Carly Simon recordings
decades plus after its release in December 1972, "You're So Vain"
continues to titillate its listeners about who exactly the subject of the
song was. Although it has
always been a great source of interest as to who the song is actually
about, thought by many to be Warren Beatty, Carly
Simon released an acoustic version in 2010 for her album Never Been Gone and sang the word “David”
backward during the new version.
This caused a new wave of wonderment and David Geffen was favourited, but has since been denied. Thers that
have been mentioned have been David Cassidy, David Bowie, David Crosby and
certainly captured the public's fancy early, rocketing to #1 on the
Billboard Top 100 in January 1973.
The first line was supposedly overheard at a party. If the song is in part about Mick Jagger, it is ironic that he is singing backing vocals
on the track. Simon was in the
midst of recording the song with Harry Nilsson when Mick called and she
invited him to come and flesh out the chorus. When Nilsson heard Jagger and Simon sing together, he politely recused himself from the recording. "You're So Vain" assumed
the top spot for three weeks and crossed over onto the Adult Contemporary
chart, where it ruled for two.
It was Carly's first #1 and originally
appeared on No Secrets, released
in November 1972.
song has been remade several times over by an eclectic crew of artists and
groups, including Jann Arden, David Axelrod, John Barrowman, Chimira,
Chocolate Starfish, Daryll-Ann, Dres, Faster Pussycat, The Feeling, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, Liza
Minnelli, The Mountain Goats, Smokie, and Anna Waronker.
Janet Jackson sampled it on "Son of a Gun (I Betcha Think This Song is About You)", on which
Simon provided backing vocals. " You're So Vain" went to #3 on the U.K. chart
and was re-issued in 1991 to capitalize on a Dunlop Tyres commercial in
which it was used. It has also
appeared in the films Dick and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Apparently, the only other person
who knows the secret identities of the song's subjects is NBC honcho Dick Ebersol, a friend of Simon's, who won the secret at a