Paul Simon turns 80, and I needed to find an angle. Ten years ago, on this date, I wrote about my favorite Paul Simon solo cuts. And ten years ago on November 5, on Art Garfunkel’s birthday, I noted my preferred Simon and Garfunkel tracks.
There are some artists whose music I tend to continue to buy because I’ve enjoyed their body of work. Not necessarily every album but most: Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen come to mind.
I continue to buy Paul Simon-related albums. Paul Simon Songbook is the 1965 album of solo Paul, most of which ended up on early S+G albums. It didn’t come out on CD until 2006.
Two Teenagers – The Singles 1957-1961. This includes many of the recordings of the duo BEFORE they were Simon and Garfunkel, both as a duo (Tom and Jerry, e.g.) and solo artists, (Jerry Landis, Artie Garr, et al.) Worthwhile.
In 2012 (I think), I sent my copy of Graceland (1986) to a friend of mine Who Had Never Heard It. Then I bought another copy with a few remixes of songs, though NOT the 12″ inch version of Boy In The Bubble, alas.
I got Stranger to Stranger in 2016, when it came out. It took a few plays for it to “take” in my ear, but I like it.
Do it again
The most interesting concept is 2018’s In The Blue Light , a “fresh perspectives on 10 of the artist’s favorite (though perhaps less-familiar) compositions drawn from the five-decade span of his illustrious solo career.” Four songs are from You’re The One (2000), but none are from Graceland.
“Jesse Hassenger of The A.V. Club gave the album a B- and wrote, ‘It would be easy to get bogged down in treating Blue Light as a compare/contrast exercise, but what’s most impressive about is the way that it sounds more or less of a piece as its own record.'”
Nevertheless, here are a couple of examples: