London Years of Sweet Baby James

The album artwork for Taylor’s first album.On December 6, 1968, James Taylor released his first and self-titled album.

Produced by Paul McCartney for Apple Records, the album featured “Carolina in My Mind,” one of the Taylor’s most recognized songs. Taylor recorded the album between July and October 1968 at Trident Studios in London. The Beatles were recording The White Album during the same time in the same studios, and McCartney and George Harrison were both featured on versions of “Carolina in My Mind.”

Although born in Boston, Taylor moved to Chapel Hill in 1951 when he was three, and he was strongly influenced by the landscape of the area.

The product of a musical family, Taylor began to show a strong talent of his own early on. He played in various bands in the early 1960s, but by the end of the decade he moved to London to concentrate on a solo career after being plagued by a combination of depression and drugs.

When James Taylor was released, the artist, having fallen back into drugs, was unable to promote it. Critics were complimentary and positive, but Taylor’s hospitalization hampered its success.

Though released as a single, “Carolina in My Mind” only reached No. 118 on the charts. Taylor wouldn’t receive wide recognition until the release of his second album, Sweet Baby James, in 1970.

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