Carole King: Pleasant Valley Sunday (1966)

 |   |  1 min read

Carole King: Pleasant Valley Sunday (1966)

There's something to be said for getting up and going to work each day. If it is doing something you love -- and maybe even if it isn't -- you do get good at it, if nothing else.

Songwriting is no different than playing an instrument: the more you do the more you learn and the better you get.

The Beatles -- by writing and singing their own songs -- may have been the death knell for Tin Pan Alley and Brill Building songwriting factories, but those places were the great proving ground for enormous talents. Hell, even Lou Reed went to work as a jobbing songwriter before the Velvet Underground and out of such day-job writing came Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond, Phil Spector and of course Carole King.

Her co-writes with Gerry Goffin (whom she married at 17) spun such classics as Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Locomotion, It Might As Well Rain Until September, Up On the Roof, I'm Into Something Good . . .

And they set her up for a solo career with songs like Natural Woman, I Feel the Earth Move, You've Got a Friend . . .

A few years ago the album The Legendary Demos was released (with her permission) and you could hear her classy working drawings of many of the songs she wrote, some with Goffin (they divorced in '68 and she left New York for California not long after).

Among them was this one -- a critique of middle class American life and the growing generation gap -- which became a hit for the Monkees who improved it considerably by making it more urgent and cynical.

For more one-off, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

The Beatles: It's All Too Much (1969)

The Beatles: It's All Too Much (1969)

Recorded at the tail-end of the Sgt Pepper sessions in 1967 but not released until early in '69, this George Harrison-penned song has often been dismissed, perhaps largely because it appeared on... > Read more

Marc Ribot: The Wind Cries Mary (1990)

Marc Ribot: The Wind Cries Mary (1990)

Marc Ribot has long been the guitarist of choice for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others, but he was also in a couple of interesting if not influential bands of his own. Before being one of the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Derek shares Beatty Zimmerman's Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf bread

Derek shares Beatty Zimmerman's Banana Chocolate Chip Loaf bread

Derek Jacombs from the Bay of Plenty is someone whose name has appeared at Elsewhere a few times: he led the band Kokomo Blues -- subsequently -- just Kokomo -- for many years and after their... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Elvis Presley; Jailhouse Rock, Spinout (DVD)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Elvis Presley; Jailhouse Rock, Spinout (DVD)

Anyone wanting to see in stark contrast the sullen and moody Elvis of the rock'n'roll era of the Fifties and by comparison a kitsch by-the-number Elvis knock-off film from the Sixties should grab... > Read more