Quad LP/Tape Poll Simon, Carly: Playing Possum [CD-4/Q8]

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Rate the Quadraphonic release of Carly Simon - Playing Possum

  • 9

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5: Mediocre

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 1: Utter crap

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

EMB

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Please post your thoughts and comments on this Elektra release from 1975, Carly Simon's "Playing Possum"

Originally available on a CD-4 Quadradisc and Q8 tape

Carly Playing Possum.jpg


Side 1:

After the Storm
Love Out in the Street
Look Me in The Eyes
More & More
Slave

Side 2:

Attitude Dancing
Sons of Summer
Waterfall
Are You Ticklish
Playing Possum

ED :)
 
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J. PUPSTER

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Her fifth studio album, is an album I'd describe as 'Sultry Pop'; which is reinforced by the looks of the cover photo.

The production on this album is by Richard Perry who I know more from the stuff he did with Harry Nilsson. His production style from my experience is with lots of orchestration and some horns etc. (per song style of course) which is present on this as well.
Mastered by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab.

It generally takes time to get to know an album well, and I'll admit I've only heard this one a few times, so there's probably more I can pull from it with a few more listens. The songs here are mainly about Love and the rocky road of relationships, comfort and defiance and loss.

I felt the overall sound here was very immersive with lots of well placed elements in the rears as well. Sound wise (from the recording) I felt the drums could have used a little more punch/presence though. There was good phantom center presence, especially with vocals, which is something I'm always listening for in these old Quad recordings, as sometimes they just seem to get lost too far back in the mix (or mastering.)
Plenty of great players backing Carly on this one also, as I'll note below.

Some instrument placement I'm hearing in certain songs are as follows:

1: After The Storm
Guitar (Lee Ritenour) -Rear/Left
Piano (Carly S.)- Rear/Right
Alto Sax solo (Trevor Lawrence)- Front/Right
Strings (arranged by Carly S.)- Front/Right

3: Look Me In The Eyes
Acoustic guitars (Carly S. & James Taylor) Fronts
ARP synthesizer (James Newton Howard)- Right/Rear (sounds like it's playing in unison with the back-up vocals in the L/R.)
Back up vocals (Carly S., James Taylor & Vini Poncia) Left/Rear
*Multiple vocal harmonies highlight this track.

4: More & More
Acoustic Piano (Dr. John) Phantom Center
Electric Guitar (Jeff "Skunk" Baxter)- Right/Rear
Drums (Ringo Starr)
Bass (Klaus Voormann)

5: Slave
Acoustic guitars (Carly S. & James Taylor)
Mandolin & Electric Guitar (Lee Ritenour)
Bass (Leland Sklar)
Drums (Russ Kunkel)
Backing Vocals (Rita Coolidge, Clydie King, Carly S. & James Taylor)
*Sorry, didn't catch the speaker locations on this one (maybe next time); but did notice a nice guitar slide cross channel from Left/Rear to Front Right.

6: Attitude Dancing
Horn and String arrangements (Paul Riser) *A real nice Latin style horn arrangement in the Right/Rear.
Drums (Jim Gordon)
Congas (Eddie Bongo)
Backing Vocals (Abigale Haness, Carole King & Ken Moore) -Rears
Guitar solo (Andrew Gold)- nice guitar solo in Phantom Center

8: Waterfall
*this sounded like it could have been a Carol King song to me (makes me wonder if she was influenced from hanging out with King on 'Attitude Dancing'.
Acoustic guitars (Carly S. & James Taylor)
*Layered Vocal Harmonies with nice James Taylor vocal movement in the mix, that sounded like it went from Right/Rear to Front and then to the cross field to the Left/Rear.
Electric Guitar (Lee Ritenour)
Drums (Russ Kunkel)
Bass (Leland Sklar)
Clarinet – (Lon Van Eaton)
Flute – (Derrek Van Eaton)

10: Playing Possum
Piano (Carly S.)
Strings (arranged by Carly S.)
Pedal Steel Guitar (Sneaky Pete Kleinow)- Front/Right; * & movement from Front/Left to Front/Right then cross channel to Rear/Left.
Harmonica (Tommy Morgan) - Rear/Left
Sitar (Lon Van Eaton)- Rear/Left
Background vocals (James Taylor)- Rear/Left
Bass (Willie Weeks)

Not sure any of the songs have really grabbed me substantially yet as to their overall staying power, but I believe there are some very nice tunes here to like. With the rich, production qualities of Richard Perry and layered vocals harmonies on many tunes there's a lot to dig into still. And with all the great players on this album, I know I'll be checking it out more with appreciation.

I'll be giving this one a vote of 8, until further notice :)
 
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J. PUPSTER

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I love the WaterFall song...a real earworm and Russ Kunkel plays fantastic drums on this one
Yes indeed Mr. aludra; and that makes me think of the old Aristotle saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

Which is why it's interesting to catch a moment in time for all these great players, and relate each song back to their style, on their instrument. That then is also affected by the arrangement and the style of the producer, which creates and focusses the imagery that is tied to the wishes of the artist and the poetic story they want to convey. To know something of each musician's style of play (or can learn from it), and combine it with the meaning of the song and how that might emote certain phrasing from that artist for their part in the song, is important IMO.

So that's why I like to include the more recognizable players in a review; sort of a study of the musical artistry of it all.
And when I go back to listen the next time, I'll have those players in mind which helps me better feel the intent of the song.
 

aludra

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I think that is great the way you're recognizing the musicians and artists and producer as a synergy and in a very poetic way I might add.

I also happen to love the layering of JT's background vocals along with carly's with the clarinet playing on top of them both...brilliant arranging.

Thanks for this detailed review.... :)
 
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