Two records. Two complete bombs. Two record companies that dropped her quicker than hotcakes (only hardcore Simon fans will understand that reference) after they tanked.
What in the world am I doing focusing on tracks from two of Carly Simon's least commercially successful albums?
Actually, I'm not sure.
I'm just joking.
I guess you could say that my tastes sometimes divert from the majority of Americans, and this serves as de facto proof. Because two of my favorite Carly Simon songs are on Spy (1979) and Hello Big Man (1983).
"Vengeance" was supposed to be the big hit single from Spy, Simon's final album with Elektra. In fact, it's a blatant attempt to recreate the success of "You're So Vain," right down to the backing vocals. No, that's not Mick Jagger once again doing the honors. It's soundalike Tim Curry of "Rocky Horror" fame.
I actually prefer this song to Simon's bigger hit because of its shimmering sound and more blatant funkiness. (Not that it matters, but did you know that Simon is one-quarter African-American?)
Play "Vengeance" by Carly Simon
As for "Hello Big Man," the title track to her final Warner Bros. album, you can probably call it a companion piece to "That's The Way I Always Heard It Should Be" in which Simon gives a faux happy ending to the story of the romance between her father
Richard L. Simon (of Simon & Schuster fame) and mother Andrea Louise Heinemann. (Their marriage was actually pretty stormy)
Sure, it's a little heavy on the synths. The saxophone solo could have been turned down a notch. But here's one of its saving graces: Simon co-wrote the song with Peter Wood. Yes, the same keyboardist and co-author of "Year of the Cat" who was the subject of my first "Unsung Hero" post.
Ain't it nice to be revisting an old friend?
Play "Hello Big Man" by Carly Simon