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Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme (Remastered)
Simon & Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
01.- Scarborough Fair / Canticle [03:14]
02.- Patterns [02:49]
03.- Cloudy [02:25]
04.- Homeward Bound [02:32]
05.- The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine [02:51]
06.- The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) [01:58]
07.- The Dangling Conversation [02:41]
08.- Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall [02:13]
09.- A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission) [02:22]
10.- For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her [02:08]
11.- A Poem On The Underground Wall [01:56]
12.- 7 O'Clock News / Silent Night [02:12]
13.- Patterns (Bonus) [02:55] **
14.- A Poem On The Underground Wall (Bonus) [01:51] **
** = BONUS TRACKS, exclusive to this release
Originally Released on September 1966. This remastered version, which includes two bonus tracks was released on August 21st, 2001.
Ripped with EAC, creating a .cue/.wav audio file, preserving the CD structure, gaps and volume levels as in the original CD.
Simon & Garfunkel's first masterpiece, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was also the first album on which the duo, in tandem with engineer Roy Halee, exerted total control from beginning to end, right down to the mixing, and it is an achievement akin to the Beatles' Revolver or the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, and just as personal and pointed as either of those records at their respective bests. After the frantic rush to put together an LP in just three weeks that characterized the Sounds of Silence album early in 1966, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme came together over a longer gestation period of about three months, an uncommonly extended period of recording in those days, but it gave the duo a chance to develop and shape the songs the way they wanted them. The album opens with one of the last vestiges of Paul Simon's stay in England, "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" -- the latter was the duo's adaptation of a centuries-old English folk song in an arrangement that Simon had learned from Martin Carthy. The two transformed the song into a daunting achievement in the studio, however, incorporating myriad vocal overdubs and utilizing a harpsichord, among other instruments, to embellish it, and also wove into its structure Simon's "The Side of a Hill," a gentle antiwar song that he had previously recorded on The Paul Simon Songbook in England. The sonic results were startling on their face, a record that was every bit as challenging in its way as "Good Vibrations," but the subliminal effect was even more profound, mixing a hauntingly beautiful antique melody, and a song about love in a peaceful, domestic setting, with a message about war and death; Simon & Garfunkel were never as political as, say, Peter, Paul & Mary or Joan Baez, but on this record they did bring the Vietnam war home. The rest of the album was less imposing but just as beguiling -- audiences could revel in the play of Simon's mind (and Simon & Garfunkel's arranging skills) and his sense of wonder (and frustration) on "Patterns," and appreciate the sneering rock & roll-based social commentary "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine." Two of the most beautiful songs ever written about the simple joys of living, the languid "Cloudy" and bouncy "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," were no less seductive, and the album also included "Homeward Bound," their Top Five hit follow-up to "The Sound of Silence," which had actually been recorded at the sessions for that LP. No Simon & Garfunkel song elicits more difference of opinion than "The Dangling Conversation," making its LP debut here -- one camp regards it as hopelessly pretentious and precious in its literary name-dropping and rich string orchestra accompaniment, while another holds it as a ... Read More...
Led by a slightly bluesy, raga acoustic guitar riff, "Patterns" is a very interesting rhythm exploration for Paul Simon. A vaguely African feel drives the song, and in this way it's not at all unlike some of the rhythm trips that he utilized on "Cecilia" and, more importantly, his Graceland album in the late '80s. Lyrically, it's one of Simon's psychological explorations into his own consciousness, sounding like a self-therapy session.
Paul Simon wrote this song in early 1965, and aside from the Simon & Garfunkel version, he recorded a solo demo version with Bruce Woodley, a member of the Seekers, much earlier. One of the more obvious pop tunes from Simon (aside from "Red Rubber Ball" by the Cyrcle), it shows Simon's ability to fuse folk and Broadway pop with extreme ease and craftsmanship. The song's lyrics are a simple celebration of life and great moods, and in this is sort of a cousin of "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)." According to Simon, the song is "not a Simon & Garfunkel tune. They'd never do It."
Few songs in pop music have captured the melancholy ache of homesickness as well as Paul Simon's poignant "Homeward Bound." The song also goes a long way to dispel the glamour myth of a musician on tour. Simon even turns the lyric on himself, taking the romantic troubadour-poet image down a notch, capturing the self-doubt and insecurity that accompanies such intense loneliness: "Tonight I'll sing my songs again/I'll play the game and pretend/But all my words come back to me in shades of mediocrity/Like emptiness in harmony/I need someone to comfort me/Homeward bound/I wish I was/Homeward bound/Home, where my thought's escaping/Home, where my music's playing/Home, where my love lies waiting/Silently for me."
The myth has it that the song was written by Simon in a train station in Widnes in Northern England; in fact, there is apparently a plaque at the station commemorating this. But it is true that Simon wrote it sometime during a 1965 solo tour of England, while he had been based in London. He told writer Paul Zollo that the song "was written in Liverpool when I was traveling. What I like about that is that it has a very clear memory of Liverpool station and the streets of Liverpool and the club I played at and me at the age of 22." He has also told other interviewers that it reflects the whole feeling of being on that tour, one that he certainly felt sitting in the station at Widnes, as well as telling Hit Parader magazine, "I missed my girl and my friends. It was kind of depressing. I was living out of suitcases, getting on trains every day and going to the next place...I got very homesick for London."
The arrangement builds each line: the first verse lines beginning softly on descending half-step chords; the melodies and chord progressions on the second lines rise, growing more powerful and tense as they ascend into the almost bouncy, country-ish chorus. The original studio version, from their third LP, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme (1967), is still based around the acoustic guitar that was the staple of their Dylan-influenced folk sound prior to their first acoustic/electric hybrid, Sounds of Silence (1965). But like Dylan, the duo was also under the spell of the Beatles, and they flesh out their arrangements with a full pop-band instrumentation, with the aid of Dylan producer Bob Johnston. The bass was played by the legendary Carol Kaye.
And, as usual, the harmonies are the thing on "Homeward Bound"; the two longtime Everly Brothers fans blend their voices seemingly effortlessly, with Simon's soft voice layered and intertwined with the even more angelic-voiced Art Garfunkel's high harmony. The live, non-band versions of the song offer an even more sensitive reading of the song, the voices remaining quiet for the chorus. Even the quiet instrumentation on Concert in Central Park treats the song a little more gently than the original.
THE BIG BRIGHT GREEN PLEASURE MACHINE
A great putdown song about the effect of television, this song (like Marty Blain's "Plastic Fantastic Lover") succeeds precisely because the overall sound of the record conveys the over-saturation and ridiculous nature of the medium. Set in the folk-rock idiom, the song is a silly, simple, and downright stupid (and that means effective) slice of Americana. The song was later used very effectively in the film The Graduate, as well as on the soundtrack.
THE DANGLING CONVERSATION
"Dangling Conversation" is a classic example of a good song and a better arrangement that tried to do too much within the context of popular music. The first of Paul Simon's major songs after "The Sounds of Silence" that did not capture the imagination of the public. In that sense, it's usually regarded as a failure for not making the Top Ten. In fact, it was the last of Simon's attempts at " literary rock" -- as a follow-up to "Richard Cory" and "I Am a Rock," it was also the most subtle of them, a single acoustic guitar backed by a string section and a single drum that may have been too sophisticated for the AM radio of its period. The song's references to " Emily Dickinson" and " Robert Frost" were not only non sequiturs when juxtaposed, to anyone who was familiar with the two literary figures, but also alienated teenagers and adults who might not have paid attention in their high school or college English classes. In the end, sophisticated listeners tolerated it without embracing the song, and casual audiences kept it at arm's length, where its literary conceits seemed to be keeping them. The song was part of Simon & Garfunkel's concert sets in late 1966 and 1967, but was quickly dropped once they had more new repertory established.
FLOWERS NEVER BEND WITH THE RAINFALL
An almost dead ringer for "Red Rubber Ball," a Paul Simon song never recorded in the studio by Simon & Garfunkel (it was a hit by the Cyrcle), "Flowers That Never Bend With the Rainfall" is a simple yet very likeable slice of pop confection. As with many of Simon's songs, this is a simple yet insightful self-analysis, filled with pathos and humor. Musically, it showcases Simon's pop instincts in a very powerful and charming way. There are many other songs of his from this period that are indeed better, but the sense of craftsmanship easily puts it on the level of Simon's other, more ambitious creations.
A SIMPLE DESULTORY PHILIPPIC (OR HOW I WAS ROBERT McNAMARA'D INTO SUBMISSION)
A virtual parody of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "A Simple Desultory Philippic" livened up side two of Parsley, Sage with a great sense of humor. Aiming targets at the media, war machinery, and the U.S. government, Paul Simon protests "protest music" here, and the effect is hilarious. Utilizing the then-vogue folk-rock style, it works like a rock & roll song, yet at its heart can easily be called a novelty song.
A POEM ON THE UNDERGROUND WALL
One of the most effective songs from the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme album, "Poem on an Underground Wall" is, quite simply, Paul Simon's finest piece of musical cinema from this period. A simple, very brief, and colorful narrative of a subterranean graffiti artist, the sense of drama in Simon's lyric is positively devastating. Musically, the song rises and falls with a powerful sense of flow, again, like a great film. The duo's unison vocals also get top marks here, being one of their finest performances on the album, which in itself is wholly striking.
7 O'CLOCK NEWS/SILENT NIGHT
The closing track on the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme album is one of the more unique and effective studio creations of the limit-smashing 1966-1967 pop era. The backdrop of the piece is a piano-backed version of Simon & Garfunkel singing an immaculate and tender version of the classic Christmas hymn "Silent Night." Yet, as the carol fades (barely) into the background, there is a wholly dramatic, dry reading of a news broadcast. As the events of 1966 such as civil rights marches, the death of Lenny Bruce, the escalation of the Vietnam War, and other horrifying events are read, the heavenly Simon & Garfunkel singing again gradually takes over. The effect is positively chilling, and creates an organic daydream nightmare that is scary, real, and undeniable.