The remastered and expanded edition of Carly Simon‘s Spoiled Girl, originally released in 1985, received a favorable review from The Second Disc‘s John Marchese, who certainly supports why this album has become such a cult favorite.
Hot Shot Records’ impressive, expanded reissue (HSR-105, 2012) accomplishes what few such releases do: it gives a new lease on life to a maligned almost-classic that many fans – and perhaps even the artist herself – had long since written off.
He draws special attention to “The Wives Are in Connecticut”:
The most interesting track on Spoiled Girl just might be the album’s most atypical. “The Wives Are in Connecticut” is described in the liner notes by Simon as “sinister,” while producer Phil Ramone opines that it’s “the biggest piece of salt ever poured on a wound.” In any event, it’s a fiendishly clever piece of songcraft about some philandering fellow who also suspects his wife of infidelity, cataloguing her possible conquests in his mind. With a tricky melody and sly lyric, it’s an “art song” every bit as striking as “The Carter Family” or “His Friends Are More Than Fond of Robin” from 1972’s breakthrough No Secrets.
He also covers the bonus tracks, essay by Christian John Wilkane, and interviews with producers Phil Ramone, Don Was, Frank Filipetti, and Carly Simon herself.
The willingness of the album’s creators to participate in its reissue all these years later speaks for itself. Simon’s reflections are personal but objective; she accurately laments that Spoiled Girl “doesn’t work all together,” adding, “It’s so disparate.” But she acknowledges the strength of the individual components: “I do think the album is retrievable…Maybe it will have another time. Things do come around again…”