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Pop/Rock - Released June 1, 2012 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions Exceptional Sound Recording - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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Pop/Rock - Released June 1, 2012 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Pop - Released April 3, 1968 | Columbia

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Simon & Garfunkel quietly slipped Bookends, their fourth album, into the bins with a whisper in March 1968. They are equal collaborators with producer/engineer Roy Halee in a multivalently layered song cycle observing the confusion of those seeking an elusive American Dream, wistfully reflecting on innocence lost forever to the cold winds of change. Bookends opens with an acoustic guitar stating a theme, slowly and plaintively. It erupts into the musical dissonance that introduces "Save the Life of My Child." Its uneasy rock & roll frames highly metaphorical and ironic lyrics and a nursery rhyme bridge. "America" is a folk song with a lilting soprano saxophone in its refrain as a small pipe organ paints acoustic guitars, framed by the ghostly traces of classic American Songbook pop structures. Two people travel the landscape by bus searching for the track's subject, eventually discovering that everyone else on the freeway is too. Its sophisticated harmonic invention is toppled by its message; "America" becomes an ellipsis, a cipher, an unanswerable question. "Overs," a study about the end of a relationship, contains Halee's ingenious use of sound: lighting a cigarette and inhaling and exhaling its smoke underscore the story told by the melody and lyrics. In a two-minute field recording of the voices of old people collected from nursing homes by Garfunkel, disembodied voices reveal entire lifetimes in a few seconds. "Old Friends" carries the message deeper. Simon's image of two old men sitting on a park bench sharing memories and their fears of the changes surrounding them is indelible. A horn section threatens to interrupt their reverie, reflecting the chaos they perceive, but is warded off as the gentle melody returns and fades into the album's opening theme. In "Fakin' It," Simon reveals the falsity inherent in modern life -- it's better to appear to have it together than reflect the struggle of not being able to: "This feeling of fakin' it/I still haven't shaken it/I know I'm fakin' it/I'm not really makin' it." The album's final three tracks, "Mrs. Robinson" (the iconic theme song from the film The Graduate), "A Hazy Shade of Winter," and the album's concluding track, "At the Zoo," offer a tremblingly bleak vision of the future rooted in the lives of everyday people who "fake it," living an illusory dream publicly while trembling with confusion and fear in private (no matter one's generation), subverting the Madison Avenue notion of the "generation gap" simply and honestly. Bookends' problematic, disillusioned themes, sometimes disguised in wry humor, striking arrangements, and augmented orchestral instrumentation, portray the sounds of people in an American life that they no longer understand, or understands them. Simon & Garfunkel never overstate; instead they observe, almost journalistically, enormous life and cultural questions in the process of them being asked. In just over 29 minutes, Bookends is stunning in its vision of a bewildered America in search of itself. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Pop/Rock - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk - Released May 5, 1973 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released February 15, 2019 | RCA Records Label

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 18, 2020 | Globalist Industries LLP

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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released September 7, 2018 | Legacy Recordings

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As the saying goes, if you want something done right, you’d better do it yourself. This is why Paul Simon entrusted the cover of his own songs to… Paul Simon! Except that Art Garfunkel’s former accomplice completely reshapes his past tracks. Ten songs in total, forgotten for the most part, handpicked from his albums There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973), Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), One-Trick Pony (1980), Hearts and Bones (1983), The Rhythm of the Saints (1990), You're the One (2000) and So Beautiful or So What (2011). By re-orchestrating them as jazz − sometimes even classical − pieces (gone with his folk and world temptations!), he folds his art flat and demonstrates how timeless his compositions are. For such a refined stylistic exercise, Simon surrounded himself with musicians as legendary as himself. Wynton Marsalis’ trumpet, Bill Frisell’s guitar, Bryce Dessner’s (from The National) arrangements, Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd’s drums, Joe Lovano’s saxophone, young Sullivan Fortner’s piano as well as John Patitucci’s bass further reinforce the project. But beyond this star-loaded panel, In The Blue Light truly fascinates for its unusual melancholy. At 76 years old, Paul Simon hasn’t authored a legacy piece, but rather the work of a wise man who glances in the rear-view mirror with great originality. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Pop - Released April 8, 2011 | Legacy Recordings

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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Rock - Released June 3, 2016 | Concord Records

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Pop/Rock - Released February 28, 1975 | Rhino - Elektra

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Pop - Released September 18, 2019 | Cornelis Music

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Folk - Released July 12, 2010 | Legacy Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 17, 2019 | [PIAS]

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