When Carole King performed "Home Again" at Central Park's Great Lawn on May 26, 1973, the title held additional meaning. Though she was one of music's most famous New Yorkers, Carole's move to southern California inspired her transformation from Brill Building tunesmith to full-fledged solo singer-songwriter. Much as her songs such as "The Loco-Motion," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" defined the sound of the 1960s, "It's Too Late," "You've Got a Friend," and "So Far Away" would do the same for the 1970s. Conceived by King's producer Lou Adler and promoter Ron Delsener, her homecoming performance in the heart of Manhattan was the first-ever free concert on the Great Lawn. Now, the whole story of the show is finally being told in a new documentary film from Abramorama, with a soundtrack arriving from Ode Records and Legacy Recordings.
The Central Park concert was part of a twelve-city tour in support of King's fifth studio album, Fantasy, which would be released just weeks later in June 1973. The New York Times acknowledged the significance of the event which drew massive crowds (numbering "well over 70,000" per the Times but over 100,000 in most other reports): "For the Brooklyn-born Miss King, whose Tapestry is the biggest-selling rock album in history, it was a special kind of homecoming, her first and only New York appearance in two years." Mayor John Lindsay introduced her, and Joni Mitchell, Faye Dunaway, and Jack Nicholson were among the adoring fans in the audience. Nicholson quipped, "This and the Ellsberg trial [about the release of the "Pentagon Papers" and then a major headline] are the only two events it's proper to be seen at in public." King's mother was also in attendance. Woodstock veteran Chip Monck was in charge of the show's technical aspects (and once again, had to admonish fans to stop climbing the lighting towers) and Lou Adler produced the concert audio.
King opened the show with a solo set at the piano before welcoming her 11-piece band (clad in customized St. Louis Blues hockey jerseys, noted by Adler as "cheaper than suits!") onstage. The selections encompassed half of Tapestry ("Beautiful," "Way Over Yonder," "Home Again," "Smackwater Jack," "It's Too Late," "You've Got a Friend") plus already-beloved tunes from its follow-ups, Music ("Sweet Seasons") and Rhymes and Reasons ("Been to Canaan"), and an only slightly abbreviated version of the entire Fantasy album, played in sequence. "New York has given me such an awful lot -- stimulus, ideas, feelings to write -- that the concert is just a small way of giving something back to it," King commented at the time.
Though nearly nine minutes of concert footage aired on July 1, 1973 in a segment of ABC's Good Night America anchored by Geraldo Rivera, the full show remained unreleased in video or audio form for almost five decades. Last year, Third Man Records premiered the concert on both DVD and LP as part of the label's subscription series.
On January 19, Abramorama will release the documentary Home Again: Carole King Live in Central Park at New York's IFC Center with Lou Adler in attendance. The film includes the entire 65-minute concert plus new interview footage of King, Adler, Monck, and Delsener. Further theatrical screenings will soon be announced. The documentary will also be presented at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on January 26 where Adler will once again appear, along with other guests.
On February 9, King's 80th birthday, the documentary will premiere on streaming channel The Coda Collection. The following day, February 10, Ode and Legacy will release the concert audio to all digital/streaming services. (This program replicates the LP as issued in 2022 by Third Man.) You'll find the track listing for Home Again below, and you can watch the film trailer here!
Carole King, Home Again: Live in Central Park (Ode/Legacy, 2023) (Amazon U.S.)
- Been To Canaan
- Way Over Yonder
- Smackwater Jack
- Home Again
- Sweet Seasons
- It's Too Late
- Fantasy Beginning
- You've Been Around Too Long
- Being At War With Each Other
- That's How Things Go Down
- A Quiet Place To Live
- You Light Up My Life
- Believe In Humanity
- Fantasy End
- You've Got A Friend
Can you please clarify something? When you write "a soundtrack (will be) arriving from Ode Records and Legacy Recordings," will this be on CD? There was a vinyl release a year ago, I seem to recall, but no CD at the time.
Joe Marchese says
Unfortunately, the current release is digital-only.
As Joe wrote, the whole document has already been released in 2022 in a LP/DVD combo (DVD=same as theatrical release).
The combo is easily and cheaply available from a variety of retailers (mint/sealed on Discogs for about $20+shp). I highly recommend it.
So not be a problem getting a complete physical souvenir, actually what I can't really see is the point for a theatre/streaming release "now" that physical product is already out... Probably just the occasion of marking CK's birthday...
Thanks, but.. I was quite specific. I'm interested in a CD, not LP or whatever digital option.
So.. no CD, no buy.
Harry N Cohen says
This is something to look forward to. Sadly, it appears that the only purchase option is mp3. I know cd issues are almost a thing of the past, but for a legacy/legend artist like Carole King, (whose fan base would certainly purchase a cd ), having an mp3 only release is depriving the fans who might want a souvenir of this event...and depriving the record company of some guaranteed sales.
Joe Marchese says
I’m disappointed about the lack of a CD, too.
Qobuz will have it available for purchase in 16/44.1 or 24/48 lossless quality.
Correct, Harry... So I will spend my money on something else, such as the forthcoming Dylan, Stones, NRBQ, and/or Little Feat releases, all of which will be available on CD, not just vinyl or digital.
Joe, fwiw, Imwan is saying a CD will be available.
Joe Marchese says
Thanks, Ed. I’m happy to see a CD listing has shown up at Amazon UK, as the press release made no mention of any plans. Good news!
My understanding is that the full set list matched the rest of the Fantasy tour - which would have included I Feel The Earth Move, So Far Away, Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Tapestry, and Natural Woman. I wonder why they were not included here. Also very annoyed by lack of CD. If you are going to do it (after 50 years!), then do it!