Coming on July 19th from James Taylor is The Complete Warner Bros. Albums: 1970-1976. The newly remastered collection will be issued on vinyl, CD, and digitally. Rhino.com is offering exclusive bundles that pair both the CD and LP versions of the set with a 12-by-12 lithograph of a classic Taylor photo from 1970. Additionally, the first 350 pre-orders of the LP version come with a signed version of the lithograph.
The albums featured on the set are Sweet Baby James (1970); Mud Slide Slim And The Blue Horizon (1971); One Man Dog (1972); Walking Man (1974); Gorilla (1975); and In The Pocket (1976). Highlights on the set included such James Taylor '70s classics as “Sweet Baby James,” “Fire And Rain,” “Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” “Walking Man,” “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “Mexico,” “Shower The People” and the chart-topping and Grammy Award-winning “You've Got A Friend,” among many others.
Taylor's original producer and manager Peter Asher said in the press release for the new set, “Revisiting these albums several decades later has been revelatory, nostalgic, and exciting. I have heard bits and pieces frequently over the years, of course, but listening with concentration and in detail to each of the original tapes without interruption has been a thrilling luxury.”
James Taylor explained to us that he's not the type of writer who can just bang out an album over a couple of week's worth of writing sessions: “They sort of come through me, and I, and I wait for them to show up. I can do things that help them show up — usually sitting down playing the guitar, so, my guitar technique is central to it. I’m not. . . I don’t read music, I don’t write it, so I, sit down and basically wander around on the guitar until something starts to present itself.”
We asked Peter Asher if the rumors were true that in 1969 he got James Taylor out of his original contract with the Beatles' Apple Records and onto Warner's by threatening the band's then-manager, Allen Klein with an independent audit if they were forced to remain on the slowly sinking label: “That was certainly something that was hinted at and discussed, but, largely, it was like, no one quite knew what was going on and who was in charge, and a sense of chaos had started to echo over at Apple. So, it was kind of easy (to say) 'When no one's looking, let's just slip out of here.' I know that's not a convincing legal argument — but that was the feeling of it, y'know?”
James Taylor will next perform on July 3rd and 4th in Lenox, Massachusetts at Tanglewood Music Center.