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James Taylor: Gorilla (Warner Bros.)/Carly Simon: Playing Possum (Elektra)

Wayne Robins, Creem, September 1975

THOUGH BOTH James Taylor and Carly Simon have been frequently castigated for being sensitive rich kids, I'm surprised we've never congratulated James for transcending his origins and becoming both a junkie and lunatic for brief periods of his life. But the vehicle James chose to sing about both maladjustments – ‘Fire and Rain’ – made him America's number one jukebox pest. CREEM built its aesthetic partly as a reaction to the bland McKuenisms of the singer-songwriters, and Taylor was the movement's most visible symbol.

Total word count of piece: 435