Carole King

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

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For reasons best known to the gray marketers in Europe, a series of releases of unauthorized Carole King material has been turning up on small labels, and here is another one. The material is an odd combination of early-'60s recordings by King and some of her best-known work from the early '70s. In this case, the album leads off with King versions of the 1962 hits "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and turned into a hit by Sedaka) and "Crying in the Rain" (written by King and Greenfield and turned into a hit by the Everly Brothers). These are apparently demos or recordings not issued at the time. The rest of the disc consists of seven tracks from King's 1971 album, Music, and five from her 1974 album, Wrap Around Joy, presented in subpar fidelity. Perhaps the people licensing these recordings are claiming they are demos and therefore not pirated from Ode Records (now controlled by Sony). But they are not demos in the usually accepted sense. They are the original tracks as they appeared on the legitimate records, except that the sound is inferior. Maybe they are early, discarded mixes of the tracks, or otherwise unfinished. Who knows? The album contains no annotations to explain the contents. In any case, there is little reason for a King fan to shell out money for this questionable release. (Note that the counterfeiters couldn't even get the titles right. "It's Gonna Take Time" is really "It's Going to Take Some Time," and "Change in Mind, Change in Heart" is really "Change in Mind, Change of Heart," both songs from Music.)

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