The City-Wasn’t Born to Follow

Last night, I dug out the one and only album of The City, a short-lived band led by Carole King.

Very few people bought the album, which may have been due in part to the fact that the label, Ode, was changing distribution from Columbia/CBS to A&M at the time, but it probably didn’t help that Carole did not want to perform live.

Over the years, the album, called Now That Everything’s Been Said, has acquired a cult, and for good reason: it’s a strong collection of songs very much in the vein of the pop hits Carole had been writing (with Gerry Goffin) for artists like Little Eva and The Shirelles, but with nascent hints of what would become known as the Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter scene.

There are many highlights, but for me Wasn’t Born to Follow is the finest song on the album, an odd elegiac mood piece that, I think, is about suicide or death or draft dodging.

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