James Taylor – “Sweet Baby James”

The Sleeve:
20161103_1502242 20161103_1502362

The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
None.

Personal Review:
 Picking your 400th record to review isn’t always the easiest of choices to make, for many reasons, one being it has to be something you’re not going to give a low rating to, and it also has to be something that will wow people, but it also, most importantly has to have some sort of impact on you, so for my 400th review, I chose this one.

The album opens with the title track, “Sweet Baby James” and the slow rhythm guitar is complimented by James’ vocals, the way James sings his songs truly shows how much of an amazing musician he is. The chorus comes around, and James just continues to show off his talent with this one song. Next up comes the song “Lo and Behold” – and James continues to deliver amazing songs, the musicianship on this track is pretty great, the vocals and lyrics on this one are pretty good too. “Sunny Skies” comes next, and it seems to be a more of a upbeat track, but with that folky sound to it, so it’s good. “Steamroller” comes next, and at first it comes off as what may be a boring pop folk song, but then the brass section comes in, and it just kicks off, the song is pretty good. “Country Road” comes next, and no, it’s not the John Denver song, this one, is equally (if not better) as good as JD’s song. It has that country rock sound to it, but with that folk sound that James delivers amazingly. The A-Side closes with the track “Oh, Susannah” and it’s a bit softer and slower, but it’s still pretty decent, it’s a bit short, but still delivered greatly.

 The B-Side opens with my favorite James Taylor song “Fire and Rain” – and from the first few notes from James’ guitar you can tell that this song is going to be a great one, James begins to sing, and his soft voice with the deep lyrics are like magic. The song chronicles James’ own battle with depression after losing a childhood friend and after the failure of his band ‘Flying Machine’. Overall, it’s the greatest song on this album, and probably for the year 1970. The album continues with the song “Blossom” and it has a slower start to it, but it’s still pretty good. James can sing any song and make it great, he’s an extremely talented musician. “Anywhere Like Heaven” comes next, and this one is just great, the way James performs it is absolutely astonishing, the backing musicianship on this one just fantastic. “Oh Baby, Don’t You Loose Your Lip On Me” comes next, and it comes off more like a jam session than anything else, with James singing a few verses while strumming. The album ends with the track “Suite for 20G” and it seems to be a pretty upbeat way to end the album, it’s a good way to close the album, and James is absolutely amazing.

Interesting Facts:
I potentially own 3 copies of this album, one is an original pressing still sealed (and now framed.)

Track Listing:
A1 – Sweet Baby James
A2 – Lo And Behold
A3 – Sunny Skies
A4 – Steamroller
A5 – Country Road
A6 – Oh, Susannah

B1 – Fire And Rain
B2 – Blossom
B3 – Anywhere Like Heaven
B4 – Oh Baby, Don’t You Loose Your Lip On Me
B5 – Suite For 20G

Label:
Warner Bros. Records

Catalog Number:
WS 1843

Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Guitars – James Taylor & Danny Kootch
Piano – Carole King
Drums – Russ Kunkel
Bass – Randy Meisner, Bobby West & John London
Steel Guitar – Red Rhodes
Brass Arrangements – Jack Bielan
Fiddle – Chris Darrow
Producer – Peter Asher
Engineer – Bill Lazerus
Photos – Henry Diltz
Art Direction – Art Thrasher

Other Albums I Own by James Taylor:
Gorilla
Greatest Hits”
JT
Never Die Young
One Man Dog

Released:
1970

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