CARLY SIMON HAS ALWAYS LOVED THE movies. And 26 years after she began a hit-making streak that includes "You're So Vain," "Anticipation" and the Oscar-winning "Let the River Run" from Working Girl, the 52-year-old pop chanteuse has just finished Film Noir (Arista), a collection of songs drawn mostly from the dark, enigmatic detective films of the 1940s and '50s.
To get in the spirit, Simon prepared for Noir recording sessions by watching the movie in which the day's song had appeared, like Laura, with its theme of the same name. "It was like putting on a new face," she says.
Simon can make her fans put on a new face, too—or at least an Afro wig, as President Clinton did at a Martha's Vineyard party in September after a rendition of "We Are Family," when she joined children Ben, 20, and Sally, 23 (from Simon's past marriage to James Taylor). "He was such a good sport," Simon says of Clinton. "Whenever music's around, he lights up."
Simon plans to follow Noir with a stripped-down set of originals called Stark. "I always do the opposite of what I've just done," she explains. And nobody, as she sang in another movie, does it better.