The Complete Columbia Album Collection [Box Set]
Few American acts reflected the mindset of the '60s as well as Simon & Garfunkel. In 1964, the duo released their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, which sounded like an echo of the Greenwich Village folk scene that was quickly fading from relevance. But when producer Tom Wilson overdubbed a rock & roll rhythm section on one of the album's tunes, "The Sound of Silence," it became a belated hit single, and Simon & Garfunkel quickly evolved into one of the leading lights of the folk-rock movement, performing timely and literate songs (largely written by Simon) that examined the personal and universal issues of the day, wrapped in artful arrangements and splendid harmonies by the two lead singers. And as the promise of the early '60s gave way to the malaise of the end of the decade, Simon & Garfunkel gave America a song of solace in "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which became one of the most covered songs of the '70s. The Complete Columbia Albums Collection is a six-LP vinyl box set that includes the five studio albums Simon & Garfunkel cut during their original run -- 1964's Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, 1966's Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, 1968's Bookends, and 1970's Bridge Over Troubled Water -- as well as the 1972 compilation Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, which includes some non-LP singles and otherwise unavailable live performances. While this isn't the complete Simon & Garfunkel catalog, it's close to it, and this set presents the duo's original albums in the format and sequence in which they were intended to be heard; for audiophiles with a fondness for vinyl, The Complete Columbia Album Collection presents an important body of work in impressive form, and as both music and pop-culture history, these albums are little short of essential.