Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Best Carly Simon Songs You've Been Missing Out On, Part 2: Comical Dependency

by Garrett Sawyer

Start playing the album after "Anticipation". Play "No Secrets" and skip over "The Right Thing To Do" and "You're So Vain".

Just listen to the rest of the albums and you'll realize the truth in what I've been saying: the rest of Carly Simon's songs are just as good as the best of Carly Simon's songs.

1) Legend In Your Own Time

Is this a put-down or a lament? It's hard to know. Simon had written "Anticipation" for Cat Stevens, her beau at the time. This one was also written for Stevens but had other elements folded into it.

The title itself came from the headline of an article about the late Hank Williams being read by a man standing in front of Simon while she stood in line at the passport office, waiting to get a passport so she could go to London to make her next album.

Her mind began to wander to all the singer-songwriters she had been attracted to and the contrast between the love that was lavished upon them while onstage and the loneliness she imagined they felt after the show, alone at parties, bars and hotel rooms once the show is over (Sample lyric: "But a legend's only a lonely boy when he goes home alone").

2) The Girl You Think You See

Rarely is the candor about the desire to please on display as it is here, redeemed by Simon's quirky sense of humor as she describes in vivid, comic detail how far she would go to please her man.

In Simon's eyes it basically means a total loss of identity, assuming whatever role her boyfriend's pampered ego needs. If it weren't for the fact that you're not sure she's totally serious you'd feel genuinely sorry for a girl who's this desperate to cling to her man.

Kudos to Jacob Brackman, who co-wrote the song - you'd never know he had a hand in it (Sample lyric: "Whoever you want is exactly who I'm more than willing to be. I'll be insane, a mathematical brain, you Tarzan, me Jane to please you").

3) The Carter Family

This is the song from "No Secrets" that's sandwiched between the leadoff hit "The Right Thing To Do" and the blockbuster "You're So Vain".

Co-written with Jacob Brackman again, the moody fadeout to "The Carter Family" is the last thing you hear just before Klaus Voormann's immortal bass roll introduction to Simon's number one smash. In your desire to get to the latter you could be forgiven if you got impatient during the former.

But you'd be cheating yourself because this is a wonderfully revealing song about outgrowing people and relationships only to realize (and regret losing) what made them special in the first place (Sample lyric: "The Carter family lived next door for almost 14 years with Gwen and I inseparable from rag dolls through brassieres").

Now wasn't that pleasant? Next time you give these albums a spin in the old CD player you'll start at track number one and hit the "play" button instead of scrolling to one or two songs and then quitting.

If you like Carly Simon then you'll like a song inspired by the story of a young soldier who returned from Iraq. For a limited time only you can download that song for FREE by clicking HERE.

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