Tag Archives: Bookends

Rocks In The Attic #215: Simon & Garfunkel – ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (1970)

RITA#215I prefer Bookends, but as a piece of work I’m very confident this is the pinnacle of Simon & Garfunkel’s achievements. It’s their Abbey Road, and who knows what they would have gone on to do throughout the ‘70s if this hadn’t been their swan song. I’ve heard it said that this album sounds ‘effortless’, and that’s a very good word to describe it. Paul Simon makes these eleven songs sound like they’re falling out of him, and they’re put across with very little in the way of fuss.

In the space of just a couple of years, the pair progressed from a folk duo, into a folk-rock duo, and finally arrived at this album which traverses a number of different musical styles. You can hear elements of Paul Simon’s future solo career in some of the more world-music sounding songs – in the same way (but not as nearly as foreboding) as you can hear Sting’s impending solo warblings in the last couple of Police records.

There’s a nice house across the creek from my house – it’s mustard coloured and looks very Frank Lloyd Wright-esque. It’s a house to aspire to and I’ll always think of it when I hear the Simon & Garfunkel track at the end of side one.

Hit: Bridge Over Troubled Water

Hidden Gem: The Only Living Boy In New York

Rocks In The Attic #82: Simon & Garfunkel – ‘Bookends’ (1968)

Rocks In The Attic #82: Simon & Garfunkel - ‘Bookends’ (1968)The cover to this album always makes me laugh, being the prime example that Frances McDormand’s controlling matriarch uses in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous to prove that rock musicians are on drugs (“Look at their eyes!”). I guess she’s right – they look pretty wasted.

I love this album. It sounds, to me, slightly out of its time with the electronic noises at the start of the album dating it later than April 1968 when it was released. I have the Spanish version of this album, which means that although it looks (and plays) the same as the international release, the song names on the label in the centre of the record are in Spanish – such as Viejos Amigos (Old Friends), El Dilema De Punky’s (Punky’s Dilemma) and La Oscura Sombra Del Invierno (A Hazy Shade Of Winter).

Hit: Mrs. Robinson

Hidden Gem: At The Zoo