Artist – Album: Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
Released: 26th January 1970
Sounds Like: A bridge too far
Bridge Over Troubled Water was the album that spelled the end of Simon and Garfunkel as a duo. That’s clear from the couple of songs that are explicitly Paul Simon’s farewell to his buddy: ‘So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright’ and ‘The Only Living Boy in New York’. It was clear when Art Garfunkel skipped sessions to act in the forthcoming movie version of Catch-22. It was clear from the reported strain that the meticulous production put them under. I mean, just look at those impressively receding hairlines on the album cover: they had to be under a serious amount of stress.
Those two aforementioned tracks aside, this breakdown does not exhibit itself to any great deal on the finished product. The boys sound like they’re having a right laugh on disposable pop songs like ‘Cecilia’ and ‘Baby Driver’, whilst ‘The Boxer’ and ‘Song for the Asking’ sit amongst the very best of the couple’s entire back catalogue. Further, the title track has gone on to become their signature tune, an absolute monster of a song-hymn that still pops up on all time best of lists and crappy TV talent shows. The song finishes on such a crescendo that it almost feels like it should close the album, but the genius of placing it first means that it’s out of the way, and the listener can concentrate on the softer, less dramatic rest of the set.
For all that works on this album, the guys were going to split sometime. Garfunkel wanted to be an actor and Simon had already released one solo album and had written all but one of the tracks here. They were bound to part ways sooner or later. This album just made a fitting epitaph for their partnership.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Bridge Over Troubled Water – 4:52
2. El Condor Pasa (If I Could) – 3:06
3. Cecilia – 2:55
4. Keep the Customer Satisfied – 2:33
5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright – 3:41
6. The Boxer – 5:08
7. Baby Driver – 3:14
8. The Only Living Boy in New York – 3:58
9. Why Don’t You Write Me – 2:45
10. Bye Bye Love – 2:55
11. Song for the Asking – 1:39
Listen to ‘The Only Living Boy in New York’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJGSHMgbB0E
Also released on the 26th January:
2010: Beach House – Teen Dream