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Author Topic: Simon and Garfunkel
Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Simon and Garfunkel
on: October 3, 2017, 18:01
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Yesterday I gave my first-ever listening to Sounds of Silence. This was soon after listening for the very first time to Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

I thought Sounds of Silence was an improvement. Aside from a couple songs about suicide, it was mostly a little lighter and sweeter than PSRT. And either they stole their sound for many of these songs from The Partridge Family or vice versa. Given that The Partridge Family came later...well, there you go.

The protests songs on PSRM sucked. It was like they were copying stuff that the general public expected of a 60's group. (REM, for example, has long whored itself out in this regard.)

There's not so much of that on Sounds of Silence. And when you hear either "The Sound of Silence" or "I Am a Rock," you hear these guys being authentically themselves. At their best, they are unique...and pretty good poets as well.

I shall now move onto Bookends if I can.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Simon and Garfunkel
on: October 3, 2017, 18:40
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I think "Blessed" is a bit of a protest song. Note that I skip over it when I play the album. "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" is a darker version of the song "Wednesday Morning 3 A.M." -- same words, different tone. Although this wasn't how they did it, "A Most Peculiar Man" could easily be considered the sequel to "I Am a Rock".

I skip over most of side one of Bookends when I play it. The second side, with "Mrs. Robinson" and "Hazy Shade of Winter", is better.

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Simon and Garfunkel
on: October 3, 2017, 19:25
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I’ll share my thoughts on Bookends as I listen to it:

Side One
1) Bookends Theme: Nice, short instrumental that then smashes headlong into some awful overdone synthesizers in…
2) Save The Life Of My Child: There’s one musical part of this song that I like. The rest of it is fairly forgettable.
3) America: One of S&G’s standards. A good song. Pretentious lyrics. Won’t make me soon forget Supertramp’s “Gone Hollywood.” But quite nice.
4) Overs: A little less anxious of a song. It’s not trying too hard to impress. But nothing particularly memorable.
5) Voices of Old People: More 60’s pretentious nonsense. If you want to do a documentary on the plight of old people, by all means do so. But what is this?
6) Old Friends: This one’s a tough call. It’s either a nice, soft little tune or one that is so saccharine that John Belushi would have pulled the guitar out of Simon’s hands and smashed it against the wall. I’m leaning toward the latter. There’s a Beattlesque production value to parts of this song that almost save it.
7) Bookends Theme. More nice, and short, instrumental music with some singing.

Side Two

8) Fakin’ It: Finally a song with some musical muscle. Coming as it did in 1968 (release of the single), it’s almost an exclamation point to the 60’s. It would soon be downhill for a while in the music industry.
9) Punky’s Dilemma: A sweet little song with “sweet” not at all meant as a back-handed compliment. It really is a sweet little song.
10) Mrs. Robinson: If “Fakin’ It” didn’t wring out the last good bit of music from the 60’s, this comes close. Hard to decide whether “Bridge Over Troubled Water” or this song has the best production values. Simon’s voice had never been better.
11) A Hazy Shade of Winter: If you took the Partridge Family and combined them with the Scooby Doo band, you’d get this. Not my favorite on this side. Or maybe I just have bad taste.
12) At the Zoo: Simon often tries hard to make everyday experiences more profound in song. I don’t think he always succeeds. But I do think he does so quite well in this one.

Timothy-
Lane
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Post Re: Simon and Garfunkel
on: October 3, 2017, 19:59
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A friend of mine really likes "At the Zoo". My fondness for "A Hazy Shade of Winter" reflects its bittersweet parts, also seen to a lesser degree in "Bookends". Perhaps the best example of this is "To Life" from A Fiddler on the Roof. ("It takes a wedding to make us say, let's live another day." "And if our good fortune never comes, here's to whatever comes.")

Brad-
Nelson
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Brad Nelson
Post Re: Simon and Garfunkel
on: October 3, 2017, 20:44
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I will have to listen to "A Hazy Shade of Winter" again. Not all good songs come through on the first listening.

Yes, now that you mention it, I can see how "A Most Peculiar Man" does bare a resemblance to "I Am A Rock."

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