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» Simon & Garfunkel

Simon & Garfunkel
Formed: 1964 in New York, Ne
Disbanded: 1970
Active: '50s-2000s Major
Styles: Folk-Rock, Singer/Songwriter, AM Pop Major
Members: Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel Representative
Albums: "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Bookends", "Collected Works" Representative
Songs: "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "The Sound of Silence", "The Boxer"

UPC Type Title
074646381526 CD 1964-70-Columbia Studio Record
886973081129 (i) CD America-the Simon & Garfunkle Collection
074646602225 CD Best of Simon & Garfunkel
886972263229 CD Best of Simon & Garfunkel
4547366031331 (i) CD Bookend (Mini LP Sleeve)
886978772626 CD Bookends
5099749508323 (i) CD Bookends
4547366044850 (i) CD Bookends
090771523310 Vinyl Bookends
886975859429 (i) CD Bookends/Sounds of Silence
886978272423 CD Bridge Over Troubled Water (40th Anniversary Editi
5099749508422 (i) CD Bridge Over Troubled Water
886978282927 (i) CD Bridge Over Troubled Water (Deluxe)
886978283122 (i) CD Bridge Over Troubled Water: 40th Anniversary Editi
090771530219 Vinyl Bridge Over Troubled Water
886974140818 (i) Vinyl Bridge Over Troubled Water
886977878626 (i) CD Columbia Studio Recordings 1964-1970
5099708857523 (i) CD Concert in Central Park
9399700040975 (i) CD Concert in Central Park+ Greatest Hits
5099720222392 (i) DVD Concert in Central Park
886973515327 CD Essential 3.0
827969071625 CD Essential Simon & Garfunkel
5099703235920 (i) CD Graduate (Ost)
5099706900320 (i) CD Greatest Hits
886972668925 CD Live From New York City 1967
886972863191 (i) DVD Live in Central Park
074646478028 CD Old Friends
074646542927 CD Old Friends
5099751917328 (i) CD Old Friends
886976188122 (i) CD Original Album Classics
886978773029 CD Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme
5099749508224 (i) CD Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme
090771523211 Vinyl Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme
4547366189988 (i) CD Parsley. Sage. Rosemary & Thyme
888430264427 CD Playlist: The Very Best of Simon & Garfunkel
888837150729 CD Sounds of Silence
5099749508125 (i) CD Sounds of Silence
886977741227 (i) CD This Is (Greatest Hits)
886972669328 CD Wednesday Morning 3 Am
5099749508620 (i) CD Wednesday Morning 3 Am
4547366031324 (i) CD Wednesday Morning 3Am (Mini LP Sleeve)
4562109404821 (i) CD Wednesday Morning 3 a.M.
886973300923 CD X2 (Bridge Over Troubled Water/Parsley Sage Rosema

Biography: The most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel crafted a series of memorable hit albums and singles featuring their choirboy harmonies, ringing acoustic and electric guitars, and Simon's acute, finely wrought songwriting. The pair always inhabited the more polished end of the folk-rock spectrum and was sometimes criticized for a certain collegiate sterility. Many also feel that Simon, as both a singer and songwriter, didn't truly blossom until he began his own hugely successful solo career in the 1970s. But the best of S&G's work can stand among Simon's best material, and the duo did progress musically over the course of their five albums, moving from basic folk-rock productions into Latin rhythms and gospel-influenced arrangements that foreshadowed Simon's eclecticism on his solo albums.

Simon & Garfunkel's recording history actually predated their first mid-'60s hit by almost a decade. Childhood friends while growing up together in Forest Hills, NY, they began making records in 1957, performing (and often writing their own material) in something of a juvenile Everly Brothers style. Calling themselves Tom & Jerry, their first single, "Hey Schoolgirl," actually made the Top 50, but a series of follow-ups went nowhere. The duo split up, and Simon continued to struggle to make it in the music business as a songwriter and occasional performer, sometimes using the names of Jerry Landis or Tico & the Triumphs.

By the early '60s, both Simon and Garfunkel were coming under the influence of folk music. When they reteamed, it was as a folk duo, though Simon's pop roots would serve the act well in their material's synthesis of folk and pop influences. Signing to Columbia, they recorded an initially unsuccessful acoustic debut (as Simon & Garfunkel, not Tom & Jerry) in 1964, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM They again went their separate ways, Simon moving to England, where he played the folk circuit and recorded an obscure solo album.

The Simon & Garfunkel story might have ended there, except for a brainstorm of their producer, Tom Wilson (who also produced several of Bob Dylan's early albums). Folk-rock was taking off in 1965, and Wilson, who had helped Dylan electrify his sound, took the strongest track from S&G's debut, "The Sound of Silence," and embellished it with electric guitars, bass, and drums. It got to number one in early 1966, giving the duo the impetus to reunite and make a serious go at a recording career, Simon returning from the U.K. to the U.S. In 1966 and 1967, they were regular visitors to the pop charts with some of the best folk-rock of the era, including "Homeward Bound," "I Am a Rock," and "A Hazy Shade of Winter."

Simon & Garfunkel's early albums were erratic, but they steadily improved as Simon sharpened his songwriting, and as the duo became more comfortable and adventurous in the studio. Their execution was so clean and tasteful that it cost them some hipness points during the psychedelic era, which was a bit silly. They were far from the raunchiest thing going, but managed to pull off the nifty feat of appealing to varying segments of the pop and rock audience -- and various age groups, not just limited to adolescents -- without compromising their music. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (late 1966) was their first really consistent album; Bookends (1968), which actually blended previously released singles with some new material, reflected their growing maturity. One of its songs, "Mrs. Robinson," became one of the biggest singles of the late '60s after it was prominently featured in one of the best films of the period, The Graduate (which also had other Simon & Garfunkel songs on the soundtrack).

It was unsurprising, in retrospect, that the duo's partnership began to weaken in the late '60s. They had known each other most of their lives, and been performing together for over a decade. Simon began to feel constrained by the limits of working with the same collaborator; Garfunkel, who wrote virtually none of the material, felt overshadowed by the songwriting talents of Simon, though Garfunkel's high tenor was crucial to their appeal. They started to record some of their contributions separately in the studio, and barely played live at all in 1969, as Garfunkel began to pursue an acting career.

Their final studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was an enormous hit, topping the charts for ten weeks, and containing four hit singles (the title track, "The Boxer," "Cecilia," and "El Condor Pasa"). It was certainly their most musically ambitious, with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer" employing thundering drums and tasteful orchestration, and "Cecilia" marking one of Simon's first forays into South American rhythms. It also caught the confused, reflective tenor of the times better than almost any other popular release of 1970.

That would be their last album of new material. Although they didn't necessarily intend to break up at the time, the break from recording eventually became permanent; as Simon began a solo career that brought him as much success as the S&G outings, and Garfunkel pursued simultaneous acting and recording careers. They did reunite in 1975 for a Top Ten single, "My Little Town," and periodically performed together since without ever coming close to generating albums of new material. A 1981 concert in New York's Central Park attracted half a million fans, and was commemorated with a live album; they also toured in the early '80s, but a planned studio album was canceled due to artistic differences. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi