Personnel: Carly Simon (vocals, guitar); Hugh McCrackin (guitar); Jimmy Ryan (guitar, vocals); Michael Brecker (saxophone, EWI); Robbie Kondor (piano, synthesizers); Tom "T-Bone" Wolk (bass, accordion, piano); Rick Marotta (drums, percussion).
Background vocals: Lani Groves, Kasey Cisyk, Frank Simms, Ben Taylor, Sally Taylor, Alexandra Taylor, Isaac Taylor, Elizabeth Witham, Aquinnah Witham.
Recorded for the HBO Special "Carly In Concert-Coming Around Again".
Okay, here's the problem: in 1975, Elektra released The Best of Carly Simon, which compiled her hits from 1971-1975. Simon then scored a couple more big hits for Elektra ("Nobody Does It Better," "You Belong to Me") before leaving the label in 1979, but not enough to justify another compilation. She had another hit on Warners ("Jesse"), where she spent the early '80s, crapped out on Epic, for whom she made one album in 1985, and revived her career on Arista starting with the Top 40 hit "Coming Around Again" in 1986. That means her catalog contained one obsolete best-of, while her other hits were strewn across several labels. The solution? A live album, of course. Except that Simon had developed stage fright. Nevertheless, she was persuaded to do one show at her Martha's Vineyard summer home, which was filmed for the HBO special and home video Carly in Concert: Coming Around Again and taped for this album. The set list contained the most familiar of the early-'70s hits -- "You're So Vain," "Anticipation," "The Right Thing to Do" -- some of the later ones -- "Nobody Does It Better," "You Belong to Me," "Coming Around Again," and some recent material. The material was well performed, and though these of course were re-recordings, the album's gold-selling commercial success confirmed that Simon's fans were looking for a good career retrospective and willing to settle. ~ William Ruhlmann