Soundchecks Music Reviews

Reflections - Carly Simon's Greatest Hits

Elektra Entertainment

REFLECTIONS: CARLY SIMON'S GREATEST HITS

review by Emily Webb

This compilation charts 30 years of Carly Simon's recording career and includes favourites You're So Vain, Bond theme Nobody Does It Better and Coming Around Again. Each song on this collection is a Billboard top-of-the-chart hit, and the original recordings have been digitally re-mastered.

The disc opens with Simon's biggest hit You're So Vain, released in 1972 with an uncredited Mick Jagger on backing vocals. (The line from this song, "All the dreams that I had/ they were clouds in my coffee" are some one of my favourite song lyrics).

The compilation runs through her hits of the 1970s - her most fruitful and commercially successful recording period - Anticipation (written while Simon awaited the arrival of Cat Stevens for a date), I Haven't Got Time For The Pain, Mockingbird (with James Taylor) and Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me (one of the few songs on which Simon does not have a writing credit).

The 1980s was a quieter time for Simon but no less innovative. She entered the realm of writing film scores and her most successful and popular songs of this period are included; Coming Around Again, the theme tune to 1986 film Heartburn starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, and Let The Rivers Run, which won Simon an Oscar for Best Original Song, from the film Working Girl. I play these tracks most often from this CD.

Once half of what Rolling Stone magazine dubbed in 1972, the 'royal couple of rock' due to her marriage to singer-songwriter James Taylor, Simon's life experience is related heavily in her music, which makes listening to this compilation more enjoyable than it would otherwise be (it is good background music while you are doing 'stuff' around the house).

Simon's work could be described as easy listening but that would be too simplistic. Besides her distinctive voice, Simon is a gifted and honest songwriter. In an era now where a lot of music is unoriginal and recording contracts are determined by a popular vote, Carly Simon has left a legacy, especially for aspiring female singer-songwriters.

Reflections is a definitive collection if you're a fan.

Trivia: In 1993 an NBC executive, Dick Ebersol, paid $50,000 in a charity auction to learn whom Simon wrote You're So Vain about. As part of this prize Ebersol was sworn to secrecy when Simon revealed the inspiration for the hit song, famously rumoured to be Warren Beatty.


Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press