James Taylor – You’ve Got a Friend

First Hit #1: July 31, 1971

At this point I must confess that I keep thinking of the Toy Story song, which is completely different and much more Randy Newman. Moving on…

It’s nice to hear a simple acoustic ballad at this point, though I’m not specifically sure why. It’s not like I’m sick of ’70s production yet, and it’s a not a big break from the songs coming before. It’s also the kind of thing that could easily lend itself to bombast without compromising its integrity. It’s a simple sentiment with well crafted verses, but it’s also a song that is endlessly adaptable to different moods and styles. It’s got what I’ll describe as good bones, something that’s got a really good base which you can build whatever you want on. I like this simpler, almost unadorned style for it, and I’m happy it hit the top of the chart.

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