Album #71 – Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
I have always loved Simon and Garfunkel and Paul Simon in particular. They were always different than most of the folk-rock groups of the time and this album proves it. I had never heard this album before but I had heard a few of the tracks: Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) (which I sang in Jazz Choir in high school!!!), The Dangling Conversation, For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her and Silent Night/Seven O’Clock News (which features the late great Charlie O’Donnell, most famous as announcer of Wheel Of Fortune and American Bandstand, reading a grim newscast while Simon & Garfunkel sing Silent Night. R.I.P. Charlie). The song A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission) is the funniest track on the album. I has Simon parodying a Dylan blues song such as Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream. He name drops all over the place and even mentions Garfunkel and longtime producer Roy Halee. This also is a satire of folk-rock with Simon saying at the end “I’ve lost my harmonica, Arthur”. Through this song, Simon is saying that he does not want to follow the formulaic way of folk-rock. Instead, they have acoustic guitars and two part harmonies with strings being present on The Dangling Conversation. I would not be until their fourth album, Bookends, where they would revert somewhat to folk-rock conventions. They even objected to the use of folk-rock instrumentation on their first single, The Sound of Silence. I really like Simon and Garfunkel for those reasons. The brought back the acoustic sound into folk-rock and did their own thing. The sound of the acoustic guitar and straying away from the norm is something that Paul Simon continues to do to this day. Overall, I give this album 5 out of 5.
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