Induct These Women SeriesMusic

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Induct These Women: Carly Simon

It’s surprising the number of people who don’t know who Carly Simon is until you tell them who she had a romantic encounter with or whom she married. It is amazing that women, even by well-meaning types, get typecast into the supporting role the moment they get married. Clearly something about her must have drawn them in.

Simon is a phenom. She has produced a stunning total of 22 studio albums and written five books. She has not just appeared in scenes, but scored TV and film scores. “Let the River Run” written for the film Working Girl (1988) won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song,  and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. Simon is the first artist to win all three major awards (i.e. Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy) for a song that is composed and written, as well as performed, entirely by a single artist, the only other such artist being Bruce Springsteen.

Carly Simon has revised the lyrics to her astounding song, “You’re so Vain,” as an anti-Trump rally cry. If you didn’t know, this is the first time Simon has allowed the song to be used  in a overtly political context. Simon is know for being oblige about her songs. She has even kept mum on just who inspired the original rendition. Of course, it was multiple relationships. Now, with her new memoir out, written by the songstress herself, we can see her own insights into the context of where that song came from as well as a more complete picture of her own story.

In terms of just sheer orchestration, she achieves success in multiple albums where her lyrics are consistently original and evocative. When you listen to her lyrics, it is clear that takes  a very literary perspective to song-writing. Anyone can write a song. Some can write commercial hits in the right circumstance, but it is something else  to make an album work, lets alone several. That is just what makes Simon stand out on albums like “Playing Possum,” where the orchestration of each song is so well realized that any listener can just feel everything experience described. An average listener can connect as well as the trained musician.
Though Carly is quick to point out her misses, her failures more than her successes, this well-known modesty of Simon may be a part of why people don’t take her as seriously as they might. Though her life has been quite compelling, it is indeed through her music that we see an artist of real charm, wit, and integrity. World, take note, we have a  musician of the highest caliber here among us, worthy of every praise.  

 

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