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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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CONCERT SERIES: James Taylor

Statesman Archives: David Jasse, 1970
Date of the show: March 21, 1970
Top song in 1970: “Fire and Rain”

After 1970…

“Fire and Rain” came off of the 1970 album Sweet Baby James, which sold more than 3 million copies in the United States alone. Both the album and the song reached No. 3 on the Billboard charts. After that success, and because of appeal to female fans, interest in Taylor soared.

He starred in the movie Two-Lane Blacktop, performed at a concert the funded Greenpeace’s protests of nuclear weapons tests, and was on the cover of Time.

His next album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, contained his biggest hit, a remake of the Carole King song “You’ve Got a Friend,” for which he received his first Grammy for Song of the Year by Male Performer award. His fourth album, released in 1972, received lukewarm attention; more attention was given to his marriage to fellow artist Carly Simon the same year.

The next few years were filled with highs and lows for Taylor – while his albums Walking Man and In the Pocket tanked, the 1975 album Gorilla went Gold and contained a cover of Marvin Gaye’s “How Sweet it Is (To Be Loved By You),” one of his biggest singles.

Following his exit from Warner Bros. Records, the record label released his greatest hits, which became Taylor’s best-selling album. It went Platinum eleven times, sold almost twenty million copies worldwide and is still considered the best-selling folk album ever.

After leaving Warner Bros. Records, Taylor continued to make records and maintain a large fan base. His achievements declined slightly after his divorce from Simon in 1983, but they saw a resurgence in the late 90s and early 2000s with the release of several of his most lauded albums.

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