Title: “The Best of Carly Simon”
Artist: Carly Simon
Release date: 1975
Favorite track: “You’re So Vain”
When I got my first record player (a Crosley turntable), Carly Simon’s 1978 album, “Boys in the Trees,” was one of the first I spun on it. I listened to the title track on repeat for two hours.
I think my parents considered taking away my record player — or at least giving me a two-time-only song repeat limit. I do still love that song.
I read her book of the same name when it came out in 2016, and I highly recommend it. It only made me love her more. One of my big takeaways was how singing helped her overcome her stutter. Anytime I’ve met someone who apologizes for having a stutter or some type of speech impediment, I’ve made it a point to say, “Carly Simon stuttered, too.” She is wonderful and so are you.
Carly is an inspiration. She’s thoughtful and poetic.
Is there honestly a better break-up song, drunken karaoke request or passive aggressive ramble than “You’re So Vain”?
I think not.
That song is a whole mood. The lyrics are brilliant. When I hear that rattle at the beginning, it’s on. Whatever it is, it’s on.
You’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you
— “You’re So Vain”
Simon definitely has a knack for capturing a mood. The opening track, “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be,” paints a picture.
My father sits at night with no lights on
His cigarette glows in the dark
The living room is still
I walk by, no remark
— “That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”
When I hear Simon and James Taylor’s cover version of Inez and Charlie Foxx’s “Mockingbird,” I can’t help but think of Simon’s version with Stephen Colbert on his show. If you haven’t watched it, do yourself a favor. It’s pretty dang good.
“Legend in Your Own Time” is a cool track that highlights Simon’s deep sultry vocals. Her songs often infuse pop, jazz and tropical sounds.
Carly is a genre of her own.
“Night Owl” has a rockin’ vibe with powerful vocals, similar to the style of Janis Joplin. I love the horn instrumentation near the end. It’s probably my third favorite to listen to at home, but likely my first favorite to hear live.
When it’s a “Best of” album, every song is the best. Like the other songs I’ve mentioned, “Anticipation” is Carly at her best. I think if there was a movie montage about my life, that song would likely make the soundtrack. It’s my second favorite on this album, but definitely in my top 10 songs from Simon’s entire career.
The album ends with a groovy one, “Attitude Dancing.”
I love this photo as an album cover. Simon looks beautiful, natural and relaxed.