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Sounds of Silence [Bonus Tracks]

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All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The sudden, if belated, success of the folk-rock version of "The Sounds of Silence" as a single called for an immediate accompanying album, so Simon and Garfunkel, who had more or less disbanded after the commercial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., quickly reformed and recut many of the songs Simon had recorded in England for his Paul Simon Songbook solo album (issued only in the U.K. at the time). The album did not contain the follow-up hit to "The Sounds of Silence," "Homeward Bound," but it did contain the follow-up to that, "I Am a Rock," as well as Simon's musical rewrite of Edward Arlington Robinson's poem "Richard Cory" and other songs that aspired to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The sudden, if belated, success of the folk-rock version of "The Sounds of Silence" as a single called for an immediate accompanying album, so Simon and Garfunkel, who had more or less disbanded after the commercial failure of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., quickly reformed and recut many of the songs Simon had recorded in England for his Paul Simon Songbook solo album (issued only in the U.K. at the time). The album did not contain the follow-up hit to "The Sounds of Silence," "Homeward Bound," but it did contain the follow-up to that, "I Am a Rock," as well as Simon's musical rewrite of Edward Arlington Robinson's poem "Richard Cory" and other songs that aspired to poetry with an earnestness that made up for their preciousness... [The 2001 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds four bonus tracks:a cover of Jackson C. Frank's "The Blues Run the Game," which appeared before on the Old Friends box set, and previously unreleased demos of the traditional songs "Barbriallen," "Rose of Aberdeen," and "The Roving Gambler."]
All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Simon & Garfunkel's second album was a radical departure from their first Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., owing to its being recorded in the wake of "The Sound of Silence" single, with its overdubbed electric instrument backing, topping the charts. Paul Simon arrived with a large songbag, enhanced by his stay in England over the previous year and his exposure to English folk music and the work of Martin Carthy and Davy Graham, among others, 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. "Kathy's Song" and "April Come She Will," two of the most personal songs in Simon's output, were close to the stripped-down originals, and among the most affecting as opposed to affected folk-style records of their era; Simon's rendition of Davy Graham's folk-blues instrumental "Anji" is also close to his British version, just recorded hotter, while "Leaves That Are Green" is pleasantly ornamented with electric harpischord and features a more prominent rhythm guitar; "Blessed," by contrast, is given a dissonant electric guitar accompaniment that sounds like the Byrds trying very hard to annoy people. Some of the rest, like "Somewhere They Can't Find Me" and "We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin'," show Simon & Garfunkel sounding more like the Cyrkle later did, with a smooth, hip dual persona far removed from the thoughtful innocence of "April Come She Will" or "Kathy's Song." 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, including "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 student going through what later came to be called an "identity crisis" you had to be there to understand it, and the latter for endearing them to thousands of high school English teachers with its adaptation of Edward Arlington Robinson's poem. Other folk artists, including Phil Ochs, had adapted well-known poems to music, but it was Simon & Garfunkel's effort that took in the classrooms of the era, getting played, discussed and studied at the behest of English teachers who were desperate for anything that would interest and motivate their students -- even if the kids thought it was a joke, it beat reading straight poetry, and the response to "Richard Cory" was kind of radical in the context of the time, when music played on electric instruments wasn't welcomed of even tolerated in most school settings. It earned Simon & Garfunkel a passport to middle-class respectability in official and establishment circles that Bob Dylan, the Beatles, et al., did not yet have. The August 2001 remastering restores the original, uncensored back-cover art depicting Art Garfunkel holding what the powers-that-were later decided was a decidedly uncool copy of Tiger Beat magazine, airbrushed out of later copies, and also features the first genuinely good sound ever heard on any CD edition of this album, and also includes four bonus tracks. Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game" which also appears on the Old Friends box is the best of them, an acoustic number that offers a more mature folk style, and might have slotted in stylistically on the Sounds of Silence album, except that it fit neither the mood of innocent discovery nor the youthful poet posturing that dominated the rest of the record. "Barbriallen" is a throwback to the duo's Everly Brothers-influenced folk style off their first LP, while "Rose of Aberdeen" is a pleasant if inconclusive example of Simon adapting English folk music, and "The ng Gambler" is a sweetly sung echo of the folk revival of which Simon & Garfunkel had briefly been a part, outdoing the Everlys and, for that matter, the Easy Riders at their own game. Add another half-star to rate the value of the 2001 reissue, for sound and "Blues Run the Game."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/2001
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646599822
  • Catalog Number: 65998

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Simon & Garfunkel Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Art Garfunkel Arranger, Producer
Paul Simon Arranger, Producer
Roy Halee Arranger, Producer
Bob Johnston Producer
Bob Irwin Reissue Producer
Vic Anesini Mastering
Angela Skouras Art Direction
Bud Scoppa Liner Notes
Traditional Composer
Lily Lew Packaging Manager
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Sounds of Silence

    Still is as classic as it was the first time I heard it. Brought back warm memories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A fuller sound of silence

    The set of songs on this album makes owning it a practical necessity. They had done a version of the song Sounds of Silence on their first album but, ironically, it didn't become a hit until they filled out the sound of it on this album. This is a Great album.

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

    Posted May 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews