We have been chauffeured all over Cape Cod this week by Judy the Cruise Director. She is as crazy about James as I am about all my bands. The soundtrack to our travels has been the James Taylor Sirius radio channel. It exists only until June 22 and coincides with the release of his latest CD, “Before This World”. In honor of her, here are my top ten favorite songs by JT.
JT recorded this song with his then-wife Carly Simon in 1973. She overcame her fear of performing live to sing this song with him when he was on tour in 1975. Since then, he has also sung it with their daughter Sally and Carly has performed it with their son Ben.
This is the first of five songs on this list to be on his Greatest Hits album, which highlights his work from 1970-1976. I love the blues feel of this song, which was written as a parody about all the blues songs written by white boys in NYC around that time.
8) Her Town Too
When the guys were jamming last weekend, Marty and Vinnie did a killer rendition of this song. The original by James and JD Souther was pretty terrific too!
7) Sweet Baby James
This song has a place of honor in history for being one of the final songs performed by JT on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, before he was replaced by Conan O’Brien. It has a special place in my heart because my friend Marty can belt this out like no one’s business when Day Ja Voo covers it.
6) Shower the People
We listened to a lot of Christian performers growing up and this reminds me of so many of those songs. My parents taught us to love everyone and to let them know, but I also know how risky this behavior can be. That’s why I love his advice!!
5) You Can Close Your Eyes
One of my favorite love songs of all time. Here’s a video of James and Carly singing it together. They are just sitting around with a guitar and it reminds me of the times we are just hanging around when the band guys are jamming.
4) Your Smiling Face
What a great song this is! Whenever it comes on the radio, I smile!! No one gonna tell me that he’s doing wrong!
3) A Change Is Gonna Come
James appeared on the TV drama The West Wing (which I was binge-watching last winter) and sang this song. I do love this soulful tune and it was the song of the day on I’m With The Band Wives facebook page a couple of months ago. I couldn’t find video, but here’s the audio.
2) Carolina In My Mind
I like this song so much more than Fire and Rain. I love how he says he can escape to a happier time. We could all use a bit of that On a side note, the holy host of others is said to be some of the Beatles, who helped him out with this song.
This song is also on his wife Kim Taylor’s top ten list (I heard this on the JT sirius station). Here’s a video with David Crosby and Graham Nash. I could easily get pulled into his fantasy of a night in Mexico!
We will be heading off to the beach tomorrow, with James serenading us. We will be looking for sandy beaches and sunshine and we will be smiling the whole way!!