Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#157 in the Series) is James Taylor, That’s Why I’m Here.
“Come on everyone, come on… let’s go! James is recording a new album. We all have to help him out!
Was that the clarion call throughout Los Angeles in 1985 when James Taylor decided to record for the first time in years,who knows? ButI’m guessing it was close. It seems like every hot musician from within 100 miles played on this album.
So before I get into the rest of album, let me make a list of who answered that call.
Here’s who makes an appearance on That’s Why I’m Here.
Don Henley, Leland Sklar, Peter Asher, Randy + Michael Brecker , Russ Kunkel, Tony Levin, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Billy Payne, Deniece Williams, Rory Dodd, Clifford Carter, Greg ’Fingers’ Taylor, Jimmy Maelen, Airto and David Sanborn.
I wonder is songwriters feel the need to write exceptionally well when they know the heavyweights are right outside the studio door?
If James Taylor felt that weight then he certainly delivered. There are some absolute gems on this one.
Some of the best on the disc are the title cut, That’s Why I’m Here, the great ballad, A Song for You Far Away,and Only a Dream in Rio. There’s also one of the few songs I know about a pig, Mona.
James also does a fine rendition of his brother Livingston’s Going Around One More Time.
He also adds a couple of nice covers, Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s …thru Gene Pitney ..(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance and Buddy Holly’s Everyday.
I remember seeing James Taylor at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago in 1991. It was an interesting crowd. One half were old hippies, the other half, yuppies. Safe to say I wasn’t one of the yuppies.
It also was the best sound I ever heard at a concert. Sitting directly in front of the mixing board didn’t hurt!
That’s Why I’m here was produced by JT along with Peter Asher and Frank Filipetti.
It reached #34 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.
Here’s a few live cuts followed by Liberty Valance.
I usually only have studio albums in this blog. No Greatest Hits packages either. But today is going to be different. Today is Little Feat, “Waiting For Columbus.” It’s quite possibly the best live album ever.
I do so for sad reasons. Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward passed away yesterday from liver cancer. He will be missed by masses. He was a wonderful musician and according to those that knew him, a wonderful person.
What always amazed me about “Waiting For Columbus” was Richie’s drum sound. For 1978, the drums kicked like something recorded decades later. What a wonderful sound!
Highlights are many. “Fatman In The Bathtub, Oh Atlanta, Old Folks Boogie, Spanish Moon, Willin’ Rocket in My Pocket’ and of course, “Dixie Chicken’ into’ Tripe Face Boogie.”
Lowell George never sounded better than on this record. Billy Payne, Sam Clayton, Kenny Gradney and Paul Barrere rounded out the sound. The Tower of Power horns also were a huge part of this.
We’ll miss you Richie. Thanks for the music.