Carole King

Music/Fantasy

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This is a handy double-CD set from England, containing Carole King's third and fifth solo albums, which originally appeared on Ode Records in America and A&M Records and Epic Records in England. They haven't upgraded the sound in any significant way (that privilege seems reserved for Tapestry), but the sound is still more than passable, and the pairing does capture two diverse sides of King's solo work. Music was an extraordinarily good album, quite unexpectedly a match for Tapestry, and had it not followed that album it could just as easily have defined King's career and solo persona; but it never enjoyed the earlier album's mystique or mega-sales; Fantasy had a much more lush, produced sound, rooted in soul music to a surprising degree and also offering more prominent instrumental work than any record since her solo debut, Writer. Together they sum up some of the highlights of her post-Tapestry career and her later history on Ode Records, and a time when King seemed to own an obligatory place in every record collection.

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