for an entire generation of women. Her delight in the possibilities of new ways of being a friend, lover, mother, family member that wealth and Californian bohemianism offered are palpable, but so is a thoroughly grounded sense of the risks and fragility of life and the rewards of simplicity. Even at half a century distance, most of these songs having been played and sung along with hundreds of millions, if not billions, of times since their release, it’s still possible to feel like you’re in a room listening to her working through all of this, and like she’s glad to be sharing it. When she sings “You’ve Got a Friend”, she could be talking about this record, which has been, and remains, a close, intimate friend to so many.

Joe Muggs