“I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King

Looking at the lyrics of Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” nowadays, it reads more or less like your average love song being relayed by a woman, albeit one with an amorous undertone. But all things considered, at the time of its release during the early-1970s, it was perceived as sort of an exercise in female-sexual liberation. The singer lets it be known that the addressee, her romantic interest, does indeed cause her to “lose control” and “get… hot” as well as “cold all over”. 

So the usual inhibitions which may have held female singers back in those days, in terms of making references to sex, had definitely been cast off – even if said references aren’t necessarily overt. And as for the song’s title, it is commonly interpreted as a metaphor for the powerful, once again amorous effect which Carole’s lover has over her. However, another interpretation that has been put forth is that it is actually symbolic of what has been mentioned above, i.e. Carole King forcefully making a statement that she is not afraid to freely express herself despite being a woman in conservative America.

Lyrics of "I Feel the Earth Move"

When did Carole King release “I Feel the Earth Move”?

A label called Ode Records released this track on 16 April 1971. It came out as a double A-side along with another Carole King classic entitled “It’s Too Late“. And both were featured on her second album, “Tapestry” (1971).

Song’s Success

Collectively both “I Feel the Earth Move” and “It’s Too Late” earned the distinction of reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track(s) also peaked at number 6 on both the UK Singles Chart and Kent Music Report.

This track has also been named one of the Songs of the (20th) Century, as deemed by the Recording Industry Association of America. In all, 365 songs appeared on that list. This classic by Carole King was placed at the 213th position on the list.

Martika covers “I Feel the Earth Move”

A few artists have covered this tune in the decades that followed. The most successful of these renditions was by an American singer named Martika, who managed to chart internationally with her 1989 version. Martika’s cover of this track was so good that her label even released it as a single from self-titled maiden album. On that same project appears the greatest hit of her career – a song titled “Toy Soldiers“.

Martika’s version was a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, Australia (where it actually peaked at number 2) and Austria. It also replicated the same feat in New Zealand and Ireland.

In America, it also did well by making it into the Hot 100. And as if that wasn’t enough, Martika’s cover actually rose to the 25th spot on that very important singles chart. However, following the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 that occurred on the central coast of California, the song began to drop chart-wise. And why? This was because radio stations were forced to pull it from their playlists. It would have been insensitive for the stations to continue playing a love song talking about earth moving in the aftermath of an earthquake that claimed the lives of 63 people and left almost 4,000 others injured.

Owing to the above, it is therefore safe to say that had it not been for the aforementioned natural disaster, Martika’s “I Feel the Earth Move” might have probably enjoyed the same success in America as the original version done by Carole King.

Did this classic win Carole King a Grammy?

Despite being one of the biggest songs of the early 1970s, it didn’t win Carole a Grammy. However, the album (“Tapestry”) on which it appears did. Actually said album was the recipient of as many as four Grammy Awards in 1972. For example, it won the enviable award for “Album of the Year”. Also, the song “It’s Too Late” (which was released alongside “I Feel the Earth Move”) was also honored with a Grammy in 1972. “It’s Too Late” was honored with the “Record of the Year” award at said Grammys.

Another song from the album titled “You’ve Got a Friend” also won the “Song of the Year” award. At the end of the day, “Tapestry” earned Carole a total of 4 Grammys.

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