Carole King

Brill Building Legends

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This is a historically valuable, if wildly erratic, two-CD compilation of rare singles and unreleased demos from the late '50s through the mid-'60s. Most (but not all) are sung by King, and most (but again, not all) are written by her, either alone or (more often) with Gerry Goffin. To sweep some discography detritus out of the way first, it should be noted that this is almost certainly an unauthorized collection; it is not easy to find, even in specialist stores, and its multiple means of identification make it harder to locate. The spine gives the title as "Brill Building Legends: Complete Recordings;" the cover prints "The Right Girl" on top, "Complete Recordings 1958-1966" on the left, and "Brill Building Legends" on the bottom; the liner notes boast the subhead "Complete Recordings 1959-1964" (although it should indeed be "1958-1966"). Those obstacles out of the way, upon finding this, what you basically need to know is that it collects the super-obscure singles King did as a solo artist for several labels in the late '50s, the handful of Dimension tracks she released (on 45 and LP) under her own name in the early 1960s, and the "A Road to Nowhere"/"Some of Your Lovin'" single she put out on the Tomorrow label in 1966. The bulk of the collection, however, is comprised of unreleased demos from the early 1960s. Some of them got a wide hearing ("Take Good Care of My Baby" and the Drifters' "Another Night With the Boys"), while others were done on flop singles or never released by anyone. As a whole, this demonstrates that, in spite of her unquestioned brilliance as a writer on many hit singles of the period, King was at this point unwilling or unable to come into her own as a performer. The complications in summarizing this release don't stop here: there are several songs, both demos and official releases, which King wrote or co-wrote but which don't feature her lead vocals, including both sides of two 1964-1965 singles by the Honey Bees. And just to fill out the program (one supposes), three weak, unreleased Barry Mann tracks with no King involvement close disc two.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:14
2
feat: Gerry Goffin
2:33
3 2:26
4 1:49
5 2:21
6 2:27
7 1:53
8 2:33
9 2:13
10 2:11
11 2:05
12 2:16
13 2:20
14 2:00
15 2:24
16 1:46
17 2:27
18 2:19
19 2:16
20 2:07
21 2:16
22
feat: Gerry Goffin
1:55
23 2:12
24 2:13
25 1:56
26 2:23
27 2:34
28 2:33
29 2:20

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:29
2 1:47
3 2:09
4 2:03
5 2:21
6 2:32
7 2:36
8 2:50
9 2:10
10 3:04
11 2:21
12
feat: Gerry Goffin
2:10
13 2:30
14 2:13
15
feat: Bernie Knee
2:26
16
feat: Bernie Knee
2:38
17 2:01
18 3:24
19 2:30
20 2:48
21 2:19
22 2:31
23 2:29
24 3:04
25 2:29
26
feat: Barry Mann
1:59
27
feat: Barry Mann
2:16
28
feat: Barry Mann
1:48
blue highlight denotes track pick