One-Trick Pony (album)

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One-Trick Pony
Soundtrack album / Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 12, 1980[1]
StudioA&R Studios, New York except "Ace in the hole" and "One Trick Pony" recorded live at The Agora Club, Cleveland, Ohio
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerPaul Simon, Phil Ramone
Paul Simon chronology
Greatest Hits, Etc.
One-Trick Pony
Hearts and Bones
Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert ChristgauB−[3]
Rolling Stone(mixed)[4]

One-Trick Pony, Paul Simon's fifth solo studio album, was released in 1980. It was Simon's first album for Warner Bros. Records, and his first new studio album since 1975's Still Crazy After All These Years. His back catalog from Columbia Records would also move to Warner Bros. as a result of his signing with the label.

Paul Simon's One-Trick Pony was released concurrently with the film of the same name, in which Simon also starred. Despite their similarities, the album and film are musically distinct: each features different versions of the same songs, as well as certain songs that appear exclusively on either the film or the album. The album is best known for the Grammy-nominated track "Late in the Evening" which was a hit for Simon in 1980, peaking at No. 6 in the United States. The title track was also released as a single and became a U.S. Top 40 hit. Both songs were also Top 20 hits on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. Two of the tracks (the title song and "Ace in the Hole") were recorded live at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio in September 1979, while the rest are studio cuts.

Several session musicians appearing on the album also appeared in the movie as the character Jonah's backing band: guitarist Eric Gale, pianist Richard Tee, bassist Tony Levin and drummer Steve Gadd. Simon toured Europe and America in 1980 with this band in support of the album, with one concert from Philadelphia recorded on video and released on VHS under the title "Paul Simon in Concert", then subsequently on DVD under 2 different titles for the same concert footage ("Live at the Tower Theatre" and "Live from Philadelphia").

In 2004, One-Trick Pony was remastered and re-released by Warner Bros. Records. This reissue contains four bonus tracks, including "Soft Parachutes" and "Spiral Highway" (an early version of "How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns") both of which were featured in the film but were missing from the original album release. Also included in the re-release were the outtake of "All Because of You" (an early version of "Oh, Marion" that would also spawn "God Bless the Absentee") and "Stranded in a Limousine", which originally appeared on the 1977 compilation Greatest Hits, Etc..

Album title[edit]

The title is a colloquial American expression meaning a person specializing in only one area, having only one talent, or of limited ability.[5]

Hit singles[edit]

The album yielded two hit singles: "Late in the Evening" (US #6, AC #7) and "One-Trick Pony" (US #40, AC #17).

Track listing[edit]

All songs were written by Paul Simon.

Side one
  1. "Late in the Evening" – 4:02
  2. "That's Why God Made the Movies" – 3:37
  3. "One-Trick Pony" (Live at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio, September 1979) – 3:53
  4. "How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns" – 2:49
  5. "Oh, Marion" – 4:00
Side two
  1. "Ace in the Hole" (duet with Richard Tee) (Live at the Agora Theatre and Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio, September 1979) – 5:43
  2. "Nobody" – 3:32
  3. "Jonah" – 3:30
  4. "God Bless the Absentee" – 3:17
  5. "Long, Long Day" (with Patti Austin) – 3:57
2004 re-release
  1. "Soft Parachutes" – 1:53
  2. "All Because of You" – 4:06
  3. "Spiral Highway" – 2:56
  4. "Stranded in a Limousine" – 3:10





Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[18] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Grammy Awards[edit]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1981 "Late in the Evening" Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male[20] Nominated

Cover versions[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ "One-Trick Pony".
  2. ^ AllMusic review
  3. ^ Robert Christgau review
  4. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2016-06-11.{{cite magazine}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Oxford English Dictionary, Third edition, June 2004; online version March 2011". {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 283. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2011-10-23.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ " Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony". MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  9. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste : Paul Simon". Archived from the original on 2012-11-24. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  10. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
  11. ^ " - Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  12. ^ " Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony". Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  13. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  14. ^ " Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  15. ^ "The Official Charts Company - Paul Simon - One-Trick Pony". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  16. ^ AllMusic - One-Trick Pony > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  17. ^ "Les Albums (CD) de 1980 par InfoDisc" (PHP) (in French). Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  18. ^ "British album certifications – Paul Simon – One-trick Pony". British Phonographic Industry.
  19. ^ "American album certifications – Paul Simon – One Trick Pony". Recording Industry Association of America.
  20. ^ "Rock On The Net: 23rd Annual Grammy Awards - 1981". Retrieved 2011-08-08.

External links[edit]