Why Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson Covered Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’

Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson were making music together and decided to cover Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.” Manson explained why they chose that song. Subsequently, he revealed what Simon thought of the cover.

Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson, who covered Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" together, wearing suits
Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson | LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP via Getty Images

Why Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson thought it’d be funny if they covered ‘You’re So Vain’

Depp and Manson have collaborated multiple times. For example, Depp appeared in the music video for Manson’s song “Say10.” In 2012, they released an industrial metal cover of “You’re So Vain.” Depp performs guitar on the track while Manson provides vocals.

During a 2012 interview with CNN, Manson discussed the origin of the cover. “We started jamming — I don’t even like to use that word because I think it sounds too musical and I consider myself to be more of a problem-maker than a musician,” he said. “We ended up thinking, ‘What could we do that would be really amusing to both of us because of what people think about us?'” They decided “You’re So Vain” would be a perfect choice.

During a 2012 interview with Vanity Fair, Manson elaborated on why he and Depp chose to cover the track. “Because [of] where he’s at in his life,” Manson said.

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What Carly Simon thought of the cover

Manson then discussed Born Villain, the album on which the cover appears. “This record isn’t about anybody,” he said. “The previous ones might have been perceived as being about this girl or that girl — and that’s what art was never supposed to be about.”

Subsequently, Manson explained his relationship to his favorite songs. “When I listen to my favorite songs, [David] Bowie and The Beatles, I don’t think about who the f*** they were with when they wrote ’em,” he revealed. “I just think about how it makes me feel.

“And [Depp and I] both thought it was hilarious to do that song, that it would just be us staring at each other,” Manson added. “That’s our relationship, funny.” Manson was asked if Simon heard the cover. “She actually did,” he revealed. “And liked it.”

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How audiences reacted to Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ and Johnny Depp and Marilyn Manson’s cover

Simon’s “You’re So Vain” became a huge hit. For a trio of weeks, it topped the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Simon’s only No. 1 hit in the United States. “You’re So Vain” lasted on the chart for 17 weeks. Simon released the song on her album No Secrets. The album became Simon’s only No. 1 album in the U.S., spending five of its 71 weeks on the Billboard 200 at the top of the chart.

On the other hand, Manson and Depp’s cover did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared on some editions of Manson’s album Born Villain. The album reached No. 10 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for six weeks.

While Depp and Manson’s “You’re So Vain” wasn’t a hit, it impressed Simon.

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