Tuesday 23 March 2021

On the turntable today...Simon & Garfunkel

It's a 70's lockdown...on the turntable today we have the critically acclaimed Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel. Released in January 1970 this was their fifth and most successful long player, it's hard to believe that the duo actually only released five albums before they split later that same year.

The album opens with the magnificent tour de force title track with that sumptuous lead vocal from Art Garfunkel. It truly is the voice of an angel and it's heard here in all it's majesty in this gospel tinged beautiful ballad. Written by Paul Simon it was released as the lead single and went straight to the top of the charts worldwide, it's probably the duo's most well known and loved song. It may have been a mistake to open the album with this track as it was going to be an impossible act to follow, however they very nearly managed it with the opener on side two.

This album is heaving at the seams with great songs from Paul Simon. After the glorious magnum opus opening cut on side one we have the Spanish feel of El Condor Pasa (If I Could), then the jaunty Cecilia followed by a very up tempo Keep The Customer Satisfied (flip side of the Bridge single). The final cut on side one is the delicate So Long Frank Lloyd Wright, said to be the writers hidden final farewell to his partner prior to Simon leaving the duo to embark upon a successful solo career.

Side two starts with the epic The Boxer, a brilliant song that is almost as good as Bridge to my ears. The musical pace motors along with Baby Driver before falling back into a more gentle groove with The Only Living Boy In New York, a song written by Paul Simon and inspired by Garfunkel temporarily leaving the duo to act in the hit movie Catch 22. We continue into a more pop vein with Why Don't You Write Me and a live version of the Everly Brothers hit Bye Bye Love before the album is brought to a close with the quietly gentle Song For The Asking.

This album saw Simon & Garfunkel go out at the top of their game. With Simon's songwriting and Garfunkel's angelic voice the album hit a popular note with the record buying public who bought copies of Bridge Over Troubled Water in their droves. It proved to be a majestic swan song for the duo.

No comments:

Post a Comment