misterpete

Paul Simon an appreciation

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I was listening to "Hearts and Bones" yesterday and it occurred to me that Paul Simon must be the most consistent quality songwriter of the last 50 years. I can't think of another artist that started in the 60s and is still producing great albums today. His output, whilst not huge, has always contained exceptional music combining intelligent lyrics with great music and the highest level of production. The only person close to him would be James Taylor, but he has never had blockbusters like "Bridge over troubled water" or "Graceland", plus Taylor has stuck to a tried and tested method, whereas Simon has never been afraid to experiment. His new album is outstanding both musically and lyrically,whilst his contemparies like Paul McCartney etc have lost their creative edge, in fact I find that most major artists have a "golden" period which lasts 5-10 years, when thay can do no wrong, but then life intrudes on them and although they may continue writing and performing it is always a pale imitation of their former selves.

I can take any one of my Paul Simon albums (yes, even "Songs from the Capeman!) and it still sounds fresh and interesting and from a HiFi point of view the production is always perfect. I am sure fellow Wammers will inform me of other suitable candidates, but right now I would nominate Paul Simon for "The Wigwam Hall Of fame award"

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I was listening to "Hearts and Bones" yesterday and it occurred to me that Paul Simon must be the most consistent quality songwriter of the last 50 years. I can't think of another artist that started in the 60s and is still producing great albums today. His output, whilst not huge, has always contained exceptional music combining intelligent lyrics with great music and the highest level of production. The only person close to him would be James Taylor, but he has never had blockbusters like "Bridge over troubled water" or "Graceland", plus Taylor has stuck to a tried and tested method, whereas Simon has never been afraid to experiment. His new album is outstanding both musically and lyrically,whilst his contemparies like Paul McCartney etc have lost their creative edge, in fact I find that most major artists have a "golden" period which lasts 5-10 years, when thay can do no wrong, but then life intrudes on them and although they may continue writing and performing it is always a pale imitation of their former selves.

I can take any one of my Paul Simon albums (yes, even "Songs from the Capeman!) and it still sounds fresh and interesting and from a HiFi point of view the production is always perfect. I am sure fellow Wammers will inform me of other suitable candidates, but right now I would nominate Paul Simon for "The Wigwam Hall Of fame award"

Christ, when I saw the headline I though Paul Simon had died!!!!

Could I gently request that you break up big slabs of text with paragraphs.:)

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Agree re McCartney.

My wife is a big Simon fan, but one listen to ...'so what', and "So what?" was her response! We sold the CD!

Can't put a finger as to why he doesn't click with me. Perhaps....the songs feel a bit cerebral/impersonal?

Agree re the 'five year span' concept. It's hard to keep such a level going.

Only others I can think of; my fave, John Hiatt, whose ideas and metaphors are great-whover else would rhyme "you ain't no queen of Sheba' with 'we can choose, we ain't no amoebas'!! (Thing called love)

Or write about watching a spider spinning a web?

Elvis Costello too?

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Could I gently request that you break up big slabs of text with paragraphs.:)

It really only warrants one, but your request is granted.

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I could never get away with Neil Young's whine, but fair play to you for pointing out his longevity, however he has never had the mainstream success that Paul Simon has enjoyed.

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Could I gently request that you break up big slabs of text with paragraphs.:)

It really only warrants one, but your request is granted.

Cheers Pete, I can now cancel the Specsavers appointment & cut down on migraine meds!

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I do have an alternative list, but agree that if mainstream means verging on 'pop' then Simon is king. That's not a criticism btw, just that he has never done 'edgy', although he certainly has not been afraid of including world musical styles into what he does (is he latin american by origin?). I own most of his output and probably play him more than nearly any other male singer-songwriter.

Alternatives might include Jackson Browne and Leonard Cohen both still chucking out albums, both lyrically equal (at least) to Simon although neither is quite as easy to like.

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Consistent? Not sure. Some of the early Simon and Garfunkel stuff is outstanding, but to me a lot of his later out output is just too frothy and poppy.

Another vote for Happy Len here. And Neil Young. Except for that shit album about his electric car.... :x

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I was suprised to see just 10 albums since 1972 so not the most prolific artist. Everyone in the world bought Graceland but I am not very familiar with his other stuff so am listening to his latest on Spotify. Pretty good. Better than I expected

[video=youtube;ZPWVwylAilM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPWVwylAilM

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I was suprised to see just 10 albums since 1972 so not the most prolific artist. Everyone in the world bought Graceland but I am not very familiar with his other stuff so am listening to his latest on Spotify. Pretty good. Better than I expected

Check out Rhythm of the Saints. It grows on you, but takes a while.

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I first saw Paul Simon at a pub in Romford in 1960 something, he was sitting in the middle of the room on a stool, we were sitting on the floor around him. Seen him many times since, got all the albums, play them all the time - fave track? probably Still Crazy After All These Years, the Brecker sax solo still sends shivers down my spine.

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I like/buy all Paul Simon, even the less good stuff.

As relatively good as his last one is, it is the 80s and earlier stuff that we often play/along with which we sing-boogie.

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I sort of agree with MiB that up until Graceland his work both solo and with Arty was almost without fault - One trick Pony is less than convincing. Interesting that the OP refers to Hearts and Bones - that album was murdered by the critics but I (and Mrs strat who is an absolute authority on Mr Simon) feel it his best work. Profound lyrics, amazing musicianship - the opening guitar solo on Allergies by Al Di Meola wow - superb songs. Train In The Distance - the atmosphere is just completely absorbing.

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"I can't think of another artist that started in the 60s and is still producing great albums today."

Neil Young.

Duane Eddy

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