Why (Carly Simon song)

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"Why"
Single by Carly Simon
from the album Soup for One
Released August 1982
Format 7" Single
12" Single
12" Maxi Single
Recorded 1981
Genre Disco-funk,[1] reggae fusion
Length 3:32
Label Mirage Records
WEA
Writer(s) Nile Rodgers
Bernard Edwards
Producer(s) Chic
Carly Simon singles chronology
"Jesse"
(1980)
"Why"
(1982)
"Coming Around Again"
(1987)
Music sample

"Why", by Carly Simon, was one of a string of film-inspired singles from a less successful period in her career (specifically in the US). Following her much publicized break-down on stage in 1980, it was recorded for the movie Soup for One in 1982. The movie flopped but the soundtrack was a success.

The song, like all of the soundtrack, was produced by Edwards & Rodgers of Chic fame.[2] This was a move away from the usual guitar-based hits of Simon's past. The bittersweet reggae-tinged ballad became a hit in Europe, hitting #10 in the UK[3] and staying on the British charts for 18 weeks. The song stalled at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100.[4]

The song is centered on the phrase "Why does your love, hurt so much?", and Simon sings perhaps one of her most heartfelt and yearning vocals to date on the track.[5] However, despite this sad subject matter, the song also became well known for its catchy refrain "La di-da, di-da".

In 1989, the song re-surfaced on the Ibiza "Hacienda" scene,[6] and cemented its status as a mellow classic. Known for its bass-line and funky drums it was then that the growing hip-hop scene in the USA began to pick it up, 7 years after the original release. The song re-entered the UK charts the same year, reaching #56.

Track listings and formats[edit]

7" single[7]
  • "Why" – 3:33
  • "Why" (performed by Chic) – 3:33
12" single
  • "Why" (Extended Version) – 8:11
  • "Why" (Instrumental) – 7:06

Charts[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50)[8] 21
Ireland[9] 15
Netherlands[10] 35
UK (Official Chart Company)[3] 10
US (Billboard Hot 100) 74

Cover versions and samples[edit]

  • An extremely rare version of the song performed by Chic circulates in Ibiza. In fact, the Chic version appears as Side 2 of the WEA 12" single pictured on this page.
  • In 1990, A Tribe Called Quest sampled the whole instrumental version of the song for their hit "Bonita Applebum".
  • In 1999, UK reggae artist Glamma Kid covered most of the song, interspersed with rap, taking it back up to #10 on the UK charts.
  • Danish artist Natasha Thomas covered the song in 2003, using the title "Why (Does Your Love Hurt So Much)".
  • The Memory Band included a version of the song on their 2006 album Apron Strings.
  • SoundGirl released their version of the song on 19 June 2011.
  • Alpines and Maya Jane Coles released a cover version on November 18, 2011.
  • Mothlite covered the song as a b-side on there single Something in the Sky, Released in 2012.
  • M.I.A. samples a part of the song in "Unbreak my mixtape", released in 2013

References[edit]