Carole King’s It’s Too Late

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Carole King’s It’s Too Late

Carole King's It's Too Late from Tapestry

Pop Rock

The song “It’s Too Late,” with lyrics written by Toni Stern and music by Carole King, expresses the breakup of a relationship in a sad but reasonable and mature way. There isn’t a lot of drama and blame. There is a realization, a jazzy-blues feel that adds to the wistfulness, and an ending that musically does not end fully resolve in that the song ends on a chord within the scale, but one that  is not the tonal center. It mirrors the singer’s emotions as she tries to let go. The song was released first on King’s 1971 album Tapestry. Then, it was released as a single, backed with “I Feel the Earth Move.” Both songs were wildly successful and pure gold. “It’s Too Late” went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary Charts in 1971. It went to #5 in Canada, #6 in the U.K., and #8 in Ireland.

Carole King, Lou Adler, and Franci Cicalo in the studio for Tapestry

Recording engineer Hank Cicalo, singer-songwriter Carole King, and record producer Lou Adler gather around the mixing desk for a playback in the control room of A&M Records Recording Studio during the recording of King’s album ‘Tapestry’ in January 1971 in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jim McCrary/Redferns)

And what of Tapestry? Although King did not have the commercial success she was hoping for with her 1970 debut album Writer, Tapestry was a smash. In 1971, it topped the U.S . album chart for 15 weeks and stayed on the charts for more than six years.

Here are the lyrics to “It’s Too Late” by Carole King:

“Stayed in bed all morning just to pass the time
There’s something wrong here, there can be no denying
One of us is changing, or maybe we’ve just stopped trying

And it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it

It used to be so easy living here with you
You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do
Now you look so unhappy, and I feel like a fool

And it’s too late, baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can’t hide
And I just can’t fake it

On no no…

There’ll be good times again for me and you
But we just can’t stay together, don’t you feel it too
Still I’m glad for what we had, and how I once loved you

But it’s too late, baby, it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died and I can’t hide

And I just can’t fake it

On no no…

It’s too late, baby
It’s too late, now darlin’
It’s too late”

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “It’s Too Late” by Carole King.

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