Song:Your Smiling Face
Album:The Essential James Taylor
The 1977 album JT was a big comeback for James Taylor and also a switch to a new record label. Your Smiling Face wasn't his biggest hit from JT but the song was emblematic of a new beginning for Taylor. Albums like Sweet Baby James made Taylor one of the most popular recording artists of the early 70s. But his 1972 album One Man Dog was critically panned and it also performed poorly compared to previous albums. Meanwhile, Taylor married Carly Simon on Nov. 3, 1972 and they started performing and recording together and they had two kids. The two scored a big hit with their 1974 cover of Charlie & Inez Foxx's Mockingbird. Then Taylor's 1973 album Walking Man was a disaster. He made a bit of a comeback with the 1975 album Gorilla and his top five cover of Marvin Gaye's How Sweet It Is. The 1976 album In The Pocket was Taylor's final album on his Warner Bros. contract. Taylor and producer Peter Asher had already decided to leave Warners for Columbia so Warners didn't promote In The Pocket. Then Warners released a Greatest Hits album which is always a sign that the artist is leaving. Other than being on a new label, there wasn't anything unusual about JT. Asher was still his producer and the usual session musicians appeared on the album. Taylor's cover of the Jimmy Jones hit Handy Man was the first single and it reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. But it propelled JT to Taylor's biggest selling album since Sweet Baby James. It was certified 3XPlatinum. Your Smiling Face was the next single. It only reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 but it solidified the album's success. Taylor wrote the song for his three year old daughter Sally so it reflected his contentment in his family life as well. Though the 1979 single Her Town Too was Taylor's last big pop hit, his 80s albums routinely were certified Platinum. This 2013 2CD Sony comp covers Taylor's entire career. Taylor separated from Carly Simon in 1981 and became addicted to heroin again. He married actress Kathryn Walker in 1985 and she got him off heroin. He continued to have success until he left Columbia in 1994. Taylor still records occasionally. He just released his CD Before This World on Concord this week. And he's still a strong concert draw. Here's the video for Your Smiling Face by James Taylor.