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On this day in 1973 — 50 years ago — Paul Simon released his hit song, “Kodachrome”
On this day in 1973 — 50 years ago — Paul Simon released “Kodachrome,” the lead single from his third studio album, There Goes Rhymin' Simon.
The song is named after the Kodak 35mm film, Kodachrome. The song reached #2 on the Billboard charts in the United States.
It did not do well in the U.K. because the British Broadcasting Corp. would not play a song using a trademarked name. Eastman Kodak Company required the album to note that Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak and to include the registered trademark symbol ® after the song's title. In later releases, the trademark symbol was dropped. It must have been OK because in the late 1990s, Kodak used the song in commercials to sell film.
The lyrics to this song on There Goes Rhymin' Simon differed in wording from those on the The Concert in Central Park (1982) and Paul Simon's Concert in the Park, August 15, 1991 albums. The former (the album) said, "...everything looks worse in black and white," but the latter (the concerts) said, "...everything looks better in black and white."
While it might be easy to read into the change in lyrics, Simon said, "I can't remember which way I originally wrote it -- 'better' or 'worse' -- but I always change it....'Kodachrome' was a song that was originally called “Goin' Home.”