Fire and Rain – James Taylor

THIS DAY IN MUSIC………………………………..on October 31st of 1970 James Taylor’s album “Fire and Rain” is certified Gold just as the single reaches #3 in the US. The lyrics of the song are highly personal to James, as he sang Suzanne the plans they made put an end to you about Suzanne Schnerr, a childhood friend who committed suicide, and Sweet dreams and Flying Machines in pieces on the ground, referring to his earlier band, Flying Machine, which had split before significant success.Taylor wrote this in 1968 at three different times. He started it in London, where he auditioned for The Beatles’ Apple Records. He later worked on it in a Manhattan Hospital, and finished it while in drug rehab at The Austin Riggs Center in Massachusetts. This song is about the high and low points of Taylor’s life. He was only 20 when he wrote it in 1968, but was battling depression and drug addiction.This was the song that took Taylor from little-known troubadour to star of the ’70s singer-songwriter movement. His first label deal was with Apple Records, the label owned by The Beatles. He recorded that album in London in the same studio where The Beatles were recording The White Album. And although it produced some Taylor classics like “Carolina in My Mind” and “Something In The Way She Moves,” it sold poorly due to a combination of Taylor’s heroin addiction (he had to seek treatment and couldn’t promote the album) and Apple’s implosion as the label fell apart. Taylor was dropped from Apple and picked up by Warner Bros. Records, where he released his second album, Sweet Baby James. The “title track” was issued as the first single but failed to chart. Taylor, however, was on the road promoting the album, and when “Fire and Rain” was released as the second single, it took off. The single “Fire and Rain” reached #42 in the UK.