How James Taylor Made 'Sweet Baby James'

Rolling Stone excerpt 
After his debut flopped, 
Taylor stripped down and defined the sound of an era


But when the album was recorded, a big question loomed: Was Taylor himself ready? A few months before, Taylor – then a 21-year-old raised in the Carolinas and New England, with a history of mental breakdowns and drug addiction – had broken several bones in a motorcycle accident near his home on Martha's Vineyard. He had also just checked out of Austin Riggs, a mental hospital in Massachusetts. "He was a brilliant, somewhat eccentric, close-to-genius musician, and he was clearly one of those people who sometimes thought a bit too much for his own good," recalled his manager and producer Peter Asher.

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