Sweet Baby James

Two-CD James Taylor set serves up 30 tracks of ‘the good stuff’

JamesTaylor_Essential_CVRThe Essential James Taylor

CD $11.98 (Legacy Recordings)

It’s not everything he’s ever recorded, by a long shot, on his 16 albums across a career spanning five decades, but it’s definitely the good stuff: This two-disc collection features 30 songs by the five-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, from his best-known ’70s hits (“Fire and Rain,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Long Ago and Far Away,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight,” “How Sweet It Is,” “Shower The People,” “Handy Man,” and “Your Smiling Face”), through his later work, including live versions of “Country Road” and other cuts, a duet with fellow West Coast troubadour J.D. Souther on “Her Town Too,” and more selections from the catalogs of Warner Bros. and Columbia Records.

—Neil Pond, American Profile Magazine

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