Carole King has seemingly done it all over the course of her career. She has released 17 studio albums, released countless hit songs, earned just as many awards and nominations for her music and even been honored with a Broadway music. She will also serve as one of the featured performers for this year’s Independence Day celebration on PBS. That’s a heck of a resume (of sorts), and is surely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Early this month, Eagle Rock Entertainment released a new archived performance from King from 1973. The performance, recorded at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, is a presentation that is sure to appeal to King’s most devoted fan base. That is due in part to its set list, which will be discussed shortly. King’s performance of said set list plays into that appeal, too. It will be discussed a little later. The recording’s liner notes put the final touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Carole King: Live at Montreux 1973. All things considered, they make this recording a piece that King’s fans will agree shows why she is “King” in name, but royalty in the bigger picture of the music industry.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Carole King live recording Live at Montreux 1973 is a presentation that will appeal easily to King’s most devoted fan base. That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list. The 15-song set focuses largely on King’s 1973 album Fantasy and her 1971 record Tapestry. Writer (1970) is represented here with a performance of ‘Up On The Roof,’ but otherwise, the set list is composed of songs from the noted albums. Fantasy gets the bigger portion of the show, with 10 of the album’s 13 songs featured in the set in the near same sequence as they are presented in the album’s presentation. The only songs featured in Fantasy that are not featured in this performance are ‘Directions,’ ‘Weekdays’ and ‘Welfare Symphony.’ Again, save for those songs, the rest of Fantasy is featured here in its exact order from the album. In regards to Tapestry, that record gets seven nods. The album features 12 songs, to put that previous number into perspective. In other words, while it may not be featured in whole itself, it certainly receives a healthy representation, too. The songs are not presented in the same sequence from the album, but King’s most devoted fans will obviously overlook that, considering again just how many of the album’s songs are here. It is not known why King’s 1971 album Music and its 1972 follow-up Rhymes and Reasons are not featured as part of the set list, considering that the performance featured in this recording came only a month after the original release of Fantasy – this little factoid is one of the interesting notes featured in veteran journalist Jim Farber’s liner notes, and will be discussed later – but that aside, the set list that is presented is such that it will still appeal to audiences even without those albums’ representation. Keeping all of this in mind, the set list at the center of Live at Montreux 1973 forms a strong foundation for the recording. That foundation is strengthened even more by King’s performance and that of her band mates who eventually join her on stage.
King’s performance of the show’s set list (and that of her band mates (al clad in St. Louis Blues hockey jerseys – that should add even more appeal to a certain cross section of King’s fan base, considering history was made by the Blues this year) strengthens the recording’s foundation even more because of the group’s ability to pull audiences into the experience. It is difficult to fully put into words just what it is about the group’s performance, but audiences are pulled into the show through the group’s performance. Maybe it is the subtlety in King’s own performance. Maybe it is the subtlety of her band mates’ performances, which build on her own work, or maybe it is all of the above. Even in the concert’s more energetic numbers, there is a certain control among King and company that creates its own power, and in turn pulls audiences in that much more. It’s like watching a good movie or reading a really good book. The collective performances present such expert talent that audiences will have no problem escaping into the performance. Audiences will know, obviously, they are not there as they watch, but at the same time, the performances make it so easy to get wrapped up in the performance. That is a tribute to the work of all involved. When this is considered along with the concert’s set list in general, the two elements together make Live at Montreux 1973 that much more appealing for King’s most devoted fan base. They are not the only elements of this recording that the noted audiences will appreciate. The recording’s bonus liner notes put the finishing touch to this recording’s presentation.
The inclusion of bonus liner notes is nothing new for Eagle Rock Entertainment’s live recordings. The liner notes always add so much to the recordings’ presentations, too. This recording is no exception to that rule. As previously noted, veteran journalist Jim Farber – who has worked for outlets, such as Time magazine, The New York Times and Mojo magazine – crafted the liner notes for this recording. Farber offers plenty of information to add to the experience through his liner notes. He reveals in his notes that the performance featured here was recorded only one month after King released Fantasy, adding prior to the performance here, the songs featured on that record had not been tested in a live setting. That is important to note because considering this would have been the first official live outing for Fantasy, it received quite the positive reaction from audiences at the time. To that end, it makes the recording a certain historical documentation of sorts. He further states the performance here was a stark contrast to the 10,000 people before whom King had performed only six weeks prior in New York. Additionally, he notes that the performance featured here marked king’s first-ever international outing. King jokes nervously with her audience late in the show how little French she knows (for those who might not know, Montreux’s location makes French one of four prominent languages spoken in that region of Sweden. The other prominent languages spoken in Montreux are German, Italian and Romansh.), leading to some playful laughs from the audience along with King. King even makes light of that herself in the hour-long performance. As if everything noted here is not enough for audience, Farber also makes note of King’s role in the advent of the Smooth Jazz movement through certain songs that are featured here. Audiences can read about those songs for themselves. Between the revelations discussed here and plenty of others that Farber makes in his liner notes, the notes in whole join with the performance to strengthen the presentation of Live at Montreux 1973 even more. It gives King’s most devoted fan base that much more reason still to add this recording to their own music libraries. All things considered, the recording in whole leaves audiences agreeing that King is royalty not just in name, but in the bigger picture of the music industry.
Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released Carole King live recording Live at Montreux 1973 is a presentation that King’s most devoted fan base will find appealing with each watch. That is due, as discussed here, in part to the shows’ set list, which presents King at an early stage of her career; not its infancy, but still very early on. The performance of King and her fellow musicians will certainly pull audiences into the concert, adding to the experience for the noted audiences even more. The recording’s bonus liner notes, crafted by veteran journalist Jim Farber puts the finishing touch to the recording’s whole. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Live at Montreux 1973. All things considered, they make Live at Montruex 1973 a virtual time capsule of Carole King’s career that her most devoted fans will assuredly appreciate. It is available now. More information on Live at Montreux 1973 is available online now along with all of Carole King’s latest news and more at:
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