Carole King

The Early Years

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This one's a puzzler. You'd figure that an album called The Early Years by Carole King would present recordings that King made in the early '60s when she was better known as a songwriter than as a recording artist. And thus unannotated, this ten-song European compilation, running less than 29 minutes, does contain four tracks that derive from that era and sound like demos: "Crying in the Rain," which King co-wrote and which became a hit for the Everly Brothers; "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," a hit for Neil Sedaka; "Up on the Roof," which King co-wrote and turned into a hit for the Drifters; and "It Started All Over Again" (incorrectly listed on the album as "It Started Over Again"), a hit for Brenda Lee. But the other six tracks all come from King's third solo album, 1971's Music, and they sound like they've been mastered from someone's third-generation cassette copy of an old LP, with poor sound and distortion. Looks like a prima facie case of copyright infringement for Sony Music to bring against the makers of this album.

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