Friday, February 17, 2012

233. Bookends. (something else the kindle and ipad are killing off)

Album: Bookends
Artist: Simon and Garfunkle
Year: 1968
Genre: Rock


  1. Bookends Theme  
  2. Save the Life of My Child
  3. America 
  4. Overs
  5. Voices of Old People
  6. Old Friends
  7. Bookends 
  8. Fakin' It
  9. Punky's Dilemma
  10. Mrs. Robinson
  11. A Hazy Shade of Winter
  12. At the Zoo 

 Bookends has three tracks which show just how good a songwriter Paul Simon was. America, Mrs Robinson and A Hazy Shade of Winter are all standouts which have earned their status as classic songs in the American musical lexicon. At the Zoo is another well known hit which isn't as good as the other three but in everyone's psyche because it's used as a theme tune whenever anyone makes any television program about the zoo. In fact it's sung whenever anyone anywhere sets out of a building with the intention of visiting a menagerie of any kind.

Of course good songs can be ruined utterly by bad performances but there is no doubt Simon and Garfunkle could both sing and their voices worked incredibly well together in the studio. Paul Simon was a great arranger and producer and Grafunkle had very amusing hair. So why don't I listen to them more often? Possibly because of the gulf between their great tracks and their lesser recordings. The three hits on Bookends are all magnificent but the rest of the album does leave a lot to be desired. There are quite a few tracks that are formlessly forgettable and others that leave no real impression at all. Bookends itself just wanders out of S and G's mouths, meanders it's way onto the CD, dawdles out of the speakers, casually passes into your ears and then saunters off without ever leaving an impact. Most of the other tracks are the same.

The reason I don't hunt out Simon and Garfunkle is because I rarely need to. There are three essential songs on this album and their played so often on radio, TV and in other places that I don't need to go looking for them they come looking for me.

Highlight: The three hits
Lowlight: The disappointing nature of the rest.

Influenced by: The Beatles
Influenced: Flight of the Conchords (seriously)

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "I thought this would be pleasant to listen to in my office, but a few places blast out suddenly. Another problem is that the tracks are sooooo short -- I guess that's how they did them in the old days."

-"The food here is terrible." "I know, and such small portions"

So would you listen to bookends or would you rather turn your copy into some? Let me know below

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