When I listen to Simon & Garfunkel it makes me a little sad in my shriveled heart that I wasn’t around in the 60’s to see them and all the other artists of the day. However, and this is a big however, I don’t feel their music has aged too much. It’s still better than half the stuff out there today and for two dudes, they had an incredible amount of chemistry. Anyway, this record, ‘Sounds Of Silence’, was their second and came after a brief break up, something which they’ve done more than once. It turned out to be quite rushed due to the success of ‘The Sound Of Silence’. Let’s investigate!
This is one of those records that defines a decade. The disconnection with material things in life, showing that fulfillment can’t be bought, is the focus of ‘Richard Cory’, the man who has everything but still takes his own life. They drew inspiration from the counterculture of the 60’s too, evident in ‘The Sound of Silence‘. That is in fact the best known song from this record, and one of Simon & Garfunkel’s best known in general. The story I heard is that they had recorded it as an acoustic track, but unbeknownst to them, the song had bass, electric guitar and drums added to it. Then when it was released, it was huge! Worked out alright in the end I guess! It’s a great one, one that has endured the passing of time and their final break up. There’s a wonderful collection of acoustic, folk and soft rock songs here that were made with real purpose, often providing commentary on the social revolution as mentioned above. The slick folk rock sound of ‘Somewhere They Can’t Find Me’ and the 60’s pop, ‘We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Goin’ give me the feeling that there were tracks Simon & Garfunkel felt they had to include, not due to label pressure, but just to add that life to the record.
‘I Am A Rock’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ were the two other tracks released as singles. I’ve read several reviews of the record that criticise these two tracks, saying that they haven’t stood the test of time, but I think that’s BS! They’re fantastic tracks, with ‘Homeward Bound’ detailing the longing for a lover Paul Simon had left behind and the contrasting ‘I Am A Rock’, describing isolation and the pain of failed relationships.
That’s about all I’ve to say about this record! It would be stupid of me to suggest that you go off and “check these guys out“. Enjoy their music, discover it, really listen to it and digest it.
Photo Credit: AllMusic