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Mexico (James Taylor song)

"Mexico"
File:Mexico single label.jpg
Single by James Taylor
from the album Gorilla
B-side "Gorilla"
Released 1975
Format 7"
Genre Folk rock, soft rock
Length 2:57
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) James Taylor
Producer(s) Russ Titelman, Lenny Waronker
James Taylor singles chronology

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"Mexico" is a song written by James Taylor that first appeared as the opening track of his 1975 album Gorilla. It was released as a single, with the album's title track as the b-side, and reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100, but performed much better on the Adult Contemporary chart, reaching #5. "Mexico" has appeared on many of Taylor's live and compilation albums. It has been covered by Jimmy Buffett and Alex de Grassi.

Lyrics and music

The lyrics of "Mexico" describe a dream of enjoying a night in a Mexican border town.[1] It is one of several songs on Gorilla that uses a stream of consciousness technique to describe the singer's fantasy, others including "Music" and "You Make It Easy."[1] It is a happy song that contrasts Taylor's sad, sensitive image.[2] "Mexico" has a "buoyant" rhythm.[3] Its music incorporates features of country-rock music.[4] Graham Nash and David Crosby sing backup vocals on the song.[1][5] Critic Doung Pringle describes Nash's harmony vocals as "lovely."[6]

Reception

"Mexico" peaked at only #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 but achieved substantial radio play and reached #5 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.[1][7] Its performance in Canada was similar. It only reached #83 on the singles chart but made it to #8 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[8][9]

Rolling Stone Magazine critic Bud Scoppa describes the song as "delightful."[4] Music critic Robert Christgau rates "Mexico" and its b-side "Gorilla" as the two songs on Gorilla that he likes.[10] Music critic Martin Smith regarded "Mexico" as his favorite song from Gorilla.[11] Author Martin Charles Strong describes it as "demonstrating what Taylor was capable of when he decided to step up a gear."[3] Rolling Stone Album Guide critic Mark Coleman appreciates the song's sense of humor.[4] In 2003, Allmusic critic Thom Jurek wrote that the song hasn't aged, and that it still seems "as immediate and relevant in the 21st century as [it] did in the 1970s."[12]

Other appearances

"Mexico" has appeared on a number of James Taylor compilation albums. It was included on the 1976 album Greatest Hits.[13] It later appearedon the 1990 album Classic Songs, the 2003 album The Best of James Taylor and the 2013 album The Essential James Taylor.[12][14][15] Live versions of "Mexico" have been included on several live albums, including the 1991 album Live in Rio, some versions of the 1993 album Live and the 1998 album Live at the Beacon Theatre.[16][17][18]

Covers

Jimmy Buffett covered "Mexico" on his 1995 album Barometer Soup.[19] Allmusic critic William Ruhlmann regarded the cover as appropriate as the song is "consistent with Buffett's philosophy."[19] Alex de Grassi covered "Mexico" on his 1999 album Alex de Grassi's Interpretation of James Taylor.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c d White, T. (2009). Long Ago and Far Away. Omnibus Press. pp. 233–235. ISBN 9780857120069. 
  2. ^ Flanagan, B. (2010). Written in My Soul: Conversations with Rock's Great Songwriter. RosettaBooks. ISBN 9780795310812. 
  3. ^ a b Strong, M.C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography. Canongate. p. 1511. ISBN 9781841956152. 
  4. ^ a b c Scoppa, B. (July 17, 1975). "Gorilla". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  5. ^ Ruhlmann, W. "Gorilla". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  6. ^ Pringle, D. (December 13, 1975). "POP: To Give and Receive". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  7. ^ "James Taylor awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  8. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. December 13, 1975. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  9. ^ "RPM Adult Oriented Playlist". Library and Archives Canada. December 20, 1975. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  10. ^ Christgau, R.. "James Taylor". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  11. ^ Halperin, I. (2003). Fire and Rain: The James Taylor Story. Citadel. p. 167. ISBN 978 0806523484. 
  12. ^ a b Jurek, T. "The Best of James Taylor". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  13. ^ Ruhlmann, W. "Greatest Hits". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  14. ^ Woodstra, C. "Classic Songs". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  15. ^ Collar, M. "The Essential James Taylor". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  16. ^ "Live in Rio". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  17. ^ Ruhlmann, W. "Live". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  18. ^ Phares, H. "Live at the Beacon Theatre". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  19. ^ a b Ruhlmann, W. "Barometer Soup". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  20. ^ "Alex de Grassi's Interpretation of James Taylor". Allmusic. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 

External links