CARLY SIMON LIVE FROM MARTHA'S VINEYARD - THE CLASSIC
Carly Simon, Rick Marotta, Hugh McCracken, Jimmy Ryan, Robby Kilgore,
Robbie Kondor, Michael Brecker, Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, Lani Groves, Kasey
Cisyk and Frank Simms.
Jeb Brian and Tony
Distributed by Grandstand Entertainment. 70 minutes. Not Rated.
Simon Live From Martha's Vineyard
One problem with watching concerts on
video is that a concert stage is just not intrinsically stimulating
visually. Basically, you are sitting looking at a bunch of people standing
around holding instruments with lots of wiring, lights and blackness surrounding
them. So right off the bat, Carly Simon Live
from Martha's Vineyard
has an advantage over most live vids. The concert is done on a dock on
the bay in the famous beach community, with seagulls circling above,
gorgeous beach homes, gentle bay breezes, quaint
huts, water lapping up, boats chugging by...
It certainly is a picturesque setting
for a concert.
Of course, this was not just an aesthetic staging
decision, it was also one of comfort for the star. Carly Simon has a
notorious case of crippling stage fright. She had not performed live
in years before this one-off show. So instead of going to some
impersonal stadium, she decided to create her own stage in her own
backyard. (Fellow stage fright sufferer Barbra Streisand had pulled
a similar trick at about the same time, having her first concert in over
twenty years on her own Malibu estate.)
This concert was taped in 1987, at the tail
end of Simon's nearly twenty year residency at the top of the charts.
hindsight, the concert seems a little top-heavy with her mid-late 80s work
at the expense of ignoring earlier classics like "That's the Way I've Always
Heard It Should Be," "Legend In Your Own Time" and "Haven't Got Time For the
Pain." However, those 80s songs were current at the time, so it does
make sense that she performed them. Or perhaps she was setting a mood,
because with the exception of the venomous "You're So Vain," which was such
a huge hit that it would be conspicuous in its absence, the songs in the
concert tend to be the kinder, gentler Carly Simon. The songs I
pointed out as missing could be much more acerbic about affairs of the
Still, the film does show one of the great singer-songwriters of her
generation in fine form, with a crack group of session players.
Simon looks completely at ease when belting out such deserved classics as
"Nobody Does It Better," "You Belong To Me," "Coming Around Again" and the
DVD bonus track "The Right Thing To Do." "Anticipation" is still a
stunningly beautiful song, and "You're So Vain" still packs a bitter
If you couldn't be
there, and let's face it, most of us couldn't, Carly Simon Live from
Martha's Vineyard is an important musical time capsule. It shows
a terrific artist at the top of her game.
Copyright ©2004 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: June 16, 2004.
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Posted: June 16, 2004.