Day 171: It’s Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move

Song: “It’s Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move” by Carole King
Reached #1: June 19, 1971 (her first, 5 weeks)

Side A
Side A

“It’s Too Late” and “I Feel The Earth Move” are two classic pop songs.

Kind of hard to believe they were released as one double-sided single… but that’s how the record industry worked in the ‘70s.  Sometimes, they took two powerhouse songs and released them together.   And sometimes, it just worked out that way.  This may have been one of the latter cases.

Ode Records released “I Feel The Earth Move” as the official single, backing it with “It’s Too Late”.   Radio stations liked “Earth”, but they loved “Too Late”, and started flipping the single over and playing the B-side.  Under their chart rules of the day, Billboard listed the single as a double-sided hit as soon as both songs started showing up in their airplay listings.   On the competing Cash Box listings, the songs were kept separate – and “I Feel The Earth Move” never hit the Cash Box charts.

So it’s not really the case that this was a planned double-sided single.  Ode Records just had no idea what they were working with… of course, since Tapestry was Carole King’s followup to the unsuccessful Writer LP, and this single was the first two tracks off the album, maybe they just miscalculated… a lot…

Tapestry, of course, is one of the most successful albums in pop music history, and was the “best selling album ever” from 1971 until Thriller (1982).

In her early life, Carole King dated Neil Sedaka (and inspired his hit “Oh! Carol”), was a friend of Paul Simon’s (before he was “Paul Simon”), and married Gerry Goffin.   Even if she’d never written a word, clearly she had a bit of influence in the music business…

Tomorrow, one of the least-likely #1 singles we’ll see – a medley.  Just… a medley.

Other songs that reached #1 on June 19:
1961 –
“Moody River” by Pat Boone (his sixth, 1 week)
1965 – “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops (his first, 2 weeks)
2010 – “California Gurls” by Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (her second, 6 weeks)

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