Sunday Music – The Sound Of Silence

Posted on Sun 01/22/2017 by

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Today’s music video is The Sound Of Silence and the song is performed here by the legendary American duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Brainbuck7

It’s sometimes a little perplexing really, how different versions of the same song attract your attention. You know the song so well, having heard it so many times, and then you hear something slightly different and you suddenly take notice.

It was the same with this song, such a monster hit all around the World. I remember hearing it often on the radio when it was first a hit. I liked the song, but not really enough to go out and get hold of the album. Then in early 1969, I heard a friend play the first album this song was lifted from. It wasn’t even this song which attracted my attention. I kept thinking to myself, that if this is Simon and Garfunkel, why haven’t I got ‘into’ them sooner than this.

simonandgarfunkelwednesdaymorning3amThat album was their first album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, and the tracks which attracted my attention were three songs, Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, The Sun Is Burning, and the title track Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

That original album was brought out in mid 1964, and didn’t do all that well at the time. In fact, Paul then left for some time in the UK, and Art resumed his studies at University. More that a year later, the song, The Sound Of Silence was picked up by a local radio station in Boston, where it gained a huge following, so much that the song started to chart all across the Nation.

This time, I did go out and buy the album, and at the same time, I got hold of the two albums they brought out after this first album, The Sounds Of Silence, hurriedly brought out in early 1966 to capitalise on their new found popularity, and also including that one huge hit, and also their third album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Oddly, I didn’t get their fourth album, Bookends, because I wasn’t all that keen on any of the songs.

Then, in early 1970, they brought out perhaps one of the biggest albums of all time, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and having got that album, I found that there’s not one song on that album that I didn’t like.

Then, almost inexplicably, at the absolute zenith of their music careers, they split up.

Paul Simon went on to a huge solo career, and I kept getting hold of his albums as each new one was released, and, besides having four of their albums when they were together, I ended up with five of his solo albums as well.

The song I have featured for today, The Sound Of Silence,  was still often played on radio, and you just get so used to hearing that original studio version of the song, which brings me right back to what I said at the start of the text for this Post. I heard the song so often, that when I heard this one little difference, I wondered where it was done. Paul Simon himself often did solo versions of the song, but this one I heard was different.

Paul and Art had developed their two part harmony down to perhaps the finest art form of any duo. It took a while, because when you listen to some of their earliest live performances, it was still at the developing stage.

However, listen very closely to the version I have posted here today. This is taken from a live concert in 1967, so it’s now four years after Paul had written the song, and more than a year after it had finally become such a huge hit. Note in this clip that Art has really worked out the higher of the harmonies, and the tone of his voice is just so good. In some of his earlier performances, while still quite good, he lacked that certain finesse that he now has got down so perfectly to match Paul’s low harmonies.

It’s a little trick your brain plays on you. You hear a song so many times, you can almost sing along with it in your own mind while it plays, because you know what’s coming next in the exact way they sung that first studio version of the song.

Now, listen closely to this clip, at around the 57 second mark to the phrase ….. I turned my collar to the cold and damp.

Note the way he adds in that little down and then up on that one word ….. cold. It’s perhaps one of the only times he has ever done that, because I have listened to so many versions of this song, and there’s this one, and perhaps one or maybe two others where he actually did this on just that one word.

As much as I always liked this song, when I heard this version with just that one little quirk, I wondered why they didn’t do it on that original recording, because it just sounds so much better. Something like this is perhaps only something thought of at a later date, and as you also listen to this live version of the song, there are also other slight differences to the original, but to my ears, this one little quirk on that one small word is perhaps the best of any of those differences to the song.

Either way, the song is an absolute classic, no matter which version you hear, and the song has been covered by so many artists across the years, and the most recent of them was late in 2015 when the American Heavy Metal band Disturbed made their own cover of the song, and did such an amazing job of it. You become so used to the original by the original artists, that any cover sounds average, but this cover by Disturbed was a really good version of the song.

Simon and Garfunkel were only huge for what was barely five years as a duo, but they brought out so many wonderful songs, none finer than this beautiful song, The Sound Of Silence.

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