"Most people believe Carly Simon's best album is NO SECRETS. I would definitely have to say that I am in agreement with this, and even if this is to be argued, its success is certainly reflective of its artistic credibility - the album itself, along with its leadoff single "You're So Vain" both shot straight to #1. However, people's perception of her 2nd best album vary from BOYS IN THE TREES to COMING AROUND AGAIN. In my opinion however, PLAYING POSSUM wins the #2 slot!An often overlooked, or perhaps "misunderstood" album, probably due to its erotic cover (front and back!), PLAYING POSSUM nevertheless shows Carly at her most melodic, turning out some of the most beautiful songs in her catalogue. Some reviews have labeled the album's songs as generic schmaltz, but if you're a good listener, you will hear a series of love songs that seem to follow a pattern ...The album's opener "After The Storm" is an intense, sensual moment in Carly's music that may very well stand as her most elaborately produced song. She follows that with the powerful "Love Oout In The Street." However, Carly then provides us with a much needed breather in "Look Me In The Eyes" and the sexy "More and More." She continues with the album's most sexually overt song in the obsessive "Slave." Yet with this song, followed by the danceable "Attitude Dancing" one can see this cycle starting over again. Yet Carly, who is obviously intuitive enough to know that her audience needs occasional breaks from intense emotionality for a consistently listenable album, tones it down again with the thought-provoking "Sons Of Summer" and the gentle "Waterfall."However, with the album's 9th track, one can see Carly branching out, stylistically, while retaining the sensuality so prevalent throughout the album - "Are You Ticklish" is perhaps Carly's neatest composition, musically: it's a 1930's-ish waltz complete with a whole horn section, including a memorable opening on clarinet that is so sexy you will find yourself blushing by the song's end. Carly finally concludes with "Playing Possum," the only song on the album that opts for autobiography instead of the not-so-subtle sexuality that's so obvious on all the other tracks.The body of work that Carly has provided is quite impressive to say the least, but I do not think I have found an album of hers that manages to tap into the senses so well without being rendered excessive as this one. To me, that is why PLAYING POSSUM is her 2nd best."
charon-the-oarsman | West Hollywood, CA United States | 04/04/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Producer Richard Perry gets carried away on this one; overproduction abounds. On the grating single "Attitude Dancing," Carly hollers herself hoarse trying to be heard over the cacophony of orchestra, session musicians, chorus, and disco beat. There seems to be an awful lot of padding, but this album is not without its rewards. "Slave" (which should have been the single) is the real stand-out, along with the gorgeous opener "After the Storm." The killer album cover photo was a scandal when the album was released in 1975. When transferring the album to CD, the as-per-usual incompetent folks over at Elektra cropped the top of Carly's head off. Very shabby handling of classic album cover art."
DC Fan | 05/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the 1970's I was enamored with the singer/songwriter soft rock sound prevalent of that era. When "playing Possum" was released in 1975 the single "Attitude Dancing" was receiving airplay on top-40 radio, while the melodic, gentle "Waterfall" was deserving of airplay on Pop/Adult radio. After purchasing the album and listening to every cut, this album clearly became one of my favorite albums of all time.Anybody who appreciates artists like Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell and Carole King should add this "gem" to their collection. Better yet, go out and purchase the Carly Simon box set, where a number of tunes from "Playing Possum" are included in the project."
Once you get past the cover-you'll see this album is great
charon-the-oarsman | 01/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That album cover of "Playing Possum"-what can you say
and it was 1975. This CD is fantastic and i don't know
what happened-maybe it was the cover-I just can't figure
it out. Richard Perry produced it right after "No Secrets"
and "Hotcakes" Every song is greatand some of Carly Simon's
best work. I love the songs "After the Storm", "Love out in
the Street", THE TITLE CUT--every song is great, Okay i love
Carly Simon and she did her best work on Elektra--her best
albums are "No Secrets","Hotcakes", "Playing Possum",
and "Another Passenger" When she moved to Warner Bros. the
classic is "Torch" and of her Arista work the best are "Coming
Around Again" and "The Bedroom Tapes"
Although "Playing Possum" did not do well it belongs right up
there with her best CD "Boys In the Trees""
Playing Possum is the best
Ireneusz Zagrodzki | POLAND | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a little bit personal attitude to the album. In the 70's I was a student and Playing Possum accompanyed me nearly every day, but I did not know who was a singer and a did not know a name of the album. In that time in Poland under comunism it was impossible to get original vinyl record. I had of poor quality records on magnetophone tape by radio. Thanks to the internet I luckily found that it was Carly Simon. More than 25 years I was looking for her name and finally I've got it."