Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Essential Paul Simon

Today Warner Brothers released the music CD "The Essential Paul Simon" I have "The Essential Simon and Garfunkel" and "The Essential Bob Dylan" but this is the first "Essential" release of Paul Simon's solo music since 1972. I have already converted my Simon and Garfunkel collection from record vinyl to CD but had not done it with the solo work of Paul Simon. Quite frankly I did not like some of his work since the break up with Art Garfunkel. For example, his "Hearts and Bones" album. Therefore I was happy to see this release because it gave me a way to update to CD without buying a lot of stuff I don't like. The CD released today retailed for $19.99 but Target had an opening sale of $11.99. Today on the way to work I stopped by Target and got it. I have not listened to his latest album of "Surprise," so on the drive to work I listened to the song "Father And Daughter" and being the father of a daughter it bought tears to my eyes. A very nice song, one of his best. The 2 disc set has the following songs
Disk: 1
1. Mother and Child Reunion
2. Loves Me Like a Rock
3. Me and Julio Down by the School Yard
4. Duncan
5. Kodachrome
6. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
7. Slip Slidin' Away
8. Gone at Last
9. Something So Right
10. Late in the Evening
11. Hearts and Bones
12. Take Me to the Mardi Gras
13. That Was Your Mother
14. American Tune
15. Peace Like a River
16. Stranded in a Limousine
17. Train in the Distance
18. Late Great Johnny Ace
19. Still Crazy After All These Years
Disc: 2 1. Graceland
2. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
3. Boy in the Bubble
4. You Can Call Me Al
5. Under African Skies
6. Obvious Child
7. Born at the Right Time
8. Cool, Cool River
9. Spirit Voices
10. Adios Hermanos
11. Born in Puerto Rico
12. Quality
13. Darling Lorraine
14. Hurricane Eye
15. Father and Daughter
16. Outrageous
17. Wartime Prayers

The picture above is from a little known album that I bought in 1972 or 1973. It was an English import of an album Simon did while he was living in England in the early 1960's. He played in small coffee shops etc and made this album. Here is a summery someone else wrote about it.

After Simon & Garfunkel's debut failed to break through, Paul moved to the U.K. and released this solo album to even less fanfare. Then "Sounds of Silence" became a surprise smash in the U.S. and Simon returned home and gave Artie a call. Since S&G went on to re-cut all but one of these songs, this is a fine just-a-man-and-his-guitar LP .

I love the album and it's simplicity and hope to get it on CD some day. BTW, the girl on the cover was his girl friend at the time.