Never Been Gone
(Iris Records)


A mainstay on the pop / rock and singer-songwriter scene since the early 1970’s, Carly Simon is very much alive and well on her 2009 CD Never Been Gone. The CD was released on Iris Records, which is also the label that her son Ben Taylor records on. The twelve track Never Been Gone features songs that most pop fans over fifty no doubt remember from the heyday of '70s FM radio. The excellent CD packaging features in depth liner notes from Jack Mauro, along with new track by track liner notes by Carly, lyrics and listings of all the players on hand. With Carly handling all the vocals, acoustic guitars and piano, the CD also features contributions from Ben Taylor (acoustic guitars, loops and background vocals), Larry Ciancia (cajon and percussion), Peter Calo (guitars), Sally Taylor (background vocals), Ben Thomas and Chris Thomas (bass) and many more. Instead of being a CD of all new material, and with an accent here on presenting the music in a largely acoustic-based format, Never Been Gone tastefully rearranges Carly’s best and most famous songs such as “The Right Thing To Do”, “Never Been Gone”, “You’re So Vain”, “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be”, “Anticipation” and more. In addition, the CD also features two never-heard-before surprises. Son of Carly and folk-rock legend James Taylor, Ben Taylor actually came up with the concept of a newly recorded best of to which Carly adds, ‘It was a revelation to me that these lyrics and melodies were so innocent of age and experience when I composed them back when. Ben, David Saw, Peter Calo, Larry Ciancia and I, with only the instruments in our hands, revised the songs: songs such as “You’re So Vain” and “Anticipation.” They all came out different! It was a sport of sort, as well as a visit with the psychiatrist.’ In Carly’s notable altruistic approach, a portion of proceeds from the release will go to the Carly Simon Music Therapy Initiative, which is a collaboration between Carly Simon and Berklee College of music that brings the healing power of music into the community at large. /


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