The Best of James Taylor [2003]

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
With James Taylor's 2000 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this updated Best of James Taylor takes on new resonance. Superceding 1976's multi-platinum Greatest Hits package, this 20-song anthology compiles the dozen songs featured on its Warner Bros. predecessor alongside post-Warners material, including one new song, the twangy, mid-tempo cut "Bittersweet." JT's sweetly melancholy songs and voice made him one of the best-loved singer-songwriters of the '70s, and his hits -- including "Fire and Rain," "Carolina in My Mind," and "Shower the People" -- have proven both monumentally influential and timeless in their appeal. Ironically, some of Taylor's ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Dave Gil de Rubio
With James Taylor's 2000 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this updated Best of James Taylor takes on new resonance. Superceding 1976's multi-platinum Greatest Hits package, this 20-song anthology compiles the dozen songs featured on its Warner Bros. predecessor alongside post-Warners material, including one new song, the twangy, mid-tempo cut "Bittersweet." JT's sweetly melancholy songs and voice made him one of the best-loved singer-songwriters of the '70s, and his hits -- including "Fire and Rain," "Carolina in My Mind," and "Shower the People" -- have proven both monumentally influential and timeless in their appeal. Ironically, some of Taylor's biggest hits have been cover tunes, ranging from his chart-topping 1971 interpretation of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" to later Top 5 successes such as a gently rocking version of the Motown hit "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved by You" and his Grammy-winning, harmony-soaked reading of Jimmy James's "Handy Man." Although Taylor's post-'70s work is represented only by "Bittersweet" and 1985's "Only a Dream in Rio," with its Portuguese harmonies and airy keyboard arrangements, and there's nothing from his platinum-certified 2002 disc, October Road, The Best of James Taylor still offers an essential career encapsulation from one of pop music's most revered artists.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
To compile a comprehensive one-disc best-of James Taylor album is a daunting task in and of itself. To compile it from material from three labels is a gutsy thing for David McLees and Warner Bros. to do and expect to make fans -- let alone pompous critics no exception here -- happy. Over 20 tracks, Warner has succeeded -- with full cooperation from Taylor, who wrote the liner notes -- in giving an accurate representation of the songwriter, who has survived and even flourished for over 35 years in the music biz. More importantly, they've displayed the great range of the artist as a songwriter of purpose, humanity, and empathy, an artist who has never placed himself above his audience. The album kicks off with "Something in the Way She Moves" from his only release for the Beatles' Apple imprint, and moves to the Warner material that covers the years 1969-1976, many would argue his greatest years. It's strange how songs like "Fire and Rain," "Country Road" the 45 version, "Mexico," "Walking Man," and "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight" do not seem to age; they feel as immediate and relevant in the 21st century as they did in the 1970s. And who can forget Taylor's version of "You've Got a Friend," with the searing backing vocal from Joni Mitchell? The producers also chose for inclusion here the 1976 version of "Carolina on My Mind" and the live take of "Steamroller" from the first Taylor Warner hits compilation in 1976 -- it's now the only way to get these tracks. From the Columbia years there are only five tracks. Two from JT "Handy Man" and "Your Smiling Face", his unforgettable read of the Goffin/King classic "Up on the Roof" from Flag, and "Only a Dream in Rio" from That's Why I'm Here. Some would argue with this one as opposed to something from Hourglass, but it's a small, nearly insignificant complaint. There is also a new recording here, "Bittersweet," finished just before release with Taylor's new band, that is a nice icing on the cake, but, to be a critic about the whole thing, this writer would have preferred they include "Anywhere Like Heaven" from Sweet Baby James instead -- another miniscule complaint. This is one of the most accurate and representative best-of packages to come down the line in a long time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/8/2003
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227383725
  • Catalog Number: 73837
  • Sales rank: 2,487

Album Credits

Performance Credits
James Taylor Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Carole King Piano
Joni Mitchell Background Vocals
Graham Nash Vocal Harmony
Carly Simon Vocal Harmony
Michael Brecker Tenor Saxophone
Victor Feldman Vibes, Orchestra Bells
David Sanborn Saxophone
Andrew Gold Harmonium, Background Vocals
Leah Kunkel Background Vocals
Ralph MacDonald Percussion
Red Rhodes Steel Guitar
Jim Keltner Drums
Airto Moreira Percussion
Bobbye Hall Triangle
Kenny Ascher Electric Piano
Peter Asher Tambourine, Cabasa
Byron Berline Fiddle
Randy Brecker Vocals
David Campbell Conductor
David Crosby Vocal Harmony
Nick DeCaro Hornorgan, Voice Organ
Craig Doerge Piano
Dan Dugmore Steel Guitar
Milt Holland Percussion
Curtis King Vocals
Danny Kortchmar Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Conga, Electric Guitar
Russ Kunkel Percussion, Conga, Drums, Tambourine, Shaker, Cabasa
Tony Levin Bass
John London Bass
Clarence McDonald Piano, Keyboards, fender rhodes, Hornorgan
Arif Mardin Conductor
Rick Marotta Drums
Andy Muson Bass
Bill Payne Keyboards
John Sheldon Guitar
David Spinozza Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Willie Weeks Bass
Zbeto Vocals
Gayle Levant Harp
Waddy Wachtel Electric Guitar
Elaine Eliaf Vocals
Kenia Gould Vocals
Leland Sklar Bass
Bobby West Double Bass
Clifford Carter Keyboards
Steve Jordan Drums
Technical Credits
James Taylor Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes
Robert Appere Engineer
Peter Asher Producer, Engineer
Niko Bolas Engineer
Hugh Brown Art Direction
David Campbell String Arrangements
Nick DeCaro String Arrangements
Frank Filipetti Producer, Engineer
Val Garay Engineer
Dan Hersch Remastering
Lee Herschberg Engineer
Bill Inglot Remastering
Ted Jensen Remastering
Jimmy Jones Composer
Danny Kortchmar Producer
Donn Landee Engineer
Bill Lazerus Engineer
Arif Mardin String Arrangements
Harry Maslin Engineer
Richard Sanford Orshoff Engineer
Gary Peterson Discographical Annotation
Phil Ramone Engineer
Barry Sheffield Engineer
David Spinozza Arranger, Producer
Russ Titelman Producer
Malcolm Toft Engineer
Lenny Waronker Producer
Maria Villar Art Direction
Andrew Brucker Cover Photo
J. Maraniss translation
Charles Merenstein Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Yu Can Listen Any Time

    He is a classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    great singer and songwriter

    Many classic songs on this CD. He has a great baritone voice for these songs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Aren't His Lyrics Astounding?-A Masterpeice

    When I hear the lyrics of his brilliant songs, I feel so many emotions. You know music is good when it makes you feel things so strongly. This album is beautiful and passionate.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You don't get better than this

    James Taylor has always had wonderfully inspiring and empathetic lyrics in his songs. And his voice soothes like no other. There is no forced "I'm trying to be cool" tough rock star gangster rap pretense here, it's just a really cool collected guy singing sweet sounding music to my ears. And this is his best. Literally.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    through the good times and the bad

    this is literally the best jt album to date, it has absolutely all the his all on one cd. i recommend this cd to everyone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    You can close your eyes

    and just chill. This album is my favorite to have on while i am making sweet phone love to my man. I can have the lights on, and it is like Fire and Rain! The best track by far is, Slippery Noodle. It should be played by everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    James Taylor's Best

    James Taylor's smooth melodies and comforting afternoon songs to sing to have a great compilation of his best stuff and the CD cover/insert has old pictures of him back in the day, you just got to see

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    As usual the BEST

    The new CD is awesome, he sings oh can this man sing. He just gets better and better. The voice of so many years is strong, and soft as time passes. He continues to impress old and Young with the sounds of the past Prestent and Future. Kudos again and again

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews