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1969 Live Best of, Live
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When Simon & Garfunkel went out on the road in November of 1969 on what would be their last tour together for 13 years, the duo's popularity rivaled that of The Beatles. They embarked on the tour soon after completing Bridge Over Troubled Water, the album that would be their crowning glory and biggest seller. Bridge wouldn't be released until January 21, 1970, so their sets contained several songs from that album that the fans who packed their shows would be hearing for the first time. Several shows on the '69 tour were recorded in anticipation of what was earmarked to be their sixth album, the follow-up to Bridge. That live album never came to be and Simon & Garfunkel soon ended that early stage of their partnership. At these final shows Simon & Garfunkel gave performances that are as magnificent as any they ever offered. This set contains both acoustic and full band recordings from the tour, including an incredible version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' along with inspired versions of all their big hits.
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Simon & Garfunkel varied the set list from one night to the next,and unfortunately,this composite show doesn't feature all of the songs performed on this tour.Amongst the missing songs are "America","Fakin' It","Bye Bye Love","Poem on The Underground Wall" and the controversial,never-released "Cuba Si,Nixon No".
In some ways the unofficial "Back To College" CD(recorded direct to 2-track,during a filming at a University in Oxford,Ohio) provides a more accurate snapshot of this tour,a better set list and generally better performances.
Still,"Live 1969" is a decent addition to your Simon & Garfunkel Collection.Don't overpay for it though.By the mid-fall of 2008,it should be available from Amazon.com itself.You have two options at present:Starbucks Coffee dealers(or their website) or Amazon marketplace merchants.
I resent Sony/BMG for holding back the release of this disc for a year after the promo copies were sent out,just for the sake of setting up this pointless exclusive for a coffee shop.
"Live 1969" (17 tracks; 59 min.) is an incredible time-capsule of Simon & Garfunkel being at the top of their game. From the opening sounds of "Homeward Bound", they have NEVER better sounded that this in concert. Check out for example, "Scarborough Fair/Cantide", where their vocals are simply angelic. But of course the best part of this collection are the 4 songs that Simon & Garfunkel are previewing from the upcoming "Bridge Over Troubled Water": "Song for the Asking" and "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" sound pretty much like the studio versions to be released (great banter by Art about his love for Frank Lloyd Wright and asking Paul to write a song about him). The true eye-openers on here, though, are "The Boxer" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water", which they bring just the two of them, not the full fledged-out studio versions with orchestra, and these tunes are simply jaw-dropping. Wow. Two musicians fully confident of their live in concert skills.
For any serious fan of Simon & Garfunkel, "Live 1969" is a MUST HAVE, period. It simply blows my mind that this was recorded exactly 40 years ago, I mean, for real? This live album sounds timeless, period.
It's also the only (legitimate) live recording of them playing with a band - on a few of the cuts.
For me the highlight is Garfunkel's singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water". He starts out quietly - almost tentatively, but winds up the final chorus singing even more powerfully than on the studio version. A real tour de force!
And the audience, who seemed strangely subdued at the beginning of the disc, clearly recognizes the quality of this (for them) new song - they just roar afterward.
The only unheard track on this disc is their take on the Everly Brothers song, "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine". Well done - but then the Everlys were one of the primary influences on S&G's own harmonies.