Sweet Baby James


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James Taylor Database > Albums > Sweet Baby James

“Sweet Baby James” is James Taylor’s second solo album and his first with Warner Bros.

Containing his first major hits, ”Sweet Baby James” established James Taylor’s sound and ushered in the ‘singer/songwriter’ movement of the early 1970s. It has also been credited for inspiring future generations of singer/songwriters, as well as musicians in folk, country, and even soul. The material led to covers of ”Time” and ”Rolling Stone” magazines hailing Taylor as “the New Rock”. ”Rolling Stone” regularly includes ”Sweet Baby James” in its list of essential albums.

With ”Sweet Baby James”, James Taylor began to construct his regular band for the early ’70s: Brill Building songwriter Carole King on piano, Flying Machine alum and Martha’s Vineyard friend Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar on second guitar, and session ace Russ Kunkel on drums. (Kortchmar brought King from their band The City with bassist Charles Larkey.) Peter Asher had brought Taylor to Warner Bros., and returned to the producer’s chair. They were joined by such notable musicians as Randy Meisner, former member of Poco and future member of The Eagles, on bass and pedal steel guitarist Red Rhodes.

Recorded in Hollywood’s Sunset Sound for two weeks in December 1969 and released only two months later, the album gently rose to #3 on Billboard’s Pop Album chart. It continued to chart for the next two years. While the single “Sweet Baby James” didn’t chart well, “Fire and Rain” hit #3 on the Pop Singles chart and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. “County Road” eventually hit #37 on the Pop Singles chart in 1971. Warner Bros. re-released the album on compact disc in 1990.

Label: Warner Bros.

Release date: February 1970

Producer: Peter Asher

Length: 31:14

Tracklist: 1. Sweet Baby James (James Taylor)

2. Lo and Behold (James Taylor)

3. Sunny Skies (James Taylor)

4. Steamroller (James Taylor)

5. Country Road (James Taylor)

6. Oh, Susannah (Stephen Foster)

7. Fire and Rain (James Taylor)

8. Blossom (James Taylor)

9. Anywhere Like Heaven (James Taylor)

10. Oh Baby, Don’t You Loose Your Lip On Me (James Taylor)

11. Suite for 20G (James Taylor)

 

Musicians:

James Taylor: vocals, guitar

Jack Bielan: brass arrangements

Chris Darrow: fiddle

Carole King: piano

Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar: guitar

Russ Kunkel: drums

John London: bass

Randy Meisner: bass

Red Rhodes: steel guitar

Bobby West: bass

Additional personel:

Peter Asher: producer

Henry Diltz: photography

Bill Lazerus: engineering

Ed Thrasher: art direction

 

Singles:

Sweet Baby James / Suite for 20G – April 1970 – #90 Pop Single

Fire and Rain / Anywhere Like Heaven – August 1970 – #3 Pop Single, #37 Adult Contemporary

Country Road / Sunny Skies – 1971 – #7 Pop Singles