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In 2004, Carole King embarked on the Living Room Tour, her first in over a decade, and offered her legions of fans an opportunity to glimpse the iconic singer / songwriter in the most intimate of settings. For over two hours each night, she performed songs that drew from her 40 year-plus career, from her early hits, to her overlooked gems, to two new songs_all with acoustic arrangements. King's unique ability to captivate an audience with her compelling voice and expressive piano playing won rave notices from critics and audiences across the country. Now, her new Rockingale Records/Concord Records/Starbucks Hear Musicâ„¢ release, documents the magic of the concert dates on The Living Room Tour, a 27-song, double CD suffused with King's legendary warmth and wisdom.
If ever an artist has belonged in America's living rooms, it's King. In the 1960s, she and co-writer Gerry Goffin quietly defined a generation with over 50 songs that landed in the Top 40. In 1971, she gave us the landmark Tapestry, one of the best-selling and best-loved albums ever made. To date, over 400 Carole King compositions have been recorded by over 1000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles - many reaching the coveted #1 spot. She is arguably the most successful and most revered female songwriter in pop music history.
In all, The Living Room Tour CD features King performing 27 of her classic songs, including 7 #1 hits. From "It's Too Late" and "So Far Away," to "I Feel the Earth Move" and "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," she brings to the melodies and lyrics a deep level of familiarity and understanding that the audience embraces. Listening to the album, it's clear that King's music evokes memories of a special time and place, like catching up with a dear, cherished friend. It's hardly surprising then that the timeless classic "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" receives perhaps the warmest and most heart-felt reaction from the crowd. King co-wrote the track, which became a #1 hit for The Shirelles, when she was just 17 years-old. Her own performance of the tune was one of Tapestry's myriad highlights. "When I get to that song, people just shout out, 'Yeah,' and they sing along," she says affectionately.
One of the things King most enjoyed about the Living Room Tour was performing her lyrics and melodies acoustic and raw, as they were first written. These stripped-down performances are the soul of the tour, creating a familiarity that clearly touched the audience. Everyone involved, quite simply, just had a good time. So much so that King is continuing the tour this summer. Given the enduring and universal appeal of the singer / songwriter's music, no doubt the icon will be welcoming new friends into her living room for many years to come.