5 Deep Cuts From James Taylor That You Should Be Listening To

Though James Taylor is often sequestered into the mushy-gushy, singer-songwriter side of music, if you spend a little time digging into his discography you’ll find a healthy amount of candid confessionals and wry humor.

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Luckily, we’ve done the deep diving for you and found a selection of songs that will broaden your Taylor horizons. From tracks about drug addiction to off-kilter vagabond tales, find five deep cuts from James Taylor that you should be listening to, below.

1. “Don’t Be Sad ‘Cause Your Sun Is Down”

First up on the list is the Stevie Wonder-assisted “Don’t Be Sad ‘Cause Your Sun Is Down.” The pair co-wrote this upbeat number about making the best out of a bad situation. In addition to writing credits, Wonder adds harmonica to the track. Don’t be sad ’cause your sun is down / You can rise above it / Don’t be sad ’cause you’re on your own / You have to learn to love it, Taylor sings.

2. “If I Keep My Heart Out Of Sight”

If Taylor knows how to do anything it’s using his delicate vocals to help assuage his listeners through heartache. In “If I Keep My Heart Out Of Sight,” he finds himself hoping to play his cards right so he can finally get his girl. He’s walking on eggshells hoping to not scare them away. The lyrics read, If I present it to you / With a flower in the moonlight / Shiny and new / Well, you couldn’t say no tonight.

3. “Daddy’s All Gone”

With a slightly groovier riff than his usual fare, Taylor talks about missing his partner while out on the road. Daddy’s all gone / Only halfway home / He’s holding on to the telephone / Saying, please, don’t let the show go on, he sings. It’s a common theme for musicians to touch on but, because it’s Taylor, it feels all the more touching.

4. “Nothing Like a Hundred Miles”

Adding in a heavy country twang, “Nothing Like a Hundred Miles” is the direct antithesis of “Daddy’s All Gone.” In the above song, Taylor is longing for home, in this track, he is looking forward to a long trek out on the road to ease his troubled mind. As he says in the song, There’s nothing like a hundred miles to make me forget about you.

5. “A Junkie’s Lament”

In “A Junkie’s Lament,” Taylor takes on drug addiction and its all-encompassing effects. Given that Taylor publicly suffered from heroin addiction, this track feels deeply honest and a grittier subject for Taylor to touch on. Art Garfunkel hops on this one too, adding something special to the mix.

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

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