“I had done some stuff with Carly’s manager, Jerry Brandt. He brought her to me at Electric Lady, and we started working together in 1970. Right in the middle of it, Jimi died, and that was a very traumatic and earth-shaking moment. I had been trying to finish a record with him – he went to England in August of 1970 – and so it was a very tough time for me.
“But working with Carly was a marvelous experience. I actually co-wrote a couple of songs on the album. She’s very creative and adventuresome and is a great songwriter. You have to remember, in those days, women weren’t really making their own records, and so this was an important collaboration between us. We pulled our resources and brought in the best musicians to support her. We had great support from Jac Holzman at Elektra. He was the guy, an executive who had his finger on the pulse of what was going on. He really respected Carly and knew she was a great songwriter.
“She had the single, That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be, which took off and did incredibly well. She would write on the piano or on the acoustic guitar – and she had great co-writers. She would present the songs as a fait accompli in the studio – they were done. It was just a matter of the musicians rehearsing them a couple of times, and we were there. Carly had a good sense of what she wanted to hear. In this early, formative stage for me as a producer, not having that much experience at it, this was a trial-by-fire experience for me, too.
“We would cut stuff quickly; in an evening, we’d do three or four songs. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not rocket science. It’s a really good-sounding record, and I think it speaks for itself. It’s the record that broke Carly into the commercial market, and I also think that it set the tone for a lot of female singer-songwriters.”