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Concert in Central Park Live

54 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B000002KNI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,706 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mrs. Robinson
2. Homeward Bound
3. America
4. Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard
5. Scarborough Fair
6. April Come She Will
7. Wake Up Little Susie
8. Still Crazy After All These Years
9. American Tune
10. Late In The Evening
11. Slip Slidin' Away
12. A Heart In New York
13. Kodachrome/Maybelline
14. Bridge Over Troubled Waters
15. Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover
16. The Boxer
17. Old Friends
18. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
19. The Sound Of Silence

Product Description

Product Description

Here's the historic 1981 concert that reunited the famed folk duo after an 11-year break. Hear these "old friends" as they play many of their greatest hits, plus some of Paul's subsequent solo classics.

You can almost hear Simon & Garfunkel begin to like each other again on this now-legendary set. On September 19, 1981, the duo reunited for just the second time since their initial breakup and revealed a camaraderie that had apparently vanished years earlier. Not only do they reprise their shared hits, they also work in a few of Paul Simon's solo gems and a couple of telling covers--one from the Everly Brothers and one from Chuck Berry. The band includes the best session men around. By the time they get to the sincerity of "Old Friends" and the joy of "The 59th Street Bridge Song," you sense a relationship fully repaired. After this success, they even planned a studio record together--one that eventually became Simon's overlooked Hearts and Bones--few were surprised when it did not come to pass. --Marc Greilsamer

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Docendo Discimus on Feb. 11 2004
Format: Audio CD
To say that this is the best Simon & Garfunkel album will perhaps offend some fans who love their acoustic folk-pop of the late 60s. But it is, and their most accessible, too.
It was recorded a decade after the break-up of the duo, and features a full backing band, complete with a subtle, well-used horn ensemble, and Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel perform truly excellent versions of classics like "Mrs Robinson", "The Sound Of Silence", "Homeward Bound", "The Boxer" and a magnificent "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
And the presence of Art Garfunkel (and the fine backing band) makes for some superb live renditions of several of Paul Simon's best solo tunes, especially "Still Crazy After All These Years", "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and "Slip Slidin' Away", which features Garfunkel's masterful harmony vocals.
This album is much more lively than the duo's strictly acoustic outings from the 60s, and it is highly recommended as one of the very best live albums of the 80s, one that really adds something to the artists' legacies.
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Format: Audio CD
I was happy to see Simon and Garfunkle in concert on their recent "Old Friends" tour, and was more than pleased by the performance of two men who, by all rights, should've been retired and not in the best of vocal form. The afterglow of the Philadelphia show led me to reacquire this CD from the 1981 Central Park reunion show. Since most of the songs from the current tour are reflected by the Central Park set list, it was worth it for me.
This CD is actually better than I originally remember it. Maybe I was just too wrapped up in my new wave years (I was a junior in college at the time the album was released), but both men were in strong form vocally. It also meant that, as a greatest hits sort of show, all the bases are essentially covered. Even the Paul Simon solo material comes across as well matched (in particular, "American Tune" which rings truer in the post 9/11 world as it did back then). The instrumentation is a bit dated, Richard Tee's keyboards especially, but that's more the fault of the times than of performance.
And the performances here are superb. Oddly, the one major omission from the disc is "The Late Great Johnny Ace." If you watch the DVD of the concert, it was Simon's tribute to John Lennon and is when a fan charges the stage, distracting Simon from the microphone. Art Garfunkle is relegated to only one solo hit here, and naturally it's "A Heart In New York." Just as "counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike" gets a huge outburst of applause (it did here in Philly, too), "Heart" brings the crowd to express itself with exuberence.
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Format: Audio CD
On September 19,1981 a countless number of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel fans gathered in New York City's Central Park for this free concert. Some sat,some stood. Some brought coolers,lawn chairs,beach chairs and blankets. Some brought cameras and cassette recorders. Then-NYC mayor Ed Koch introduced the duo to the thousands of present fans. The duo starts with MRS. ROBINSON,one of their greatest hits,followed by another,HOMEWARD BOUND,then another,AMERICA. Then,there's Simon's solo hit,one of his first,ME AND JULIO DOWN BY THE SCHOOLYARD(sounds awesome with Garfunkel accompanying Simon!). SCARBOROUGH FAIR is an OK song. From 1966's SOUNDS OF SILENCE is APRIL COME SHE WILL. WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE was a hit for the Everly Brothers in the early 60's. Another Paul Simon solo hit is STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. AMERICAN TUNE is an OK song. From the 1980 movie "One Trick Pony" starring Simon is LATE IN THE EVENING. SLIP SLIDING AWAY is another awesome S&G duet(they should have recorded it together in the studio instead of just Simon by himself). A HEART IN NEW YORK is from Garfunkel's SCISSORS CUT album,which was released shortly before this concert. As he told the audience, "It's almost the only song in the show that's not a Paul Simon tune(composition)." Then there's a medley of Simon's KODACHROME and MAYBELLINE,the latter being a hit for Chuck Berry. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER sounds just as great as when S&G recorded it in the studio in 1969. Another Simon solo hit is FIFTY WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER. Then there's S&G's '69 hit THE BOXER,the version on this album featuring a previously unheard verse. OLD FRIENDS and THE 59TH BRIDGE SONG are OK. Then S&G close with their biggest hit THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE. A video recording of this concert was distributed by 20th Century Fox. The video has THE LATE GREAT JOHNNY ACE,which for some reason,has been omitted for this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, so I wasn't there, and I never thought I'd call a concert "beautiful" without barfing, and the aftermath of the concert was actually quite ugly, but nevertheless this recording captures a wonderful musical spirit rekindled for one night. Simon and Grafunkel go through scores of old favorites, new solo material, and some extras. (Think the Everlys.) Each of the old tunes has been expertly reworked with new harmonies that enhance the musical experience while keeping the true feel of the song. For example, "The Boxer" is wonderful, with a new verse plus all of the old ones, an infectious pace and haunting harmony as usual. The same holds true for some of Simon's solo songs that have been reworked as duets. I'm in love with this version of "Me and Julio"--the whole album's almost worth it for only this one tune. "Kodachrome/Maybellene" (yes, the awesome Chuck Berry song) is another favorite--they prove that, yes, they can rOck. SO there. Energetic, fun, exciting.
Of course, the concert has its less-successful moments, but to each his own. I'm not a big fan of, say, "A Heart in NY," or "Bridge..." for that matter. However, if you go for the ballads, these are austere, lovely, and haunting as ever.
Overall, this concert recording has many high points and a few mixed bags. The high points are new and innovative and fun, but still conjure up that...umm, nostalgia. Hey, I'm not old enough to be nostalgic about them but what I mean is that the "souls" of the songs are still strong as ever.
One final note: If you're interested in this music, I highly recommend the VIDEO/DVD of the Concert in Central Park. I believe it contains the FULL concert, with some amazing moments (Johnny Ace brings tears, yes I'm a sap)and the same great music. Check it out...a great concert video, straight up, captures the spirit of the night.
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