1971 James Taylor – Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon

Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon is James Taylor’s third studio album. Released in March 1971 as the follow-up to his commercial breakthrough and critical triumph, Sweet Baby James, it almost equaled the acclaim and surpassed the success of its predecessor at the time of its release. It contains Taylor’s biggest hit single in the US, a version of the Carole King standard “You’ve Got a Friend”, which became his only #1 on the Billboard charts on July 31, 1971. The week before, the album itself reached its peak position of #2 in the Billboard album charts. It was held off the top spot by King, then ruling the charts with the blockbuster Tapestry album, which contained her version of “You’ve Got a Friend”. (James Taylor also worked with King on her album and appears on several tracks performing acoustic guitar and backing vocals.)

Months later, the album managed to generate another Top 40 hit, “Long Ago and Far Away”, which reached #31 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other songs became standards in concert, particularly “You Can Close Your Eyes”.

In 1972, “You’ve Got a Friend” received Grammy Awards both for James Taylor (Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male) and King (Song of the Year).

Tracks

1  Love Has Brought Me Around (James Taylor) 2:45
You’ve Got A Friend (Carole King) 4:30
3  Places In My Past (James Taylor) 2:03
4  Riding On A Railroad (James Taylor) 2:43
5  Soldiers (James Taylor) 1:15
6  Mud Slide Slim (James Taylor) 5:20
7  Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox (James Taylor) 3:49
8  You Can Close Your Eyes (James Taylor) 2:30
9  Machine Gun Kelly (Danny Kortchmar) 2:37
10  Long Ago And Far Away (James Taylor) 2:21
11 Let Me Ride (James Taylor) 2:44
12 Highway Song (James Taylor) 3:54
13 Isn’t It Nice To Be Home Again (James Taylor) 0:54

Musicians

1 Love Has Brought Me Around

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Guitar Danny Kortchmar
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Carole King
Horn Andrew Love
Horn Wayne Jackson
Percussion Russ Kunkel
Percussion Peter Asher
Percussion Danny Kortchmar
Background Vocals Joni Mitchell


2 You’ve Got A Friend

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Acoustic Guitar Danny Kortchmar
Percussion Danny Kortchmar
Percussion Russ Kunkel
Background Vocals Joni Mitchell


3 Places In My Past

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Piano James Taylor


4 Riding On A Railroad

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Fiddle Richard Greene
Accordion John Hartford
Piano Carole King


5 Soldiers

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Carole King


6 Mud Slide Slim

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Guitar Danny Kortchmar
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Carole King
Percussion Russ Kunkel


7 Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Carole King


8 You Can Close Your Eyes

Acoustic Guitar James Taylor


9 Machine Gun Kelly

Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Acoustic Guitar Danny Kortchmar
Percussion Russ Kunkel
Percussion Danny Kortchmar
Background Vocals Peter Asher


10 Long Ago And Far Away

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Carole King
Percussion Danny Kortchmar
Background Vocals Joni Mitchell


11 Let Me Ride

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Guitar Danny Kortchmar
Acoustic Guitar James Taylor
Piano Kevin Kelly
Horn Andrew Love
Horn Wayne Jackson
Percussion Danny Kortchmar
Percussion Russ Kunkel
Background Vocals Kate Taylor


12 Highway Song

Bass Leland Sklar
Drums Russ Kunkel
Piano Carole King
Piano James Taylor
Background Vocals Kate Taylor
Background Vocals Peter Asher


13 Isn’t It Nice To Be Home Again

Acoustic Guitar James Taylor

Liner Notes

Producer – Peter Asher
Engineer – Richard Sanford Orshoff

Art Direction – Ed Thrasher
Artwork (Liner) – Laurie Miller
Photography By (Cover) – Ethan Russell

Produced For – Marylebone Productions
Pressed By – Columbia Records Pressing Plant, Pitman
Published By – Country Road Music, Inc.
Published By – Blackwood Music Inc.
Published By – Screen Gems-Columbia Music, Inc.
Published By – Portofino Music
Published By – Sho ‘Nuff Music
Published By – Walden Music
Recorded At – Crystal Sound
Mixed At – Crystal Sound
Mastered At – Artisan Sound Recorders