1. The Shirelles, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1960)
This became Carole’s first #1 at the young age of 18. She would later record it on her 1971 groundbreaking album, Tapestry.
2. Bobby Vee, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” (1961)
Also covered by The Beatles, Dion and the Belmonts, and Smokie.
3. The Drifters, “Some Kind of Wonderful” (1961)
4. Little Eva, “The Loco-Motion” (1962)
The myth is Carole’s singing backup vocals… can anyone confirm it? ‘Cause that sounds like Carole’s grooving voice to me!
5. The Everly Brothers, “Crying In the Rain” (1962)
This tune was co-written with Howard Greenfield, not Gerry Goffin.
6. Steve Lawrence, “Go Away Little Girl” (1962)
Later recorded in the ’70s by Donny Osmond.
7. The Beatles, “Chains” (1963)
It was originally written for The Cookies, but The Beatles recorded a great cover. John and Paul once said they wanted to be songwriters like Goffin/King. So like… if there’s anything to understand… it’s John Lennon and Paul McCartney wanted to be like Carole King.
8. The Chiffons, “One Fine Day” (1963)
That piano riff… I can’t.
9. The Drifters, “Up On the Roof” (1963)
Written in New York City, about New York City. Later recorded by Laura Nyro, Neil Diamond, and Carole’s good pal James Taylor.
10. Herman’s Hermits, “I’m Into Something Good” (1964)
You might have heard this one on a car commercial, or maybe a Hershey’s Chocolate commercial.
11. Maxine Brown, “Oh No Not My Baby” (1964)
A classic tune covered by many notable women, including Dusty Springfield, Merry Clayton, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin, and Cher.
12. Dusty Springfield, “Goin’ Back” (1966)
Get ready for the tears from Gerry’s words and goose bumps from Carole’s melody…
13. The Monkees, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” (1967)
Gerry Goffin wrote the lyrics about the faults of suburban life, based on his and Carole’s neighborhood in West Orange, New Jersey.
14. Aretha Franklin, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1967)
With lyrics by Gerry and beautiful gospel chords by Carole, the third writer credit goes to music producer Jerry Wexler for coming up with the title. Carole recalls the experience of listening to Aretha’s version: “Hearing that instrument sing a song I had participated in creating touched me more than any recording of any song I had ever written. I knew that Gerry and I had delivered a song that took Jerry Wexler’s title to its most romantic, emotional conclusion.”
15. The Byrds, “Wasn’t Born to Follow” (1968)
Featured in the film Easy Rider.
16. Blood, Sweat & Tears, “Hi-De-Ho (That Old Sweet Roll)” (1970)
Look up Carole’s version… it’s mighty slick.
17. James Taylor, “You’ve Got a Friend” (1971)
Surprisingly, a ton of people think James Taylor wrote this song. However, Carole wrote it by herself as she was embarking on her solo career in the early ’70s. She graciously let James record this beautiful song on his album Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon, the same year she recorded it on Tapestry. Written for James Taylor, it is his first and only #1 Billboard hit. Also this video of them performing it together is just damn magical.