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Essential


Price: CDN$ 12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 16 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B0042OZDRK
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,635 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wendy E. Middleton on Feb. 6 2009
Format: Audio CD
The title of this retrospective collection of Paul Simon's solo work is absolutely accurate. The two CDs cover much of Simon career after he left Art Garfunkel. The real strengths are in his earlier work up until Graceland, his masterpiece album. Some of his later work for film and stage are more simplistic. The three tracks from his Broadway musical, The Capeman, explain why the run of the show was curtailed. Simon is obviously a musical genius, but at times his lyrics can be silly, and some of the later songs demonstrate this weakness. However, those final songs are outnumbered by so many great hits like "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", "Me and Julio", "Mother and Child Reunion", "You Can Call Me Al", and many, many more.
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By Kelly Lipinski on Dec 16 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
very good! I liked the music very much, play it all the time. Some songs I never heard of but that's ok.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Paul Simon has so many compilation CD's... and NONE of them have EVERY hit or great song! Even his box set is missing tracks. I like that this CD focusses only on his solo career, as the Simon & Garfunkel era deserves its own CD or collection. I also like that it's a 2-CD set with both CD's quite full of music and very good sound quality.

The first CD contains 19 pre-Graceland songs. The second CD contains 17 songs from Graceland to 2006, his latest releases. Graceland is represented with 5 tracks, and Rhythm of the Saints is represented with 4 tracks.

All the songs from the single CD "Negotiations and Love Songs 1971-1986" are here, except for "St. Judy's Comet", "Have a good Time", and "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War". Nice to have "Duncan", "Gone at Last", "Stranded in a Limousine" and "American Tune" included.

A worthy condenter for best Paul Simon collection.... until the next one comes out! HA HA!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 104 reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
The Definitive Collection June 28 2007
By Richard S. Ledford - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Maybe the Essential Paul Simon Collection should hve been titled, The Definitive Paul Simon since it is the most definitive collection of all his single and double C.D. collections. All previous collections either completely omit the songs, Duncan and American Tune (both radio hits) or else substitute them for live versions. In fact, this collection presents these two songs (and all others) in their original, album-length, studio versions. Also included here are the minor hits, Gone At Last (with Phoebe Snow) and Stranded In A Limosine, both largely ignored songs on other P.S. compilations. It is interesting that one of the P.S. "fan favorites." Take Me To The Mardi Gras, was released as a U.K. single, simultaneously with the U.S. single, Kodachrome. Both became top ten hits in their respective countries. It is nice to see all the single A-sides from the seventies included here.

One caveat is that Paul Simon songs from the early eighties are sparsely represented here. Only one of the three singles from One Trick Pony is represented (Late In The Evening, of course). And strangely, NO singles from the 1983 album, Hearts And Bones were included, despite the fact that Allergies was a moderate, radio hit. Hearts And Bones was originally intended to be a Simon and Garfunkel reunion album but that conception of the album never materialized. However, three key tracks from H & B are included: Train In A Distance (one of my favorite P.S. songs and is still played in malls across America), the title track (another favorite) and The Late Great Johnny Ace (a tribute to rock and roll legends with a coda performed by Philip Glass). There was ample room on disc one to have included another song, perhaps One Trick Pony, Think Too Much (b) or Rene and Georgette Magritte....

On the other hand, songs from the albums Graceland and Rhythm Of The Saints are well represented in the collection. And of course, it was the Graceland album that drew attention to the African musical group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo (their Shaka Zulu album is very fine, especially if you like Graceland).

Paul Simon's diverse, musical influences are very apparent in the song selections. These musical styles range from reggae (Mother And Child Reunion),to Gospel ( Loves Me Like A Rock), to Latin-American (Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard and Late In The Evening), to zydeco (That Was Your Mother) to South African (Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes), ro rockabilly (Graceland). Even with all his diversity of musical styles, my preference leans toward his pop ballads, especially from the seventies and early eighties.

While the sound quality of this C.D. is not crisp in its detail, it does have a warm, clean and natural sound. This C.D. was released in celebration of Paul Simon's acceptance of the First-ever Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, from the Library of Congress. I highly recommend this collection!
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Sweet and Simple July 3 2007
By Michael Kerner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to music right now, there just really isn't anything that is actually exciting. While there are so many acts that just seem to get by on gloss like Beyonce', Britney Spears, and Usher, there just really isn'y anything anymore about songs and artists that just comes from the simplistic words themselves. There have been acts that have made great records, they just missed the cut when it comes to sales last year from Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Paul Simon. Although Paul has been recognized with great acheivements in music on his own, as a member of Simon & Garfunkel, he has truly made the music of our times, and this collection shows it.

The 2007 Essential Paul Simon is a double album reflection of what made Paul Simon's solo career so dynamic and universal. This was made in honor of his recent inagural Gershwin Award for Song, as well as his 35th anniverasry as a acclaimed solo artist. This collection follows in suit very nicely, and expands the effort delightfully that was made so well on his last solo hits package, 2002's On My Way. The songs here flow very nicely, and have all been remastered very well. All of his classics are highlighted here including the guilty pleasures 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, You Can Call Me Al, The Boy In The Bubble, as well as down to Earth gems like Mother and Child Reunion, and his Oscar-nominated Father and Daughter from the Nickelodeon animated film The Wild Thornberries Movie, and his recently overlooked track Outrageous from his overshadowed 2006 album Surprise. This version also add in on the fun, by including some great music videos of his work and craftsmanship in songwriting like Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes, and a rendidtion of the Simon & Garfunkel gem, Mrs. Robinson from the classic 70's The Dick Cavett Show.

All in all, The Essential Paul Simon really captures a delightful reflection on a career that has acclaimed for so many years, and also does a wonderful job at reintroducing one of the most legendary artists of the past five decades. If you haven't heard any of Paul Simon's music, than you really don't know what you've missed from a great icon like Paul. I absolutely recommend this hits collection a whole lot. You can still call him Al, but just call him a legend.

Album Cover: B+

Songs: A-

Price: A-

Remastering: A-

DVD: B 1/2+

Overall: B+
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Nov. 6 2010
By Jonathan Schult - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Just purchased the 2010 Sony reissue of "The Essential Paul Simon". It is EVERYTHING past collections are not. The songs are not edited. And rather than program the songs in strict chronological order, the compiler has programmed the songs so they fit together as a body of work, rather than as a mere run-down of his most popular music.

True, it omits some classics, as well as a few minor hits. But this is a minor quibble (I assume this has the same track listing as 2007's similarly titled Warner collection). "The Essential Paul Simon" is the finest collection of his music ever offered, bar none. And for those who are familiar with other reviews I've written, that is saying quite a lot.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Call Him A Legend, Don't Just Call Him Al June 25 2007
By Michael Kerner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
WIth the past few years, we really haven't seen much in the way of great sales from older acts like Elton John, Rod Stewart and Ozzy Osbourne. Although they've made great albums, people would rather seem more interested in acts that are more about hype like Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Usher, and the sleezy socialite who really has no career, Paris Hilton. That hasn't left much in the way of great performers like Paul Simon. Spanning nearly 6 decades of great music, Paul's music is more meaningful, and still remains straight from the heart. Recently, he celebrated his 35th anniversary as a solo act, and won the honorable 1st ever Gershwin Prize for Song for his melodic style, we are often forgetful about his real talent of songwriting and craftsmanship, and this hits record shows that trail well.

The 2007 Essential Paul Simon, is a double album that expands very well from his previous single disc album On My Way, and brilliantly shows his era as one of the best songwriters of our times. The collection includes tracks from his first hits from the 1970's, all the way to his recent record, Surprise. The songs in the collection are remastered very well, and reflect on his career nicely. The album includes great classics including Me & Julio Down By The School Yard, his guilty pleasure gem You Can Call Me Al, the driven-styled Graceland, Slip Slidin' Away, as well as recent tunes like Outrageous, and his Oscar-nominated surprise hit Father And Daughter from the 2004 animated Nickelodeon film The Wild Thornberries Movie. The collection really does feel like a walk down memory lane, and reminds people of true songwriting that isn't about looks or selling yourself out in endorsements, it is about heart.

Although the album doesn't at all reflect on any memories as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, it is all about Paul and his solo efforts on this album, and it works very nicely. If you haven't heard any of his albums like Graceland, or Still Crazy After All These Years, you missed a really wonderful era of great music. The Essential Paul Simon is a must buy for nostalgia buffs, and new listeners alike to Paul Simon's genius. I absolutely recommend this greatest hits album as it is one of the best records released this year.

Album Cover: B

Songs: B+

Price: B 1/2-

Remastering: A-

Overall: B 1/2+
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Top of the Class Sept. 2 2013
By Happy Camper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Hardly a soul in the UK, USA, Canada... well, face it, the English speaking world is unfamiliar with Paul Simon. However, it must be said there are a few people who may not know of him. For them, this should be their first and hopefully not their last stop.

Paul Simon was far more successful as a soloist than his partner, Art Garfunkel. That's not to say Art was without talent, only that Paul was better. Paul's music and various influences are well represented on this disc. Even if you own all the albums, this disc should be in your inventory. You put in the disc player, hit random and sing along never knowing which song will play next.

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