Sounds of Silence
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|7. Richard Cory|
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|9. April Come She Will|
|10. We've Got A Groovy Thing Goin'|
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Unreleased (and previously unknown!) versions of the old folk songs Barbriallen; Rose of Aberdeen , and The Roving Gambler (plus the bonus track The Blues Run the Game ) make their sophomore effort even more indispensable.
One suspects that Paul Simon cringes a bit when he listens to Simon & Garfunkel's 1966 breakthrough release. Lines from "I Am a Rock" ("For a rock feels no pain / And an island never cries") and the title track ("Fools, said I, you do not know / Silence like a cancer grows") are the essence of sophomoric poetry. And who but a couple of self-serious young men would sequence the suicide odes "Richard Cory" and "A Most Peculiar Man" back to back? That said, every callow couplet found here is counterbalanced by words that are disarmingly guileless. The unabashed romanticism of "Kathy's Song" is truly poignant; it ranks with "For Emily" and "The Only Living Boy in New York" among the duo's most resplendent performances. "April Come She Will" has a similar innocent appeal, while the title track, despite its overwrought moments and Tom Wilson's tacked-on production, is a folk-rock landmark. It's not hard to find fault with The Sounds of Silence, but it's easier still to bask in its inchoate splendor. (The 2001 reissue adds the bonus track "The Blues Run the Game" plus three unreleased 1970 demos.) --Steven Stolder
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(This re-mastered copy is far better than my original CD in that it has informative liner notes and four bonus tracks, only one of which actually was from the December 1965 sessions.)
Although the album does indeed sound rushed, and does contain a couple of their worst songs ever ("We've Got a Groovy Thing Goin'", and "Somewhere They Can't Find Me", a bad electrified retread of "Wednesday Morning, 3am"), "The Sounds of Silence" is quite the fine album.
Their fine vocals and amazing sense of harmony is still thrilling nearly 40 years on, but it's here that Paul Simon, both as songwriter and guitarist, begins to blossom. Even though there are the previously mentioned missteps, the album also contains some beautiful gems (Kathy's Song, April Come She Will), some moments of poetry (Richard Cory, A Most Pecular Man, Blessed) and an all out teenage agnst anthem in "I Am a Rock" (Why no one covered this during the grunge era is beyond me).
Although both would later cringe when discussing this album, "The Sounds of Silence", although flawed, is early folk-rock at it's best and earliest form. Their talents would flourish even brighter in their sunsequent releases, but the seeds of that development are all here. Essential for S&G fans and fans of 60's folk rock in general. Don't start here, but definately pick this up.
Into this mix came two sensitive NYC boys with "funny" names. I remember thinking that like most duos of the era--Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, Sonny and Cher--that "Simon" and "Garfunkel" were their FIRST names. Oh, well, what do you really know when you're thirteen? I also thought that "Sounds of Silence" must surely be a masterpiece. And when my college aged brother used to stick his head in my room when I was playing it and say, "What a stupid song! 'Sounds of silence'! That doesn't mean anything." Sigh! If only I had the vocabulary then to say, "It's an oxymoron, you moron." (He was no dummy actually, he probably knew that and was just trying to get my goat.)
A few years later, I was past Simon and Garfunkel and into more avant-gardesy kind of stuff like the Velvet Underground. I started to believe that "poetic" songs like "Sounds of Silence" were pretty darn pretentious and sophomoric, after all. Sort of like the poetry my friends and I were all writing at the time (yes, we knew it was bad, but we weren't commiting it to vinyl either).
Of course, Paul Simon was all of 21 or 22 (maybe younger) when he penned these songs. I should have been more generous. I mean, look at that cover shot--just a couple of kids! Besides, melodically, the songs all held up.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is my favorite album of Simon and Garfunkel ! Great songs and great folk rock arrangements. And also fine bonus tracks..Published on Jan. 8 2014 by Andre Michaud
It was The Byrds' "Mr.Tambourine Man" and Simon & Garfunkels' "Sound Of Silence," both the songs & albums, that sent folk rock out of the box and onto... Read morePublished on Oct. 29 2005 by Evan
This song attracted me to `SIMON AND GARFUNKEL' songs and English songs altogether...It touched off my heart the spell of heavenly `guitar chords'.... Read morePublished on Sept. 10 2005 by Babu P. Francis
Sound of Silence es el primer disco clásico del dúo, un bien elaborado trabajo para 1966, año en que ya comienzan a suceder cosas relevantes en Estados Unidos... Read morePublished on Dec 7 2003
It was "The Sound of Silence" that got me into this fantastic group in the first place. I thought that it could not be improved upon, but then I heard their next three albums. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2003
Ah yes, now THIS is the Simon And Garfunkel that we all know and love. Much, much better than the country-tinged debut album. Read morePublished on Oct. 12 2003 by Josh H.
This album is absolutely beautiful. I don't understand how anyone can't see that. Between the poetic lyrics and the flowing melodies, this is a work of musical masterpiece. Read morePublished on July 26 2003