Simon & Garfunkel Sounds of Silence (Remastered) [RePoPo]

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Name:Simon & Garfunkel Sounds of Silence (Remastered) [RePoPo]

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Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence (Rematered) (1964)

Release Notes

Simon & Garfunkel - Sounds Of Silence

01.- The Sound Of Silence [03:09]
02.- Leaves that Are Green [02:24]
03.- Blessed [03:17]
04.- Kathy's Song [03:21]
05.- Somewhere They Can't Find Me [02:38]
06.- Angie [02:18]
07.- Richard Cory [02:59]
08.- A Most Peculiar Man [02:33]
09.- April Come She Will [01:52]
10.- We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin' [02:00]
11.- I Am a Rock [02:59]
12.- Blues Run the Game [02:55]
13.- Barbriallen (Demo) [04:06] **
14.- Rose of Aberdeen (Demo) [02:02] **
15.- Roving Gambler (Demo) [03:03] **

** = BONUS TRACKS, exclusive to this release

Originally Released on 1966. This remastered version, which includes three
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.

Album Review by Bruce Eder

Simon & Garfunkel's second album was a radical departure from their first, owing
to its being recorded in the wake of "The Sound of Silence," with its overdubbed
electric instrument backing, topping the charts. Paul Simon arrived with a large
song-bag, enhanced by his stay in England over the previous year and his
exposure to English folk music, and the duo rushed into the studio to come up
with ten more songs that would fit into the folk-rock context of the single. The
result was this, their most hurried and uncharacteristic album -- Simon and Art
Garfunkel had to sound like something they weren't, surrounded on many cuts by
amplified folk-rock-style guitar, electric piano, and even horns. Much of the
material came from The Paul Simon Songbook, an album that Simon had recorded for
British CBS during his stay in England, some parts of it more radically altered
than others. The record was a rushed job overall, and apart from the title
track, the most important songs here were also, oddly enough, among the least
enduring, "I Am a Rock" and "Richard Cory" -- the former for establishing the
duo (and Simon as a songwriter) as confessional pop-poets, sensitive and
alienated post-adolescents that endeared them to millions of college students
going through what later came to be called an "identity crisis"; and the latter
for endearing them to thousands of high-school English teachers with its
adaptation of Edward Arlington Robinson's poem.

AllMusicGuide Track-by-track Review


Paul Simon was a Brill Building demo singer as a teenager and, like the Beatles,
was heavily under the spell of the famous harmonies of the Everly Brothers.
Simon and his high school buddy, the classically trained musician Art Garfunkel,
even formed a teenage duo, Tom and Jerry, that was modeled after the Everlys.
But like a lot of other ambitious songwriters in the '60s, Simon soon fell sway
to the remarkable abilities of Bob Dylan. And again, like the Beatles, Simon
sought to merge his Brill-trained classic rock & roll and pop tendencies to the
newly wide-open lyrical scope of Dylan. And Dylan himself met the popsters
halfway, famously going electric soon after seeing the Fab Four and watching the
Byrds score even bigger hits than he did with electrified versions of his songs.
It was a heady era for pop music; soon anything and everything was fair game for
subject matter and rock & roll songwriters were starting to be taken seriously
as artists.

While we all would agree that this was mostly a good thing, the charts soon
became littered with overly ambitious and ill-informed protest songs and
self-consciously "literate" clunkers that fell short of the mark. While "Sound
of Silence" is ultimately saved from being among the latter, Simon does seem to
be reaching like a college freshman English major with "hey, look at me!" lines
like, "the words of the prophets were written on the subway walls," and "but my
words, like silent raindrops fell." Simon seems to desire the same prophetic
voice of authority that Dylan confidently exhibited in songs like "A Hard Rain's
A-Gonna Fall." But as a great song should, "Sound of Silence" starts with the
microcosmic world of a relationship and the inability for two to communicate,
and in the larger context of the tumultuous '60s takes on a greater
significance. The lyric, while a bit sophomoric at times, showed the promise of
a writer with talent that would develop over time. And certainly the narrator as
the lone voice of reason and understanding and the alienated cry in the urban
wilderness are themes that Simon would later refine with more subtlety and
greater depth on songs like "The Boxer."

The original recording was from the pair's debut, Wednesday, 3 AM (1964), an
album they recorded for Columbia after they first felt the influence of the
burgeoning folk revival movement. The two were aware of what they had, Garfunkel
noting in the album's liner notes that the song "...is a major work. We were
looking for a song on a larger scale, but this was more than either of us
expected." They recorded it with just the voices and a lone acoustic guitar,
and, after little interest was shown in the record, disbanded while Garfunkel
attended Columbia University and Simon went off to live in London, where he
recorded and released a solo record and toured European coffeehouses and pubs.
Meanwhile, the song started to find a modest amount of radio play. Columbia
Records, experiencing success with Dylan's electric-acoustic forays, employed
Dylan's producer, Tom Wilson, to give "Sound of Silence" a similarly electrified
treatment -- employing the same band from the Dylan sessions -- never bothering
to consult Simon and/or Garfunkel. According to Patrick Humphries' biography of
Simon, The Boy in the Bubble (1988), the singer/songwriter was on tour in
Denmark when he happened upon a copy of Billboard and saw that the song was
charting. Humphries notes that Columbia mailed Simon a copy of the electrified
version and that Simon was "horrified when he first heard it. In fact, if you
listen to that original version, you can hear the rhythm section slow down at
one point so that Paul and Artie's voices can catch up." But it went to number
one in 1966. The duo agreed that it was time to regroup. They quickly went into
the studio with a few more songs, some from Simon's solo record, to record a
full album ( Sounds of Silence, 1966) to capitalize. As Simon recounted --
quoted on the Simon & Garfunkel website ( /http://www. medialab. chalmers.
se/guitar/index. tml#S&G): "I had just come back from England, and Art was still
living at home, he was still at college and we were sitting in my car...smoking,
and "Sound of Silence" came on and they said: 'Number one record, "Sound of
Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel,' we were just sitting there at night, we hadn't
anything to do, and Artie turned to me and he said: 'those guys must be having
so much fun!'."

The duo harmonizes sweetly on the incredibly haunting melody, over a driving,
minor-key acoustic guitar rhythm, also indebted to the Everly Brothers, singing
images of urban apathy and desensitization. Even the acoustic original starts
with the soft, dark introduction and grows more intense and harder, with the
wispy voices gaining an edge and wavering with emotion while Simon abandons the
fingerpicking style and goes for the Everlys' strum. In an interview in Playboy,
Simon recounted the germination of the song: "The main thing about playing the
guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I
was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the
bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I'd turn on the faucet so
that water would run -- I like that sound, it's very soothing to me -- and I'd
play. In the dark. 'Hello darkness, my old friend/I've come to talk with you
again'. I've always believed that you need a truthful first line to kick you off
into a song. You have to say something emotionally true before you can let your
imagination wander."

The electrified version is the one most are familiar with, from the hit single
and its crucial and influential role on the soundtrack to the 1967 film The
Graduate. The added musicians don't pound as hard as they often do on those
Dylan records, instead opting for a more jangling West Coast folk-rock
treatment. The soundtrack makes great use of the song's plaintive opening
arpeggios and first line. The song gives voice to the film's frustrated, Holden
Caulfield-esque hero, Benjamin Braddock.


A sprightly folk-pop tempo and feel highlight this song, which is one of the
earliest tunes in the Simon & Garfunkel canon that shows the duo embracing the
then-current folk-rock style. Buttressed by some inventive percussion and
harpsichord, the shiny quality of the melody is highlighted throughout this fine
pop confection. Lyrically, it's a sad, almost melancholy song of lost love that
utilized the changing seasons to convey the feelings at the disintegration of a
romance. This is indeed something that Paul Simon would utilize again in the
very near future.


Written by Paul Simon while he was in the Soho district of London in early 1965,
"Blessed"'s inspiration came to him when he went into a church during a downpour
and was impressed by the sermon about the meek inheriting the earth. Simon
realized that the meek didn't have anything, so, therefore, what would they
inherit? It's a powerful document, and musically it shows him to be quite
capable of writing in the rock style of the day. A droning, waltz-time tempo is
a great example of what was soon to be called raga rock in the hands of the
Byrds in early 1966.


Utilizing the opening guitar lick to "Anji," which would appear later in the
Sounds of Silence album, "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" finds Paul Simon
stretching his songwriting chops to great degrees. Almost jazz-based in nature,
this minor pop masterpiece was one of the standouts on the album. A complex
little take on isolation and loneliness, the sense of escapism is paramount
here. Paul Simon was soon to be known for his psychological meditations on the
subjects mentioned above, and this is one of the first examples of this style.
Some excellent string and horn arrangements highlight the recording; this was
one of the duo's most ambitious to date.


Written by Paul Simon in early 1965, "Richard Cory" is based on a poem written
in the 19th century; the original poem (by Edwin Arlington Robinson) concluded:
"And "Richard Cory," one calm summer night/Went home and put a bullet through
his head." A classic, dark murder ballad, it is loaded with all of the drama and
suspense of a mid-'60s art film. Buttressed by a simple but engaging minor-key
folk melody, this song was not only one of the most popular album cuts on the
Sounds of Silence album but was also covered masterfully by Denny Lane during
his stint in Paul McCartney & Wings. It eventually appeared on the Wings Over
America live album.


Written in mid-1964, this song was written by Paul Simon and inspired by a
newspaper story about a man who committed suicide. This incident may also have
inspired Sounds of Silence's other suicide song, "Richard Cory." A different
solo version on the song appeared on the Songbook album, a Simon solo demos
album. A strong Broadway feel is juxtaposed by the folk-based melody, and the
lyrics are in a literate, narrative tone, which would soon become a Paul Simon


Utilizing the changing seasons as a metaphor for the capriciousness of a girl,
"April Come She Will" was used very effectively in the film The Graduate and its
soundtrack. Written in England in 1964 following a brief affair that Paul Simon
had during his stay there, the lyrics were inspired by a nursery rhyme that the
girl in question recited. The sense of yearning in this song would later be
beautifully echoed in one of the Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme masterpieces,
"For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her." Like that song, it is very brief, yet the
shortness of the song adds to the effectiveness and economy of both the lyric
and melody.


Continuing the alienated-young-man theme that seemed to preoccupy Paul Simon in
his early songwriting career, "I Am a Rock" also follows the successful
acoustic-electric, pop-folk formula that Simon & Garfunkel happened upon almost
accidentally with their 1964 breakthrough hit single "Sound of Silence." The
latter song was originally recorded with only acoustic guitar accompanying the
duo's pristine harmonies. It was turned into an electrified pop recording
without the pair's knowledge by producer Tom Wilson -- who was having success
with similar arrangements for Bob Dylan -- on order of Columbia Records. When
"Sound of Silence" resulted in a number one record, Simon & Garfunkel recorded a
number of other songs with electric bass, guitar, organ, and drums to round out
the album Sound of Silence (1966), capitalizing on the success of the title
track. Like "I Am a Rock" from the album, the sound was usually closer to the
jangly West Coast folk sound of the Byrds and the Mamas and the Papas than to
Dylan's often raucous and hard-driving blues treatments. Simon & Garfunkel's
sweet harmonies always take off a bit of edge, even when turning it up a notch
with harder, Louvin Brothers-via- the Everly Brothers singing. "I Am a Rock" was
also a hit for the duo.

As with "Sound of Silence," "I Am a Rock" starts softly, with a lilting, triplet
folk-guitar lick and Simon's gentle, almost whispered voice setting the scene:
"A winter's day/In a deep and dark December," the band kicking in for, "I am
alone/Gazing from my window to the streets below/On a freshly fallen silent
shroud of snow/I am a rock/I am an island." His lyrics tread the same
introspective teenage/young adult ground as Brian Wilson's 1963 classic "In My
Room," though Simon has not quite yet developed the subtlety demonstrated by
Wilson and his co-writer, Gary Usher. But Simon does strive for greater depth:
"I've built walls/A fortress deep and mighty/That none may penetrate/I have no
need of friendship/Friendship causes pain." His lyrics sound a bit labored and
self-conscious as he finishes the verse with the plodding, "It's laughter and
it's loving I disdain." What Simon does exhibit, however, is a well-developed
sense of irony: With the final verse, he seems to be either deflating his sense
of self-important misanthropy or poking fun at a distrustful, emotionally
frustrated narrator, as if it was not Paul Simon singing the song confessionally
after all, but a singer giving voice to a character: "I have my books/And my
poetry to protect me/I am shielded in my armor/Hiding in my room, safe within my
womb/I touch no one and no one touches me/I am a rock/I am an island," capping
it with the sad-sack lament, again singing in a quiet voice, "And a rock feels
no pain/And an island never cries." The narrator, after trying to disprove John
Donne's Meditation 17, "No man is an island," finally succumbs and seems to
ultimately agree. And the reprised folk-guitar riff finishes the frame.


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