Carly Simon

Anthology

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For Carly Simon fans looking for something a little more extensive than a single-disc greatest-hits collection, but not something so large and expensive as her Clouds in My Coffee 1966-1996 box set, Anthology is a good deal. The two CDs include 40 songs from 1971 to 2000, among them nearly two dozen chart hits (though some of the later ones only made the adult contemporary charts). For the more cold-blooded fan who wants to zero in on her best and most popular work, there might well be more than she or he wants to hear, particularly on disc two, devoted entirely to post-1980 material, which reflects her move from tenuously folk-rock-related singer/songwriting to blander adult contemporary music. For those who see her early work as her best, The Best of Carly Simon remains about all you need; for those who appreciate her whole career, the lengthier single-disc anthology The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better will likewise suffice. There's not much in rarities on Anthology either -- nothing from her pre-Elektra recordings as part of the Simon Sisters, and nothing previously unreleased, though 1995's "Touched By the Sun" was only on the Live at Grand Central video, and four tracks are taken not from Simon albums but from film soundtracks (including, of course, her massive 1977 hit, "Nobody Does It Better"). All of this might be too much carping. This does, after all, gather material from more than half a dozen labels, presented respectfully with a 40-page booklet, though the liner notes are much heavier on fawning affection than historical details.

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