Carly Simon – Another Passenger – Our Shootout Winner from 2010

xxxxx

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

A TOP PRESSING of what we consider to be the best — and best-sounding — Carly Simon album! I’ve been telling people for years how amazing this album can sound, but we almost never hear it sound quite like this! Side one rates A++, side two rates A+++ and both sides play quietly. Most copies are gritty and edgy, but this one is smoother, sweeter and much more musical. 

Desert Island Carly

This is my personal favorite of all of Carly’s albums. It’s her most consistent work in terms of singing and songwriting. Nothing too heavy, just well crafted and enjoyable Singer Songwriter pop. If you like the kind of albums Paul Simon used to make before Graceland, or middle period James Taylor, you should like this.

Some of her albums can be badly overproduced, with big echoey drum thwacks; thankfully this is not one of them, so it wears well. I can personally attest to that fact because I have a tape of this album in my car and I’ll bet you I’ve heard it at least two hundred times.

Two Superb Sides

It’s one of the most transparent copies we’ve ever heard. You can really hear INTO the soundfield in a way that would never be possible with an average pressing. Even though we had played more than a half-dozen copies before dropping the needle on this one, this pressing showed us details that had previously escaped us. The presence on this copy is jarring — Carly’s voice JUMPS out of the speakers and fills the room. The bass here is PERFECTION — deep, tight, and note-like. The vocals sound amazing with lots of breath and texture. The overall sound is big and bold, smooth and sweet, and above all, musical. It’s airy, open, spacious and dynamic.

An All-Star Cast

Ultimately an album succeeds or fails on the strength of its songwriting, and here Another Passenger soars with consistently insightful material, as well as wonderful production. Ted Templeman was a hot producer in the 70’s, churning out very well recorded albums for The Doobies, Little Feat, James Taylor, even my favorite Captain Beefheart album, Clear Spot. He did a top-notch job on this one, too.

This underrated release from 1976 was a change of pace for Carly, and maybe that’s why I like it so much. There is no other Carly Simon album quite like it. She’s got some help here from a wonderful backing crew including members of the Doobies and Little Feat, plus Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Dr. John, and of course good ‘ol JT.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Half a Chance 
It Keeps You Runnin’
Fairweather Father 
Cowtown 
He Likes to Roll 
In Times When My Head

Side Two

One Love Stand 
Riverboat Gambler 
Darkness ‘Til Dawn
Dishonest Modesty 
Libby
Be With Me