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Songs from the Capeman [Import, Original recording remastered]

Paul Simon Audio CD

Price: CDN$ 11.89
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Product Description

Product Description

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. Rhino. 2006.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gushingly positive review of The Capeman April 11 2006
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Maybe enough time has now passed for the initial negative reaction to The Capeman stage show to fade into the distance. Like everyone else, I never saw it, so can only rely on the accepted wisdom that it was bad. This "soundtrack" album, though, is a complete and utter masterpiece no matter which way you look at it.
I'm certainly a Paul Simon fan, but not blindly so - like most enthusiasts I have my opinions about the higher and lower points in his career (and no two opinions about these things are ever the same). The Capeman is perhaps Paul Simon's highest achievement; sheer unadulterated brilliance from start to finish. Its lack of acceptance, even among many Simon fans, could be due to the perception of it as overly self-indulgent. I find great artists like Simon are often at their best when they are at their most self-indulgent, if self-indulgence is what this is.
Simon synthesises the musical influences from his youth - doo-wop and salsa from the end of the 50's in NYC - to tell a story he remembers from the same period and place. The musical combinations are often incongruous and "challenging", but ultimately brilliantly evocative, while never resorting to pastiche. On top of all this is the "theatrical", storytelling aspect of the album, which somehow works perfectly in its own right - I can only imagine that any stageshow would have been a distraction to the words and music. Even with Simon himself taking on the vocals for multiple roles, the story and characters come across vividly, and the narrative power and scope are unprecedented (I think he intended to but never got around to releasing a full cast album?). Simon's "character" monologue-style singing shows his narrative vocal strength like never before (and yes, there is some rude language - the kids better skip this and stick to their Limp Bizkit and Eminem albums if you don't want them to grow up warped). Marc Anthony and Ednita Nazario have never had better material to sing, and do a magnificent job.
Ultimately, this album stands as a monument to top-class, brave and adventurous songwriting. As such, it of course had to fail commercially, and it's a shame to think of someone like Paul Simon being discouraged by poor public reception to great work such as this. Some people are used to working their whole lives in obscurity, but to someone like Simon it may come as a shock when something he does is so disparaged. I guess Amazon is one place to try to address the balance.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master at Play Oct. 21 2004
By Cate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have never heard a Paul Simon album I didn't like, but, having said that, I have long been wishing for a work to equal Hearts and Bones. Finally! In my opinion, Simon's best music isn't something you find yourself blithely humming along to, and I have never come away from listening to one of his albums for the first, second, or third time with a clear favorite track. Instead, it "grows" on you. Like Hearts and Bones, I had to listen to this album several times before I knew I loved it. I believe he is THE master of blending his music and his lyrics so that they not only complement each other, but texture each other as well. He is a thinking man's artist. This album is an excellent example.

I understand the play was soundly panned, but not the music. Listening to the tracks - the music and lyrics - I could imagine the actors dancing, actually visualizing in my mind the choreography and moves they would be making. His blend of doo-wop and Latin music is, incredibly, seamless.

Simon does not condescend to his audience: the lyrics are raw at times and he does not wrap up the ending in a pretty package. If he did, he wouldn't leave you thinking when you were through.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Thoughtful for Broadway June 24 2009
By Patrick King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I picked this CD up for $1.99. I heard briefly of the failure of the Broadway play. Perhaps I thought at that time that Paul Simon's genius just didn't expand in that direction. But he's Paul Simon, so I got a nice red wine, turned off the lights and sat in the dark to give The Capeman a fair listen. What I heard altered my opinion of Broadway. This is simply one of the great early albums of the 21st Century. The songs are sumptuous blends of rhythm and style unique to this album, as you expect from every Paul Simon album. The cohesion of the story, though, brought me to tears and made me think about my lifestyle, my country, and my relationship to my community. The Capeman is not about something that happened in 1959. It's happening right now. This is a story about gang violence, it's cause, it's results. Agron was not a throw-away person. He proved that, but he proved it too late to save his life or those of his victims.

Sometimes the term "genius" is applied to people who sing or write songs rather glibly. Paul Simon is not only a great musician and lyricist, he's an important thinker with a large vision of the future. I hope his story of The Capeman is not relegated to a Broadway failure. This brilliant social commentary needs to be applied to a more elastic media where it can reach a smarter audience. It's not West Side Story or The King & I. It's much better than that.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a Cast Recording Aug. 17 2010
By Robert in NY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love this show. The previous cd however is mostly sung by Simon, who cannot begin to convey the intensity or nuance of the Broadway production (1998) which he wrote. I saw it 4 times in its brief run back then, but there was no cast recording released.

Well, I saw the concert version in Central Park last week (08-14-2010), which caused me to search again for the cast recording. To my chagrin, I find it has in fact been available (only as a download), right here on Amazon -- see Capeman [Explicit].... its wonderful... hope this helps another lost soul find the real thing... and here's hoping the 3 night Central Park concert production leads to a revival, as happened 2 years ago with "Hair", following a similar "under the stars" run.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful March 5 2006
By John J. DeGennaro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Concept albums frighten some, especially concept albums based on young minority convicted murderers, but if you are Paul Simon fan you absolutely have to have this album. Beautiful songs written in a 1950's style, complete with "shoo-doo-wops" and spanish guitars. Make sure you get the re-issue with the bonus tracks.

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