Number 1 With A Bullet: Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain”

One of the most storied songs in the rock and roll canon, “You’re So Vain” was [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Carly Simon[/lastfm]’s one and only #1 hit.

It’s not about Carly Simon’s former husband, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]James Taylor[/lastfm], she’s confessed (though he did take a plane to Nova Scotia not long after the song came out). Nor is it about [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mick Jagger[/lastfm], whose appearance as a backup singer on the song was nothing near the ruse that has become of rock legend. (He happened to be in town at the time of the recording.)

The most we will ever know about the person who is “so vain” in Carly’s biggest hit is that she had three or four different people in mind when she wrote the song. She’s not confessing to anything more than that.

She does give props to producer Richard Perry, though, whose perfectionism Simon has credited the song’s great success and lasting influence.

It spent three weeks at #1 starting January 6, 1973.


Read Michael Verity’s music reviews and get free MP3’s at

Check out more songs that were “#1 with a Bullet.




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