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GREATEST HITS ALBUM REVIEW
SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Released in 1972 on Columbia Records. Produced by Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Roy Halee
Paul Simon - Vocals, Harmonies and Guitars
There are a few session musicians who appear on a few of these songs who are not credited on the album.
All songs written by Paul Simon, except "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" written by Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, and "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" written by Paul Simon, Jorge Milchberg and Daniel Robles
There is not a better album to put on when you're in a totally mellow mood, or if you want to get yourself or somebody else into a mellow mood, than this one. Loaded with several great songs that proves why Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were the greatest duo ever to perform. Too bad that they could not get along with each other by the time the 1970's rolled around, because other than Crosby, Stills and Nash, and perhaps Lennon and McCartney, these two guys had singing voices that blended better together than anybody else.
Of course, Simon & Garfunkel were all about vocal harmonies, with really not too much more needed to be added in to their songs other than Paul's guitar, some percussion, and once in awhile maybe a flute or recorder. The only song on this album that sounds a bit different from the rest is "Cecilia", released on the very last Simon & Garfunkel studio album, it sounds more like what Simon would get into years later on his solo LP Graceland.
It's hard to pick a favorite tune out of this bunch, as I love so many of them, perhaps "America", a song Paul wrote about a trip that he wanted to take but never did, or maybe "The Boxer", a story about the hard life of a transplanted kid trying to make it while living broke in the Big Apple. But I guess deep down I'll go with the song that everybody seemed to love in early 1970 when it was released, "Bridge Over Trouble Waters". This song featured a piano (played by Larry Knechte) as its only instrument, at least up to its close when some bass and percussion come in, and sung by Garfunkel with his tenor voice, his best vocal ever recorded. It was the top pop single of 1970 and still today the most celebrated song of Simon's songwriting career. When most folks think of Simon & Garfunkel, this more than likely is the song that pops into their head.
"Mrs. Robinson" is yet another winner, at first written as a instrumental by Simon and not meant to ever be released. But he needed to come up with a few songs for a new movie that he agreed to help write the soundtrack for (The Graduate). He was having all kinds of problems writing songs in such a matter, as that wasn't his style, when Garfunkel, who had heard the instrumental and liked it, suggested that he place the name of one of the characters from the film in the song and then start to write lyrics from there. As it was, Simon had already written a few lines of lyrics for a song about former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt that he never finished, so he use those lyrics and changed the name "Mrs. Roosevelt", to "Mrs. Robinson", the name of one of the main characters in the movie. It worked and the song was a hit!
Another tune on here that I always loved is "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)", a number that Simon claims to hate to even play. Yet the version found here is a live cut, and it sounds fantastic, I dig it more than the studio cut! Yes the lyrics are very simple and even somewhat silly, but who doesn't love a groovy, upbeat song like this anyway? I could never drive over the very old 59th Street Bridge in New York City again after this song's release without thinking of it!
Overall, if you dig Simon & Garfunkel's music, get this album. There are a few greatest hits album like this one from them available now, but this one is the best of the bunch!
- Keno 2005
To listen to some soundclips from SIMON & GARFUNKEL'GREATEST HITS,or to purchase it click on: Simon And Garfunkel's Greatest Hits
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