Carole King, Tapestry & The Art Of The Album Cover

The Story Of The Tapestry Photo Shoot And Some Out-takes

One of the best selling albums of all time is Carole King’s Tapestry from 1971. The appealing cover image of Carole King sitting in the living room of her home in Laurel Canyon, CA was taken by rock n’ roll photographer Jim McCrary. An interesting sidenote was that King’s cat Telemachus was moved while sitting on the pillow from across the room by McCrary to be used in the final cover shot.

We identify famous covers and just accept that is the cover. The conclusion is “it’s the right cover!”  In Tapestry’s case, McCrary’s use of the cat definitely helps draw the viewer in.


What if a different cover had been used?

Here are four other photos from The Tapestry shoot


March 2 is the premiere of PBS’s “American Masters” which features Carole King in Troubadors: Carole King / James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter.

15 thoughts on “Carole King, Tapestry & The Art Of The Album Cover

  1. David J P Ortiz

    I loved the cat on the album cover, I love cats anyway, listening to my sister’s tapestry album got me hooked on Carole King’s music ever since, my sister never continued. I bought 15 mins of fame on ebay for a nationwide media and mentioned the three people I would like to meet are: Jake Gylllenhall, Elizabeth Taylor-long gone, and Carole King. My fame never went anywhere and never got to meet any of the three, one gone, but Jake and Carole are still alive. I love “Ride The Music” song and Jazzman, plus Really Rosie whole album, like Avenue P, these are the best songs of my youthhood cared into adulthood.

  2. Nola

    Our band is performing the album in it’s entirety tomorrow night and I’m so excited. Just doing a little research today and this is def info I will share with the audience. Thank you!

  3. John

    My wife and i fell in love with Carol kings music. We met in 1971 she was 32 and i was 16 .we had a whirlwind life together, a lot of hard times because I had no education and worked too hard but would love to do it all over again if i had to . My wife passed away june 30th and i find it so hard to listen to music anymore. I just finished listening to the Tapestry album and cant stop crying . I miss you my Darling wife and cant wait for the bitterness of this life to fade from this old tired body and be with you again

    1. Chris Wood

      Oh my God Marvin J I am so sorry. What a life you must have led so far with so much love which unfortunately isn’t guaranteed. I lost my parents and grandmother a year ago and I haven’t gone forward since. My mother and I loved Carole king and listened to this album often. I can’t listen to it now.

    1. Marvin J.

      Just saw ‘Beautiful’, the musical about King’s music and life….and she had every reason to look sad…though I would say…pensive, perhaps?…..She had just made the BIG move from New York to California with her two daughters, after finally leaving her cheating husband of many years. She was starting life over, in a new place, and her ‘new’ music/words/songs really reflected that. Tapestry was her first album…actually the first time she started singing all of the great songs she wrote herself. Previously she and cheating husband had produced many No. 1 hits for other singers.

  4. Pingback: What You Need To Know About The New Carole King Musical | Funny Animals Site

    1. B.P.

      On her lap is the tapestry she was working on for months. The tapestry is also shown in an earlier photo session McCrary had with King.

      1. Mary Ann B

        Question – Do you know if anyone has created a tapestry pattern based on the song lyrics? It would be quite beautiful in a way.

  5. Alexandra Kirsch

    B.P. – I’m a huge Carole King fan. She’s an artist that actually reaches generations and isn’t lost in translation. This was even more apparent when her song, “Where You Lead,” was chosen as the Gilmore Girl’s theme song.

    Great post, looking forward to reading more.


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