James Taylor

922 Words 4 Pages
James Taylor was born on March 12, 1948, to a musically inclined family in Boston, Massachusetts. He was at first a cellist until he was around twelve years old when he began playing the guitar. After performing a few local gigs, he found his life changing. In 1965, Taylor admitted himself into a psychiatric hospital in Massachusetts. There he started fine-tuning his songwriting abilities.
It wasn’t until five years later when his career soared with the success of his second album, Sweet James (1970), which contains one of his most famous songs, “Fire and Rain.”
Over the next few decades, Taylor’s seventeen albums led him to five Grammy Awards and induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is known as “one of the best-selling
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His addiction and two failed marriages greatly influenced his songwriting skills.
There are several common threads throughout these eight songs. Each one of these songs discusses an event in Taylor’s life, which impacted his musical career and shaped him as an individual. He later included them in his lyrics. These events range from the birth of his nephew to being homesick to people leaving his life. All of these songs span across several decades, came from give of Taylor’s well-known albums, and were written by Taylor himself.
James Taylor is a talented musician, and his audience hears it through his songs such as these eight selected. His songs contain a homophonic texture, which means the music has one main melody and is accompanied by chords. The dynamic in a majority of his songs is soft with the volume of the acoustic guitar being louder than the other instruments. He also uses a slow to medium paced tempo to express the mood of his work. All of these aspects of Taylor’s music create an enjoyable song to appreciate.

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He wrote it about his dad who was a doctor in the United States Navy. Taylor’s voice is sung in a slow tempo accompanied by a guitar and piano. This instrumentation forms an image of a man walking down a road. As Taylor’s voice rises, I picture the man in the distance slowly disappearing from the viewer’s eyes. The faded ending compliments this picture in the listener’s mind.
Sleep Come Free Me is a moderately slow and gentle song. James Taylor is singing vocals and accompanied by a guitar, electric guitar and drums. He wrote Sleep Come Free Me because of a drunken night at the bar. He realized he had to quit making mistakes before something worse happened. The vocals are melancholy and imploring with his listeners.
Taylor released Never Die Young in January 1988 with nine other songs. Never Die Young is about the emotions and feelings that we experience through life. The listeners hear and feel those feelings through Taylor’s voice and the moderately slow tempo. It also makes you appreciate your life and how fortunate you are.
Copperline is a song about Taylor’s childhood and his family. He wrote it with Reynold Price, who was an English professor at Duke University. The instrumentation is in a medium tempo and quadruple meter. These musical aspects make you reflect on your past and how they shape you as an

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