Open main menu

Before This World is the seventeenth studio album by American singer-songwriter James Taylor. It was released on June 15, 2015. It is Taylor's first new studio album of original material since October Road (2002) and first studio album of any kind since Covers in 2008. He recorded the album in a barn on his property in western Massachusetts with Steve Gadd on drums and Jimmy Johnson on bass.[7] In April 2015, he announced a short U.S. tour running from July 2 to August 6 to promote the album,[8][9] which then continued into 2016 and 2017.

Before This World
Before This World.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 15, 2015
RecordedJanuary, March, May-July, November 2014-February 2015
StudioThe Barn - January 2014 (Basic), August, October, November 2014-February 2015 (Overdubs). United Recording March. Avatar Studios
Genre
Length41:45
LabelConcord
ProducerDave O'Donnell
James Taylor chronology
The Essential James Taylor
(2013)
Before This World
(2015)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic65/100[1]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[2]
The Telegraph3/5 stars[3]
Daily Mail3/5 stars[4]
NewsdayA[5]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[6]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

James Taylor released his most recent original album, October Road, in 2002. Following this, Taylor did not prioritize writing new material for many years. He grew concerned he might never create another original album, and convinced his close family, friends, and manager it would be best to cut off communication from everything.[7] He subsequently lived alone to write the album in a waterfront apartment in Newport, Rhode Island.[7]

RecordingEdit

Recording began with 10 days in January 2014 at The Barn in Massachusetts recording basic tracks. This was followed by some dubbing on the backup vocalists in March 2014 at Ocean Way in Los Angeles.

Live performanceEdit

Before the album's releasing, James Taylor started to perform several new tracks from the upcoming album on his 2014 All Star Band tour. "Today Today Today", "You And I Again" and "Stretch of the Highway" were debuted at the May 30, 2014 show and played throughout the tour; the traditional song "Wild Mountain Thyme" also earned a regular place in the shows (it had been previously performed by James Taylor occasionally in concert). At Toronto's show on July 24, 2014, James Taylor performed "SnowTime" specially and explained that the song was written about Toronto. "Angels of Fenway", "Montana" and "Before This World / Jolly Springtime" were all performed during his shows in his spring and summer tour of 2015, to coincide with the album's release.

Commercial performanceEdit

Before This World debuted at number one with 97,000 units moved on the week ending June 21, becoming Taylor's first number-one album on the US Billboard 200 chart. This made Taylor surpass Black Sabbath to become the second-longest waiting artist for a number-one album — 47 years since James Taylor (1968) — behind a 54-year wait by Tony Bennett.[10] Also, he had scored 11 Top 10 albums before achieving his first #1, just behind Neil Diamond.[10] The following week, the album came in at #5, selling 50,000 copies in its second week.[11]

On the UK Albums Chart, the album started at number 4 with 13,801 copies on sales, became Taylor's fourth top 10 albums. It also tied with The Best of James Taylor (2003) for his highest-ranking album on chart, while both are peaked at number four.[12]

Track listingsEdit

All tracks written by James Taylor, except as noted.

Before This World — Standard edition[13][14]
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Today Today Today" 3:09
2."You and I Again" 3:52
3."Angels of Fenway" 3:18
4."Stretch of the Highway" 5:32
5."Montana" 3:25
6."Watchin' Over Me" 4:07
7."SnowTime" 5:48
8."Before This World / Jolly Springtime" (featuring Sting) 5:34
9."Far Afghanistan" 4:04
10."Wild Mountain Thyme"Francis McPeake2:56
Total length:41:45

PersonnelEdit

All songs feature James Taylor's All Star Band.

ProductionEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[18] 12
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[19] 32
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[20] 88
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[21] 10
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[22] 13
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[23] 32
Irish Albums (IRMA)[24] 11
Italian Albums (FIMI)[25] 22
Japanese Albums (Japanese Albums Chart)[26] 51
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 12
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[28] 16
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[29] 31
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 4
US Billboard 200[32] 1

Release historyEdit

List of regions, release dates, editions, formats, labels and references
Region Date Edition(s) Format(s) Label References
United States 15 June 2015 Standard edition Digital download Concord Records [14]
16 June 2015 Deluxe edition
Limited edition deluxe book
CD
DVD
LP
vinyl
[33]
United Kingdom 15 June 2015 Standard edition CD Decca (UMO) [34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Review for Before This World by James Taylor". metacritic.com. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  2. ^ Thomas Erlewine, Stephen. "James Taylor - Before This World". allmusic.com. CBS Interactive Media. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  3. ^ McCormick, Neil (13 June 2015). "James Taylor, Before This World, review: 'glad-hearted sentiments'". telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  4. ^ Adrian (12 June 2015). "The mild man of rock is on a roll! James Taylor's latest album Before the World is mellow magic". dailymail.co.uk. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  5. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (12 June 2015). "James Taylor's 'Before This World' review: Sure-handed stunners". newsday.com. Newsday. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  6. ^ Browne, David (16 June 2015). "Before This World - James Taylor - Concord". rollingstone.com. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Andy Greene (March 27, 2015). "James Taylor's Mellow Rebirth: Inside 'Before This World'". Rolling Stone (1232). Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  8. ^ "James Taylor 2015 U.S. Tour Schedule". April 18, 2015. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  9. ^ "James Taylor Announces First U.S. Tour Dates For New Album, 'Before This World'". April 16, 2015. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved April 18, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "James Taylor earns first No. 1 album on Billboard 200". Billboard.com.
  11. ^ Caulfield, Keith (1 July 2015). "Breaking Benjamin Earns Its First No. 1 Album on the Billboard 200 Chart". billboard.com. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  12. ^ Johnes, Alan (22 June 2015). "Official Charts Analysis: Muse's Drones hover at No.1 for second week - Music Week: Home Stream". mediaor.com. Music Week. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  13. ^ "James Taylor's 'Before This World' coming in June". USA Today. April 7, 2015. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Before This World - James Taylor". itunes.apple.com. Apple Inc. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  15. ^ "James Taylor – Before This World – Target Exclusive". Target Corporation. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "before this world [2015/limited edition deluxe book/2cd/dvd]". store.jamestaylor.com. James Taylor official site. Archived from the original on 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  17. ^ "before this world [2015/deluxe cd/dvd]". store.jamestaylor.com. James Taylor official site. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  18. ^ "Australiancharts.com – James Taylor – Before This World". Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Taylor – Before This World" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – James Taylor – Before This World" (in French). Hung Medien.
  21. ^ "James Taylor Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – James Taylor – Before This World" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  24. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 25, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  25. ^ "Italiancharts.com – James Taylor – Before This World". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Chart Track". Oricon.
  27. ^ "Charts.org.nz – James Taylor – Before This World". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
  28. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – James Taylor – Before This World". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – James Taylor – Before This World". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{album}}}". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 24. 2015.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  32. ^ "James Taylor Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 24, 2015.
  33. ^ This World %5bDeluxe Edition CD+DVD%5d "Before This World [Deluxe Edition CD+DVD]" Check |url= value (help). amazon.com. Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
  34. ^ "Before This World - James Taylor". amazon.co.uk. Amazon.com. Retrieved 19 June 2015.

External linksEdit