Simon and Garfunkel
Greatest Hits


4.5
superb

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
November 16th, 2010 | 43 replies


Release Date: 1990 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The only thing dated about this are the two guys on the front cover.

'When Paul and I were first friends, starting in the sixth grade and seventh grade, we would sing a little together and we would make up radio shows and become disc jockeys on our home wire recorder. And then came rock and roll. ~ Art Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Arthur Garfunkel had been friends since childhood – they were already performing songs as a duo in high school, named Tom and Jerry. Rooted in folk rock, they got their first real taste of success with the folk anthem Sounds of Silence, and the rest is history. Their relationship was often unstable, leading to their eventual breakup, but they left behind a collection of five great LP’s, topped with their greatest artistic achievement Bridge Over Troubled Water, released on the brink of the new decade. Two years later, it was most logically a time for a greatest hits album.

And it was pretty much perfect.

There’s nearly always something to complain about when it comes to compilations: they’re not comprehensive enough, they don’t include the right songs, and so on. This is where Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits is a rare achievement – the collection offered here is absolutely flawless. Not only is it a perfect introduction for those who’ve only heard a single or two, neither does it skip any essentials. Conveniently, Simon and Garfunkel’s greatest hits are also their greatest songs.

Sounds of Silence may have been their first hit, but they really broke through with Mrs. Robinson and its appearance, along with several more of their songs, on the 1967 film The Graduate. As such, its position as opener is fitting, opening up immediate recognisability and appreciation for what’s to follow. The track selection is nicely balanced out, featuring three or four songs from every album. This does not include Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which, although it was a lovely debut, didn’t quite hit the same stride as their other four records yet.

We move through the beautiful storytelling of The Boxer, the dramatic but astounding delivery of Bridge Over Troubled Water, the sad hopefulness of America, experiments with instrumentation in El Condor Pasa (If I Could), and the more eclectic sound of Cecilia. These are some of Simon & Garfunkel’s more artistic highs, but at heart, they will always remain that dynamic duo with the warm guitar sound and gorgeous vocal melodies, as is evidenced throughout the major portion of this album. The best-known songs out of this group are of course Sounds of Silence, I Am a Rock and Scarborough Fair, but it is the four live versions of their more understated material that offers something extra for the more-than-casual fan. Not only do these cuts capture the warmth of their live performances, a rare feat in itself, they’re also all an improvement over the originals. For Emily, The 59th Street Bridge Song, Homeward Bound and Kathy’s Song simply come to life, rendering the studio versions far inferior.

If you’ve never understood why Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are together hailed as musical legends, here’s your proof: fourteen quintessential, timeless 60’s pop songs. Not often has a greatest hits album been so comprehensive, representative, and yet concise. If you’ve never bothered with any of their LP’s, get this. And unless the devil be possessing you, you will love it. That is a promise.



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user ratings (85)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
November 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Reviewing Simon & Garfunkel ftw.

lobby
November 16th 2010


1251 Comments


oddly enough, i've listend to paul simon's solo stuff way more than his collaboration with Garfunkel. It's all classic stuff

jingledeath
November 16th 2010


7104 Comments


I used to love this cd as a kid.

alachlahol
November 16th 2010


7501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

perfect group

SCREAMorphine
November 16th 2010


1758 Comments


Another another another another another another another great review

I used to cover Mrs. Robinson

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 16th 2010


7311 Comments


Reviewing Simon & Garfunkel ftw.


INDEED. Also, there's so much win in your summary alone.

Excellent review Nag, I really enjoyed it. Your flow in directing the review is near flawless, and makes for seamless reading. Only criticism I would make is of the fact that maybe, just maybe, the first paragraph is unnecessary and you probably could have started with the quote from Art alone.

Still, great read.

Nagrarok
November 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Actually I considered removing the first paragraph, I'll leave it as it is now, can always change it later. Thanks everyone.

BigHans
November 16th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome job on this Nag. This is arguable the best greatest hits album ever. The live version of Sound of Silence fucking destroys the studio version. My dad had this on 8 Track. 8 Track!

Nagrarok
November 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Thanks Hans my man, though Sound of Silence isn't live on this one, if that is what you meant in any case.

BigHans
November 16th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Are you sure? I must have a different version then.

Nagrarok
November 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oops, I actually didn't notice it yet. Didn't pay so much attention to the song when reviewing this since I know it so well already (and because the tracklisting didn't say live). Oh well.

BigHans
November 16th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah its weird that it doesnt say live. But there is an audience at the begining, and its a different version then on the original record. In any event, its a powerful fucking song.

Nagrarok
November 16th 2010


8259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah I noticed that upon relistening just now. Of the five live tracks it's the easiest not to notice though. Might be the best S&G song, but then there's also The Boxer and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

BigHans
November 16th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Those are the three best no question.

omnipanzer
November 16th 2010


21621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seminal album.

Digging: We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling

Jethro42
November 16th 2010


12479 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

''...they will always remain that dynamic duo with the warm guitar sound and gorgeous vocal melodies''
Hell yes
''...fourteen quintessential, timeless 60’s pop songs''
Hell yes
Helluva good review Nag, mate.

Lakes.
November 16th 2010


28397 Comments


Bookends and Bridge Over Troubled Water are godly. nice review.

Digging: Scott Walker and Sunn O))) - Soused

fr33convict
November 16th 2010


11694 Comments


OMG IT'S LAKES

Lakes.
November 16th 2010


28397 Comments


SUP SUCKAS

alachlahol
November 16th 2010


7501 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fr33 that was almost funny u were close to be funny there



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