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Reflections
2004

  This single disc features 20 of Carly Simon's greatest hit songs. All tracks have been digitally remastered directly from the master tapes.
Reflections album by Carly Simon
  • See Track List

    That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be
    Legend In Your Own Time
    Anticipation
    The Right Thing To Do
    You're So Vain
    Mockingbird
    Haven't Got Time For The Pain
    Nobody Does It Better
    You Belong To Me
    Jesse
    Coming Around Again
    Give Me All Night
    The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
    All I Want Is You
    Let The River Run
    Better Not Tell Her
    Love Of My Life
    Like A River
    Touched By The Sun
    Amity

   

CNN People In The News - Interview / Bio

Paula Zahn interviews Carly Simon during this 20 minute special presentation.

Jesse - Good Morning America 2004

Promoting her new CD Reflections - Carly Simon's Greatest Hits

Check out more videos from this album here ~

Lyrics by: Jacob Brackman
Music by: Carly Simon

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
I tiptoe past the master bedroom where
My mother reads her magazines
I hear her call sweet dreams
But I forgot how to dream

But you say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we'll marry

My friends from college they're all married now
They have their houses and their lawns
They have their silent noons
Tearful nights, angry dawns
Their children hate them for the things they're not
They hate themselves for what they are
And yet they drink, they laugh
Close the wound, hide the scar

But you say it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we'll marry

You say we can keep our love alive
Babe, all I know is what I see
The couples cling and claw
And drown in love's debris
You say we'll soar like two birds through the clouds
But soon you'll cage me on your shelf
I'll never learn to be just me first
By myself

Well O.K., it's time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that's the way I've always heard it should be,
You want to marry me, we'll marry
We'll marry

© 1970 Quackenbush Music Ltd. / Kensho Music, ASCAP

From: Carly Simon
Elektra Single #EKS-45724 (3/71); Pop #10, AC #6

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

Well I have known you
Since you were a small boy
And your mama used to say
My boy is gonna grow up and be
Some kind of leader some day

Then you'd turn on the radio
And sing with the singer in the band
And your mama would say to you
This isn't exactly what she had planned

But you're a legend in your own time
A hero in the footlights
Playin' tunes to fit your rhyme
But a legends only a lonely boy
When he goes home alone.

And although I know you
Still have the heart of that small boy
Well, you lend it out far too much
And no one woman loving you
Can ever tell if she's been really touched

Then you turn on the radio
And sing with the singer in the band
And think kind of sadly to yourself
This isn't exactly what you had planned

But you're a legend in your own time
A hero in the footlights
Playin' tunes to fit your rhyme
But a legends only a lonely boy
When he goes home alone

© 1971 Quackenbush Music, Ltd. ASCAP

From: Aniticipation
Elektra single #EK-45774 (3/72); Pop #50, AC #11

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway
And I wonder if I'm really with you now
Or just chasing after some finer day

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And I tell you how easy it is to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me.
But I rehearsed those words just late last night
When I was thinking about how right tonight might be

Anticipation, Anticipation
Is making me late
Is keeping me waiting

And tomorrow we might not be together
I'm no prophet and I don't know natures way
But I'll try to see into your eyes right now
And stay right here
'Cause these are the good old days

© 1971 Quackenbush Music, Ltd. ASCAP

From: Anticipation
Elektra single #EKS-45759 (11/71); Pop #13, AC #3

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

There's nothin' you can do
To turn me away
Nothin' anyone can say
You're with me now
And as long as you stay
Lovin' you's the right thing to do
Lovin' you's the right thing

I know you've had some bad luck
With ladies before
They drove you or you drove them crazy
But more important is I know
You're the one and I'm sure
Lovin' you's the right thing to do
Lovin' you's the right thing

And it used to be for a while
That the river flowed right to my door
Making me just a little too free
But now the river doesn't seem to stop here anymore

Hold me in your hands like a bunch of flowers
Set me movin' to your sweetest song
And I know what I think I've known all along
Lovin' you's the right thing to do
Lovin' you's the right thing
Lovin' you's the right thing to do
Is the right thing to do

Nothing you could ever do
Would turn me away from you
I love you now and I love you now
Even though you're ten thousand miles away
I'll love you tomorrow as I love you today
I'm in love babe
I'm in love with you babe
Let's close now

© 1972 Quackenbush Music Ltd. ASCAP

From: No Secrets
Elektra single #EK-45843 (3/73); Pop #17, AC #4

Lyrics & Music by Carly Simon

You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed
That they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and....

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

You had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive
Well you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave

But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams
They were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee and....

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

Well I hear you went up to Saratoga
And your horse naturally won
Then you flew your Lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun

Well, you're where you should be all of the time
And when you're not you're with
Some underworld spy
Or the wife of a close friend
Wife of a close friend, and....

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

© 1972 Quackenbush Music Ltd., ASCAP

From: No Secrets
Elektra single #EK-45824 (11/72); Pop #1, AC #1

Lyrics & Music by: Inez & Charlie Foxx (Add'l lyrics James Taylor)

Mock, yeah
Ing, yeah
Bird, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Mockingbird

Now, everybody have you heard
He's gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird won't sing
He's gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won't shine
He's gonna surely break this heart of mine
And that's why I keep on tellin' everybody.....

Hear me now and understand
He's gonna find me some piece of mind
And if that piece of mind won't stay
I'm gonna find myself a better way
And if that better way ain't so
I'll ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that's why I keep on shoutin' in your ear.....

Well now everybody have you heard
She's gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird don't sing
She's gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won't shine
Yes it will surely break this poor heart of mine
And that's the reason why I keep on tellin' everybody...

Listen all and understand
She's gonna find me some piece of mind
Yeah, and if that piece of mind won't stay
I'm gonna get myself a better way
I might rise above, I might go below
Ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that's the reason why I keep on shouting in your ear...

© 1963 Unart Music Corp. BMI

From: Hotcakes
Elektra single [edit] #EK-45880 (1/74); Pop #5, AC #10

Lyrics by: Jacob Brackman
Music by: Carly Simon

All those crazy nights
When I cried myself to sleep
Now melodrama never makes me weep anymore

'Cause I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

You showed me how
How to leave myself behind
How to turn down the noise in my mind

Now I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

Suffering was the only thing
That made me feel I was alive
Thought that's just how much
It cost to survive in this world
'Til you showed me how
How to fill my heart with love
How to open up and drink in all that white light
Pouring down from the heaven

Haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

© 1974 C'est Music / Maya Prod. Ltd. ASCAP

From: Hotcakes
Elektra single #EK-45887 (4/74); Pop #14, AC #2

Lyrics by: Carole Bayer Sager
Music by: Marvin Hamlish

Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, you're the best

I wasn't lookin', but somehow you found me
I tried to hide from your love light
But like heaven above me
The spy who loved me
Is keeping all my secrets safe tonight

And nobody does it better
Though sometimes I wish someone could
Nobody does it quite the way you do
Why'd you have to be so good?

The way that you hold me
Whenever you hold me
There's some kind of magic inside you
That keeps me from runnin'
But just keep it comin'
How'd you learn to do the things you do?

And nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, baby
Darling, you're the best
Baby, you're the best
Baby, you're the best

© 1977 United Artist Music

From: The Spy Who Loved Me (Soundtrack)
Elektra single #E-45413 (6/77); Pop #2, AC #1

Lyrics by: Carly Simon
Music by: Michael McDonald

Why'd you tell me this
Were you looking for my reaction
What do you need to know
Don't you know I'll always be your girl
You don't have to prove to me
You're beautiful to strangers
I've got loving eyes of my own

You belong to me
Tell her, tell her you were fooling
You belong to me
You don't even know her
You belong to me
Tell her that I love you
You belong to me

You belong to me
Can it be, honey, that you're not sure
You belong to me
Thought we'd closed the book, locked the door
You don't have to prove to me that you're beautiful to strangers
Well, I've got loving eyes of my own, of my own
And I can tell, I can tell darling

Tell her
Tell her that I love you
You belong to me
Tell her, tell her you were fooling
You belong to me
Tell her she don't even know you

Tell her
Tell her you were fooling
You belong to me
I know you from a long time ago, baby
Don't leave me to go to her now
You belong to me
And baby I really love you
Tell her, tell her, tell her
She don't know you
You belong to me

© 1977 Snug Music, BMI & C’est Music, ASCAP

From: Boys In The Trees
Elektra single [edit] #E-45477 (3/78); Pop #6, AC #4

Lyrics by: Carly Simon
Music by: Carly Simon & Mike Mainieri

Oh mother, say a prayer for me
Jesse's back in town, it won't be easy
Don't let him near me
Don't let him touch me
Don't let him please me

Jesse, I won't cut fresh flowers for you
Jesse, I won't make the wine cold for you
Jesse, I won't change the sheets for you
I won't put on cologne
I won't sit by the phone for you

Annie, keep reminding me
That he cut out my heart like a paper doll
Sally, tell me once again
How he set me up just to see me fall

Jesse, I won't cut fresh flowers for you
Jesse, I won't make the wine cold for you
Jesse, I won't change the sheets for you
I won't put on cologne
I won't sit by the phone for you

Jesse, quick come here
I won't tell a soul
Not even myself
Jesse, that you've come back to me
My friends will all say "She's gone again"
But how can anyone know what you are to me
That I'm in heaven again because you've come back to me
Oh Jesse

Jesse, I'll always cut fresh flowers for you
Jesse, I'll always make the wine cold for you
Jesse, I can easily change my mind about you
And put on cologne
And sit by the phone for you

Jesse, let's open the wine
And drink to the heart
Which has a will of it's own
My friends, let's comfort them
They're feeling bad
They think I've sunk so low

Jesse, I'll always cut fresh flowers for you
Jesse, I'll always make the wine cold for you
Jesse, I will change the sheets for you
Put on cologne
And I will wait by the phone for you
Oh Jesse

© 1980 Quackenbush Publ. / Redeye Music Publ. Co.

From: Come Upstairs
Warner Bros. single #WBS-49518 (7/9/80); Pop #11, AC #8

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

Baby sneezes
Mommy pleases
Daddy breezes in
So good on paper
So romantic
But so bewildering

I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

You pay the grocer
Fix the toaster
Kiss the host Good-bye
Then you break a window
burn the Soufflé
Scream a lullaby

I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

And I believe in love
But what else can I do
I'm so in love with you

I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again

I know nothing stays the same
But if you're willing to play the game
It's coming around again
So don't mind if I fall apart
There's more room in a broken heart

© 1986 C'est Music / Famous Music Corp. ASCAP

From: Coming Around Again
Arista single #AS1-9525 (8/86); Pop #18, AC #5

Lyrics by: Carly Simon
Music by: Gerald McMahon

I have no need of half of anything
No half time, no half of a man's attention
Give me all the earth and sky
And at the same time add a new dimension
Half the truth is of no use
Give it all, give it all to me
I can stand it
I am strong that way

Give me all night
Give me the full moon
And if I can't take the whole of you
Give it to me anyway
Give me all night
'Till the last star fades
And if you can't take my heart and soul
Take it from me anyway

Don't give me fountains, I need waterfalls
And when I cry my tears will fill an ocean
The pain of love I'll accept it all
As long as you'll join me in that emotion
Half of lovin' is no fun
Give it all, give it all to me
I can stand it
I am strong that way

Don't leave me guessing alone
Don't walk me half the way home
You can do that tomorrow
Just give me, give me all night.

© 1986 C'est Music ASCAP / Back Mac Publishing BMI

From: Coming Around Again
Arista single [remix] #AS1-9587 (4/87); Pop #61, AC #5

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

Take a look around now
Change the direction
Adjust the tuning
Try a new translation
Don't look at your man in the same old way
Take a new picture
Just because you don't see shooting stars
Doesn't mean it isn't perfect
Can't you see

It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's the slow and steady fire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's your heart and soul's desire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of

So what's this about your best friend?
She's got a brand new shiny boy
And they're moving out to Malibu
To play with all his pretty toys
And you feel closed in by the same four walls
The same old conversation
With the same old guy you've known for years
But use your imagination
And you will see

It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's the slow and steady fire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of
It's your heart and soul's desire
It's the stuff that dreams are made of

What if the Prince on the horse in your fairytale
Is right here in disguise?
And what if the stars you've been reaching so high for
Are shining in his eyes?
Oh yeah

Don't look at yourself in the same old way
Take another picture
Shoot the stars off in your own backyard
Don't look any further
And you will see
It's the stuff that dreams are made of....

© 1987 C'est Music Inc. ASCAP

From: Coming Around Again
Arista single [edit] #AS1-9619 (8/87); AC #8

Lyrics by: Carly Simon & Jacob Brackman
Music by: Andy Goldmark

What do the neighbors say
When they hear us scream at night
Do they talk about a love
All in tatters
What do the neighbors know
About the heart and soul
The fire down below
That really matters

They can never guess
In the silences
That all I want is you
And the sexy hurricane
We got here

All I want is you
I don't want a man
To say "good morning dear"
Let 'em listen at the door
Let 'em listen through the floor
Let 'em go ahead and draw the wrong conclusion

So chase me 'round the room
Make me crazy like the moon
They can never guess
In the silences
That all I want is you
And the sexy hurricane that we share
All I want is you
I don't want a man
Who tiptoes up the stairs
All I want is you
And the freight train
Whistling over my track
All I want is you
And your Mack truck loving
Jumping me Jack!
Oh, Jack!

© 1987 C'est Music / Maya Productions Ltd. / Nonpareil ASCAP

From: Coming Around Again
Arista single #AS1-9653 (11/87); Pop #54, AC #7

Lyrics & Music by Carly Simon

We're coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

Let the river run
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation
Come, the New Jerusalem

Silver cities rise
The morning lights
The streets that lead them
And sirens call them on with a song

It's asking for the taking
Trembling, shaking
Oh, my heart is aching

We're coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

We the great and small stand on a star
And blaze a trail of desire
Through the darkling dawn

It's asking for the taking
Come run with me now
The sky is the color of blue
You've never even seen
In the eyes of your lover

Oh, my heart is aching
We're coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

It's asking for the taking
Trembling, shaking
Oh, my heart is aching
We're coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog
Your sons and daughters

Let the river run
Let all the dreamers
Wake the nation
Come, the New Jerusalem

© 1989 20th Century Fox

From: Working Girl: Original Soundtrack Album
Arista single #AS1-9793 (1/89); Pop #49, AC #11

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

Better not tell her
That I was your lover
Better not make her
Jealous of me
Better convince her
There was nothing between us
I'm not those initials in your diary

But if you slip and my name comes up
Don't deny that you knew me
Just leave out the white nights
The moon in your window
The break in your whisper
The promises after

Better not tell her
Why you love Spanish dancing
Don't bother to say that it's hot
In the summer in Madrid

Let it all go now
Like smoke from a candle
Like the trace of a song
That you hear in the wind

But if you slip and my name comes up
Don't deny that you knew me
Just leave out the white nights
The moon in your window
The break in your whisper
The promises after

Leave out the tears and the laughter
She won't need to know
That I cried when you left
That I think of you still

But if you slip and my name comes up
Don't deny that you knew me
Just leave out the white nights
The moon in your window
The break in your whisper
The promises after

Leave out the tears and the laughter
She won't need to know
That I'd die for your love
That I still...love...you

© 1990 C'est Music ASCAP

From: Have You Seen Me Lately
Arista single [edit] #AS-2083 (9/25/90); AC #4

Lyrics by: Jacob Brackman
Music by: Carly Simon

All those crazy nights
When I cried myself to sleep
Now melodrama never makes me weep anymore

'Cause I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

You showed me how
How to leave myself behind
How to turn down the noise in my mind

Now I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

Suffering was the only thing
That made me feel I was alive
Thought that's just how much
It cost to survive in this world
'Til you showed me how
How to fill my heart with love
How to open up and drink in all that white light
Pouring down from the heaven

Haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

© 1974 C'est Music / Maya Prod. Ltd. ASCAP

From: Hotcakes
Elektra single #EK-45887 (4/74); Pop #14, AC #2

Lyrics & Music by Carly Simon

Dear mother the struggle is over now
And your house is up for sale
We divided your railway watches
Among the four of us

I fought over the pearls
With the other girls
But it was all a metaphor
For what is wrong with us

As the room is emptying out
Your face so young comes into view
And on the back porch is a well-worn step
And a pool of light that you can walk into

I'll wait no more for you like a daughter
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you, forever
Like a river...

Can you clear up the mystery of the Sphinx?
Do you know any more about God?
Are you dancing with Benjamin Franklin
On the face of the moon?
Have you reconciled with Dad?
Does the rain still make you sad?
Last night I swear I could feel you
Moving through my room

And I thought you touched my feet
I so wanted it to be true
And in my theater there is a stage
And a footlight you can always step into

I'll wait no more for you like a daughter
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you, forever
Like a river...

In the river I know I will find the key
And your voice will rise like spray
In the moment of knowing
The tide will wash away my doubts

'Cause you're already home
Making it nice for when I come
Like the way I find my bed turned down
Coming in from a late night out

Please keep reminding me
Of what in my soul I know is true
Come in my boat, there is a seat beside me
And two or three stars we can gaze into

I'll wait no more for you like a daughter
That part of our life together is over
But I will wait for you forever
Like a river...

© 1994 C'est Music ASCAP

From: Letters Never Sent
Arista single [edit] #12763 (10/94)

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon

If you want to be brave
And reach for the top of the sky
And the farthest point on the horizon
Do you know who you'll meet there
Great soldiers and seafarers
Artists and dreamers
Who need to be close, close to the light
They need to be in danger of burning by fire
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun
One who is touched by the sun

Often I want to walk
The safe side of the street
And lull myself to sleep
And dull my pain

But deep down inside I know
I've got to learn from the greats
Earn my right to be living
Let my wings of desire
Soar over the night

I need to let them say
"She must have been mad"
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun
One who is touched by the sun

I've got to learn from the greats
Earn my right to be living
With every breath that I take
Every heartbeat
And I, I want to get there
I, I want to be one
One who is touched by the sun
One who is touched by the sun

© 1994 C'est Music ASCAP

From: Letters Never Sent

Lyrics & Music by: Carly Simon & Sally Taylor

We were so strong then
We built our house on our love
We had a heart on the hill

Love was so proud then
We lived in the clouds when
The tower was crumbling down
Around us on the hill

Oh, we've got to leave this town together
Clean out another house
Amity
Amity is not too much to ask

We reach to the sky still
In hopes we'd be able
To see the bigger picture later on

But we tumbled down
Jack 'n Jill all around
As the valley swallowed up
All the dreams we had made

Oh, see the lighthouse in the distance
On some farther shore

We were so strong then
We built our house on our love
We had a heart on the hill

Love was so proud then
We lived in the clouds when
The tower was crumbling down
Around us on the hill

© 1999 C'est Music / Blue Elbow Publishing / Fox Film Music Corp.

From: Anywhere But Here: Music From The Motion Picture

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Reflections front album (CD) cover
Photo: Bob Gothard

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Reflections back album (CD) cover
Photo: Bob Gothard

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Ed Caraeff

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Peter Simon

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Ed Caraeff

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: M. J. Delekta

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Greg Gorman

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Jack Robinson

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Reflections booklet photo
Photo: Bob Gothard

We all, at some part of our journey, come from drums.

A womb with a heartbeat. Our gestation must be remembered and at least my attempt to re-link to it has been defined (unconsciously until now) by my extreme comfort in a rhythmic context. Drummers have driven me. I love the accents subtle and less subtle which connect up into heartbeats, hard and softer, that let me know what I care about. I also drive drummers. Beg them to hit the toms harder, a 'step on the gas' tactic that has to be more primal than intellectual. They have been there for me and as I listen to this collection, it is the drummers who have played on these tracks that I want to thank individually.

 

Jimmy Bralower, Ray Cooper, Mickey Curry, Barry Desouza, Steve Gadd, Jim Gordon, Robin Gould, Jamey Haddad, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Keltner, Russ Kunkel, Jimmy Maelen, Rick Marotta, Ralph Mcdonald And Andy Newmark.

Carly Simon ~ 2004



A Standup Woman (Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know)

Today Carly Simon holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Americans who grew up listening to her haunting love songs, hook-rich anthems, and her lifelong quest for transience. Her dusky alto voice, bell-toned and ringing with intelligence and humanity, is instantly recognizable wherever you hear it – the radio, the movie theater, the market, the hairdresser. She can be singing about anything – her family, her loves, her friends or her obsessions – but you know that with Carly, you’re getting that insight into human truth that music can provide. She was part of the amazingly protean songwriter movement of the early Seventies, when young performers were expected to write their own material, and it had to be great. Carly and the best of her generation came up with now-classic songs that spoke to the largest audience in history, often in the most revealing and soul-baring ways.

In that sense, Carly Simon has never let us down. For three decades she has written as if her essential spirit was on fire. Her great hit records were crafted with a writerly technique, splicing images and emotions together with the candor of a memoirist and the narrative drive of a novelist. The twenty songs in this collection pulsate with a passionate womanly vision that maintains her in the top rank of artists who work in the mystic continuum of the Great American Songbook.

It was never easy for her. Although music filled the houses she grew up in, Carly was the youngest of three daughters, and both her older sisters were musically gifted. Shy, tall and awkward as a teenager, Carly was the Simon sister least expected by her family to shine on her own. But she had an excellent ear, and the Simon household was a giant music box. Her father, the legendary publisher Richard Simon, was an accomplished pianist. Her glamorous mother, Andrea, was a fine singer and an enthusiast for all types of music. Composers like Richard Rodgers came to the family’s parties, where the three sisters were expected to entertain.. Her two maternal uncles, Peter Dean and Fred “Dutch” Heinemann, were both musicians who influenced Carly. (Another uncle, George Simon, was one of the earliest writers on jazz.) As Carly grew up, the popular music of the day – Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Broadway musicals – played constantly on the Simon family’s hi-fi and radios.

Then there was the folk music revival that coincided with Carly’s early adolescence. She began playing the guitar, and listened very carefully to the great voices of the movement – Odetta, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Peter, Paul and Mary. Her own voice turned out to be a natural instrument that chimed perfectly with the sweet soprano of her older sister Lucy. By the time Carly was 18, the Simon Sisters were singing in folksong coffeehouses like the fabled Mooncusser on Martha’s Vineyard, the island off Cape Cod where her family summered.

The girls sang so beautifully together (and did it with such mesmeric cool) that they were offered a spot on the folk music TV show Hootenanny in 1964. Carly and Lucy performed “Wynken, Blynken and Nod” and "Turn, Turn, Turn" to the general astonishment of the program’s huge national audience, your correspondent included.

While still in college, Carly was signed by the talent managers who handled Bob Dylan. Thinking Carly could be “The Female Dylan,” they had her record with his touring group, The Hawks (who later became The Band). These tapes, now lost, showcased Carly as a folk rocker, performing other people's songs, but Carly had already begun trying to write her own music. For several years in the late Sixties, she worked on the fringes of the New York rock scene, singing with various groups in different settings, trying on various musical personas, until a confluence of imitative styles emerged as one voice.

That moment came in 1970, when Carly signed with Elektra Records. The labels executives had to be talked into letting her record her own songs. Her first album, Carly Simon, was released in 1971and already featured some of Carly’s stylistic trademarks – lovely melodies, gently teasing lyrics, clever expressions of passion and love. Carly and her young band went on the road to support her album and successful first single, “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be,” whose ironic take on conventional society’s expectations for young women echoed the nascent movement for the rights of women.

Touring America, opening for established acts, Carly learned to communicate with larger audiences. Friendships with established songwriters like Cat Stevens and Kris Kristofferson sharpened her own skills and inspired new songs, such as "Anticipation," which was dedicated to the latter. By 1972, Carly’s second album, Anticipation, recorded in London, was hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the best records of the year.

Another track recorded in London that year guaranteed Carly Simon her seat in the pantheon of rock. A year earlier, she had written a song called “Ballad Of A Vain Man” on her aunt’s old piano in her apartment on 35th Street in New York. Working with producer Richard Perry at Trident Studios in London, she went through three drummers and hundreds of takes trying to get the song right. One night Carly was working on the vocal tracks with singer Harry Nilsson when Mick Jagger dropped by the session. Mick joined in on the song’s choruses, and Harry graciously bowed out after expressing the opinion that she and Mick were doing fine on their own. After the track was already mastered, Carly re-titled the song “You’re So Vain.”

Released as the first single from Carly’s No Secrets album in late 1972, “You’re So Vain” was an immediate sensation. The record spent three weeks at #1 on Billboard’s singles chart, while No Secrets was the top-selling album in America for five weeks in early 1973. (Mick Jagger’s vocal with Carly on “You’re So Vain” was – and remains to this day – un-credited.) Over the years, many candidates have been proposed for whom “You’re So Vain” was written about, but Carly has kept her inspiration to herself. Her only comment to date: “Those who think they know, don’t.”

Another song on No Secrets, “The Right Thing To Do,” was deliberatly about someone in particular. . One night in 1972 Carly had attended a New York concert by James Taylor in Carnegie Hall. Carly went backstage to say hello during the intermission, and the two singers had their date later that night. They were wed within a year, and for almost a decade, lived in a celebrity marriage whose ins and outs Carly would chronicle in her best-selling albums of the Seventies.,.

This was the beginning of Carly’s heroic run of hit records – twelve singles and ten albums in the Billboard Top Forty. “Mockingbird,” recorded with her husband James, guitarist Robbie Robertson, Dr. John, and an all-star band of L.A. musicians, was a Top Ten record in 1974 and the first single on Hotcakes, the hit album that also featured one of Carly’s most enduring songs, “Haven’t Got Time For The Pain,” which she wrote with her longtime collaborator Jacob Brackman.

In the mid-Seventies, Carly stopped performing on the regularly, and her natural shyness led her to turn down starring roles in several films. Instead Carly devoted her time to her daughter, Sally, born in 1974. In 1977 she emerged from retirement to record “Nobody Does It Better” for the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. (This is the only song in this set on which Carly does not have a composer’s credit.) That same year she dashed off the lyric to the great ballad “You Belong To Me” with Michael McDonald, then the lead singer of the San Francisco band The Doobie Brothers, to meet a deadline for a Doobies recording session. Carly’s own version, backed by the legendary New York session ensemble known as Stuff, was released on her Boys In The Trees album in 1978, which was Carly’s return to recording and touring after her first foray into motherhood. A decade’s prodigious output of original songs climaxed in 1980 with “Jesse,” a country-rock masterpiece that featured backing vocals by James Taylor, as well as daughter Sally’s first appearance on record.

During the early 1980s, Carly concentrated on raising her second child, Ben Taylor, and began working with Clive Davis’s Arista Records, a collaboration that produced a string of superb records and some of her finest mature work. Four tracks on this compilation come from a single album, Coming Around Again, released in 1987. The title song, written for the soundtrack to the film Heartburn. “Give Me All Night” and “All I Want Is You” are two of her sexiest and most heartfelt songs of desire. And “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,” full of worldly wisdom and savoir-faire, is one of the best songs ever written about, as Carly dryly puts it, “trying to push this big rock called marriage up the hill.”

Carly’s movie work continued with “Let The River Run” for the film Working Girl, which won an Oscar for Carly as Best Original Song, and “Love Of My Life” for This Is My Life. She also wrote an opera, Romulus Hunt, and recorded two splendid albums of classic songs, including Torch and My Romance. “Better Not Tell Her,” one of the best (and most subversive) songs ever written about affairs of the heart, was the lead track on her 1990 album, Have You Seen Me Lately?

One of Carly Simon’s great strengths as a songwriter is her reportorial skill. In 1994 she lost two of the most important women in her life, and the last three songs in this set form an emotional suite of ballads about mothers and daughters, and the impenetrable love that binds them. The first two come from the album "Letters Never Sent". Carly wrote “Like A River” for her mother, Andrea Simon, and “Touched By The Sun” for a close friend and mentor who died of cancer. Carly was herself diagnosed with breast cancer soon afterward, but kept on creating through debilitating bouts of surgery and chemotherapy. She wrote children's books for Doubleday, scored animated features for Disney and recorded Film Noir, an ultra-cool album of songs from hard-boiled crime films of the 1940's. With fighting of a lioness, she emerged from ordeal cancer-free, and still working to support the legions of people dependent on her generosity.

The final song in this set, “Amity,” is a 1999 duet between Carly and her daughter Sally, written for the film Anywhere But Here and recorded on Martha’s Vineyard, where Carly makes now her principal home. Carly’s burnished singing contrasts nicely with the purity of Sally’s sweet voice, which carries distant but unmistakable echoes of the Taylor family’s distinctive Carolina vocal timbre.

Apart from the sheer musicality and undeniable star power of this sampling of Carly Simon’s songs, what remains for me is her acute and critical intelligence, and an almost therapeutic ability to conjure empathy and compassion via the popular ballad. “Take a look around now,” she sings. “Take a new picture.” This is unusually good advice, from a singer and writer who reminds us that hard times give us an opportunity for growth.

“Experience teaches wisdom,” Bob Marley used to say, and Carly tries to use her own life’s trials and triumphs to illuminate our own. Her music has always had this trick of making me think about my own struggles, using hers as a template on which I can project my own reflections on the experiences that mark our lives. I realised a long time ago, that Carly’s great songs will live on, as long as they remain in the keeping of those that understand their entire value, their deepest meaning, and the transcendental distinctions of her powerfully evocative works of art.

Release Date: May 4, 2004
Label: BMG Heritage
Album Billboard Peak: #22
Certified Gold in 2007


This Compilation Produced for Release by Carly Simon

Executive Producer: Joseph Dimuro
A&R: Gary Pachecho & Gary Peterson
Remastering: Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch at Digiprep
Project Directors: Victoria Sarro & Matthew Stringer
Art Direction: Erwin Gorostiza
Design: Kiku Yamaguchi
Front & Back Photographs: Bob Gothard / Arista Archives

Special Thanks: Rachel Bickerton,, Malia Doss, Jimmy Edwards, Dennis Garces, Kevin Gore, Steffen Hartlieb, Jeremy Holiday, John Hudson,  Robin Hurley, Kevin Kiernan, Iris Maenza, David Mclees, Justin Pae, Brian Piperno, Sue Raffman, Bettyann Rizzo

Personal Management: Kerri Brusca
Legal Representation: L. Lee Phillips
Carly Simon’s Official Website: www.Carlysimon.Com
Webmaster: Jodie Wright

Original Recordings Produced by Eddie Kramer, Paul Samwell-Smith, Richard Perry, Arif Mardin, Mike Mainieri, Russ Kunkel, Bill Payne, George Massenburg, John Boylan, Carly Simon, Rob Mounsey, Frank Filipetti & Don Was



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