Friday, April 16, 2021

"Never Die Young" by James Taylor

Song#:  3465
Date:  04/02/1988
Debut:  88
Peak:  80
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Soft Rock, Pop, Adult Contemporary

Pop Bits:  After nearly quitting the business, Taylor returned to music in 1985 with his first album in four years, That's Why I'm Here. It was a gold (eventually platinum) seller spurred on by the #3 AC hit "Everyday." He would finally follow up that album three years later with his twelfth studio effort Never Die Young. This title-track single was released and it easily sailed to #3 on the AC chart. The song was able to get on the Pop chart, but it disappeared after a few short week. Still, the LP sold well and it was able to reach #24. It would quickly go gold and then later in '94 it would reach platinum status. This single would end up being Taylor's last to reach the Pop chart.

ReduxReview:  I was never a huge fan of Taylor's easy-going brand of soft rock. He obviously had a few classics in his catalog that were difficult to dislike, but in general he didn't do that much for me. Beyond his prime hit making days, Taylor didn't really expand on his basic sound. Unlike some other 70s singer/songwriters, he didn't dabble in disco or follow trends/new sounds like synthpop. He was James Taylor and he didn't waver from that. He stayed in his own lane and for decades kept the fans coming back. There is nothing wrong with that and for those that loved Taylor, his music was like a familiar blanket that would come around every few years to wrap you in a warm feeling. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those fans. His music blended together and sounded the same, kind of like this single. While it's a nice tune and a pleasant listen, it just sounds like...well...James Taylor. There is little here that I haven't heard before from him. I guess you could say that I just don't "get" Taylor and I'm fine with that.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Taylor's next LP, 1991's New Moon Shine, would do pretty much the same as his previous two. It got to #37 and eventually went platinum. After that, Taylor took an extended break. In 1997, he released what was considered to be a true comeback effort. Hourglass would be a critical success that would reach #9, go platinum, and earn Taylor a Grammy for Best Pop Album. It was his first Grammy since 1977. In the 2000s, Taylor released two studio album, both got to #4, and a platinum-selling Christmas collection. His star stayed strong into the next decade and in 2015 his album Before This World became his first ever to reach #1. Five years later, he would put out a collection of cover tunes titled American Standard. It would get to #4 and go on to with the Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.


No comments:

Post a Comment