Bridge Over Troubled Water [Bonus Tracks]

( 10 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Bridge Over Troubled Water was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade, and it hasn't fallen too far down on the list in years since. Apart from the gospel-flavored title track, which took some evolution to get to what it finally became, however, much of Bridge Over Troubled Water also constitutes a stepping back from the music that Simon & Garfunkel had made on Bookends -- this was mostly because the creative partnership that had formed the body and the motivation for the duo's four prior albums literally consumed itself in the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. And, ironically, it all grew out of events that went back more than two years, to the hookup ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Bridge Over Troubled Water was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade, and it hasn't fallen too far down on the list in years since. Apart from the gospel-flavored title track, which took some evolution to get to what it finally became, however, much of Bridge Over Troubled Water also constitutes a stepping back from the music that Simon & Garfunkel had made on Bookends -- this was mostly because the creative partnership that had formed the body and the motivation for the duo's four prior albums literally consumed itself in the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. And, ironically, it all grew out of events that went back more than two years, to the hookup between Simon & Garfunkel and film director Mike Nichols on the movie The Graduate. The creative contact between Paul Simon and Nichols had yielded one monster hit "Mrs. Robinson" and some rejections from the film "Overs," "Punky's Dilemma", and also a soundtrack that had greatly broadened the duo's audience; and it had introduced would-be actor Art Garfunkel to Nichols. And, suddenly, Garfunkel was involved in the shooting of Nichols' Catch-22, which took up most of his time for the better part of a year, and Simon was left to his own devices during his partner's absences. Thus, the close collaboration between the two, which had existed in this phase of their lives since 1965, was frayed not just at the edges but down to its very core. The very idea of a concept album such as Bookends had been, even if a concept could have been suggested, was thus out of the question. As it turned out, absent anything as powerful as the sustained first side of Bookends, much of the resulting material here is fine, albeit relatively lightweight: "Baby Driver" with its Jan & Dean-style harmonies and early-'60s rock & roll beat; the upbeat "Cecelia," utilizing the largest array of percussion ever heard on a Simon & Garfunkel song; the live rendition of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love"; and the reggae beat of "Why Don't You Write Me." Moreover, it was possible to discern a recurring theme on Bridge Over Troubled Water, but this was much more a reflection of the condition of the partnership than a conscious artistic statement -- where Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme had been built around middle-class teen and post-teen zeitgeist, and Bookends focused on the joys and dangers of growing old, Bridge Over Troubled Water had songs that quietly betrayed the fissures in the partnership: "The Only Living Boy in New York" was Simon's personal account of the isolation he felt on a creative level over Garfunkel's extended absence; "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" was a memorial to the architect, written for Garfunkel to sing, but it could just as easily be thought of as a farewell to his longtime collaborator Garfunkel who had aspirations of being an architect; even "Why Don't You Write Me" was a song about lack of communication that seemed to slot into the division between the two partners. Bridge Over Troubled Water had a lot more in common with the Beatles' Let It Be album than with any prior Simon & Garfunkel release -- except that Simon, in reaching to the bottom of his song bag, along with Garfunkel and producer/engineer Roy Halee, in applying their arranging skills in this dire situation, came up with a transcendent album. The title track was the best example; by some accounts, Garfunkel had insisted that Simon sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" on first hearing it. The piece evolved in their hands, however, and ultimately benefited from what many regard as the best recorded vocal performance of Garfunkel's career. Similarly, "The Only Living Boy in New York" was an obviously deeply personal song, but Garfunkel managed to add an extraordinary accompaniment to the composer's lead vocal. And there were places where the two were on the same page from the get-go, such as "El Condor Pasa." The overall effect was perhaps the most delicately textured album to close out the 1960s from any major rock act. Comparing other farewells of the same era, either to partnerships or the decade, the Beatles' Let It Be was a flawed, threadbare representation of the group's work, and the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed, which marked the last musical contributions of Brian Jones and their last new work for their old label, was a nasty, unsettling statement. Bridge Over Troubled Water, at its most ambitious and bold, on its title track, was a quietly reassuring album; at other times, it was personal yet soothing, and at other times, it was just plain fun. The public in 1970 -- a very unsettled time politically, socially, and culturally -- embraced it, and whatever mood they captured, the songs matched the standard of craftsmanship that had been established on the duo's two prior albums. Between the record's overall quality and its four hits -- "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Boxer" which had been recorded and released prior to the LP, "El Condor Pasa," and "Cecelia," which kept the duo on the AM airwaves for months -- the album held the number one position for two and a half months and spent years on the charts, racking up sales in excess of five million copies. It also managed to cross over between segments of the audience that the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and others seldom reached -- siblings from teens to early thirties bought it, and teenagers and their parents alike loved different parts of the record. The songs were widely covered by artists in virtually every category, and the entire LP's worth of material was rethought in a jazz vein by Paul Desmond on A&M Records. The irony was that for all of the record's and the music's appeal, the duo itself -- the partnership -- ended in the course of creating and completing the album. [The August 2001 remastering of Bridge Over Troubled Water is the first-ever CD version of the album that sounds good -- properly mastered off of what sounds like the real first-generation tapes, it lives up to the expectations that one had for this record on CD. Neither of the two additional bonus tracks adds significantly to the record, although the demo of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" does give a hint of the song's evolution.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/8/2010
  • Label: Imports
  • EAN: 5099749508422
  • Catalog Number: 916239
  • Sales rank: 68,680

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Simon & Garfunkel Primary Artist
Art Garfunkel Vocals, Group Member
Paul Simon Guitar, Vocals, Group Member
Hal Blaine Drums
Jimmie Haskell Strings
Larry Knechtel Keyboards
Fred Carter Jr. Guitar
Joe Osborn Bass
Ernie Freeman Combo Strings
Technical Credits
Art Garfunkel Arranger, Composer, Producer
Paul Simon Arranger, Composer, Producer
David Matthews Composer
Felice Bryant Composer
Boudleaux Bryant Composer
Roy Halee Producer, Engineer
Jorge Milchberg Composer, Melody Arrangement
Bob Irwin Producer
Vic Anesini Mastering
Angela Skouras Art Direction
Ted Brosnan Engineer
Bud Scoppa Liner Notes
Daniel Alomía Robles Composer
Henny Garfunkel Arranger, Producer
Mike Cimicata Packaging Manager
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good buy!

    Great listen. Excellent Simon & Garfunkel classics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Finale

    The opening song is one of the greatest in pop music history. There are other great songs like Cecilla, The Boxer, The Only Living Boy In New York

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must have

    I love this album because it has a strong opening song,"Bridge Over Troubled Water" and I love the saxophones in "Why Don't you write me" and "Keep the Customer Satisfied" and I just think that this album is a great Simon and Garfunkel album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    harmonic melody

    Their voices harminize quite well and their songs are really good.I do recomend it to you all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A wicked awesome record!!!

    This is definitely S&G's best record, besided 'The Concert in Central Park'. Art Garfunkel shines on the title track. 'Keep the Customer Satisfied' is wonderfully upbeat, and the 'Only Living Boy in New York' is just an awesome song. 'Baby Driver' is also playfully upbeat. 'Bye, Bye, Love' is also a great tribute to their adolescent idols, The Everly Brothers, ironically on their last album. BUY IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Simple the greatest of an era

    For an album that started so many trends and contributed to most modern musical forms, rock folk blues fusion and jazz it is an album that refuses to date and still sounds as fresh today as it did when I first heard it on Vinyl all those years ago. From the title song to the more quirky Only living Boy in New York its the sort of album to listen to every now and again if only for the freshness that comes through each time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    one of the greatest

    This is far and away S&G's magnum opus, and one of the greatest albumns ever recorded. It not only illuminates Garfunkel's vocal talents (''Bridge Over Troubled Water'', ''So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright''), but Simon's ever-changing, ever-wonderful writing abilities (''Bridge Over Troubled Water'', ''Only Living Boy in New York'', ''Keep the Customer Satisfied''). It also contains several fun, upbeat tunes (''Baby Driver, Cecelia'') that other S&G albums do not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews