Bonnie Rait’s “Slipstream,” Carole King & Fleetwood Mac Books
Let’s take a look at this week’s albums, reissues and other musical goodies from classic artists making musical waves yet again.
Spotlight Release of the Week: This week’s spotlight release is not actually an album, but rather, Carole King’s A Natural Woman memoir, which hit stores today (April 10). It’s hard to forget that King, now 70, made a name for herself as a successful songwriter with then-husband Gerry Goffin before topping the charts (and staying there for 306 weeks) with her 1971 classic album Tapestry — which includes hits like “So Far Away” and “I Feel The Earth Move” — but what do we really know about her Brill Building days? In a particularly compelling excerpt from the pianist’s memoir (as published by New York Magazine), King chronicles her endearingly dogged attempt at breaking into songwriting: “I was 15 when I opened a Manhattan phone book to ‘Record Companies’ and wrote down the address of Atlantic Records. Rather than call for an appointment and risk rejection, I thought I would just go there and see if Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler would listen to my songs. The next day, less than ten minutes after the last school bell had rung, I was on an express train from Kings Highway to Manhattan wearing a pink sweater set, a black felt skirt with a pink poodle on it, a ponytail, white bobby socks, and a pair of white sneakers. Someone was going to get her songs recorded. Why not me?”
For King, it’s all up from there, but then again, we already knew that. King covers it all, from childhood photos to singer-songwriter royalty in A Natural Woman.
Speaking of classic ’70s albums, another book out this week takes fans inside Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, though not from the perspective of the band itself. Rather, in Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album, the album’s co-producer Ken Caillat shares his memories of a particularly dramatic time for the rockers. “Tension” phrases it lightly — try divorce, bickering, drugs, betrayal, separate living quarters for men and women — yet out of the lengthy sessions comes Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic album, featuring hits like “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain.”
As for new music out this Tuesday, Bonnie Raitt returns with her first album in seven years, Slipstream. On it, the smoky-voiced “Something To Talk About” singer and slide-guitar master explores all forms of her genre of choice, the blues. Colorful covers are peppered in as well, notably a reggae-tinged cover of Gerry Rafferty’s 1978 minor hit, “Right Down the Line,” and two Bob Dylan covers off his Time Out of Mind album (“Standing in the Doorway” and “Million Miles”). Watch Raitt’s first video in 14 years, for “Right Down the Line,” below.
–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local