20 Best Carole King Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

20 Best Carole King Songs of All Time

Carole King, a legendary singer-songwriter, has left an indelible mark on the music industry with her timeless classics. Here, we celebrate her remarkable career by counting down the 20 best Carole King songs of all time, showcasing her exceptional talent and enduring influence.

“You’ve Got a Friend”

This soulful ballad, originally written and performed by King herself, became an iconic hit when covered by James Taylor. Its heartfelt lyrics and soothing melody resonate with listeners, capturing the essence of friendship and support.

“It’s Too Late”

A standout track from her iconic album “Tapestry,” “It’s Too Late” is a poignant reflection on the end of a relationship. King’s emotive vocals, combined with the song’s bittersweet melody, create a hauntingly beautiful listening experience.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow”

This classic song, co-written by King, broke barriers with its candid exploration of love and uncertainty. Recorded by The Shirelles, it became the first song by an all-female group to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, solidifying King’s songwriting prowess.

“Natural Woman”

King, along with Gerry Goffin, penned this iconic anthem, which became a signature song for Aretha Franklin. Its empowering lyrics and soulful melody celebrate womanhood and inner strength, earning it a well-deserved place among King’s greatest compositions.

“So Far Away”

Another gem from “Tapestry,” “So Far Away” is a heartfelt ballad that speaks to the longing for connection and the pains of separation. King’s poignant lyrics and soulful delivery make this track a standout in her illustrious discography.

“I Feel the Earth Move”

With its infectious rhythm and energetic vibe, “I Feel the Earth Move” showcases King’s versatility as a musician. The song’s dynamic melody and spirited vocals make it a timeless classic that still captivates audiences today.


As the title track of the Broadway musical based on King’s life, “Beautiful” celebrates her journey as a songwriter and performer. Its uplifting lyrics and catchy melody capture the essence of King’s enduring legacy, inspiring audiences to embrace their own uniqueness and creativity.

“You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”

Co-written by King and Goffin, this soulful anthem became one of Aretha Franklin’s biggest hits. Its powerful lyrics and emotive melody celebrate the transformative power of love, earning it a place as one of King’s most memorable compositions.

“Where You Lead”

This upbeat track from “Tapestry” exudes a sense of optimism and joy, reflecting King’s ability to infuse her music with positivity. Its catchy chorus and lively instrumentation make it a standout song in King’s extensive repertoire.

“It Might As Well Rain Until September”

Written by King and Goffin, this charming pop tune captures the innocence and excitement of young love. Its catchy melody and relatable lyrics struck a chord with audiences, making it one of King’s earliest hits as a songwriter.

“Up on the Roof”

Originally recorded by The Drifters, this soulful ballad, co-written by King, evokes a sense of urban escapism and nostalgia. Its timeless appeal lies in its evocative lyrics and lush musical arrangement, transporting listeners to a place of tranquility and solace.

“Pleasant Valley Sunday”

Co-written by King and Goffin, this satirical pop song explores the superficiality of suburban life. Its catchy melody and witty lyrics offer a biting critique of conformity and societal expectations, showcasing King’s talent for blending social commentary with infectious hooks.

“One Fine Day”

Recorded by The Chiffons, this upbeat pop song, co-written by King, celebrates the joy of newfound love. Its infectious melody and sunny disposition make it a timeless classic that continues to charm listeners with its irresistible charm.

“The Loco-Motion”

Originally recorded by Little Eva, this upbeat dance track, written by King and Goffin, became a chart-topping hit in the 1960s. Its catchy chorus and energetic beat make it a perennial favorite, with its infectious rhythm inspiring generations of dancers to hit the dance floor.

“Hey Girl”

This soulful ballad, co-written by King, captivates listeners with its heartfelt lyrics and emotive vocals. Its melancholic melody and introspective tone create a poignant listening experience, showcasing King’s ability to evoke deep emotions through her music.

“Been to Canaan”

A standout track from her album “Music,” “Been to Canaan” is a soulful gospel-infused song that reflects on finding inner peace and spiritual fulfillment. King’s powerful vocals and uplifting lyrics make it a transcendent listening experience that resonates with audiences of all backgrounds.

“Hard Rock Cafe”

This catchy rock-infused track, written by King, celebrates the joys of music and camaraderie. Its infectious melody and energetic vibe capture the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, making it a perennial favorite among fans of King’s music.

“Now and Forever”

This tender ballad, featured in the film “A League of Their Own,” captures the enduring nature of love and commitment. King’s heartfelt vocals and poignant lyrics create a timeless ode to romance that continues to touch the hearts of listeners.

“Some Kind of Wonderful”

Co-written by King and Goffin, this infectious pop song celebrates the euphoria of love and infatuation. Its upbeat melody and catchy chorus make it a feel-good anthem that never fails to bring a smile to the faces of listeners.

“Home Again”

Closing out our list is this introspective ballad from “Tapestry,” which reflects on the comforts of returning home after a long journey. King’s evocative lyrics and soulful vocals create a poignant listening experience that resonates with anyone who has experienced the bittersweet joy of coming back to familiar surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What criteria were used to determine the “Best Carole King Songs of All Time”?

The selection process for the best Carole King songs involved considering factors such as chart performance, cultural impact, enduring popularity, and critical acclaim. These criteria helped to ensure a comprehensive and well-rounded representation of King’s exceptional body of work.

Why are Carole King’s songs considered among the best in music history?

Carole King’s songs are revered for their timeless melodies, heartfelt lyrics, and universal themes of love, resilience, and self-discovery. Her ability to craft emotionally resonant music that speaks to people across generations has earned her a place among the most celebrated songwriters of all time.

Are there any lesser-known gems among Carole King’s catalog of songs?

While Carole King is best known for hits like “You’ve Got a Friend” and “It’s Too Late,” her extensive catalog contains many hidden gems that may not have received as much mainstream attention. These lesser-known songs often showcase King’s versatility and creativity as a songwriter and performer.

How has Carole King’s music influenced contemporary artists?

Carole King’s influence on contemporary music is profound, with countless artists citing her as a major inspiration. Her honest songwriting, soulful vocals, and innovative musical arrangements have paved the way for generations of musicians, shaping the landscape of popular music across genres.

What is the significance of Carole King’s album “Tapestry” in her career and in music history?

“Tapestry” is widely regarded as one of the greatest albums of all time, earning Carole King critical acclaim and commercial success. Its introspective lyrics, organic production, and timeless melodies set a new standard for singer-songwriter albums, influencing countless artists and leaving an enduring legacy in music history.

From heartfelt ballads to infectious pop tunes, Carole King’s remarkable songs have stood the test of time, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and touching the hearts of millions of listeners worldwide. As we celebrate her extraordinary career, let’s continue to cherish and appreciate the timeless music of this legendary singer-songwriter.

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