James Taylor ‘That’s Why I’m Here’


Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#914 in the Series) is James Taylor, That’s Why I’m Here.

“Come on everyone, come on… let’s go!  James is recording a new album.  We all have to help him out!

Was that the clarion call throughout Los Angeles in 1985 when James Taylor decided to record for the first time in years,who knows? ButI’m guessing it was close.  It seems like every hot musician from within 100 miles played on this album.

So before I get into the rest of album, let me make a list of who answered that call.

Here’s who makes an appearance on That’s Why I’m Here.

Don Henley, Leland Sklar, Peter Asher,  Randy + Michael Brecker ,  Russ Kunkel, Tony Levin, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Billy Payne, Deniece Williams, Rory Dodd, Clifford Carter, Greg ’Fingers’ Taylor, Jimmy Maelen, Airto and David Sanborn.

I wonder is songwriters feel the need to write exceptionally well when they know the heavyweights are right outside the studio door?

If James Taylor felt that weight thenjames-taylor he certainly delivered.  There are some absolute gems on this one.

Some of the best on the disc are the title cut, “That’s Why I’m Here,” the great ballad, “A Song for You Far Away,” and  “Only a Dream in Rio.”  There’s also one of the few songs I know about a pig, “Mona.” James also does a fine rendition of his brother Livingston’s “Going Around One More Time.”

He also adds a couple of nice covers, Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s …thru Gene Pitney .. “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” and Buddy Holly’s “Everyday.”

I remember seeing James Taylor at the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago in 1991.  It was an interesting crowd. One half were old hippies, the other half, yuppies.  Safe to say I wasn’t one of the yuppies. It also was the best sound I ever heard at a concert. Sitting directly in front of the mixing board didn’t hurt!

That’s Why I’m here was produced by JT along with Peter Asher and Frank Filipetti.

It reached #34 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart.

Track listing

All songs were written by James Taylor, except where noted.

  1. “That’s Why I’m Here” – 3:39
  2. “Song for You Far Away” – 2:58
  3. “Only a Dream in Rio” (J. Taylor, Jim Maraniss (Portuguese translation)) – 5:01
  4. “Turn Away” – 3:25
  5. “Going Around One More Time” (Livingston Taylor) – 3:27
  6. “My Romance” (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) – 2:48
  7. “Everyday” (Charles Hardin, Norman Petty) – 3:16
  8. “Limousine Driver” – 3:54
  9. “Only One” – 4:22
  10. “Mona” – 2:51
  11. “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) – 3:46
  12. “That’s Why I’m Here (Reprise)” – 0:29


  • James Taylor – guitar, vocals
  • Peter Asher – vocals
  • Michael Brecker – saxophone
  • Randy Brecker – trumpet, vocals
  • Rosemary Butler – vocals
  • Clifford Carter – keyboards
  • Rory Dodd – vocals
  • Dan Dugmore – guitar
  • Eliane Elias (credited as Elaine Eliaf) – vocals
  • Frank Filipetti – vocals
  • Kenia Gould – vocals
  • Don Grolnick – keyboards
  • Don Henley – vocals
  • Kenny Kosek – violin
  • Russ Kunkel – drums
  • David Lasley – vocals
  • Tony Levin – bass
  • Jimmy Maelen – percussion
  • Arnold McCuller – vocals
  • Joni Mitchell – vocals
  • Airto Moreira – percussion, vocals
  • Graham Nash – vocals
  • Bill Payne – keyboards
  • Jeff Pevar – guitar
  • Barry Rogers – trombone
  • David Sanborn – saxophone
  • Rick Shlosser – drums
  • Leland Sklar – bass
  • Greg Taylor – harmonica
  • Eric Troyer – vocals
  • Starz Vander Lockett – percussion
  • Deniece Williams – vocals
  • Zbeto – vocals


Listen to it below…


Here’s more albums we’ve looked at by singer/songwriters

  • J.D. Souther
  • Suzanne Vega
  • John Prine
  • Shawn Colvin
  • Cat Stevens 'Teaser and The Firecat'
  • Various Artists
  • Tim Finn 'Escapade'
  • Karla Bonoff
  • Lyle Lovett 'Lyle Lovett'
  • James Taylor 'That's Why I'm Here'
  • Matraca Berg
  • Warren Zevon 'The Wind'
  • Rosanne Cash 'The River & the Thread'
  • Tom Russell 'Heart on a Sleeve'
  • Judee Sill 'Judee Sill'
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)  'The Low Highway'
  • James Taylor 'James Taylor'
  • Josh Ritter 'The Beast In Its Tracks'
  • Jimmy Spheeris 'Isle of View'
  • Michael Johnson 'Moonlit Déja Vu'
  • Rosanne Cash Shares Some Insight on 'The Wheel' as it Marks its 20th Anniversary
  • Boo Hewerdine and Darden Smith 'Evidence'
  • Bobby Charles 'Bobby Charles'
  • Dave Alvin
  • Lyle Lovett 'Pontiac'
  • Eddie Holstein 'Eddie Holstein'
  • Cat Stevens
  • Glen Campbell + Jimmy Webb
  • Bonnie Raitt "Nick of Time"
  • Dave Mason
  • Paul Simon
  • John Fullbright
  • Harry Chapin "Sniper and other Love Songs"
  • Bonnie Koloc
  • Pat Green
  • Carole King
  • Jimmy Webb
  • Richard and Linda Thompson
  • Bill Quateman "Bill Quateman"
  • Justin Townes Earle
  • Steve Earle
  • Randy Newman
  • Carole King to Release
  • Dan Fogelberg
  • Don McLean
  • Suzanne Vega
  • Fred Neil
  • Neil Young
  • Warren Zevon
  • Corky Siegel
  • Documentary:
  • Tom Waits
  • Laura Nyro
  • Elliott Smith
  • John Prine
  • Bill Withers
  • Glen Campbell
  • Simon and Garfunkel
  • Gordon Lightfoot
  • Roddy Frame
  • Billy Joel
  • John Hiatt
  • Carly Simon
  • Peter Himmelman
  • Jimmy Buffett
  • George Harrison
  • John Fogerty 'The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again
  • Rejyna “Solo Sojourn Live”
  • EmmyLou Harris
  • Ben Folds
  • Carole King
  • P.J. Harvey
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • Joan Armatrading
  • Nanci Griffith
  • John Stewart
  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  • Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
  • Ray Davies
  • Steve Earle and the Dukes
  • New Foster and Lloyd album Coming April 19th
  • Marshall Crenshaw
  • Justin Townes Earle 'Harlem River Blues'
  • Warren Zevon
  • Christine McVie
  • Darden Smith 'Trouble No More
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young "Déjà Vu"
  • Joni Mitchell "Court and Spark"
  • John Prine "Bruised Orange"
  • Nils Lofgren "Nils"
  • Tom Waits "Blue Valentine"
  • Steve Goodman "Somebody Else's Troubles"
  • The Byrds "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"
  • Elvis Costello "My Aim Is True"
  • Graham Parker and the Shot "Steady Nerves"
  • Arlo Guthrie "Alice's Restaurant"
Posted by Larry Carta

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