Sounds of Silence

(1966), 6.5/10
While Paul Simon was in London, producers at Columbia Records noticed that the song ‘Sounds of Silence’ from Wednesday Morning 3.A.M. had gained a following among college students. Electric backing was added to the track, and it was released as a single, reaching the top of the US charts. Simon was rushed back to New York to record an accompanying album, and it’s hardly surprising that the result also sounds a little rushed. Most of the songs are recycled from earlier; the title track is reworked into ‘Somewhere They Can’t Find Me’ with a totally revamped melody and arrangement, while a lot of the other songs are reworks from The Paul Simon Songbook. Even with the cobbled together nature of the album, there’s a lot more quality on this release than the previous record – ‘I Am A Rock’ is the other best known track from this release, but there’s also the gentle ‘April Come She Will’ and the brooding ‘Kathy’s Song’, as well as the pop oriented ‘We’ve Got A Groovy Thing Going’, but they’re nestled alongside the mawkish ‘A Most Peculiar Man’ and ‘Richard Corey’. It’s an entertaining listen, but it’s a hastily arranged album by a duo still learning their craft, and they’d soon start making even strong records..

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