Sunday Music – American Tune

Posted on Sun 06/14/2009 by


Today’s music video is ‘American Tune’ from Paul Simon.

I thought I’d do something different for today’s music video. We’ve had this going as a regular Sunday thing for more than 5 months now, and at the start I made a deliberate decision to post Instrumentals, and you may think that is a pretty scarce bunch of songs to choose from, but I have a pretty good supply of them.

However, for today I thought I’d include a vocal, and for no particular reason.

I’ve mentioned that I have an extensive collection of LP’s, mainly from the 70’s, around 500 or so. In those days you purchased the LP probably after hearing a song from the album on the radio, or if you followed a certain artist’s releases. I also mentioned earlier that I found a good computer program, and converted all those LP’s to digital.

With those LP’s, the case sometimes was that you often found one or two songs that were not making mainstream airplay, and that gave you a better appreciation of the album, and such was the case with this album from Paul Simon.

The album was ‘There Goes Rhymin’ Simon’. Oddly enough, the album, done in the studio was hurriedly released in mid 1973, and sometimes albums that are done like this can tend to be a little second rate. Such was most definitely not the case with this album.

It had two smash hits, ‘Kodachcrome’ and ‘Loves Me Like A Rock’ both reaching number 2 on the U.S. singles charts two other minor hits, and nearly all songs getting some airplay. The album spent one week at Number 1 and was nominated for a Grammy for Album Of The Year, and Best Male Pop Vocal for Paul Simon.

The album was recorded at the famed Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, and Phil Ramone engineered all the songs on the album. The Dixie Hummingbirds provided harmony vocals for a couple of the tracks on the album.

As hurried a release as it was, this album made it onto the Rolling Stone’s Greatest 500 Albums Of All Time at Number 267.

This song, ‘American Tune’ was one from that album that came out to me immediately upon hearing it, and is still my favourite Paul Simon song. He always seemed to be able to tell a story with his songs, something not very many artists can manage when viewed over their whole portfolio of songs.

As you listen to the song, pay particular attention to the wording. Keep in mind that this song was written in 1973.

Some of the wording from the song.

….. Still when I think of the road we’re travelling on,

I wonder what’s gone wrong,

I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong.

And then this a little further on:

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower,

We come on the ship that sailed the Moon,

We come in the age’s most uncertain hour,

and sing an American tune.

This song has particular relevance even today, 36 years after it was first written.

This clip was taken from the English talk show Parkinson in 1975, following the ‘Live Rhymin’ tour in 1974 .

This video was posted to You Tube by DIFyCUL

Posted in: America (USA), Videos