Never Been Gone

Never Been Gone

by Carly Simon



After the 2008 commercial disaster that was Carly Simon's This Kind of Love, issued on the now-defunct Starbucks' Hear Music imprint, this collection of rearranged and re-recorded versions of her hits seems like a logical step backward in order to move forwards. Released on the Iris imprint and produced by "Paphiopedillium" (a group effort comprised of Simon, her son Benjamin Taylor, Larry Ciancia, Peter Cato, and David Saw, the band of players on this set), Simon's on acoustic guitar with her voice right up front. The arrangements are considerably starker than their original versions (she doesn't have the same kind of recording budget as she did when she was with the major labels, but perhaps she would have chosen this manner of delivering these songs even if she had), and her voice is considerably lower, dictating that she transpose keys on many of these selections. That said, hearing songs such as"Boys in the Trees," with its faux-Brazilian rhythms and her ever-so-slightly more raspy delivery is, in some ways, preferable to its original single version, simply because it is more believable. Also included are a lightly funky "You Belong to Me," with its rubbery bassline and accented backing chorus. The notorious "You're So Vain" sounds here like it comes out of time and space; as if she is singing the song from the place of painful memory and reminiscence, rather than as a song that relates the importance of the learning experience it originally provided for her. It's more fragile, less militant, less angry, and is far lower in pitch than its original version. "Anticipation" is so utterly tender and wispy, it feels like a brand new song -- and yes, that's a good thing. The melody is there, the arrangement is beautifully supportive, but the song is sung from the palace of wisdom here; and while it cannot replace the original, it does become a righteous addendum to it. The melancholy and darkness in "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" is utterly present in this version, which is all the mores striking given when it was written; it comes off as a song of surrender. This kind of "redo-the-hits" project is very common from veteran artists in the 21st century.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/2009
Label: Iris Records Label
UPC: 0020286137627
catalogNumber: 1014

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carly Simon   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Piano,Vocals,Synthesizer Guitar
Margaret Bell   Background Vocals
Jill Dell'Abate   Background Vocals
Elena Barere   Violin,Concert Master
Peter Calo   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Acoustic Bass,Lap Steel Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Stephanie Cummins   Celli
Frank Filipetti   Background Vocals
Teese Gohl   Piano,Conductor,String Pads
Richard Locker   Celli
Nancy McAlhany   Violin
Eugene J. Moye   Celli
Sally Taylor   Background Vocals
Larry Ciancia   Percussion,Drums,Djembe,Cajon
Christopher Thomas   Bass
Yana Goichman   Violin
John Forté   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Adrian Benjamin   Viola
Anne Lehmann   Violin
Vince Lionti   Viola
Benjamin Taylor   Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Background Vocals,Loops,DJ
Ben Thomas   Organ,Bass,Piano,Electric Piano
David Saw   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Katherine Livolsi   Violin
Giulia Casalina   Background Vocals
Toni Glickman   Violin
Jimmy Parr   Synthesizer Guitar
Meredith Sheldon   Background Vocals
Alyssa Smith   Viola

Technical Credits

Carly Simon   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Engineer,Instrumentation,Cover Photo
Jill Dell'Abate   String Contractor
Peter Calo   Arranger
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Teese Gohl   Arranger,Orchestration,String Arrangements
Larry Ciancia   Arranger,Engineer
Steven Jurgensmeyer   Artwork
Jacob Brackman   Composer,Lyricist
John Forté   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Carlo Pennisi   Engineer
Chris Davies   Engineer
Jim Parr   Engineer
Benjamin Taylor   Arranger,Composer,Engineer,drum programming
Dave Kreiger   Art Direction
Ben Thomas   Producer,String Arrangements,drum programming
David Saw   Arranger,Composer
Meghan La Roque   Personal Assistant
Paphiopedilium   Producer
Derik Lee   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Never Been Gone 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
SailR More than 1 year ago
These renditions of her best known classics, amnd some not well known (Never been Gone, It Happens Every Day") are thoughtfully, tastefully redone giving them new life without destroying the original incarnation. One gets the impression that a very sincere, in depth rewriting has taken place--as if she reexamined the core of these songs. "Let The River Run" finally finds itself on an album other than a movie soundtrack CD (that won the big three--Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe).----and is just an incredibly beautiful rendition. "That's the way I always heard it should be", her first #1 hit, now has more mystery to it---I almost like this better than the original. Carly's voice has stayed the test of time with its uncharacteristic (by today's ultra-coached/lessoned divas--as great as they are) untamed, untrained baritone beauty. Fan or not, this is a voice that could never be copied from the start and still can't be. These days, intelligent melodies of genius like these just aren't written any more. BUY IT, FOR SURE!
AndyManAK More than 1 year ago
Didn't think I could hear a different version of "Your So Vain", but this one's damn good. I really bought it looking for the song "Let The River Run", which I watched her sing at Ground Zero ceremony this year. It's also a favorite of my girlfriends', and is starting to have the same effect on me. This is an ABSOLUTELY AWESOME song. Not too crazy about the first song, "Loving you's the right thing to do", at least I wouldn't have put it first. But after that, "It Happens Every Day" is a real dance tune beat, as is also "You belong to me" . Honestly there really isn't a weak link here. It's really amazing that Carly Simon can still create such intelligent music. She's a genius at writing tunes and words. There's no other way these songs could be redone and still be such incredible listening. GREAT ALBUM-I'd say buy it.
DynoBoy More than 1 year ago
I wasn't even born when these songs came out, and it's not like I listen to Carly Simon on a regular basis, like almost never. But I caught her on GMA singing "Let The River Run", and I have to say that it was a very right on show. And my girlfriend ran out and downloaded it. So she sees Carly on the Today show doing "You Belong to Me ", and when I listened to her downloads, I ordered this album. And I gotta say I think the people giving out the totally uncool remarks are out of their minds and their ears. OK---I'm not crazy about "Loving You's The Right Thing To Do"---it shouldn't have been first and it sounds like she's warming up her voice. But after that, they're all winners. "It Happens Every Day" and "You Belong To Me " are my current favorites, and "No Freedom". Yeah, "Your So Vain" can't ever loose. All in all, I'm rating this a 5 as much to the length of time Carly Simon has been in the headlines, as to how really listenable this album is. I'd say to anyone-buy it!!! You won't be disappointed.
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