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 #6 in the United States. 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. The rest are studio cuts.
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") and "Stranded in a Limousine", which originally appeared on the 1977 compilation Greatest Hits, Etc..