Carole King

Essential Carole King

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Unlike many previous Carole King collections, Sony/Legacy’s 2010 set The Essential Carole King doesn’t concentrate solely on her hits as a performer: it also has a second disc of songs she wrote for other artists, the songs that established her reputation as one of the great songwriters of her time. Despite the broad scope of Essential, it’s inevitable that some classics are missing -- naturally more on the second Songwriter disc, which offers merely a sampling of the many great songs she penned, whereas all her big hits (“I Feel the Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Jazzman”) save the inexplicably missing “Smackwater Jack” are on the first -- but this does contain the lion's share of her major songs as both a singer and songwriter, making it the best overview of her work released to date. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi