Song of the Day #2,124: ‘April Come She Will’ – Simon & Garfunkel

simon_garfunkel_3A few years ago I counted down my list of favorite songwriters and Paul Simon wound up in the top spot. So it’s no surprise that he’d place a song on this list.

What may be a surprise is that I’m not going with one of his solo tracks, particularly something from Graceland, one of the best albums ever recorded.

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Song of the Day #1,445: ‘Overs’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Best Albums of the 60s – #14
Bookends – Simon & Garfunkel (1968)

On Simon & Garfunkel’s fourth album, Bookends, the duo entered full-on concept album territory. Or maybe I should say “half-on concept album,” because the record is split between a suite of songs about beginnings and endings (hence the title) and a group of songs that were left over from the Graduate soundtrack.

Perhaps that paints the duo as a little unfocused, but when you consider the second half contains such great songs as ‘Fakin’ It,’ ‘A Hazy Shade of Winter’ and the full version of ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ it’s hard to argue with the results.

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Song of the Day #1,441: ‘I Am a Rock’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Best Albums of the 60s – #16
Sounds of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel (1966)

I backed into my appreciation of Simon & Garfunkel after discovering Paul Simon as a solo artist. So I always kind of looked at the duo as the opening stages of a brilliant career and less as a groundbreaking unit in its own right.

But over the years I’ve come to understand just what an impact they had on the musical landscape.

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Song of the Day #1,416: ‘Cecilia’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Best Albums of the 70s – #15
Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel (1970)

Simon & Garfunkel’s final album was their finest, in large part because it feels like a swan song.

There was plenty of tension between the duo during the writing and recording of the album — some of which found its way into the songs — and an undercurrent of melancholy to the project that serves it well.

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Song of the Day #1,234: ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ – Simon & Garfunkel

Because the Concert in Central Park was originally intended to be a Paul Simon solo gig, many of the featured songs are from Simon’s solo albums.

I imagine the setlist was changed a bit once Garfunkel’s participation was assured (‘Old Friends,’ for example, had to have been an addition meant for the duo) but many of the tracks would likely have been performed whether Garfunkel showed up or not. And that gives listeners the treat of hearing what Paul Simon’s solo records might have sounded like had he never split with Garfunkel.

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