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Bookends Import

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Bookends + Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme + Bridge Over Troubled Water
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 21 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0054YH8DY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Product Description

Product Description

Another brilliant masterpiece, this album from 1968 explores the quest for the American dream and the confusion, frustrations and derailments that go with it.

Track for track, this is Simon & Garfunkel's best album. By 1968, Simon had shed his more precious tendencies as a songsmith. Meanwhile, the duo and coproducer/engineer Roy Halee had become adept studio technicians. "America" and "Mrs. Robinson" displayed the kind of sonic breadth that would flower even more fully two years later with "The Boxer" and "Bridge over Troubled Water." Bits of whimsy ("Punky's Dilemma," "At the Zoo") and melancholy ("Old Friends," "A Hazy Shade of Winter") complete this autumnal album. (The 2001 reissue adds two bonus tracks, including a demo of "Old Friends.") --Steven Stolder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 19 2004
Format: Audio CD
The first half of this mainly mellow album (originally one side of a vinyl album) is based around life experiences from childhood to old age. Beginning and ending with the bookends theme, the outstanding song in this half is the reflective America. Save the life of my child, Overs and Old friends are all great songs though I'm not too keen on Voices of old people.
The second half of the album has no obvious theme but is stronger overall, containing Mrs Robinson (the biggest hit here), Hazy shade of winter (revived in the eighties to good effect by the Bangles), Faking it (a minor American hit), Punky's dilemma (an excellent philosophical song) and At the zoo (a great song with which to close the original album). Some say that Mrs Robinson (which originally appeared in the soundtrack of The Graduate) doesn't really blend in with the rest of the album. Maybe not, but I'm glad it's here.
Two bonus tracks are nothing to get excited about, but the re-mastering gives a far superior sound quality. There are also some informative liner notes.
If you only want the famous songs, you can find them on any number of hits compilations - some double CD's, some single CD's. However, if you wish to explore further, this album should be a high priority.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a great album. First few listens may not do much but hang in there. It gets better. Much better. Worth the price alone for the bookends suite on side one. Of all of their studio releases, this is by far the most cohesive effort. The 3 hits on this album "America", "Mrs. Robinson" and "Hazy Shade of Winter" remind us of a time of what was once good and innocent. "Old friends" and the "Bookends" theme is just a timeless classic. I challenge you to listen to the lyrics and NOT get choked up. If you don't get choked up, try and listen to it again when you're about 40 years of age. "Voices of Old People" may appear to be filler (ie, just recordings of various conversations amongst old people that Garfunkel recorded at nursing homes) but it precedes the Bookends suite and becomes an important aggregate to the meaning of the suite. Very melancholy and an essential classic which perhaps exceeds anything done by the Beatles in the same vein. No, I change my mind. It goes further than anything the Beatles did.
Side B contains independent (although very good) tracks with "Punky's Dilema" being a catchy tune (and fun to play on guitar).
Some people may make fun of those who like Simon and Garfunkel. Perhaps it's due to their name which sounds "uncool" per se. It don't matter as Simon and Garfunkel are one of the best duo singer/songwritter combinations ever and just as important/essential to the 60's/70's singer/songwritter generation as any Beatles, Rolling Stones, James Taylor, Eagles, etc...
I dare you to listen to "Old Friends/Bookends" and see if it does not hit a sensitive soft-spot in your heart & soul.
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Format: Audio CD
You know an album is good when one of the worst songs on it is the band's biggest single.
"Bookends" is Simon & Garfunkel, and 60's folk-rock, at their absolute best. While other bands were exploring complicted concepts and rock operas, S&G created a side-long song cycle about the simplest of ideas; growing up and growing old.
The album opens with a soft acoustic guitar line of the "Bookends Theme" which explodes into the psychedelic blast of "Save the Life of My Child", then fades into the glorious land and soul-searching ode "America". "Overs" deals with the subject of relationships reaching a stalemate, and "Old Friends" takes an elequent look at old age with beautiful vocals and melodies and stirring strings, and fades back into the original opening guitar line with ending coda "preserve your memories, they're all that's left you." Brilliant. And that's just the first half.
The second half, merely a collection of songs, is one of their stongest collections. The moderate hit "Fakin' It", the wry "Punky's Delemma", the rocking "A Hazy Shade of Winter" and the poppy Orwellian-with-a-twist "At the Zoo". The monster hit of "Mrs. Robinson" although brilliant in its own right, sounds almost out of place here, and ranks up as one of the weaker tracks.
The album covers a great deal of ground, musically and emotionally, and transports the listener...and does so in about a half an hour. Simon & Garfunkel do in 30 minutes what most bands can't do with a full-length cd.
At long last, this gem of an album is getting the credit it so deserves. This is (arguably) Simon & Garfunkel's greatest work as a duo, and perhaps one of the greatest albums of all time. Absoulutely essential.
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Format: Audio CD
Bookends, Simon and Garfunkel's heavily applauded 1968 release, is an album of a definitive inspiration: aging. It may seem odd given the fact that Paul Simon was only in his mid-twenties when he wrote them, but almost every song on Bookends, either explicably or implicitly, describes some part of the life cycle. "Punky's Dilemma" and "At the Zoo" both convey the mindset of a child, the further extolling an ingenuous confusion and frustration and the latter in a silly spurt of joy. "Fakin' It" and "A Hazy Shade of Winter" are steeped in the type of identity crises common to adolescence. The classic "America" perfectly portrays a young person's urge to roam. "Overs" must be the most convincing account of divorce ever written by a person yet to experienced it. Most surprising, however, is Simon's fixation on the elderly who are given sympathy on the still-heart-rendering "Mrs. Robinson;"' teased on "Save the Life of My Child," (a decent song spoiled by an unexpected and awkward experimentation with synthesizers); envied on the meditative "Old Friends" and even given a chance to speak for themselves on "Voices of Old People," a somewhat annoying montage of dialogue. Throughout the album, Simon shows the scope, inventiveness and even sometimes, the brilliance, of his songwriting. Bookends is a definitive step in the evolution of one of popular music's truly great songwriters and a top release from a seminal folk-rock group.
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