Spy (Carly Simon album)

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Carly Simon Spy.jpg
Studio album by Carly Simon
Released June 30, 1979
Recorded Dec. 1978 - April 1979 at Atlantic Studios, New York City
Genre Rock
Length 40:37
Label Elektra
Producer Arif Mardin
Carly Simon chronology
Boys in the Trees
Come Upstairs
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars [1]

Spy is singer-songwriter Carly Simon's ninth album, and eighth studio album, released in 1979. It is also her last album for Elektra Records. The title of the album is a tribute to Anaïs Nin, whose quote “I am an international spy in the house of love”, is written across the top on the inside jacket. Simon dedicated the album to producer Arif Mardin, in which she wrote in the liner notes, "Dedicated to Arif who is himself fantastic."

Although Spy did not yield any major hit singles, "Vengeance" earned Simon a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female in early 1980, the first year to feature this new category.[2] It peaked at #48 on the Billboard Pop singles chart. Simon made a music video for the song,[3] and MTV later used a clip from it in a commercial that tried to entice viewers to get stereo sound on their TV sets.[4] The promotional clip was also chosen by Pioneer Electronics to be part of their first demo disc for its then-new Laserdisc player.

The album also features a track entitled "Never Been Gone", which has gone on to become a fan favorite, as well as one of Simon's personal favorites.[5] In 2009, she would release an album entitled after the track.


22nd Annual Grammy Awards

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1980 "Vengeance" Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female Nominated

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Carly Simon; except where indicated

Side one

  1. "Vengeance" – 4:14
  2. "Just Like You Do" – 4:14
  3. "We're So Close" – 5:10
  4. "Coming to Get You" – 2:49
  5. "Never Been Gone" (Jacob Brackman, Simon) – 3:36

Side two

  1. "Pure Sin" (Simon, Frank Carillo) – 3:56
  2. "Love You By Heart" (Simon, Libby Titus, Jacob Brackman) – 3:55
  3. "Spy" (James Taylor, Simon, Arif Mardin) – 4:14
  4. "Memorial Day" – 8:29



Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1979 Pop Albums 45

Album - International

Year Country Position
1979 Australia 33[6]
1979 Canada 56[7]

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Vengeance" Pop Singles 48
1979 "Spy" Adult Contemporary 34


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William. Spy at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Rock On The Net: Grammy Awards: Best Rock Vocal Performance - Female". rockonthenet.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  3. ^ "Vengeance - Carly Simon - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  4. ^ "Carly Simon - (1981) MTV In Stereo Commercial - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved 2014-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Carly Simon Official Website - Ask Carly". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2014-12-28. 
  6. ^ David Kent (1993). Australian Charts Book 1970—1992. Australian Chart Book Pty Ltd, Turramurra, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  7. ^ "CAN Charts > Carly Simon". RPM. Retrieved 2015-01-04. 

External links[edit]