Playing Possum

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For the concept "playing possum", see Apparent death.
Playing Possum
Playing Possum.jpg
Studio album by Carly Simon
Released 21 April 1975
Recorded 1975 at Sound Labs, Sunset Sound Recorders, Crystal Sound, A&M Studios and Burbank Studios, California
Genre Rock, Pop, Disco, Jazz
Length 34:48
Label Elektra
Producer Richard Perry
Carly Simon chronology
Hotcakes
(1974)
Playing Possum
(1975)
The Best of Carly Simon
(1975)
Singles from Playing Possum
  1. "Attitude Dancing"
    Released: 1975
  2. "Waterfall"
    Released: 1975
  3. "More and More"
    Released: 1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone (mixed)[2]

Playing Possum is singer-songwriter Carly Simon's fifth studio album, released in April 1975.

It was Simon's third consecutive album to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Pop albums chart, peaking at No. 10 in June 1975. The lead single from the album, "Attitude Dancing", which featured Carole King on backing vocals, was also a success, peaking at No. 21 on Billboard Pop singles chart, and No. 18 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. A second single, "Waterfall," which featured prominent backing vocals by Simon's then-husband James Taylor, didn't fare as well, reaching no higher than No. 78 on the Pop singles chart. It fared much better on the AC chart, entering the Top 40 and peaking at No. 21. The album's third and final single "More and More" was co-written by New Orleans pianist Dr. John, who also played piano on the track, along with Ringo Starr on drums, but it peaked no higher than No.94 on the Pop singles chart.

Cover artwork[edit]

Today, Playing Possum may best be remembered for its controversial cover photograph, which shows the singer wearing only a black negligee, sheer-to-waist pantyhose, and knee-high black boots. The photographer was Norman Seeff.[3] It was nominated for Best Album Package at the 18th Annual Grammy Awards.[4] In 1991, it ranked at #20 on the Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest album covers.[5]

Simon chose to include further photographs from the session in the booklets accompanying her three-CD boxed set, Clouds in My Coffee (1995), and her two-CD collection, Anthology (2003). The singles "Attitude Dancing" and "Waterfall" were included on the Anthology set as well.

Awards[edit]

18th Annual Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1976 "Playing Possum" Best Album Package Nominated

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Carly Simon; except where indicated

Side one

  1. "After the Storm" – 2:47
  2. "Love Out in the Street" – 3:40
  3. "Look Me in the Eyes" – 3:34
  4. "More and More" (Mac Rebennack, Alvin Robinson) – 4:02
  5. "Slave" (Simon, Jacob Brackman) – 3:54

Side two

  1. "Attitude Dancing" (Simon, Jacob Brackman) – 3:52
  2. "Sons of Summer" (Bill Mernit) – 3:05
  3. "Waterfall" – 3:31
  4. "Are You Ticklish" – 2:26
  5. "Playing Possum" – 3:57

Personnel[edit]

  • Carly Simon — Acoustic guitar, guitar, piano, arrangements, vocals, background vocals
  • Jeff Baxter — Guitar (track 4)
  • Eddie Bongo — Conga (track 6)
  • Rita Coolidge — Vocals, background vocals (track 2; 5)
  • Irving Cottler — Drums (track 9)
  • Dr. John — Guitar, piano, keyboards (track 4)
  • Alan Estes — Percussion (track 1; 3)
  • Andrew Gold — Guitar, drums, tambourine (track 1; 2; 6; 10)
  • Jim Gordon — Drums (track 6)
  • Abigale Haness — Vocals, background vocals (track 6)
  • James Newton Howard — Arp Synthesizer, keyboards, electric piano (track 3)
  • Carole King — Vocals, background vocals (track 6)
  • Clydie King — Vocals, background vocals (track 2; 5)
  • Sneaky Pete Kleinow — Pedal steel guitar (track 10)
  • Russ Kunkel — Drums (track 5; 8)
  • Trevor Lawrence — Saxophone, alto saxophone (track 1)
  • Billy Mernit — Piano (track 2;7)
  • Joe Mondragon — Bass (track 9)
  • Ken Moore — Vocals, background vocals (track 6)
  • Tommy Morgan — Harmonica (track 10)
  • Andy Newmark — Percussion, drums (track 2)
  • Richard Perry — Tambourine (track 4)
  • Vini Poncia — Vocals, background vocals (track 3)
  • Emil Richards — Percussion (track 2)
  • Rodney Richmond — Vocals, background vocals (track 2)
  • Lee Ritenour — Guitar, mandolin, electric guitar (track 1; 5; 8)
  • Alvin Robinson — Guitar (track 4)
  • Leland Sklar — Bass, drums (track 5; 8)
  • Fred Staehle — Percussion (track 4)
  • Ringo Starr — Drums (track 4)
  • Liza Strike — Vocals
  • James Taylor — Acoustic guitar, guitar, vocals, background vocals (track 3; 5; 8; 10)
  • Julia Tillman Waters — Vocals, background vocals (track 4)
  • Derrek Van Eaton — Fiddle, flute (track 8)
  • Lon Van Eaton — Clarinet, flute, sitar (track 8; 10)
  • Klaus Voormann — Bass (track 1; 4)
  • Willie Weeks — Bass (track 2; 6; 10)
  • Maxine Willard — Background vocals (track 4)
  • Carolyn Willis — Vocals, background vocals (track 4)

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1975 Pop Albums 10

Album - International

Year Country Position
1975 Australia 25[6]
1975 Canada 22[7]
1975 Japan 70[7]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Attitude Dancing" Pop Singles 21
1975 "Attitude Dancing" Adult Contemporary 18
1975 "Waterfall" Pop Singles 78
1975 "Waterfall" Adult Contemporary 21
1975 "More and More" Pop Singles 94

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Holden, S. (June 19, 1975). "Playing Possum". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  3. ^ Norman Seeff
  4. ^ "Grammy Awards 1976". Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Album Covers". Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ a b "CAN Charts > Carly Simon". RPM. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 

External links[edit]