Video of the Week: Simon & Garfunkel Perform ‘The Sound of Silence’ Like Only They Can

With the popularity of the recent cover version by Disturbed, it might be worth reminding young people the song is a little older than 2015. Even half a century later, no one can perform the song like Simon & Garfunkel.

Ten Artists Sounding Uncannily Similar to Other Artists

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Welcome to our little homage to musical homage. The following ten artists, whether by willful attempt or sheer happenstance, managed to pull off amazingly credible imitations of more notable musical acts. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We’ll let you decide:

Dave Kerzner: “Stranded”

This Dark Side-era Pink Floyd sound-alike couldn’t possibly have happened by accident. Kerzner’s 2014 New World album, though it literally and figuratively shows its influences on its sleeve, is actually an outstanding progressive rock record in its own right. But “Stranded”, more than any song I’ve ever heard, shows an artist who’s assimilated the Floydian musical vocabulary.

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Lissie: “Further Away (Romance Police)”

Late-70’s Fleetwood Mac is revisited by singer-songwriter Lissie, complete with the Lindsey Buckingham guitar and Stevie Nicks vocals.

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Ali Thomson: “Take a Little Rhythm”

You may remember this #15 hit from 1980. If so, you almost surely thought it was Paul McCartney because it perfectly mimicked the sound of his late-70’s hits, not to mention the Tom Scott sax solo of “Listen to What the Man Said” and the prominence of the bass guitar in the mix. And also because who the hell is Ali Thomson?

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Jeremy Fisher: “Scar That Never Heals”

With all the stories floating around about Paul Simon cribbing musically from other artists it’s good to see another singer so “inspired” by Paul. Or so it sounds to me.

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Kingdom Come: “Get it On”

This one’s just brazen. From John Bonham’s thunderous drum sound to Robert’s Plant’s wail to a riff that, to say the very least, “evokes” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”…come on, guys. I mean, that sound is taken. Get your own.

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Tyler Ramsey: “Stay Gone”

Neil Young is channeled on this one, though it’s not clear if Tyler Ramsey consciously does so. I hear echoes here of some of young Neil’s early 70’s tunes such as “Winterlong”.

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Band of Horses: “Long Vows”

Again with the Neil Young! Band of horses sound like they got hold of a Zuma outtake here. In a good way.

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UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Simon and Garfunkel Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Kings of Convenience: “Homesick”

The Norwegian duo known as Kings of Convenience capture the close harmonies and intimate spare sound of “Scarborough Fair”-period Simon & Garfunkel on this one. Or as their own words in this very song describe it “two soft voices, blended in perfection”.

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Accept: “Balls to the Wall”

It seems in the world of 80’s metal you could scrape out a bit of a career merely by imitating an iconic act. Since their red hot career has presumably cooled off by now (unless like Spinal Tap they’re enjoying a revival in Japan) I wonder if it’s occurred to no-hit wonder Accept–and to the previously mentioned Kingdom Come for that matter–that there’s always a living to be made as a tribute band? Who could better fill the AC/DC void now that Brian Johnson has called it quits?

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Tin Tin: “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”

In case you’re not conversant with late-60’s pop, or old enough to remember that the Bee Gees had quite a successful career before anyone had ever heard of disco, Aussie duo Tin Tin was pretty much exactly what the Gibb brothers sounded like from about 1968 to ’72. It’s not a shock that Maurice Gibb produced the quaint “Toast and Marmalade for Tea”, Tin Tin’s only U.S. top 40 hit and a long-forgotten chestnut. It carries the stately sound of contemporaneous Bee Gees hits such as “Lonely Days” and “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You”.

How “The Sound of Silence” Became a Surprise Hit

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(via Smithsonian magazine)

by Geoffrey Himes

It’s been 50 years since Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” topped Billboard magazine’s pop singles chart. But it’s been almost 52 years since the song was first recorded. What happened in that interval made all the difference.

If Columbia Records producer Tom Wilson hadn’t taken the initiative, without the singers’ knowledge, to dub a rock rhythm section over their folk rendition, the song never would have become a cultural touchstone—a generation’s shorthand for alienation—nor the duo a going concern, let alone an exemplar of early folk-rock music.

The two, friends from boyhood in New York City, had had a modest hit single (“Hey, Schoolgirl”) as Tom & Jerry in 1957. They parted, then reunited as Kane & Garr and played a few club dates. Garfunkel was studying at Columbia University in the winter of 1963-64 when Simon got in touch: “Paul only had about five songs at this time,” Garfunkel recalls, “but he called and said, ‘Artie, I just wrote my best song.’ He drove over from Queens and played it for me in the kitchen amongst the roaches.”

This Day in Music: Simon & Garfunkel Record ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’

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(via This Day in Music)

simonIt’s one of those songs, isn’t it? A timeless classic which can still, to this day, send a shiver down the spine. The single won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1971.

Paul Simon wrote the song while his partner Art Garfunkel was filming in Europe for the black comedy Catch-22 that starred Alan Arkin. The duo were coming to the end of their relatively short career, tensions were high, and by the time their fifth and final studio album was in the charts, Simon and Garfunkel were no longer.

Paul Simon told Rolling Stone in 1972 that he now regrets his insistence that Art Garfunkel sing this song as a solo, as it focused attention on Garfunkel and relegated Simon to a secondary position. Art initially did not want to sing the lead vocal, feeling it was not right for him, stating that Simon should have sung the song. But after all these years, as a listener, you can’t imagine anyone else but Art singing this beautiful song.

When Simon first presented the song to Garfunkel it had just two verses and the singer suggested Simon pen another verse, which he did. The final verse was written about Simon’s then-wife Peggy Harper, who had noticed her first gray hairs, inspiring the line, “Sail on, silver girl.” The first two verses had been recorded in New York and the final new verse was laid down in a studio in Los Angles…

Read more: http://www.thisdayinmusic.com/pages/bridge_over_troubled_water

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