Carly Simon : Spy : Elektra Records (1979)
This is a rather overlooked 1979 album from Carly Simon.
Produced by Arif Mardin, and featuring a galaxy of stellar musicians, Spy contains some great songs and I always enjoy giving it a spin.
Seen here as an original US pressing on Elektra, it’s a beautiful recording. Just listen to the in the room piano intro on We’re So Close.
It would be hard to make a bad record given the supporting cast, which includes James Taylor (they didn’t divorce until 1983), John Hall, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd and Tony Levin, among many others.
I particularly like the album’s classy closing triumvirate of Love You By Heart, Spy and the superb eight-and-a-half-minute opus Memorial Day, with its intriguing chord and tempo changes.
Recorded in New York between December ’78 and April ’79, this was her last Elektra LP.
I must admit that, at the time of release, Carly wasn’t particularly on my radar, following her classic years which are of course laser etched in the mind. That’s a shame, because in recent years I’ve discovered a wider pallette of her less revered recordings and learned what a high quality bar she consistently set.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a really nice recording. Notably, it’s mastered by George Piros, whose Led Zeppelin II rivals that of the famous and very hot cut Bob Ludwig master. He also did a fine job on Spy. His initials are in the deadwax of both album sides here.
Chris Wright | Now Spinning Magazine