Active in the music industry since 1966, James Taylor has been around for quite some time. Along with his song writing, his introspective and insightful songs combine rock, folk and pop sensibilities. The world noticed this Bostonian in 1970 when he came out with his intensely personal number 3 single "Fire and Rain". A year later he scored his first number one hit "You've got a Friend", which was a recording of Carole King's classic song.
His calm, relaxed style along with distinctive guitar play and acoustic romantic ballads are the hallmarks of this sensitive singer and songwriter. Taylor himself has the same opinion, he says,
“If you think my music is sentimental and self-absorbed, I agree with you.”
Over his long and distinguished musical career, Taylor has sold more than a 100 million albums, won five Grammys, released many Platinum certified albums and inspired young musicians to pick up the guitar and write songs. The acclaimed musician is still going strong, performing concerts at different venues and touring around the world.
To catch him live in concert get your James Taylor tickets in time.
Taylor’s Initial Struggles
“I started being a songwriter pretending I could do it, and it turned out I could,” – James Taylor
Taylor came from a family with a musical background so his interest in music, like all his siblings, was only natural. Still, success in the music business didn’t come easy to Taylor. He found himself struggling to find a music footing while battling with depression and heroin addiction in his early years.
Taylor initially played the cello and later learnt to play the guitar when he was only 12 years old. Looking at his skills in the guitar, many believe that it was the first instrument that he learnt. In 1963, he met a budding guitarist Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar while staying on Martha's Vineyard. The two artists formed a folk duo and played at local coffee houses. Later, Taylor dropped out of school at 16 to finish the semester at Chapel Hill, where he started performing with his brother Alex. Suffering from depression he had to go to a Psychiatric Hospital in Massachusetts. It was here he began writing songs.
After a 10 month stay at the hospital, Taylor went back to New York to resume his passion. Together with Kortchmar and Joel O’ Brien a band by the name of Flying Machine was set up. Flying Machine performed at Greenwich Village coffee-houses but didn’t last for long. Taylor relapsed and it took a toll on his relationship with his band mates.
Taylor decided to move to London and was signed by the Beatles' Apple record label. Taylor's debut album, James Taylor, was appreciated by critics, but didn’t do well commercially.
Because of his heroin addiction in 1969, Taylor once again checked into a hospital in New York, and then went to a Massachusetts psychiatric facility. When he came from there, he played the 1969 Newport Folk Festival and later moved to California where he recorded a new album for Warner Brothers.
Time for Success
Released in 1970, Taylor’s second album “Sweet Baby James” got him the much deserved attention. It featured Taylor’s best-known song “Fire and Rain” that reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the breakthrough Taylor was looking for. The widely popular song was a commercial hit and was ranked at number 227 on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 greatest songs of all time. The lyrics of the song were deeply poignant, inspired by a friend’s death and his experience with drugs and depression.
His songwriting in the upcoming albums showed his sensitive side which always struck a chord with his devout fans.
“I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others.” And this is what the singer continued to do for decades to come.
A year after his second album release, Taylor came out with his next album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon. It featured his first number one hit “You’ve Got a Friend” written by Carole King. Taylor won a Grammy for this song. He released his best-selling album James Taylor's Greatest Hits in 1976 that went on to sell more than 10 million copies.
Over the years, he has given released gold and diamond certified albums. It was during the 1990s and 2000s, James Taylor produced his most awarded work.
Taylor has won five Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2000. Acknowledging the contributions he made to American music he was honored with the 2010 National Medal of Arts. In 2003, his album “Sweet Baby James” was ranked number 103 on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
After five decades in the industry and a career marked with artistic achievements, this singer songwriter is still performing. The legend still loves to tour and perform for his fans. He has several concerts lined up with fellow artists and also some individual performances during 2017.
To catch him perform live and listen to his smooth voice as he belts out covers and fan favorites, check all the James Taylor Concert tickets for his upcoming performances. You will love every minute of the performance by this Folk Rock legend.