Carney is Leon Russell's third solo studio album, released in 1972. It peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and was the first for Russell to contain a hit single — "Tight Rope" b/w "This Masquerade" — which reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
With his trademark top hat, hair well past his shoulders, a long, lush beard, an Oklahoma drawl and his fingers splashing two-fisted barrelhouse piano chords, future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Leon Russell cut a flamboyant figure in the early 1970s. He recorded his first hit single "Tight Rope" with the release of his third, and most successful album Carney, in 1972, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 200.
Two years earlier Russell had already played on hundreds of songs as one of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles. As a member of the famed Wrecking Crew, the loose-knit circle of Los Angeles' finest studio musicians who contributed to hundreds of chart-topping singles, he played on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby," and Jan & Dean's "The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)." Russell, the Oklahoma-born pianist, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader led Joe Cocker's band Mad Dogs & Englishmen, appeared at George Harrison's 1971 Concert for Bangladesh in New York City, and composed numerous hits of his own. He was in Phil Spector's Wall of Sound Orchestra, and played sessions for Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, the Ventures and the Monkees, among many others.