Carly Simon - No Secrets (Friday Music)
Carly Simon - vocal, guitar, piano
Jimmy Ryan (g,b); Bobby Keys (ts); Lowell George (g); Kirby Johnson (el-p); Peter Robinson (p); Bill Payne (org); Klaus Voorman (b); Andy Newmark, Jim Keltner (dr); orchestra & backing vocals
Writen by Carly Simon (A1, A2, A3, A4, A4, B1, B2, B3, B5), Jacob Brackman (B3), James Taylor (B4), Billy Mernit (B5)
1 LP, standard sleeve
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : Pallas
Label : Speakers Corner
Original Label : Elektra
Recording: September - October 1972 at Trident Studios, London, by Robin Geoffrey Cable
Production: Richard Perry
Remastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio from the original master tape
Originally released in 1972
Reissued in 2020
Side A :
- The Right Thing To Do
- The Carter Family
- You're So Vain
- His Friends Are More Than Fond Of Robin
- We Have No Secrets
Side B :
- Embrace Me, You Child
- Waited So Long
- It Was So Easy
- Night Owl
- When You Close Your Eyes
« Carly Simon's best album, No Secrets was also her commercial breakthrough, topping the charts and going gold, along with its leadoff single, "You're So Vain." That song set the album's saucy tone, with its air of sexually frank autobiography ("You had me several years ago/When I was still quite naïve") and its reflections on the jet-set lifestyle. But Simon's honesty meant that her lyrical knife was double-edged; now that she felt she had found true love ("The Right Thing to Do," another Top Ten hit, was her celebration of her relationship with James Taylor), she was as willing to acknowledge her own mistakes and regrets as she was to point fingers. But it wasn't only Simon's forthrightness that made the album work; it was also Richard Perry's simple, elegant pop/rock production, which gave Simon's music a buoyancy it previously lacked. And Perry paid particular attention to Simon's vocals in a way that made her more engaging (or at least less grating) to listen to. » AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
« Singer/songwriter Carly Simon was a staple of the 70’s music scene, and maintained a successful career. Her sultry contralto was an effective vehicle for her introspective brand of pop. After being signed to Elektra in 1970, Simon released her self-titled debut in 1971. She received her first Grammy (Best New Artist), and had a commercial breakthrough with the single, “That’s The Way I Always Heard It Should Be”. The following album, Anticipation produced another hit with the title song (that was alleged to have been written in 15 minutes). Another plateau was reached with the release of the single, “You’re So Vain”. It rose to #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts and the album (No Secrets) spent 5 weeks at the top of the U.S. charts. Carly Simon’s career would span decades producing an additional Grammy and Oscar for the song “Let The River Flow”. She has released a trio of standards albums, has written several Children’s books and two memoirs.
Speakers Corner Records has released a re-mastered 180-gram vinyl of No Secrets. This is the epitome of early 70’s popular music, notable for its fastidious production (Richard Perry/Trident Studios) and engineering (Robin Cable). With a stellar cadre of studio musicians, the album envelops the storytelling of Simon’s lyrical content with lavish sophistication. Side One opens with an affirmative love song, “The Right Thing To Do”. The rhythmic pop flow is complemented by the resonating vocals. Her phrasing is unusually precise and the string/horn accompaniment expands the musical tapestry. It is a well-crafted song with a memorable coda. “Carter Family” is a straightforward childhood reflection (with a catchy 3/4 time signature) displaying philosophical retrospection. A certain highlight of No Secrets is the wry “You’re So Vain”. With a bouncy groove, Carly appears to call out male-counterpart celebrities. As she intones, “…You had one eye on the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte…” the listener is engaged. Of course, the chorus refrain,”…You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you! Don’t you, don’t you?…” is apropos to the context and features great backup vocals (including some harmony) by an uncredited (at the time) Mick Jagger. It is not surprising that the single hit the top of the charts. In a simpler arrangement, “His Friends Are More Than Fond Of Robin” revisits nostalgia of youth through with mature perspective. The title track exudes an atmospheric open sound, countered by a funky bass, tempo breaks with shades of country eloquence. The clever lyrics explore the difference in sharing everything initially to measured reservations (“…Often I wish I never knew some of those secrets of yours…”).
Side Two continues Simon’s narratives. “Embrace Me, You Child” is another meditation on childhood, and especially her father. Her earnest vocals and the graceful elegance of Paul Buckmaster’s arrangement bring prominence. Small touches like synth accents add atmospheric nuance. Switching gears, “Waited So Long” is a rocker with an unabashed declaration of emerging sexuality (“…Daddy, I’m no virgin, but I’ve already waited so long…”). This is a quintessential 70’s studio lineup with Nicky Hopkins (piano) leading an all-star band (including Lowell George on slide guitar, Billy Payne on organ) and the inimitable James Taylor singing backup. There is a nimble tempo break on the chorus. Easing down, “It Was So Easy” is country-infused self-examination with twangy electric guitar (Jimmy Ryan). Simon’s vocal agility shines through in tracked recording. In a gritty cover of James Taylor’s “Night Owl”, Carly flexes her rock credentials with a spirited performance. This is big-time L.A. Rock , with legendary singers like Bonnie Bramlett and Doris Troy (with help from Paul and Linda McCartney) distilling the essence of this genre. Again, Nicky Hopkins’ muscular piano drives the jam and the addition of Bobby Keys on tenor saxophone elevates this number. The finale, “When You Close Your Eyes” is a lovely ballad that captures the ethereal troubadour spirit. The stylish production by Buckmaster (with delicate woodwinds) adds glowing texture.
Speakers Corner Records has done a superb job in re-mastering No Secrets to 180-gram vinyl. The overall mix is superb (and a good set of stereo headphones will bear this out). Simon’s voice is rendered with pristine clarity and rich tone. The orchestrated enhancements are fluent and never overwhelm the centered vocals. It is a vibrant representation of a singer/songwriter at the height of creativity. » Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition, Mar 9, 2020
Carly Simon’s unquestionably best album, "No Secrets", was also her commercial breakthrough. It topped the Billboard charts for over five weeks, thus quickly gaining gold status, as did the single release of "You’re So Vain". This song determined the album’s flippant tone, with its sexually unashamed autobiography (»You had me several years ago/When I was still quite naïve«) and its observations on the lifestyle of the jet set. But Simon’s sincerity also meant that her lyricism was double-edged. Now that she thinks she has found true love, she expresses her joy over her relationship to James Taylor with "The Right Thing To Do", another top ten hit.
On the other hand she was just as willing to recognize her own mistakes and regretted pointing her finger at other people. It was not just Simon’s frankness that made the album a success, but also Richard Perry’s simple, elegant pop-rock production, which lent Simon’s music a vitality it never known before. Perry was mindful in particular of Simon’s vocals, making them more perceptive and stirring than in her other productions. And of course her fellow musicians, such as Paul and Linda McCartney, Mick Jagger, Klaus Voormann, Lowell George, Bobby Keys, Jim Keltner as well as her ex-husband James Taylor all contributed to the success of the album, which was awarded official platinum status by the Recording Industry Association of America.
AllMusic : 4.5 / 5 , Discogs : Rate Your Music :