There are few people with a warm baritone and distinctive style like the incomparable James Taylor. Indeed, if you were born anytime in the 60s, 70s or 80s it’s almost a sure bet that one of his songs touched your heart. Taylor has been on the music scene for over 40 years and, while doing so, has inspired thousands of young magicians in the course of what’s become a legendary, and celebrated, career.
Since his 2nd release in 1970, Sweet Baby James, to October Road which was released in 2002, Taylor’s music has earned so many gold, platinum and multiplatinum awards that it’s hard to keep track. He’s sold over 100 million albums to date as well, in a career that seems endless.
It all started with the release of his second album in 1970 entitled Sweet Baby James. That album gave the world not only one of Taylor’s best known songs but also a classic that still can move people to tears to this day, the soulful and gentle Fire and Rain. Both that magnificent song and the album itself made into #3 on the charts and his next album, Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, had a song that made it all the way up to #1, You Got a Friend. Taylor won a Grammy when he performed that song, which was written for him by the fabulous Carole King.
The years between that song and James Taylor’s Greatest Hits in 1976 saw Taylor release a number of moderately successful albums but, since then, his Greatest Hits album has gone on to become diamond certified for selling more than 10 million copies. The following year, in 1977, he won the second Grammy of his career when he covered the song Handy Man. The album featuring that song, simply titled JT, was the first one he recorded for record label Columbia and went on to become a multiplatinum selling album.
Over the years Taylor has won a number of Grammy awards and has been inducted into both the Prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame as well as the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. In 1977 he won a Grammy for Best Album with the release of Hourglass and followed that up with awards in 2001 and 2003.
What’s fascinating about James Taylor is that all of his albums have always been enhanced, as far as popularity and sales are concerned, by his touring and live performances. In fact, nearly all of his album releases are now either gold or platinum as every time he goes out on tour more people are introduced to his music and rush out to buy them.