50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
|"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"|
|Single by Paul Simon and Peter, Paul, and Mary|
|from the album Still Crazy After All These Years|
|B-side||"Some Folks' Lives Roll Easy"|
|Songwriter(s)||Paul Simon Peter Yarrow Noel Paul Stookey Mary Travers|
|Paul Simon and Peter, Paul, and Mary singles chronology|
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the second single from his fourth studio album, Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), released on Columbia Records. Backing vocals on the single were performed by Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson, and Phoebe Snow. The song features a recognizable repeated drum riff performed by drummer Steve Gadd.
One of his most popular singles, "50 Ways" was released in December 1975 and began to see chart success within the new year. It became Simon's sole number-one hit as a solo artist on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and was his highest position in France, where it peaked at number two. Elsewhere, the song was a top 20 hit in Canada and New Zealand. The single was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting sales of over one million copies.
Written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper, the song is a mistress's humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship. The song was recorded in a small New York City studio on Broadway.
Charts and certifications
"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was Paul Simon's biggest solo hit and broke in the US in late 1975. It hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 on February 7, 1976 (his only number one on that chart as a solo act), soaring from number ten the previous week, and remained there for three weeks; it topped the adult contemporary chart for two weeks. Overseas, on the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 23 in January 1976. It was certified gold on March 11, 1976, and remained a best seller for nearly five months. Billboard ranked it as the No. 8 song of 1976.
- Paul Simon – vocals, acoustic guitar
- John Tropea, Hugh McCracken – electric guitars
- Patti Austin – background vocals
- Phoebe Snow – background vocals
- Ralph MacDonald – tambourine, shaker
- Steve Gadd – drums
- Tony Levin – bass
- Valerie Simpson – background vocals
- Kenny Ascher – Hammond organ
This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- Brad Mehldau covered the song on the album Day is Done (2005).
- Sophie Milman covered the song on her 2009 album Take Love Easy
- Miley Cyrus covered the song in her "Backyard Sessions" for her charitable "Happy Hippie Foundation".
- Heather Small (lead singer of M People) covered the song on her 2006 album, Close to a Miracle.
- FMT Featuring Camilla covered the song in 1991.
Youtuber Jake Eyes parodized the song's title making it "50 Ways to Die in Minecraft" as his current series in his channel. Currently it has 7 Parts how players die in Minecraft by normal ways (feeding the hungry) or using permission from copyright videos or themes (visiting the Island of Sodor from Thomas and Friends or Star Wars Christmas Special).
- Marc Eliot (2010), Paul Simon: A Life, John Wiley and Sons, p. 142, ISBN 978-0-470-43363-8
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 222.
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1976
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "RPM100: Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 24 (21). February 21, 1976. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "The Programmers' Pop Music Playlist" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 24 (22). February 28, 1976. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Lescharts.com – Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Musicline.de – Paul Simon Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Charts.nz – Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 499. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Paul Simon - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
- "Paul Simon Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "RPM100: Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 26 (14–15). January 8, 1977. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Pop Singles" Billboard December 25, 1976: Talent in Action-6
- Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
- "American single certifications – Paul Simon – 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 16, 2015. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH.
- "50 Ways to Die in Minecraft". Jake Eyes. October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014 – via YouTube.