The mid 1970s brought Paul Simon his first solo hit with the memorable song 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.
Recorded in the Fall of 1975, the song was released by Simon in December 1975, the second single from his solo album Still Crazy After All These Years.
The song was written after Simon’s divorce from Peggy Harper, with the song’s voice a woman advising her husband how to end a relationship. Back up vocals were provided by noted singers Patti Austin and Valerie Simpson.
The soft rock/folk rock song had a memorable chorus, with Simon rhyming the way to escape the relationship with a man’s name ie. You just slip out the back Jack or Hop on the bus Gus….
The song became Simon’s sole Billboard Hot 100 number one, keeping the top spot for three weeks in February 1976, also topping Billboard’s adult contemporary charts and the Billboard Top 200 charts.
Outside the US, the song was also popular in Canada and France, and the song was popular on radio playlists, and was certified gold in March 1976, and spent five months on the charts.