When Carole King Played ‘Tapestry’ Live For 1st Time

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Carole King Hyde Park 2016If it sometimes seems as though Carole King has been with us forever, perhaps that’s because for many of us she has. Although she will always be known primarily for Tapestry, her 1971 multi-platinum album, she had already written (mostly with her then-husband, Gerry Goffin), dozens of the greatest hits of the rock ‘n’ roll era, including “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin), “Up on the Roof” (the Drifters), “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (the Monkees), “Chains” (the Beatles) and so many more.

But it undeniably was Tapestry that made her a superstar as a recording artist in her own right. Amazingly, she had never performed the entire album in its entirety until 2016, when she celebrated the landmark album’s 45th anniversary in front of a huge crowd in London.

A sold-out crowd of 50,000 was on hand at London’s Hyde Park on Sunday, July 3, 2016 to see King perform her masterpiece Tapestry in its entirety for the first time, as part of the British Summer Time series. The singer-songwriting legend was joined on the slate by Don Henley as well as her daughter Louise Goffin.

Listen to her perform the title cut at the concert

Tapestry celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. Powered by the double-sided #1 hit single “It’s Too Late”/”I Feel the Earth Move,” the classic rock masterpiece hit #1 on June 17, 1971, the Billboard 200 for 15 consecutive weeks – a record the album held for most weeks at number one by a female solo artist for over 20 years. It remained on the album charts for over six years, also setting a record for longest run on the charts until 1980. It has sold over 25 million copies and was the best selling album ever until 1976. Read Best Classic Bands‘ full tribute here.

The roughly 90-minute, 22-song performance featured the album all the way through plus numerous other hits from the King canon including “Jazzman.” As one Best Classic Bands reader described the show: “It was thousands of people singing along to everything.”

Watch “You’ve Got a Friend”

Goffin joined her mother to sing “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” As the Irish Independent reported, when introducing the song, King said: “This is the first song that her father [Gerry Goffin] and I wrote together. The first time I heard it, and this will show my age, was in a 1956 Mercury.”

As the Irish Independent noted: “King paused before the hit made famous by Aretha Franklin, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,’ as a film of King when she was young was played on the big screen.

King then duetted with her younger self before visibly emotional she wiped back tears, saying ‘thank you, thank you so much’.”

When she first announced the event, King wrote on her Facebook page: “”I want to begin by thanking Londoners for making Beautiful The Carole King Musical so successful. And now I’m coming to London and can’t wait to perform Tapestry from beginning to end for the first time ever! How perfect to be doing that in the heart of one of my favourite cities.”

One encore was the Goffin-King gem “Up on the Roof.” As her final encore, the cast of musical Beautiful, now playing on London’s West End, joined her onstage to sing “I Feel the Earth Move.”

Watch “I Feel the Earth Move”

Carole King, July 3, 2016, Hyde Park, Setlist

I Feel the Earth Move
So Far Away
It’s Too Late
Home Again
Way Over Yonder
You’ve Got a Friend
Where You Lead (with Louise Goffin)
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (with Louise Goffin)
Smackwater Jack (with Louise Goffin)
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Take Good Care of My Baby / It Might As Well Rain Until September
Go Away Little Girl / I’m Into Something Good / One Fine Day
Hey Girl
Some Kind of Wonderful
Up on the Roof
The Loco-Motion
I Feel the Earth Move (Reprise)

Related: Our discussion with legendary producer and Ode Records founder Lou Adler on the making of Tapestry

Best Classic Bands Staff
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