|Single by Paul Simon|
|from the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon|
|Format||7" (45 rpm)|
|Genre||Pop rock, Adult contemporary|
|Producer||Paul Simon, Phil Ramone|
|Paul Simon singles chronology|
The song is named after the Kodak 35mm film Kodachrome. For the week ending May 19, 1973, "Kodachrome" made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart and five weeks later, the song moved to number nine, just ahead of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando and just behind "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" by George Harrison. The song then became a major hit in the United States, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart as well as the Billboard adult contemporary chart, but it was not released as a single in Britain because, according to American Top 40 host Casey Kasem, the British Broadcasting Corporation would not play the trademarked name. Simon is heard saying, "Okay" for some reason before the instrumental coda, before the song's fade.
Eastman Kodak Co. required the album to note that Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak, and to include the registered trademark symbol (®) after the song's title. The 2012 release Paul Simon Live In New York City, which includes a live performance of "Kodachrome," does not include the symbol or the trademark statement.
In the late 1990s, Kodak used the song in commercials to sell film.
The lyrics on There Goes Rhymin' Simon differed in wording from those on the The Concert in Central Park and Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991 albums. The former said, "...everything looks worse in black and white," but the latter said, "...everything looks better in black and white."
In an interview conducted in November 2008, Paul said that what he had in mind when he was writing the song was to call it "Going Home". However, finding that this would have been "too conventional", he came up with "Kodachrome", because of its similar sound and larger innovative potential. He also refers to its first line as the "most interesting" part of the song. The first line runs, "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." For this reason, the song was banned on some radio stations due to the word "crap."
|Australian Singles Chart||20|
|Canadian Singles Chart||1|
|Dutch Singles Chart||15|
|French Singles Chart||8|
|US Hot 100 Singles Chart||2|
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 85 (42): 88. June 16, 1973. ISSN 0006-2510.
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
- Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
- Paul Simon on "One on One" with Katherine Lanpher Thursday, November 13, at the Union Square Barnes & Noble