Carole King’s “It’s Too Late” Transformed Pop Music Forever

Carole King discusses the creation and impact of her iconic song "It's Too Late" in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs podcast, highlighting its influence on pop music and the power of honest songwriting.

Carole King is a name that is synonymous with timeless music and groundbreaking songwriting. With hits like “You’ve Got a Friend” and “I Feel the Earth Move,” she has solidified her place in music history. But one song in particular stands out as a game-changer in the world of pop music: “It’s Too Late.”

In this week’s episode of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs podcast, King herself joins hosts Rob Sheffield and Brittany Spanos to discuss the creation and impact of “It’s Too Late.” Released in 1971 as part of her iconic album Tapestry, the song was a departure from the typical pop sound of the time.

King explains that the inspiration for the song came from her own personal experiences. She had recently gone through a divorce and was dealing with the emotions that come with the end of a relationship. This raw and honest approach to songwriting was not common in the pop music scene at the time, and it set “It’s Too Late” apart from other songs of its era.

The song’s stripped-down production, with just King’s piano and vocals, also added to its unique sound. It was a departure from the heavily produced and orchestrated songs that were dominating the charts. King’s vulnerability and simplicity in her delivery resonated with listeners, and “It’s Too Late” quickly became a hit.

But the impact of “It’s Too Late” goes beyond its success on the charts. It paved the way for a new style of songwriting and storytelling in pop music. King’s honest and introspective lyrics opened the door for other artists to share their personal experiences and emotions in their music.

“It’s Too Late” also solidified King’s status as a trailblazer in the music industry. She was one of the few female singer-songwriters at the time, and her success with “It’s Too Late” proved that women could not only write and perform their own music, but also have it be commercially successful.

As the years have passed, “It’s Too Late” has remained a beloved and influential song. It has been covered by numerous artists and continues to be a staple on radio stations and in pop culture. Its impact on the music industry is undeniable, and it will forever be remembered as a song that transformed pop music.

In the podcast, King also discusses her career and the making of Tapestry, which is widely considered one of the greatest albums of all time. She shares insights into her songwriting process and the stories behind some of her other hits. It’s a must-listen for any fan of Carole King or music in general.

“It’s Too Late” is a testament to the power of honest and authentic songwriting. It broke barriers and paved the way for future generations of artists to share their stories through music. And for that, we have Carole King and her timeless classic to thank.

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