Why (Carly Simon song)

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Single by Carly Simon
from the album Soup for One (soundtrack)
ReleasedAugust 1982
GenreDisco-funk,[1] reggae fusion
LabelMirage Records
Carly Simon singles chronology
"You Know What to Do"

"Why" is a song written by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards and performed by American singer-songwriter Carly Simon. Recorded for the film Soup for One in 1982, the film was a commercial flop but the soundtrack album was a success. One of many film-inspired singles by Simon, the song became a Top 10 hit in the U.K., and was successful throughout Europe.[2]


The song, like the rest of the soundtrack, was produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers of Chic.[3] This was a move away from the usual guitar-based hits of Simon's past. The bittersweet reggae-tinged ballad became a hit in Europe, hitting No. 10 in the UK, and staying on the British charts for 18 weeks.[2] The song peaked at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100, and remained on the chart for 6 weeks.[4] The song has been included on several of Simon's compilation albums, including the three-disc Clouds in My Coffee (1995), the single-disc The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better (1999), and the two-disc Anthology (2002).[5]


Cash Box said that "Simon's vocal and Chic’s polyrhythm street groove proves just the right formula."[6]

Later significance[edit]

In 1989, the song re-surfaced on the Ibiza "Hacienda" scene, and cemented its status as a Balearic classic.[1] Known for its bass-line and funky drums, it was then that the growing hip-hop scene in the USA began to pick it up seven years after its original release. The song re-entered the UK charts the same year, reaching No. 56. In 1990, A Tribe Called Quest would heavily sample the song for a remix of their hit single, "Bonita Applebum".

Track listings and formats[edit]

7" single[7]
  • "Why" – 3:33
  • "Why" (performed by Chic) – 3:33
12" single[7]
  • "Why" (Extended Version) – 8:11
  • "Why" (Instrumental) – 7:06


Chart (1982) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50)[8] 21
Ireland[9] 15
Netherlands[10] 35
UK (Official Chart Company)[2] 10
US (Billboard Hot 100)[4] 74

Music video[edit]

Simon released a music video for the song, which was filmed on the streets of New York City in 1982. Simon's daughter, Sally Taylor, also appears in the video, seen pouring a bottle of wine over a man's head.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Forgotten Treasure: Carly Simon "Why" (1981)". Musicismysanctuary.com. Retrieved 2014-05-25.
  2. ^ a b c "UK Charts > Carly Simon". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on February 4, 2013. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Soup For One (Soundtrack)". Carlysimon.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved 2022-04-23.
  4. ^ a b "Carly Simon - Chart history | Billboard". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  5. ^ "Carly Simon Official Website - Why lyrics". April 14, 2005. Archived from the original on April 14, 2005. Retrieved May 13, 2020.
  6. ^ "Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. June 19, 1982. p. 10. Retrieved 2022-07-07.
  7. ^ a b Why at Discogs (list of releases)
  8. ^ "Carly Simon – "Why"" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-06-06.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts". Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  10. ^ "Carly Simon – "Why"" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2013-06-06.

External links[edit]