First Hit #1: June 19, 1971
Instead of talking about the content of the song It’s Too Late – a song about a breakup and depression – or the way that the song shows a melding of influences in sometimes unexpected ways, I’d like to talk about the guitar used in the song. It’s hilarious, because it’s not at all consistent. You’ll get these strange little blips of guitar that show up out of nowhere and then disappear completely. You begin to wonder why it’s there, but then have a strange appreciation for that little element of unpredictability it brings to the show.
Actually, let’s talk about the different influences as well. The ’70s are becoming an eclectic decade, but in a way that will instantly date it for future generations. It’s Too Late has a light jazz influence and is striving for a “warm” sound – warmth also explaining ’70s fashion and inexplicable love of yellow. Those sounds were eventually so pervasive that even sitcom theme tunes bear a strong resemblance to King here, but it’s a production idea that probably started out really interesting. It sounds surprisingly comforting, depending on the angle you approach it, and one can kind of understand where the ’70s were coming from.
This is, of course, a double A-side. The other side is a bit quicker but no less depressing, describing an infatuation that seems to be causing real problems for the singer. King is coming across as having issues, but the slightly more upbeat sound is able to make the lyrics seem a bit less strange, and gives a slightly modified view of King and her abilities. I’m not entirely convinced she should do much beyond easy listening – her voice is entirely too polite to really rock out, and her preferred sound doesn’t really lend itself to getting really raucous. She’s an interesting artist, but I kept thinking she should have given it to someone with a much larger voice, rather than recording it herself. I kept imagining the wonders that a ’60s girl group could bring to the recording.