Kodachrome (song)

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Single by Paul Simon
from the album There Goes Rhymin' Simon
ReleasedMay 19, 1973
GenrePop rock
Songwriter(s)Paul Simon
Paul Simon singles chronology
"Loves Me Like a Rock"
"Loves Me Like a Rock"
Kodachrome - Paul Simon; Vinyl record

"Kodachrome" is a song by the American singer-songwriter Paul Simon. It was the lead single from his third studio album, There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), released on Columbia Records.


The song is named after the Kodak 35mm film Kodachrome. After a review in Billboard's May 12 issue praising its "cheerfully antisocial lyrics," the song debuted at #82 in the Hot 100 on the week-ending May 19, 1973.[1] Four weeks later, the song moved to #9, sandwiched ahead of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando and behind May 19, 1973, Hot 100 top debut (#59) "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" by George Harrison;[2] two weeks later it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100[3] as well as the Billboard adult contemporary chart.[4] In the United Kingdom, the song was marketed as the B-side to "Take Me to the Mardi Gras" (CBS 1578).[5] The song was also banned by the Federation of (Australian) Radio Broadcasters.[6]

The lyrics to this song on There Goes Rhymin' Simon differed in wording from those on The Concert in Central Park (1982) and Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991 albums. The former (the album) said, "...everything looks worse in black and white," but the latter (the concerts) said, "...everything looks better in black and white." While it might be easy to read into the change in lyrics, Simon said, "I can't remember which way I originally wrote it -- 'better' or 'worse' -- but I always change it....'Kodachrome' was a song that was originally called 'Goin' Home.'"[7]

An instrumental version was also music for Level 3 and Level 11 in the computer game Frantic Freddie.


The musicians on this session were the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.[8]



In an interview conducted in November 2008, Simon said that what he had in mind when writing the song was to call it "Going Home". However, finding 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.[10]

Chart performance[edit]



  1. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 85 (38): 68. May 19, 1973. ISSN 0006-2510.
  2. ^ "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 85 (42): 88. June 16, 1973. ISSN 0006-2510.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  4. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications)
  5. ^ See label photos at 45cat.com
  6. ^ Billboard (Billboard Publications), July 7, 1973, page 53.
  7. ^ "Still Creative After All These Years," interview with Daniel J. Levitin, Grammy magazine, Winter, 1997.
  8. ^ "Kodachrome by Paul Simon Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2016-10-08.
  9. ^ http://aln2.albumlinernotes.com/Paul_Simon_Greatest_Hits.html
  10. ^ Paul Simon on "One on One" with Katherine Lanpher Thursday, November 13, at the Union Square Barnes & Noble
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "RPM100: Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 19 (23). July 21, 1973. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Programmers' Adult Contemporary Playlist" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 19 (23). July 21, 1973. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – Paul Simon – Kodachrome" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Paul Simon – Kodachrome" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  16. ^ [Flavour of New Zealand, 27 August 1973]
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ "Paul Simon - Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on October 2, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2015.
  19. ^ "Paul Simon Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  20. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 14, 1973
  21. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.100214&type=2&interval=24&PHPSESSID=dtlhqtcdftn9t40n27r4hds2h0
  22. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  23. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 29, 1973


External links[edit]