“So Far Away” by Carole King
On “So Far Away”, Carole King would apparently be addressing none other than a lover. And she is lamenting the fact that they are “so far away” from each other. The implication is that the distance between the two of them is a direct result of her being a professional musician and the constant touring lifestyle such a career entails. And she also uses the situation to make a more macrocosmic observation by pointing out that people these days have a tendency, in general, to move around quite a lot. But that analysis basically reads like another way of Carole saying that she is concerned about spending so much time on the road. Indeed doing so has already negatively affected her relationship with the one she loves.
Release Date and Album
This track is from Carole King’s “Tapestry”, one of the most-successful and celebrated albums in American history. The listed release date of the track was March 1971. And there are a number of labels associated with it – A&M Records, Ode Records and Sony/BMG.
“So Far Away” was actually released as a double A-side along with another song titled “Smackwater Jack”.
Notable Musicians that appear on “So Far Away”
Carole and her team recruited a number of famous musicians to assist the recording process of “So Far Away”. For example, the acoustic guitar heard on the track was played by Grammy Award-winning singer James Taylor.
Also, Russ Kunkel, a very-successful musician in his own right, plays drums on this song. The late jazz musician Curtis Amy also appears on the song, where she plays the flute.
FYI, in addition to her vocals, Carole as played piano on this song.
Did this song chart?
Yes. It managed to make an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, where it rose to number 14. Furthermore, it reached number 3 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart. It also charted on multiple relevant singles charts in Canada.
Popular covers of “So Far Away”
Rod Stewart covered this song in 1995. His cover was both critically and commercially successful. For example, it charted in a few countries, including Germany and Canada. It also charted in the United States, where it reached a peak position of 2 on the country’s official Adult Contemporary singles chart.
This track was also known to be a favorite of the late Amy Winehouse (1983-2011). There are clips of her covering it on YouTube. The song was even played at her funeral. A very touching rendition of it was used to conclude her private funeral in July of 2011.
The following artists also covered the King classic:
- D-Train in 1984
- Jessie Mueller in 2014
- Glee Cast in 2015
- Rachael Sage in 2016
Did Carole King compose “So Far Away”?
Yes. She is the exclusive author of this song. And in 2020 she revised the lyrics in regards to the social-distancing rules that have become part and parcel of the coronavirus pandemic.
The song’s original production (which appears on Carole’s version) was done by a producer named Lou Adler. In addition to his work with Carole King, Adler is also known for his numerous collaborations with the legendary American group The Mamas & the Papas. His collaborations with the Mamas & the Papas birthed a number of iconic hits, including the following:
Was “So Far Away” released as a single?
Yes. Carole released it alongside “Smackwater Jack” as the second single from her Grammy-winning “Tapestry” album. The full list of singles said album produced are as follows:
What music genre is “So Far Away”?
It can be primarily said to be a soft rock song. However, it also can be described as a folk rock song.
Did this classic win Carole King a Grammy?
No, it didn’t. However, the album that it appears on won her the prestigious “Album of the Year” award at the 1972 Grammys. In all, the project earned her a total of 4 Grammys. The song “Its Too Late” (which was the album’s first single) earned the Grammy for “Record of the Year” in 1972. The song “You’ve Got a Friend” (which is also one of the tracks on the album) also earned her the Grammy for “Song of the Year” that same year.