Personnel: Carly Simon (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, background vocals); James Taylor (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Carolyn Willis, Clydie King, Abigale Haness, Julia Tillman Waters, Rodney Richmond, Ken Moore, Maxine Willard Waters, Rita Coolidge, Vini Poncia, Carole King (vocals, background vocals); Liza Strike (vocals); Lee Ritenour (guitar, electric guitar, mandolin); Dr. John (guitar, piano, keyboards); Andrew Gold (guitar, drums, tambourine); Jeff Baxter, Alvin Robinson (guitar); Lon Van Eaton (sitar, flute, clarinet); Lon & Derrek Van Eaton (sitar, synthesizer); Derrek Van Eaton (fiddle, flute); Tommy Morgan (harmonica); Trevor Lawrence (saxophone, alto saxophone); Billy Mernit (piano); James Newton Howard (electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer, ARP synthesizer); Andy Newmark (drums, percussion); Ivy Cottler, Jim Gordon , Leland Sklar, Ringo Starr, Russ Kunkel, Irving Cottler (drums); Eddie Bango, Eddie Bongo (congas); Richard Perry (tambourine); Alan Estes, Fred Staehle, Emil Richards (percussion); Kenny Moore, Julia Tillman (background vocals).
Audio Remixers: Norm Kinney; Bill Schnee.
Recording information: Sound Labs, Inc.
Photographer: Norman Seeff.
Unknown Contributor Role: Lon Van Eaton.
Arrangers: Paul Riser; Carly Simon.
From the see-through skirt on the cover photo of 1971's ANTICIPATION onwards, Carly Simon has never minded showing off her body. However, the cover shot for 1975's PLAYING POSSUM--a photo to which the only possible response is "yowza"--is so provocative that in many folks' minds, it's eclipsed the album itself. This seems to have happened even to Simon--her three-disc career compilation CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE includes nothing from this hit album.
Simon's last album to be produced by mid-'70s hitmaker Richard Perry, PLAYING POSSUM does show why she chose to go into a new, more sonically adventurous direction with her next album, ANOTHER PASSENGER. It's not that PLAYING POSSUM is dull--the single "Attitude Dancing" is a minor gem, slight but awfully fun, as is "Are You Ticklish?"--just that Simon occasionally sounds as if she feels somewhat hemmed-in by Perry's arrangements. Regardless, this is terrific, underrated '70s pop.