http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/a206cdd1c364d1d5a83e8c265d7078e8d2ddb831.jpg The Paul Simon Songbook

Paul Simon

The Paul Simon Songbook

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March 29, 2004

After Simon and Garfunkel's first album, 1964's Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m., stiffed, a bummed-out Paul Simon packed up and moved to London. There he might have remained, playing coffeehouses, if Wednesday Morning producer Tom Wilson hadn't come up with the clever idea of doctoring the album's "Sounds of Silence" with Byrds-style folk-rock instrumentation. The single hit Number One in late 1965, luring Simon back to New York and to a reunion with Art Garfunkel. A few months earlier, though, Simon quickly recorded this solo album for CBS Records, U.K., with nine of the twelve songs that later found their way onto Simon and Garfunkel's 1966 LPs Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Tracks to treasure are "Kathy's Song" and "Leaves That Are Green," both even more wistful than the duo's versions. The LP (in its first-ever U.S. release) offers numerous karaoke opportunities for Garfunkel wanna-be's — and you know who you are.

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