Saturday, October 5, 2019

"Coming Around Again" by Carly Simon

Song#:  2912
Date:  11/01/1986
Debut:  97
Peak:  18
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Pop, Adult Contemporary, Soundtrack

Pop Bits:  The 70s were a great decade for Simon. She scored five Top 10 hits including the 1972 #1 "You're So Vain" and earned five gold or platinum albums. But like many artists who were superstars in the 70s, the 80s proved difficult. Simon started off on a good note with the #11 gold record "Jesse" (1980), but everything else after that fell flat. Her albums sold less and less. She switched labels from Warner to Epic, but they dropped her after the poor performance of her 1985 LP Spoiled Girl. Then Clive Davis and Arista Records came calling. They decided to give Simon a shot and work began on her thirteenth studio album Coming Around Again. Simon would write or co-write the majority of songs for the album, but the tracks were helmed by eight different producers and Davis oversaw the entire project. To get things started, this title track would be issued out as the LP's first single. It debuted near the bottom of the Pop chart, which is usually not a good sign, but it slowly gained an audience and eventually wound up in the Top 20. It did even better at AC reaching #5 (her eleventh Top 10 there). The hit sparked sales of the album, which made it to #25. It would eventually be a platinum seller. Simon would earn a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, for the album. It was a significant comeback for Simon and although this would end up being her last solo Pop Top 40 entry, she was able to parlay the success of the album to other projects over the next few years.

ReduxReview:  When this came out it was like a sigh of relief - ahhh yes, Simon is back to being Simon! Whether it was her or her label(s), Simon spent the first half of the decade trying to figure out how to be a viable artist in the 80s.  She tried a standards album and took detours into diva synthpop, but most of it sounded forced and just didn't work. Finally, it seemed that Clive Davis allowed Simon to write songs and choose material without worrying about trends or hits. When allowed to breathe, Simon got back to the solid songwriting that made her a star in the 70s. Just like this first single, it all sounded so easy and relaxed. The producers also did well by adding modern nuances to the arrangements without overwhelming Simon with walls of synths and effects. I quickly fell for this track and enjoyed the album as well. It was easily her best effort since her 70s heydays and Simon sounded excellent. Like many comebacks, Simon's proved to be brief, but it was an important one because after this it seemed she stayed true to herself instead of buckling to trends or whims of label execs.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  In addition to this song being on Simon's album, it was also used in the rom-com flick Heartburn. The film starred Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson and was directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay was written by Nora Ephron and was based on her book of the same name. In addition to its two superstar leads, the movie also featured other big names like Stockard Channing and Jeff Daniels. With everyone involved, it seemed like a can't-miss hit. Unfortunately, critics were not kind and it happened to debut the same week as a little sci-fi film titled Aliens. The movie did well enough at the box office to cover costs, but it was not the hit some expected.


1 comment:

  1. 8/10 for me, this is one song that gets better with age, oddly I used to think that song came out in the 1970's, I was stunned to find out this song came out in 1986! This is definitely one of Carly Simon's best songs.