Carly Simon was one of the most truthful female singer/songwriters to emerge out of the 1970s American music scene. Ironically, she was, at first, only interested in songwriting, not performing, but her soulful voice demanded full attention and the shy singer soon tackled both disciplines successfully.

Her legacy runs deep, but ‘You’re So Vain’, ‘Nobody Does It Better,’ ‘Anticipation,’ and ‘You Belong To Me’ have become radio and film classics. Her haunting piano and painful epiphanies about marriage on ‘That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be’ drew standing ovations from the onset. Simon tore apart institutions sensitively and posed questions like no one before her time.

One album, 1985's, ‘Spoiled Girl’, caught Carly by surprise. She was urged to redefine her sound and was asked to work with multiple producers, such as Phil Ramone, Don Was and Paul Samwell-Smith. It may have been an honour, but as the adage goes “too many cooks spoil the broth.” The album did not at the time receive critical acclaim, but later it became fully appreciated as one of her most captivating works.

The themes, which smack of satire, ill-fated romance and love, are set to the contemporary beats of the mid 1980s era. ‘My New Boyfriend’ is about a woman who throws the new love of her life in the face of her ex. The background vocals and modulations give it a fantastic lift. Simon has that riveting tear in her voice and carries a defiant attitude; the backing singers help make this opener an interesting arrangement, one which juxtaposes angelic harmonies with mechanical sound bytes.

‘Come Back Home’ is a seriously, touching melody, which conveys simple, but human longings. “In this house, no window has a view,” Simon sings, cautiously, hoping she can convince her lover to return,

‘Tonight and Forever’ is heavy on production, but the sincerity rings through: “I’ve heard your voice/I’ve heard your heart.”

The theme song, ‘Spoiled Girl’, is fun amd witty – “someone’s there to do your hair when you do it up or down,’ is one example of the picture painted- that of a diva who “thinks of nothing, no one but herself.”

‘Tired of Being Blonde’, the only track not written or co-written by Simon (L. Raspberry), sounds like it would be a ring on the same hand, but it’s more of a spoof. The video, created by Jeremy Irons, took it to the limit at the time it became a Top 40 Adult Contemporary Hit. Simon donned platinum wigs to make her point. It’s a great song with a deeper meaning.

‘The Wives Are in Connecticut’ rings more truthfully about their partners. “He’s so sly, he’s in love with his lies,” we discover. “Trying to forget it, but they really do regret it/That they moved them to Connecticut,” the story advances further.

‘Anyone But Me’ is another tearjerker. “Take me away/Burn out the past/Forget your history,” she sings mournfully, overwhelmed with jealousy. “I wish you had never loved anybody but me…”

‘Interview,’ was written in response to a journalist who asked invasive questions. ‘Make Me Feel Something’ is vintage Simon, as it creates a stunning mood picture of desperation. The great Luther Vandross provided backing vocals to ‘Can’t Give It Up.’

A series of bonus tracks are included. ‘Black Honeymoon’ is the most poignant, while the others are single versions of some mentioned earlier.

It’s understandable that 'Spoiled Girl' has still enjoyed a major cult following after all these years. It ultimately ranks as one of Simon’s most telling works and, though other albums may have defined her more succinctly, the songwriting here is melodic, revealing and reflective of a woman who takes artistic chances.











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