Friday, 05 May 2017

Classic Albums: Carly Simon’s No Secrets

You’ll probably think this show is about her

Written by Ben Felsenburg
Classic Albums: Carly Simon’s No Secrets (Friday, BBC4, 10pm) gives us the chance to savour the best put-down in pop: ‘you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about Ben-Felsenburg-colour-176you’ – a line so seductive even its reputed subject, Warren Beatty, is said to have been delighted to be the target of the early 1970s hit. Many other red-blooded males of the era have been bandied about as the man who ‘walked into a party like he was walking on to a yacht’ – Jagger, Nicholson, Kristofferson, to name but a few.

Yet missing from the list is Simon’s least likely paramour, William Donaldson, the English man of letters who enjoyed a fling with the American singer at the start of her career, dubbing her ‘the answer to any sane man’s prayers; funny, quick, erotic, extravagantly talented’. Anyway, you’re so vain is by far the greatest jewel of an album that sold by the shedload and bore a memorable cover photo of simon striding out on to Portobello road, as she managed to pull off the canny trick of appearing the epitome of liberated womanhood while also appealing to male fantasy.

Looking back almost half a century as she’s interviewed at her lovely home in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, Simon sings a few snatches that show her voice remains pure and true. Likewise the hippy-dippy ethos is entirely undiminished: ‘it’s a holistic experience. Writing. Breathing. Singing. Living.’ The Age of Aquarius lives on.




NOT TO BE MISSED...

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MEXICO: EARTH'S FESTIVAL OF LIFE (Sunday, BBC2, 8pm)
From Aztec shrines to agave tequila, the riches of Mexico and its almost boundless natural world are uncovered in a new series.

THE SECRETS OF SLEEP (Monday, More4, 9pm)
Insomniacs need suffer no more, thanks to a sleep clinic that provides extraordinary footage of what restless souls get up to at night.

MOROCCO TO TIMBUKTU: AN ARABIAN ADVENTURE (Thursday, BBC2, 9pm)
Adventuress Alice Morrison sets off along the Salt roads, taking her from Tangiers across the Sahara to Timbuktu.


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