Simon & Garfunkel
Released: June 1972
Chart Peak: #5
Weeks Charted: 126
Certified 5x Platinum: 11/21/86
A few months ago Simon & Garfunkel appeared together in New York at a McGovern rally; and even though they'd only been separated about a year, it sure was good to see them back up there again. Their music is rare in that it can conjure up images of a particular time and place. So it is that "The Sound Of Silence" can evoke a deserted and wintry Greenwich Village street; "Homeward Bound" recapture an afternoon on a train in eastern Pennsylvania; "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her" calls to mind an autumn afternoon in Berlin (these are my conjurings, I know you have your own.). S & G tap on all our experiences and sometimes they even offer a measure of hope or understanding. If all this sounds maudlin, it's not meant to be. Blame it all on Columbia Records, which just dealt a decisive blow to all who would shun rank sentimentality by releasing a volume of Simon & Garfunkel hits. This particular record is distinguished in at least two ways. Unlike most such packages, it is a genuine collection of songs which attained great popularity. And just to stir things up a bit, five of the tracks are from live performances, so they differ from the original versions -- at least in the breathing, the occasional rustle of a program in the audience and the applause which comes neatly at the end. S & G fans probably have all these songs already, but it is certainly convenient to have them all in one place. For the record, there are fourteen tunes. You've heard them all before and here they are again.
The duo that brought us same of the best music of the 60's and early 70's offers a beautiful package that will prove to be one of the top LPs of the year. With such material as "Sound of Silence," "Homeward Bound," "Cecilia" and "Mrs. Robinson" we will all be reminded of the absolute genius of Simon and Garfunkel. More of their hits are showcased, including the best song of 1970, "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
- Billboard, 1972.
Nothing much more than what it says, although the live tracks are interesting. * * * *
- Bruce Eder, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Released in the wake of a brief reunion for a George McGovern campaign benefit concert in 1972, Greatest Hits combines big Simon and Garfunkel hits and live tracks, and summarizes nearly everything great about the duo: intimate harmonizing, observant lyrics, innovative arrangments and singular tunes.
Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits was chosen as the 293rd greatest album of all time by the editors of Rolling Stone magazine in Dec. 2003.
- Rolling Stone, 12/11/03.
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