Simon and Garfunkel Album Reviews

Simon and Garfunkel met as teenagers in a school play, where Simon played the White Rabbit and Garfunkel the Cheshire Cat. The pair tried to break into the music industry as Tom and Jerry, playing Everly Brothers inspired teeny pop, then made their first LP in the midst of the sixties folk revival. The LP bombed and Simon moved to London, before producer Tom Wilson noticed that ‘The Sound of Silence’ was popular among students, added a backing track, created a number one hit, and launched the duo’s career. Simon and Garfunkel cobbled together a quick second LP before hitting their stride in the late sixties, with their meticulously produced and literate blend of folk and pop. The pair splintered in 1970, and never recorded another studio album, but have periodically toured.

Paul Simon was obviously the driving force behind the band, as the songwriter and guitarist, but Garfunkel’s beautiful voice and harmonies are also a key component of their sound. And at this point, Simon’s solo work has easily eclipsed Simon and Garfunkel’s catalogue in quantity and quality, but he’s never won the same place in popular culture that he did as part of Simon and Garfunkel.

I’ve only reviewed the studio albums, but the other noteworthy item in their discography is the Concert at Central Park live album from their 1981 reunion. It’s not that exciting musically, but it is a significant event and at least worth watching. There’s also a reunion track from 1975 that ended up on both of their solo albums from that year – the Simon penned ‘My Little Town’.

Ten Favourite Simon and Garfunkel Songs

The Only Living Boy In New York
The Boxer
America
Bridge Over Troubled Water
59th Street Bridge Song
Scarborough Fair/Canticle
Punky’s Dilemma
A Hazy Shade on Winter
I Am A Rock
Homeward Bound