Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Paul Simon's Song Book (1965)

From Wikipedia:

The Paul Simon Songbook is an album by Paul Simon. It was recorded in London and released in the United Kingdom in 1965 and was supposedly deleted in 1979 at Simon's request. It was made available in the USA as part of the LP box set Paul Simon: Collected Works (1981). The Paul Simon Songbook was recorded while Paul Simon, who had previously worked in the rock-'n-roll genre, was in Europe trying to make a living as a folk singer in the mid-1960s. Simon made several trips to England in 1964 and 1965, spending most of his time performing in small clubs and theaters. During 1965 he is known to have played in Paris and Copenhagen, along with London and numerous other locations in the United Kingdom.

In 1964, Simon and Art Garfunkel had recorded a folk-inspired album for Columbia Records in the United States called Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., as Simon & Garfunkel. While Simon was touring and appearing on radio shows in England in 1965 (sometimes with Art Garfunkel), he began to receive attention from fans. At the time Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. had not yet been released in Britain (and would not be until 1968).
Simon recorded the album over several dates in June 1965. Most of the songs required several takes. He only had one microphone for both his voice and his guitar, which is why he can be heard stamping his feet to the rhythm on "The Sound of Silence" as well the alternate take of "I Am A Rock."

The album cover shows Simon and his then-girlfriend, Kathy Chitty, sitting on "narrow streets of cobblestone" in London, the city Simon had adopted as his home. In the 1970s, the album art was altered: the picture of Simon and Kathy was flipped horizontally, and the red script-like lettering eliminated in favor of an album title in white block print at the top.

I originally bought this record album in 1971 or 1972 in Eugene,Oregon at a record store at the Valley River Mall from a record bin labeled "imports" after I returned from the Army. Last summer while in England I purchased the CD. I love this album because of it's purity. Paul puts real emotion in singing some of the songs accompanied only by his guitar. True basic folk. Best version of "I am a Rock" ever recoded.

Track listing
All songs written by Paul Simon unless otherwise indicated.

"I Am a Rock" -2:52
"Leaves That Are Green" -2:41
"A Church Is Burning" -3:38
"April Come She Will" -1:55
"The Sound of Silence" -3:19
"A Most Peculiar Man" -2:26
"He Was My Brother" (Paul Kane*) -2:58
"Kathy's Song" -3:42
"The Side Of A Hill" (Paul Kane) -2:28
"A Simple Desultory Philippic" -2:25
"Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall" -2:27
"Patterns" -3:13
CD Bonus tracks (2004)

"I Am a Rock" Alternate Version -2:44
"A Church Is Burning" Alternate Version -3:10