Simon And Garfunkel

Hymen And Buttfuckle?
* special introductory paragraph!
* Simon And Garfunkel
* Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.
* Sounds Of Silence
* Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
* Bookends
* Bridge Over Troubled Water
* Greatest Hits
* Collected Works
* The Concert In Central Park
These guys tear. Roaring out of Australia with a screaming fury of a record called From Barbarism To Christian Manhood, they soon established themselves as... Oh, hang on....

Oh, never mind. These guys were sissyass folk rockers. Borne of a surprise hit (they actually broke up after an album full of old folk songs, only to reunite when their original "The Sounds Of Silence" grabbed Corporate America by the collar and screamed, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway wall!!!!" while dipping its head into a bucket of milky warm Satanism), they went on to blend their angelic voices in harmonious joy and good tidings over the course of three more mostly good albums before perfecting the art of pop music on Bridge Over Troubled Water, then quitting around the same time that The Beatles did. Paul Simon developed into a very fine songwriter during the duo's short reign, and Art Garfunkel came up with harmonies so lovely that The Everly Brothers would probably wet my towel if somebody kicked one at them!? Oooh yeah, gotta dig that poetry. I am a poet! And I didn't know it! But my feet show it! They're covered in Frost! Simon And Garfunkel were pretty cool. They did some folk, some pop, some rock, some folk-pop, some rock-folk, some pop rocks (which blew Art Garfunkel's stomach to bits when he drank himself a cola), and oodles of delicious balladry in the grand old Shakespearean tradition of pulling heartfelt words out of your ass and making them sound important. And hits? Oh, hits galore!

Simon And Garfunkel - Sears.
Rating = 1

So I'm at this garage sale the other day and they gots all these three-dollar records. Now me, I'm used to paying a buck for an album, so I'm not going apepoop like some of the other goons, but I'm still certainly interested. Almost bought Cream's Wheels Of Fire before remembering that I'm not terribly fond of Cream. Almost bought Lennon's Mind Games before realizing that the odds of me NOT finding it in a dollar bin at some point in my life are awfully slim. But then hooee! A quartz mine of recording fluid! Fear's More Beer! Dickie Goodman's Mr. Jaws! And some crazyass Simon And Garfunkel album featuring no songs I've ever heard! "Wow!" I thought to myself. "I bet this is rare! What a find I've purchased!"

And sure, for all I know, it may be rare. After all, the liner notes state, "Contained in this album is a generous sampling of two stars of tomorrow," making it sound like Sears really didn't know what they had their hands on. However, the downside is that the music itself SUCKS ASS! I'm going to assume that this was stuff they did in high school when they were still calling themselves "Tom and Jerry." What it IS is a bunch of worthless, generic Everly Brothers ripoffs with nearly no melodies to speak of. The vocal harmonies are decent, but not astounding (and one of them boys has an UGLY voice at this point in his young life!), and the songs all sound like weak Elvis tracks. The "hit" single, "Hey, School Girl" is passable, but the rest has no reason at all to exist.

Except to sit in my record collection and look rare!!!!

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. - Columbia 1966.
Rating = 6

Better than that Tom and Jerry crap, but still boring. They've switched from Everly Brothersisms to Peter, Paul and Maryisms. No drums, no bass - just acoustic guitars and young man harmonies. Cute and snappy, but it grates awfully thin over the course of the half hour, especially during crappy versions of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and "The Times They Are A-Changin'." This is for the folk crowd; all them young long-haired pot smokin' poetry readers who follow each and every word of Joan Baez and just can't wait for a war to start so they can get out there and protest until they die of a heroin overdose in 1975.

If you like folk, maybe you'll like it more than I do. I admit that the vocals sound lovely. But I could give a flying rat's crap if I ever hear the record again. "The Sounds Of Silence" is about fifty billion times more striking than any other track on the record, which bodes well for the future, you must admit! Does it deserve a 6? Sure it does - if only because Art has one of the loveliest voices in the city - even prettier than Bob Dylan!!!! And it starts strong, anyway. Just wears thin after a while, 'cause Paul only wrote like three of them and who the hell wants to hear a cover? And yes, I realize that I gave Dylan's debut an 8/10, and it's mostly covers, but must we fuss? Must we argue? Let's just move on to the stronger S&G efforts and completely forget that my blatant act of hypocrisy ever happened, okay? Sure!

Reader Comments (Brian Leonard)
Well, OK. But I like "Bleecker Street" and the title track, too. Am I the only person who's ever noticed that "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" on Sounds Of Silence is an uptempo rewrite of "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM"? No one ever says anything about that. I like the first one better.
I gotta agree with leonard on "Wednesday Morning 3 a.m.", it is better the first time. I also have to admit this is probably the worst S & G album. It is saved from the trash bin by "Bleecker Street" and "The Sun is Burning". These songs show what great songwriting lay ahead for Paul Simon.
The seperation of voices was unique to this album alone. A true masterpiece for a first album.
Some nice little ditties here, pretty weak though. Just wait for these guys to crank it up a notch, and unleash the Heavy Metal Rock 'n' Roll FURY that characterizes their thunderous later efforts. You think "Sparrow" rocks? Just you wait until you hear "For Emily Whenever I May Find Her"! Or, the "Bookends" theme! (Not that wussy first version, I mean the WAILING, downright EVIL second version that will blow your eardrums to pieces.) Spinal Tap, eat yer heart out.

Add your thoughts?

Sounds Of Silence - Columbia 1966.
Rating = 8

Score! Touchdown! Bing! Paul wrote all but one of these, and they're wonderful. First of all, they've given up on that acoustic folk crap and brought in a rhythm section for a damn change. Secondly, the vocal harmonies sound even better when backed by a full band. And third, they look really friggin' stupid posing with cigarettes on the back cover. But is that the point, goddammit????

Of course not. The point is that "A Most Peculiar Man," "April Come She Will," and "Kathy's Song" are bbbbbbbbbbbbeautiful ballads, "Somewhere They Can't Find Me," "Richard Cory" (based on a poem or some crap!), and "We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'" totally kick ass in that special mid-'60s way, and "I Am A Rock" and the newly-electrified title track are two of the greatest protest pop songs ever written. Well, "I Am A Rock" is sort of a protest song. It protests pain, at least. The narrator has lived through too much and refuses to feel any more, or in fact, to feel AT ALL. God, it's awesome. I'm not exactly Mr. Lyric Guy, but Paul could really write. Probably still can. Personally, I can't stand the ugly shouted vocals in "Blessed," and I suppose "Leaves That Are Green" seems a bit weak in this otherwise flawless collection, but aside from those two slight missteps, this is one heck of a fine mid-60s document. And I got it for 50 cents!

Reader Comments (Doug Swalen)
What I've never been able to figure out is why they *apparently* lifted the original vocals from "Sounds Of Silence" from the first album, smashed the duets together into one track (the original had Art on the right side and Simon on the left...or was it the other way around?), and muffled the original acoustic guitar after the first half bar and overlayed an electric version, complete with drums. I really liked the voices on opposite speakers, but the electrifying of the instruments, in my opinion, gives the song more oompf and a darker feel to the original. (The Chameleon)
I'd have to say that this album is one of the best albums i have out of the 50 i have. I like the fact that this album is very poetic but not in a prissy way. Two of the best songs on the album "Richard Cory" and "A most Peculiar Man" are poetic, but the songs are about these guys that kill themselves....and those kinds of songs are cool. I have to agree that "Blessed" and "Leaves that are Green" are kinda of dorky and wussy...but every other song is just spectacular and has its own feel and impact. These songs are catchy, clever, and worth listening to time and time again. ahhh what a classic album this is. And you'll have a good time seeing Paul Simon trying to look like James Dean on the back cover.
A classic folk-rock album. Paul SImon is a lyrical poet (not Vanilla Ice). He writes of feelings we all have but are afraid to show. He writes in a way that everyone can understand. This album is perfect for summer evenings on the porch.
By far, the best album. Almost every song is on the same groovy level, yet a couple seemed to harsh, such as Blessed, and the Groovy Thing Goin'. Outside of these two, it is a mild wonder. (Amanda Kenyon)
Beautiful album. Paul IS Mr. Lyric Guy. "I Am a Rock" is a terrific song, even though the narrator is an asshole. But hey, he apparently has reason to be! I hated "April Come She Will" for a long time because it just seemed really dumb, but then I got over myself and realized that's it's really pretty. I agree with you somewhat about "Blessed," but it's still a good little song. The remix of "The Sound of Silence" was so they could have a radio hit. Some producer somewhere said, "Hey! This is a great song! Fix it so that the non-artistic electrified drugged-up United States will listen to it!" So they did, and it was a huge hit. I like the acoustic better, but that's just me. (Jason Adams)
Quickie album that cannibalizes tracks from S&G's first album as well as Simon's rare first solo album, then throws in a few hastily written, dopey tracks like "We Got A Groovey Thing Goin'" and the tepid Edwin Arlington Robinson ripoff "Richard Corey". And contrary to Mr. Prindle, my favorite tracks here are "Leaves That Are Green" and "Blessed". I've always hated the title track as the lame, venal folk-rock cash-in it was. "I Am A Rock" is great, but there's a punk rock cover of it that I taped off the radio that I prefer to the original (my undying gratitude if you can identify the band).
When The Sound of Silence started becoming popular (mostly due to its newly forming breasts), Paul and Artie had pretty much broken up. I think Paul was in England, playing cricket and eating Yorkshire pudding. Artie was designing skyscrapers somewhere in Westchester County. The meek little folk version started being played on the radio, so their producer quickly overdubbed some electric instruments to make it sound more like Mr. Tambourine Man (the Byrds version). Anyway the song was what they call a "hit," so Paul & Artie quickly got back together and dashed this album off. It came together so fast, that the album's called "Sounds of Silence" [plural] while the song is called "The Sound of Silence" [singular]! Cool, huh? And that's not even Paul and Artie on the front cover, it's just a couple of lookalikes! For real, man! How cool is that!
The punk cover of “I Am a Rock” is probably by The Hated, and was originally released in 1990 on the Simple Machines label. A copy can be purchased here:

(note from Prind): Me First and the Gimme Gimmes also did a punk cover of it, so you might have heard their version.
I am a big fan of Simon & Garfunkel. But...

I think Somewhere They Can't Find Me is one of the most unoriginal, boring, so called 'hip' songs. I mean, when you really don't know what song to put on your album, you just rip the lyrics from Wednesday Morning 3 A.M., sing them in a really unromantic and awful way, and hey, why not lend a bit from David Graham's Anji. It sounds to me, that Simon had completely lost his mind. And after that, maybe he wrote We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'. Maybe it ís a fun song. If you're drunk. And high. And the lyrics are fine for a 15 year old kid. And what about the squeeling and the dark low voices? It's just stupidity and emptiness all the way. I can imagine why his girlfriend would leave him. If you write a song like this.

I like the rest of the album though.

Thank you for reading this. If you did read it.

Add your thoughts?

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme - Columbia 1966.
Rating = 8

Hmm. Well, here's the thing. This record might at first seem superior to the last one; it's a much more mature work, full of ironic social humor, extremely well-developed folk pop tunes, perplexing harmonies, and oh, you know - just overall maturity. But then again, maybe this stuff is a little too mature - as funny as the anti-youth culture diatribe "A Simple Desultory Philippic" is, it's still the work of a pissy little intellectual, and not the adrenaline-driven kid that made "We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'" and "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" so much darn fun.

Oh, but who cares? Why quibble? "The Dangling Conversation" and "Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall" are chill-bumpingly moving (mainly because of the fantastic vocals), and, as you'd best know by this point, "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," "Homeward Bound," and "The 59th Street Bridge Song" are three of the greatest pop songs ever writ. Not that "Scarborough Fair" is a mere pop song. It's more like a dang medieval lullaby or something. You tell me - you're the smart one!!! In the liner notes, Ralph Gleason (who I believe played the principal in The Breakfast Club) calls it a "delicate interweaving of two songs" (Ooh! I like the word "delicate" - I'll have to use that more often.), so let's just leave it at that. The "Silent Night" massacre (another bit of haunting/silly social satire) is also a pretty haunting/silly bit of social satire. Oh hell. Damn parenthese. So anyway, I personally can't call this one a better album than the last one, even if more work went into it. I like 'em both about the same. Now excuse me while I go remove a delicate poop from my ass.

God. I'm sorry about that. How old am I again? Eleven?

Reader Comments
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme is probably the most delicately artistic of S & G's work. "Silent Night/7 0'Clock News" is a blistering commentary of today's society. Contrasting the horrors of everday life in the late 1960s with one of the most peaceful songs in history is a sad commentary indeed. "The Dangling Conversation" is another commentary about the banality of everyday life. Simon points out that although we think we are sophisticated and intelligent, "You read your Emily Dickinson/ and I my Robert Frost", we in fact are little, insignificant and, in many ways, lost, "We are verses out of rythym/couplets out of rhyme".

The insight Simon has into the lifes and events and feelings of the listener is almost scary at times.
Play this before you go to bed and you will have happy dreams ( if you go to sleep before the last song that is). Inside joke. (H.V.C.)
Surprising you could really appreciate this. It went right above Slayer.

Anyway, 10 out of 10. Every song here is great. Although, even *I* would sometimes listen to South of Heaven at certain times in the day.
I think that 'Scarborough Fair' is not a S&G song. It's an old folk song, rearranged a bit. If you listen to Bob Dylan's 'Girl From The North Country', you'll see that the melody and lyrics are almost the same - which is because Bob just stole it, naturally. Apart from that, there's a couple more remarks about this album I'd like to make. I think it is somewhat uneven - brilliant material, like '59th Bridge Song' and 'Homeward Bound' interwoven with dull acoustic filler ('Cloudy'; 'Dangling Conversation' also manages to somewhat pass me by. 'Silent Night' is OK, but I always have a headache from listening to it - you can't decide whether you're listening to the song or to the news, so in the end you remember nothing). 'Philippic' is an absolute treat, though - this song sounds almost like any stuff The Who could have performed in their early days (and Simon sounds like a complete Roger Daltrey, too). So it probably deserves an 8, what with all the flaws. Even though speed does not always make for fun (listen to 'Pleasure Machine' and you'll agree). (Amanda J. Kenyon)
"Scarborough Fair/Canticle" isn't an original composition by a long shot. It's two very old English folk songs woven together to fantastic effect. As much as I adore Paul Simon, it really pisses me off that he took songwriting credit for it. But if I had to pick one favorite song in the whole history of the world, this has an excellent chance of being it. "Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall" and "The Dangling Conversation" are excellent songs. I like the live version of "Homeward Bound" that's found on the Greatest Hits CD better than the one here. This one is just too heavy, and it drags quite a bit. Same with "Feelin' Groovy," although it's impossible to make that one drag. To me, this represents the typical S&G sound: Some tracks are absolutely terrific, very polished and refined and all that fun stuff, and some of them ("The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine," for example) just sound rough and undeveloped. Overall, though, it's a pretty decent album. And in my mind, old Rhymin' Simon is the undisputed master of the deep, thought-provoking lyric. Check out Graceland for even more evidence of this. (Jason Adams)
From the brilliant opener into the depressing "Patterns" to the deceptively cheerful "Cloudy" to the wistful hit "Homeward Bound" to the goofy satire of "Pleasure Machine" we don't hit a duff track until Paul starts to feel a little bit groovy. Afterwards, "Dangling Conversation" is very self satisfying, I find the I-see-through-your-fa‡ade conceit of "Flowers" to be very irritating, "Philippic" is a horrid Dylan parody, "For Emily" is slaughtered by Art's oversinging, "Poem" is my favorite track on the whole album, and "Silent Night" is just stupid. So you have a brilliant album side here. That is all, sirs.
More like Scar-blow Fair. And I don't know what Feelin' Groovy is like (although I know what it's like to be to Feelin' Radical and Tubular), but if the 59th St Bridge Song is any indication, I don't want to either. There's some good 'uns on here, though, like "Poem on the Underground Wall." That song refers to the front cover of Wed. Morning 3AM which had to be altered because there was a graffiti of a dirty word visible in the photograph. I like "Patterns," 'cause it sounds mean and nasty. "Cloudy," too, because it sounds like what I imagine a fresh douche would feel like. Is there any more refreshing instrument than a celeste? (that high xylophone-sounding thingy) Like dewdrops on a fresh springtime morn. Ahhhh. Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall, indeed. And songs about literature, such as "The Dangling Conversation," have sadly gone out of style. The cover for this isn't nearly as hilarious as Sounds of Silence, but still, pretty damn funny. (Steven Maginnis)
Paul and Artie's tightest work -- maybe not as profound as Bookends or as professional as Bridge Over Troubled Water, but it delivers a lot for a record that clocks in at just under half an hour. The music and vocals are full and perfectly arranged, the satire on songs like "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" and "The Dangling Conversation" is sharp and to the point, "Homeward Bound" is one of the most perfect pop songs Simon has ever written, and elegiac tunes like "Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall" are introspective without being cloying. The final cut "7 O'Clock News / Silent Night" is chilling, with its soft, slow choirboy harmonies juxtaposed against the terse, rapid-fire delivery of the anonymous newscaster. S&G hit their stride here. (Pat Shipp)
The greatest album ever released by ANYONE EVER. Yes, you heard me. This is an unparalleled masterpiece. No musicians can move me and sooth my soul like Paul and Artie. Paul is the greatest songwriter of all time (along with one Jim Morrison), and Art is probably my favorite singer in the world.

I can't extol every song on here, 'cause I'd be here forever. But let me say that "Scarborough Fair" isn't just beautiful, it's DIVINE. I feel like I'm being touched by the Heavens whenever I listen to it. Probably my favorite song in the world.

And the other songs are also breath-taking in their grandeur. How about the beatnik mysticism of "Patterns"? The up-tempo glory of "Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall"? The flat-out loveliness of "Emily"? Oh God, they're ALL masterpieces on here.

Too bad that music like this has now been poisoned by the monotonous bullshit of today.
i'll rate this 9-9.5

9, if you leave in the unfortunate "A Simple Desultory Phillipic" (too smart-arse by half with an awful vocal) and, also, the "silent night" thing, but 9.5 if you leave them out

As no album by anyone is worth "the perfect 10", I would have given this 9.75 (if there is such a rating), if they had used the version of "Cloudy" where Simon sings it by himself using an acousitc guitar with simple percussion backing (found it on a Paul Simon fan website; the original bordered on being "too sweet") and the bonus track version of "Patterns" which is a much freer and less harsh version than the released version

As their music is "soft" the secret to getting the most out of Simon and Garfunkel is to sit very close to the speakers and turn the volume up - i did this with this album listening to the digitally remastered version and it showed to me what a truly great album this is (for the most part) - "for emily ..." is my favourite and is one of those truly great unknown songs

Add your thoughts?

Bookends - Columbia 1968.
Rating = 6

Ugh. Without a doubt, this one is way too mature. Take a look at the album cover. They're just standing there in dark sweaters with blank expressions on their faces, as if to say "No fun allowed! Get out of our OOL!" Total drag. Adult music. Paul's writing about old friends and dying love and all this nostalgic nonsense that must look awfully stupid to him today as he realizes that he was this obsessed with aging when he was 29 YEARS YOUNGER. Eh...okay, he probably still likes it. But I don't!!!! It's not even really pretty. It's just slow and tiresome. "Save The Life Of My Child" is kinda cool and different, but after that, aside from the catchy "Mrs. Robinson," every song is pretty much a drag - either a snail-paced lounge meditation on the doldrums of life or a weak attempt at silly fun pop that flounders like that guy in Animal House. Nope. Not for me!

Reader Comments (Brian Leonard)
C'mon, man, lighten up! This IS a fun album! Just listen to them old geezers wheeze and tell me you ain't a-roarin' with delight! Actually, I think this is S&G's best album, and side one is one of the best LP sides ever pressed. What does that say about me?? Anyway, how can you not like "Hazy Shade of Winter"? If it's good enough for The Bangles, it's good enough for you, bucko. (Doug Swalen)
This record is better than you give it credit. So it is slow in parts. I have to echo Brian's comments. "Hazy Shade Of Winter" is a great song. And it's not that slow really. "The Zoo" is one of my all time favorite S&G songs, something I could easily have seen Crosby, Stills, and Nash doing, except that they'd never be able to do lyrics like that.
Me again. Okay, I'll grant you the obsession with ageing. But you cannot deny what he says is true. Many of the songs were written to Art Garfunkel as the two partners were growing apart. The theme of friendship is prevalent throughout the album, almost as if he is saying "We will always be friends, no matter what." to Artie. Touching.
The second side of this album is better then the first, starting off nice with Fakin' It, but slowing down to a nice groovey level with Punky's Dilemma. Mrs. Robinson we all know about, and it is a race to the end with Hazy Shade of Winter. The last is great for all you naturalists out there. (Jason Penick)
Awright, here's the deal. There are albums I love that you can't stand (to me the Pumpkins Gish is a masterpiece, Slayer's Divine Intervention is one of their best and Pearl Jam's Ten a great classic rock record) and albums you support that I will hate to my dying day (any Metallica record after And Justice For All), but I must admit that I agree with a lot of your reviews, down to which Public Enemy cd is the best (Apocalypse '91). So how could you have missed the boat on Bookends??? This is the best record Paul Simon has ever had a hand in (which is saying something) and one of the ten best of the 60's. You say there's no humor on this record, but I see humor everywhere... "Save the Life of My Child", "Punky's Dilema", "At the Zoo" are all kind of little comedy sketches. And man, you say the melodies ain't that great here-- listen to "America" or "Fakin It" again, please! You just can't do any better than that! "Old Friends"? Great song, regardless of whether or not you dig the concept of the album (which I must admit is kinda silly considering Paul was in his 20's.) I used to think Bridge was the best Simon & Garfunkel record, but that was before I heard this gem. Mature songwriting, great arrangements, perfect vocal harmonies. One more thing, "Mrs. Robinson" wasn't supposed to be on this album. It was recorded for The Graduate soundtrack and was tacked on to Bookends because it was such a huge success. If you listen to the record as a whole it doesn't really fit musically. Minor gripe, though. I implore you to give Bookends another chance!
I don't see a lot more fun in Parsley than on here. 'Punky's Dilemma' is kinda entertaining in that way. Yes, it is a little bit more depressed, but so was a lot of Parsley and earlier material. The main problem I see is the same as with Parsley - lots of filler material. Me, I was never fascinated with the main theme, and both 'Old Friends' and 'Overs' simply bore me to death. But at least five of the songs on here are certainly great. 'Mrs Robinson' is a deserved classic; 'America' is an anthemic song with fantastic vocal harmonies in the refrain; 'A Hazy Shade Of Winter' is one of their most energetic pessimistic odes; and 'At The Zoo' just finishes the album on a jolly funny note. Plus, 'Save The Life...' is just weird: it's strangely similar to the kind of depressing stuff Pink Floyd would begin putting out in several years, complete with all these sound effects. I'd give this album a 7. (Jay Arwood)
Arrrgggh! A SIX!?!

C'mon boy, how can someone so right (most of the time) be soooo wrong in this case??

Too mature?? Well excuuuuuuuuuuse me! Let me get some old Monkee crapola out to you by Fedex immediately. I, personally, got nothing against maturity.

No fun??? Punky's dillema? At the Zoo? not fun? I think SO.

Too slow? At the Zoo (again!), Hazy Shade of Winter, Save the life of my Child??? Pleeeeeze.

Bookends/Bridge over Troubled Water tie for best S&G albums, both are tens.
Cannot do anything but agree with the other guys above.... (Ben Greenstein)
This is not, by any means, the slow, depressing record you give it credit for being. I mean, listen to "At The Zoo" - it's hokey, stupid, and has everything that "59th Street Bridge Song" had, yet with even goofier lyrics. "America" is gloomy, sure, but it's a great song - probably one of my favourites. "Hazy Shade Of Winter" rocks - not only in a mid-sixties way, but sp it could stand out as a great piece of wumpass music from any decade.

Hey, am I the only one who thinks that "Save The Life Of My Child" is trying a little too hard to be psychadelic "acid rock"? Feedback is probably the most unexpected thing to hear on an S + G album, especially in that amount. I still sort of like it, but don't think it's that strong.
This one has the best cover of all!! And you've got 3 minutes of old people muttering about their gastrointestinal troubles... spot on,, Art. Paul writes a few goodies here. "Fakin' It" is silly, but fun. You've just got to love a song where, when they start jamming, and wailing, and instead of a monster guitar solo or something, it goes into the breakdown and this totally British bird starts chirping, "Good morning, Mr Leech! Have you had a busy day?" Gotta love music that makes you think. Like, I'm thinking, "WHAT THE...?" Anyway, I really, really love "America." I mean, really love it. Makes me cry sometimes. I'd rather not go into it 'cause it's personal. Seriously, leave me alone... (Thom)
I've gotta agree with the consensus here that you missed out on Bookends. Maybe it's slow and at first not the most listenable album you've ever heard, but you've got to consider the A side seperate from the B side. Side A is poetry, pure poetry. As far as "theme" or continuous-track albums go, it's the best... Better than all the rock operas and Pink Floyds, the Paul Van Dykes, even Abbey Road. Yeah, it's very melancholy, and a casual listener might say "Old Friends" is too slow or "Save the Life of My Child" too hard, but each title is uncompromisingly perfect for the stage of life it describes. To me, the reflective, "nostalgic" nature of Simon's lyrics isn't stupid at all but extremely observant of the human condition--simply, how people tend to be throughout life--and very forward-thinking within his own life. The B side I actually tend to pass over but only because of my appreciation of the true "Bookends" portion. I'm haven't studied each of their albums individually, but Bookends is my favorite of Simon & Garfunkel and one of my all-time favorites.
Paul Simon has been accused of being just too old for his age like when he made Bookends or on some of his solo albums like Still Crazy After All These Years, but is this absolutely a bad thing? I think not. I don't think judging the albums contents based on the artist's attitude is completely fair. Bookends is definetely a somber album with little fun unlike Graceland which just bubbles with more youthfull (but he's OLDER!?) exhuberance. And unlike Bridge Over Troubled Water this album is completely consistent and has only one major flaw-Voices Of Old People. Whether this cynacism (found on Bookends) should be called maturity is questionable, I sometimes think it's more of a sign of immaturity. Paul Simon grows out this bitterness and moves on (much like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen) to make albums and music that reflect more positive and productive attitudes which may be the greatest sign of maturity. Sure, you won't find the honest exhuberance of Graceland or even the slightly meloncholic exhuberance of Bridge Over Troubled Water but Bookends still provides a fascinating listen that is arguably more consistent and of better quality than the two previously mentioned classics.
Hey! I wonder, have you even listened to this record? It's one of the best. I mean, really one of THE BEST ever. I can barely agree that S & G have done anything you can call bad. And this record....well, you can't just say those things about something so beautiful! That's just what I had to say.

Add your thoughts?

* Bridge Over Troubled Water - Columbia 1970 *
Rating = 10

Hey! They brought the fun back! "Cecilia," "Keep The Customer Satisfied," "Baby Driver," "Why Don't You Write Me," and a cover of "Bye Bye Love" bring back the innocent joys of sex, reefer, and self-satisfaction to an extent we've not seen since the halcyon days of Sounds Of Silence! So nice to hear the boys just letting loose and relaxing. Plus, the other songs are awesome, too! The title track is another one of those goosebump ones - sung entirely by Mr. Garfunkel and very very well at that, "El Condor Pasa" leaves you with a lyrical hook you'll have stuck in your head for months, "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" does that lounge jazz pop Bookends thing the way it should have been done on Bookends (with a touch of humor), "Song For The Asking" is pretty, "The Only Living Boy In New York" is pretty times six hundred (with backing vocals to weep over), and "The Boxer"? Well, damn boy. That's a classic! And that ain't no "lie-la-lie" either! Heh heh heh!! HA HA HA!!! HO HA HE HU HU HU HI HI HY HD HB!!!

Fantastic collection of shitty songs. Nah, just pullin' your crank with that expectation alteration. Great record. No wonder it beat Abbey Road to the Grammy! Sigh. Remember when the word "grammy" was actually used to describe a "good" album? Oh, how those were the days. Buy this one. Maturity with the understanding that lifeless intellectualism is not, in fact, the definition of the word "maturity". I'd give it a ten, but I've always hated "Bye Bye Love" in general, and besides, the greatest hits album is a necessity.

Reader Comments (Brian Leonard)
This is one of my all-time favorite albums. It's drenched in nostalgic value for me (better that than patchouli oil), so there's no way I can semi-objectively evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. It probably sucks. But just one thing before Graham Nash and I go: Why are S&G in the "Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame"? How many rock 'n' roll songs did they do? Two? Three? They were more rocky when they were Tom & Jerry. And where's the Paul Simon solo section? You gotta give Hearts and Bones its due. Okay, 'bye. (Doug Swalen)
Two words...a masterpiece...
You do need to get a Paul Simon solo section, Graceland is probably his finest work and you don't even mention it. Anyway, this album is far from fun. The entire album deals with the strains on the partnership. "The Only Living Boy in New York" is Paul's cry out to Art not to leave as Art embarked on an acting career. He tells him that "I know your part will go fine/Fly down to Mexico." Catch-22, Art's film, was filmed in Mexico. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is much the same way. He tells Art that "your time has come to shine/ All your dreams are on their way." He is telling Art that it is Ok to leave.

Not very "fun".
An excellent collection of singles, but the order leaves something to be desired. Anyhow, it is great music anyway. Program to your delight with a CD player. If you have the record, the exercise will do you good. Personal favorites: Baby Driver, Why don't you write Me, So long Frank Lloyd Wright.
I would like to tell arnoldnicholas that the verse about "Your time has come to shine" in "Bridge" was not Paul's outcry to Art for the simple reason that Art wrote it. Paul had already written the other two verses but couldn't come up with a good third one, so Art came up with this one. I read somewhere that Paul doesn't like it because he feels it doesn't fit the rest of the song. Which it doesn't, but it's my favorite verse anyway. (Jason Adams)
I'll take the hits and "Keep The Customer Satisfied". The rest can mince its sugary little way down candy cane lane and away from me. Yeah!!! I'm a real man. Now back to my manly R.E.M. records.
Maybe I'm sensitive and should stick to the Dan Fogelberg records, but Only Living Boy in New York is terrific. Kind of like America, in that it makes me... no, forget it. I'm not starting with that again. Frank Lloyd Wright is utter pigswill, however. And The Boxer tries way too hard to be like Hey Jude. Except it's Lie-la-lie instead of Na-na-na-na. Which really makes a lot more sense, when you think about it.

Another great cover, too. Looks like something a papapazzi took while hiding in a garbage can.
Bridge didn't win the grammy over Abbey Road. Blood Sweat and Tears did. Bridge won the following year.
Here's on of those Paradox things that I thought of all by myself: What if you wake up one morning with the most gorgeous, absolutely perfect melody running through your head, with beautiful lyrics about love and peace and bunnies and butterflies, and you KNEW objectively that it was the greatest song ever conceived - but you were in Rage Against The Machine and there was nothing you could do about it???

Just like if Mr Alienation Paul Simon woke up one day thinking "Oooooo if you need a friend I'm sailing right behind." Lucky for him he had a partner who wasn't in Rage Against the Machine.

"The Boxer" is one of my Top 5 favorite songs. In order: 1) It Don't Mean A Thing If It Aint Got That Swing; 2) She Loves You; 3) Eine Kleine Nicht Musik; 4) I Get A Kick Out Of You; 5) The Boxer

(Ask me tomorrow and it'll be different, but She Loves You will still be on it)

Anyway, I started liking Paul Simon a lot more at about this point, with The Boxer and Keep the Customer Satisfied. "There Goes Rhymin Simon" was his best solo - he should have done "American Tune" instead of "Bridge" at the 9/11 fundraiser.
Yeah, excellent, but as good as Graceland? Who knows, I don't think so, but I also think that Born To Run is excellent.... it seems like there could be whole sites dedicated to the hate of Bruce and his antics.... sigh.

Yeah, I MAY have already submitted a 'favorite albums' list, if I did, sorry for the annoyance, heck, making those things are just as fun as hell.

This one is 'my favorite albums that I've listened to that doens't include Bealtes, this is becuase I'm sick of the Beatles'.

1.Blonde On Blonde - Bob Dylan - Best song? I Want You or Stuck Inside A Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again or Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Low Lands
2.Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen - Best song; Thunder Road or Backstreets
3.Songs In The Key Of Life - Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke, I Wish or Isn't She Lovely?
4.Imperial Bedroom - Elvis Costello - Best Song; Man Out Of Time
5.Sign 'O' The Times - Prince - Best Song; The Cross, Sign 'O' The Times and If I Was your Girlfriend
6.Exile On Main Street - The Rolling Stones - Best Song; Tumbling Dice
7.Highway 61 Revisited - Bob Dylan - Best Song; Desolation Row or Like A Rolling Stone
8.Graceland - Paul Simon - Best Song; The Boy In The Bubble, You Can Call Me Al, Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes and Graceland
9.London Calling - The Clash - Best Song; Lost In The Supermarket or London Calling
10.Arthur (The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) - The Kinks - Best Song; Shangri-La
11."Heroes" - David Bowie - Best Song; 'Heroes'
12.Darkness On The Edge Of Town - Bruce Springsteen - Best Song; The Promised Land or Racing In The Streets
13.All Over The Place - The Bangles - Best Song; Dover Beach and James
14.Bringin' It All Back Home - Bob Dylan - Best Song; Mr Tambourine Man or It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) OR Love Minus Zero/No Limit
15.Beggar's Banquet - The Rolling Stones - Best Song; Sympathy For The Devil
16.The Village Green Preservation Society - Best Song; The Kinks - Do You Remember Walter? or Phenomenal Cat
17.Low - David Bowie - Best Song; Speed Of Life and Sound + Vision
18.My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello - Best Song; Watching The Detectives, Red Shoes (The Angels Wanna Wear My) and Alison
19.Purple Rain - Prince - Best Song; Let's Go Crazy, Computer Blue and When Doves Cry
20.Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen - Best Song; Bobby Jean and No Surrender
21.Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon And Garfunkel - Best Song; The Boxer, Baby Driver and Cecilia
22.Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones - Best Song; Let It Bleed and Gimme Shelter
23.Something Else - The Kinks - Best Song; Waterloo Sunset
24.The Wild, The Innocent And The E-Street Shuffle - Bruce Springsteen - Best Song; Incident On 57th Street
25.At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues, Jackson, Cocaine Blues and 25 Minutes To Go
I heard one of the main reasons for the breakup was that Paul won a grammy for the writing the song Bridge, but Art received no credit, eventhough he sang it. Jealousy and want of a solo career in film and record made him split. This is what I heard, on a TV special.
To kenyon: Did Artie write the "sail on silvergirl" verse? From where did you get that? I own the book "The song's of Paul Simon" and in Paul's introduction he says that the verse was written after the other two, yes, but not that Art wrote it. But, well, maybe you're right
Say Mark! This here's a damn good disc. It's just like their other ones, but better. Much as I'd like to cast it away and say "Not listworthy." because of that "El Condor Pasa" and "Frank Lloyd Wright" lounge jazz disaster, I just can't do it. The ghost of sensitive '70's humanities majors with extremely unsexy clothes and hair is keeping me from doing so. Also, the title track is so goddamn lovely. For some reason, I've never heard it on the radio ever, even though everyone else has. This album makes my List of Arbitrariness! Not the Top 50, though. So sad.

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Greatest Hits - Columbia 1972
Rating = 8

If you aren't going to buy all the individual records (the only reason I did is because I saw them all downtown for fifty cents apiece one day), you need this one. These are some of the greatest songs ever written - and a couple of them are strong alternate live versions! Whoopee!
Reader Comments (Nima J)
I agree with mark in that this is a great buy if you're not planning on buying any actual albums of theirs, which is the case of all greatest hits albums. This one includes all their greats: "The sounds of silence", "Bridge under troubled water", and "homeward bound". I dig this one a bunch. it's a good relaxing cd after all the metal I listen to.
Cheaper isn't always better. a mere forty minutes couldn't capture all that is great and good of the duo, but the live versions are nice.
Wonderful times ten!! I love this album. I never knew you could wear out a CD until I did it with this one. And I actually like the live versions of "Homeward Bound" and "Feelin' Groovy" better than the originals. (Keeneth Karwoski)
I loved all the albums. But of course my favorite is the greatest hits. I have said it before and I will say it again What is Simon with out Garfunkel? I never could see it. (Ben Greenstein)
Great collection - but not perfect. It's missing a few key songs - the main one being "A Hazy Shade Of Winter." That's not a greatest hit? As opposed to "For Emily...," which is beautiful, but never gets one ounce of radio play? And I don't think I'll ever forgive them for not putting "The Dangling Conversation" on here - Art and Paul have both gone on record to say it's their favourite song (though Paul has since hated it), it's incredibly popular among fans, and (most impotantly) it was a hit single! I'm not a huge fan of "At The Zoo," but it's a huge radio hit, and "Best Of" collections are supposed to compile a band's most well-known stuff! About as weird a song selection as that Peter Gabriel best-of which excludes "In Your Eyes."

Still, a fine song listing and good songs. Still gets a ten.
I don't know if you can still get this, cause there's a new best-of out there, but if you can get the original, get it! The cover is fantastic!!! Paul's got a hot little mustache, and Gar's fro is bigger and deffer than ever! Also, the live versions of the songs from "Paisley, Herbs, Ratatooie, and Spooge" are much better than on the original album.
Wow, I think everybody needs a copy of this. I mean, even if you don't like exactly like Simon And Garfunkel too much (which is hard for me to believe) you gotta have their greatest hits. Except for a few, super-catchy pop-hooks abound! I can't understand NOT liking this. God save Paul Simon............... ok, I guess Art too........... but not as much.
This is a good collection of songs, but, it's not an album in the....well, album-way, is it? I kinda think that "best of-records" is just taking the songs from the real albums and...tears the albums apart. I mean, the songs of an album belong together, and a "best of"-record is just a light-version of the real albums.
I picked this up at a record shop for $4 on vinyl a few years ago. Here are some points.

Good points:

1. The inclusion of some classic songs...

(my favourites: "Mrs. Robinson", "The Boxer", "The 59th Street Bridge Song", "The Sound of Silence", "Bridge over Troubled Water", "America" and "Bookends".

2. The cover (back and front) is hilarious.

(Paul Simon's moustache and Garfunkle's fro).

Bad Points:

1. ....but not some other classics (like how Ben G. pointed out above me) like "A Hazy Shade of Winter", and some others I forget at the moment.

2. The pacing. Mixing live and studio tracks more or less one after another; and bleeding from the live tracks into the studio tracks, slightly annoys me. Also, "Cecilia" should NOT come after "Bookends"!! It should've been the other way around! (IMO).

3. And just where/when were those live tracks from anyway??

Overall a nice collection to have, especially for beginners, (ie. like me --- this is the only S&G album I have), though others may choose to obtain the studio albums first, which is also fine and dandy. (Which one is the better idea, I do not know).
I don't remember how old I was when my dad made me listen to this whole CD through many many times, but one thing's for certain, these guys were the first band I ever liked and that's why they're still up there besides Pink Floyd. (As for favorite artist, that's Bob Dylan).

These songs really are some of the greatest ever. Trying to describe it would be an insult since you really can't use words to describe the quality of Simon's songwriting abilities.

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Collected Works - Columbia 1990.
Rating = 8

All five albums collected in one box set. They were a really talented duo! Read above critiques for further information!
Reader Comments (Thomas Hutley)
Does this one have "Mrs. Robinson" on it? Oh... (TAD)
Almost all of Side 2 of Bookends should B minted in gold. Did U miss "Fakin It" somehow?--Great shit! "Hazy Shade of Winter" & "At the Zoo" R totally cool 2. & "Punky's Dilemma" is at least OK. 2 bad "Mrs. Robinson" is right in the middle (which is, I'm sure, Xactly where she'd want 2 B)..... It's the FIRST side I can't stand...

My pick off Parsley Sage is "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her." Good Ghod, it's GORGEOUS.

& "The Only Living Boy in New York" & "Keep the Customer Satisfied" R 2 of the great overlooked songs of R time.

Yr right, these guys took themselves 2 serious & they were a little wimpy, but I guess when U know yr brilliant.... NE fans of Simon's (solo) "American Tune" out there?
All of the albums, collected in a no-nonsense package that doesn't even have a hilarious picture of them on the cover! What the heck? Just austere, serious writing, like the front cover of a novel. Who do these guys think they are? Friggin Tolstoy?

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The Concert In Central Park - Warner Brothers 1981.
Rating = 8

Incredibly impressive, considering they hadn't played together in a decade or whatever. Some of the harmonies are wretched ("The Boxer" is a dull, lifeless piece of woowoo, for just one of many eggs) and they go a little overboard with the solo Paul material, but no biggy. Good stuff! If you're a fan, you should go ahead and get it probably maybe sort of no.
Reader Comments
I've personally always thought this album was a load of crap, but I didn't dare say so out loud because if I did my best friend would strangle me. She, for some odd reason, likes their live stuff way better than the studio recordings. I think she's psycho. The harmonies are very weak (you can't even hear Art half the time) and when they play live they just....suck.
now what can be said about this simon and his uncle stuff? this can: it stinks. boy, it stinked back then in the sixties, it stinks today, and there's enough people seeing to it that it will keep on stinking till the end of times. which, by the way, will surely come a lot sooner than it would if these guys' mothers had never been born or invented. i hope everyone who digs s&g are cool enough to understand that the only positive thing out of it was its undeniable and probably unrivaled contribution to punk. i mean, if life on earth had not been needlessly menaced by the likes of this uncles there wouldn't have been the need and the urge to save it, now would there? to those innocent kids out there who are just seeking information and have not yet been in contact with it, i can only offer this piece of advice: stay away from it, o brothers and sisters. if you are looking for extreme s.m.-like sensations do try pink floyd or some other less lethal drug instead. jesus, you don't have to actually jump into an active volcano to figure how the pompeii situation was like, do you? i mean it. this stuff is poison. if you don't believe my advice follow theirs (simon and the tall guy's): listen to the sound of silence, o brothers.
I loved the live album! But I'm a huge fan! But, I'm goin' out on a VERY THIN LIMB HERE... I'm a GARFUNKLE FAN!!!!!! There! I said it! I've got every single solo album of his! And Damn proud of it, dammit! I've always felt Art's albums had more of a S&G feel to them. Even if Art didn't contribute a dang thing but his voice!

AND.... I REALLY dislike Simon's solo stuff. Especially the Graceland crap! I never understood the success of that one! I've always thought Peter Gabriel did it first ... and did it better.
About 50 of Paul's solo tunes, and exactly 1 of Artie's. Which seems about right. Plus a hot cameo by Ed Koch! This was the seminal album that spawned countless imitations, such as... um... well, Paul Simon's solo Concert in Central Park.
Senator Simon had a very interesting voice, very cultured and profound. On the other hand, that pro Zionist, bald headed, lift wearing, faggot-wanna-be sounds like the Moyle took off too much. His choice of material is questionable and seems to appeal to love sick adolescent girls and sensitive men that still wear puka shells. He's the only guy I ever heard that can talk out of tune. And what about that fine guitar playing?
That guitar solo on America kicks ass.
how joyous you are not so cynical. for those under 35 or so have no idea why people still and always will love S&G (even tho they like freakin belle & sebastien, talk about wuss rock). and you are right, not many practicioners have written better songs than mr. simon.

but here's the thing, i loved to read you think "the only living boy in new york" is "beautiful times six hundred" (okay might be paraphrasing) because that songs KILLS me. reduces me to wimped teary blob. i just become a jeunne filles when i hear it. so a while back on the radio (satellite radio, xm if you must know) i hear "the only living boy in new york" but it's affecting me different, it's kinda making me feel psychedelic-like, it's stretching time, or something. i turn it up, the drums are crackling subtley like i never noticed! there seems to be wind or something in the voices! then as it ends..... cheering!!! "my ghod, it's live!", i cried! ihow did they pull it off?! it's so freakin good!! i must know how to own it. i find out it's from Old Friends Live On Stage the double cd from their last reunion tour of 03 (that unlike the central park alb nobody bought). i went out and bot it pronto! so you do the same and write about it now. because unlike the overrated live central park album (steve gadd - yecch. Old Friends Live has JIM KELTNER) this reunion, and the times in which it happen actually seem to matter more and the music carries more weight now than it EVER did. the people need to know!

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