Friday, September 14, 2018

"Everyday" by James Taylor

Song#:  2527
Date:  11/09/1985
Debut:  79
Peak:  61
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Soft Rock, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  The early 80s were rough for James Taylor. His marriage to Carly Simon ended, he was battling a drug addiction, and he was grappling with depression. By the time 1985 rolled around, Taylor was considering retirement from music. But then he accepted a gig at Brazil's Rock in Rio festival and after getting a huge reaction from a massive 300k crowd, Taylor rethought his plans. Energized by the performance, a cleaned-up Taylor began writing songs again and went into the studio to record his eleventh album, That's Why I'm Here. Despite having written the majority of songs on the album, this remake (see below) was selected to be the first single. Of course the tune was embraced by AC and it peaked at #3 on that chart. At Pop, Taylor's soft rockin' sound wasn't all that hip in the mid-80s and the song fizzled in the bottom half of the chart. Two more singles would be issued from the album and while they would not reach the Pop chart, the tunes would make it to the AC Top 10. That support would help Taylor get his seventh platinum album.

ReduxReview:  Taylor was really smart with this album. He could have easily done what some of his contemporaries attempted to do by updating his sound and trying to fit in with current trends, but he didn't. Taylor stayed true to who he was as a songwriter/artist and he did an album that wasn't out of line with most any other in his catalog. It paid off quite well with big support from his fans and from AC radio. So while I totally respect that, I just wasn't a fan of his music. I liked some of his 70s hits, but other than that I've never had much of a connection to his tunes. This little ditty is no exception. It's a simple remake of a minor pop classic that really doesn't do anything for Taylor or the song. It's an inoffensive cover that's as comfy as an easy chair and is perfect to hear while doing crafts. While there is nothing really wrong with that, it just wasn't my cup of tea (which would actually go well with this song - a little chamomile, a lovely cookie, and James Taylor).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally co-written and performed by Buddy Holly. Holly's 1957 version would end up being the b-side to his big #3 hit "Peggy Sue." Despite being a b-side, the song has become one of Holly's most recognizable recordings and it has been covered by many artists. Besides Taylor, the only other artist to hit the Pop chart with the song was John Denver, whose 1972 version reached #81 (#21 AC).  2) Taylor was so taken with his experience at the Rock in Rio festival that he wrote a song about it. "Only a Dream in Rio" would be included as a track on the album. Taylor sings in both English and Portuguese. He had a portion of the lyrics translated into Portuguese by Jim Maraniss, a professor at Amherst College.


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