One of my favorite soft-rock hits ever. It's totally underrated and, as a songwriter, I often wish that I wrote it. There's something both sad and uplifting about "Her Town Too," a top 20 hit sung by James Taylor and J.D. Souther. The song was written by Taylor, Souther and guitarist Waddy Wachtel, whose three note acoustic guitar riff is one of the most recognizable elements of the song. You all know who James Taylor is but J.D. Souther and Waddy Wachtel's names may not ring a bell. Ironically, J.D. Souther, has written more hit songs than James Taylor has. Among some of the most notable tracks Souther wrote—or co-wrote—are "New Kid In Town" and "Heartache Tonight" by The Eagles and "Faithless Love" by Linda Ronstadt. Waddy Wachtel, on the other hand, has played guitar on countless records from the 70s by artists like Stevie Nicks, Iggy Pop and Keith Richards.
"Her Town Too" was the most successful—and arguably the most appropriate—single from James Taylor's 1981 album Dad Loves His Work. How is it the most appropriate, you may ask? Well, consider this: when Taylor's then wife Carly Simon gave him an ultimatum of touring vs. spending more time with her and the kids, the album title Dad Loves His Work was essentially his answer—jeez. The subject of the song "Her Town Too" is a couple's separation and knowing the history behind the album, you can't help but read between the lines. James Taylor and Carly Simon finalized their divorce in 1983.
"Her Town Too" by James Taylor and J.D. Souther (with Waddy Wachtel)
Dad Loves His Work by James Taylor*
You're Only Lonely by J.D. Souther**
*feat. Waddy Wachtel
** feat. Waddy Wachtel, Glenn Frey and Don Henley (Eagles)