Thursday Inspiration #129 That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word family, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be’, or by going with another song by Carly Simon, or anything else that you think fits.  Carly Simon recorded this song on her debut studio self-titled album Carly Simon, which was released in 1971.  Carly Simon had already released three albums in the sixties with her sister Lucy as The Simon Sisters, before she became a solo artist.  In 1968, Elephant’s Memory briefly added Carly Simon as a vocalist (before John Lennon and Yoko Ono used them as backing band which was from 1971 to 1973).  When she set her sights on becoming a solo artist, she sent out demo tapes, but she was turned down by Jerry Ragovoy and Clive Davis, because nobody knew who she was.

When Jac Holzman the founder of Elektra Records listened to Carly’s audition tape, he was impressed with her, and in the 1960s he signed on some of the big pop and rock voices of the era like Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Jackson Browne, and the Doors.  Jac Holzman signed and paired her with the 28-year-old legendary producer Eddie Kramer, who helped build Electric Lady Studios while producing Jimi Hendrix and worked with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin among others and he learned his craft from producer Jimmy Miller.  Kramer said that Carley was insecure onstage, as she had struggled terribly for years with a stammer and she suffered from stage fright, possibly because she was molested as a child, but in the studio, she was rocking it.  ‘That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be’, earned enough respect in the industry to land her the Best New Artist Grammy in 1972.

This was Carly Simon’s first single, and she wrote this song with Jacob Brackman who met her in 1968 when they were both working as counselors at a summer camp in the Berkshires (western parts of Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut).  The two became close friends with them being close in age and both coming from New York.  Jacob was teaching creative writing at a camp called Indian Hill, while Carly was the folk singing campfire counselor, so he decided that he would write some songs for her.  Most of Simon’s albums include one or two songs co-written with Brackman, where typically, Simon would write the music and Brackman wrote the lyrics.  Among the dozens of songs, that they wrote together are two top ten hits, this one ‘That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be from 1971 and ‘Haven’t Got Time for the Pain’ from 1974.  The lyrics to the Broadway musical King of Hearts were also written by Brackman, and so, too, were the screenplays for The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) and Times Square (1980).  He has also collaborated musically with James Taylor, Steve Winwood, Dr. John, Fred Astaire, Michel Polnareff and Dionne Warwick.  He was the executive producer for the acclaimed Terrence Malick film, Days of Heaven (1978).

Simon was amazed at Brackman’s ability to fit lyrics to a melody without using clichés.  ‘That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be is a song about doing what is expected of every person, once they reach a certain age.  It was written from a woman’s point of view, and it came out of a conversation that Simon had with Brackman.  He was going through some relationship troubles that were very similar to Simon’s, where his girlfriend moved in with him and he was worried about giving up some of his identity and personal space as he felt this was an infringement on his territory.  Later Simon said that when this song was first written, she thought it was an unusual thing for people to break up, but over the years all of her friends ended up getting divorced.  Carly’s second album Anticipation later in 1971, scored a modest hit with the title track and her career took off with with her third album, No Secrets, which contained the #1 hit ‘You’re So Vain’.

But you say it’s time we moved in together
And raised a family of our own, you and me
Well, that’s the way I’ve always heard it should be
You want to marry me, we’ll marry

10 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #129 That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be

  1. She was around longer than I thought. Her voice brings back the seventies to me. Robbie Robertson worked with her also in the mid sixties…

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