My favorite songs: “The Right Thing to Do”

I first wrote about this song last May, saying, “Riding that coffeehouse piano vibe, with snappy production from Richard Perry — it sounds so deliciously crisp — Simon sings the hell out of this out-and-out love song for her then-husband James Taylor. I love Simon’s lyrics, I love the melody, I love the sound of this. My favorite in this countdown, and one of my favorites of the front half of the 1970s, in fact.” Don’t make the mistake of conflating this with much of the soft pop of its era; Simon gives “The Right Thing” a slight bite, never letting her delivery lapse into pillow talk. This was preceded up the charts by the #1 smash “You’re So Vain,” which helped lead parent album No Secrets to #1 as well, but this is the real gem, that early ’70s all-too-rarity: a non-stupid love song, one you could (and can) believe. Carly Simon is tricky, and likely a better artist than you believe her to be.


About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
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