One of the more popular singer/songwriters of the 1970s, Carly Simon—as opposed to Carole King’s East Coast R&B leanings and the folk/jazz orientation of Joni Mitchell, two of her notable counterparts—exemplified the polished Los Angeles sound. Simon’s pop instincts and rich, expressive voice have enabled her to move into film soundtrack work and Adult Contemporary playlists when no longer in mainstream fashion.
First recording in the mid-1960s as part of the folk-pop Simon Sisters with sister Lucy, Carly was signed to Elektra Records as a solo act in 1970 by producer Jac Holzman. Her debut, Carly Simon (Elektra 74182; 1971; #30), included the first of many hit singles, "That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be" (Elektra 45724; 1971; #10). Her critical and commercial high water mark came with No Secrets (Elektra 75049; 1973; #1), driven largely by the success of "You’re So Vain" (Elektra 45824; 1972; #1), allegedly written about film star Warren Beatty.
Marrying fellow singer/songwriter James Taylor in the mid-1970s, Simon was unable to produce anything quite approaching the quality of No Secrets. Nevertheless, she continued issuing solid, if uneven, albums—most notably, Hotcakes (Elektra 1002; 1974; #3), Playing Possum (Elektra 1033; 1975; #10), and Boys in the Trees (Elektra 128; 1978; #10)—which sold moderately well. After her last major hits—"Nobody Does It Better" (Elektra 45413; 1977; #2), from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, and "You Belong To Me" (Elektra 45477; 1978; #6)—Simon has appeared content to cultivate an older audience, releasing, among other things, two albums comprised of pop standards—Torch (Warner Bros. 3592; 1981; #50) and My Romance (Arista 8582; 1990; #46)—as well as a collection of material identified with the cinema, Film Noir (Arista 18984; 1997; #84). She has also devoted an increasing amount of time to writing, no real surprise given the fact that her father helped run the Simon and Schuster publishing house.
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