Simon & Garfunkel are often over-looked when people talk about the best music of the 60s – but with tunes like America, they really shouldn’t be…
I’ve always loved Simon & Garfunkel. They got played a lot by my various parents when I was growing up and are very much part of the soundtrack to my life. I guess then it was only natural that I should have played the Best Of Simon & Garfunkel several times over the weekend.
But it was definitely a bit spooky that as I was queuing up in Borders today, that self same Best Of (which I had never gotten round to buying myself) was on sale for £5 (although bizarrely it’s more online). So obviously I bought it, and here I am listening to America – one of the best songs Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel ever performed, whether together or in their solo careers. In fact America is one of the best songs ever, by anyone. No, really.
I can’t find video footage to do it justice so you’ll have to make do with the version above from the Central Park concert which I found. It’s lovely but somehow lack the bit of the original, with Simon’s exquisite lyrics of two lovers finding and losing themselves on a bus trip. I truly think this songs says as much about the 60s as anything The Beatles, Stones, Doors, Hendrix or any of their peers did. And the Stone Roses liked Simon & Garfunkel so much their début was pretty much a tribute to them.
Finally, and luckily for those who, like me, prefer the original version to the slightly saccharine one that seems to get trotted out at come-back gigs, here is the original version of America by Simon & Garfunkel. There aren’t any picture to go with the song, but like the version of Sinnerman by Nina Simone I wrote about a while back, it really doesn’t matter.