“Beautiful” by Carole King

This song is very-philosophical in its approach. Perhaps the simplest way of describing it, to some readers who are familiar with the notion, is as being based on the law of attraction. In other words, the singer is encouraging the listening audience to conscientiously adopt a positive disposition in the name of likewise receiving ‘better treatment’ from others in general. 

And Carole King came up with this idea while patronizing the New York City Subway, a place where one will indeed meet many a gloomy, uninspired and ‘frustrated’ face. And it is bothering her encountering people in such moods. So once again, she feels as if these same individuals were to emit love rather than negativity, than the world too would return the likewise to them. 

And yes, ultimately this idea may be a bit naïve or overly-optimistic in its approach. But at the end of the day, it serves as the singer’s own attempt to make the world – as well as the lives of the individuals therein – a brighter place. Or as Carole herself sums it up, “you’re as beautiful as you feel”.

Lyrics "Beautiful"

When was “Beautiful” released?

This is the fifth song on the playlist of Carole King’s historically-successful project “Tapestry” (1971). It was released with the album, via A&M Records and Ode Records, on 10 February 1971.

Did Carole write “Beautiful”?

“Beautiful” was written by Carole King herself. A New York City native, she wrote it one day while riding NYC’s subway system. And as the story goes the song came to her in an instant, i.e. not being one that she intentionally sat down to conceive.

The producer of this track is Lou Adler, who worked with King throughout intentionally. Adler is a Grammy winning American music producer who has over the years worked with some of the industry’s greatest. He was responsible for producing some of the most successful albums of all time, including Carole King’s own “Tapestry”.

He also produced The Mamas and the Papas’ iconic “California Dreamin’” song.

What genre of music is “Beautiful”?

It’s style and elements put it in the soft rock category.

Was “Beautiful” released as a single from Carole’s “Tapestry” album?

No. “Beautiful” was never released as a single from the said album. However, it still holds a notable position in Carole King’s discography. For instance, it is the inspiration behind the title of a 2013 jukebox musical centered on Carole’s life, which has proven to be internationally successful.

And talking about singles, “Tapestry” had four singles. The said tracks are as follows:

The success of the above-mentioned singles contributed immensely towards propelling “Tapestry” into one of the greatest albums of the music industry’s landscape. Actually the album was so outstanding that it earned Carole four Grammys in the 1970s. On the 2020 list of the best albums of all time compiled by Rolling Stone, this album occupied the 25th position. By 2020, the album had sold more than 14 million copies around the globe.

Are there any covers of this Carole King classic?

Yes. Actually there are many! Amongst the notable artists who have covered this song is Barbra Streisand. Barbara’s rendition serves as the opening tune on her hit album “Barbra Joan Streisand” (1971).

American singer Richard Marx also covered this tune in the 1990s. Marx’s rendition was included in the 1995 tribute album (“Tapestry Revisited”) – a project honoring Carole. Another notable cover of this classic was done by a Canadian singer named Anne Murray. Anne released her version in 1972 as part of her “Annie” album.

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