IT’S TOO LATE (song)

It’s Too Late (Carole King song)

Single by Carole King
from the album Tapestry
A-side “I Feel the Earth Move”
Released April 1971
Format 7-inch single 45 RPM
Genre Soft rock, doo-wop
Length 3:51
Label Ode Records
Songwriter(s) Carole King, Toni Stern
Producer(s) Lou Adler

“It’s Too Late” is a song from Carole King’s 1971 album Tapestry. Toni Stern wrote the lyrics and King wrote the music. It was released as a single in April 1971 and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. Sales were later gold-certified by the RIAA. Billboard ranked “It’s Too Late” and its fellow A-side, “I Feel the Earth Move”, as the No. 3 record for 1971.

The lyrics describe the end of a loving relationship without assigning blame. Music critic Dave Marsh noted the implicit feminism in the fact that the woman has left the man. Marsh also remarked on the maturity of the theme. Music critic Robert Christgau claimed that “if there’s a truer song about breaking up than ‘It’s Too Late’, the world (or at least AM radio) isn’t ready for it.” Marsh describes the melody as Tin Pan Alley and the arrangement as a cross between light jazz and “L.A. studio craftmanship.” Rolling Stone stated that King’s “warm, earnest singing” on the song brought out the song’s sadness. According to author James Perone, the feeling of the song is enhanced by the instrumental work of Danny Kortchmar on guitar, Curtis Amy on saxophone and King on piano. Kortchmar and Amy each have an instrumental solo.

The sadness of the song is emphasized by the music being in a minor key. Perone also notes several melodic techniques King uses in the song which helped make the song such a hit. She builds the melody out of syncopated rhythmic motifs which are modified and combined over the course of the song, in contrast to many songs in which the rhythmic phrases are simply repeated.

Toni Stern told author Sheila Weller that she wrote the lyrics in a single day, after her love affair with James Taylor was over. The recording won a Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1972, and the song is included in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.


Carole King – piano, vocals
Curtis Amy – soprano saxophone
Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar – conga, electric guitar
Charles “Charlie” Larkey – bass guitar
Joel O’Brien – drums
Ralph Schuckett – electric piano

Cover versions

The song has been covered by

Linda Blair in Sarah T. – Portrait of a Teenage Alcoholic, a 1975 made-for-TV movie.
1972: The Isley Brothers on their album Brother, Brother, Brother; reaching No. 39 on the R&B chart[9]
1972: Billy Paul on his album 360 Degrees of Billy Paul
1972: The Stylistics on their album Round 2 (The Stylistics album)
1972: Denise LaSalle on her album Trapped By A Thing Called Love
1975: Dennis Brown, featured on the Herman Chin Loy album Aquarius Dub
1991: Dina Carroll with the band Quartz, earning her first hit; it reached No. 8 in the UK[10]
1990: Culture Beat
1994: Gloria Estefan from the album Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
1995: Amy Grant for Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King
2000: Kyle Vincent on his album Solitary Road
2015: China Crisis on the cover versions album 80’s Re:Covered – Your Songs With The 80’s Sound[11]
2015: Chris Colfer and Darren Criss in Glee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia