James Taylor's mellow tones have been affirming and reassuring audiences since the late 1960s. Managing to turn his early fame into sustained success, Taylor's songs evolved into musical reminders, wake-up calls and wry observations that transcend personal setbacks and tap into universal themes. Beginning with Sweet Baby James in 1970, most of Taylor's albums over the last four decades have gone gold or platinum, and his appeal as a touring artist packs houses. His 1976 Greatest Hits collection has sold more than 10 million copies.
Following his monumentally popular albums Sweet Baby Jamesand Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, James Taylor delivered the lackluster follow-up One Man Dog in November 1972. He and Carly Simon were married that year, and though they would divorce 11 years later, they would collaborate on a number of tracks, including a duet of the 1963 hit by Inez and Charlie Foxx, "Mockingbird," for Carly Simon's 1974 album, Hotcakes. 1974's Walking Man and 1975's Gorilla both showcased his more electric side, with the latter spawning two hits; "Mexico" and his cover of Marvin Gaye's classic, "How Sweet It Is."
His popularity never lulled as he continued through the late '70s, a time after which he became less focused on regularly releasing albums and more upon touring, playing to a dedicated fanbase. Taylor took part in the "No Nukes" concerts of 1979 and the same-named triple-LP. His insistent road schedule after 1981's Dad Loves His Work would be punctuated by releases every few years, including original songs, covers, and holiday-themed records. In 1993, he released his first stateside live album, Live, reflecting his considerable abilities as a live performer. Onstage, with his signature guitar play and understated singing breaking over the audience, Taylor could be Everyman... if every man had a vision, a voice, and volumes to say.