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Oldies 16/02/2012

Art Garfunkel's The Singer Features 40 Songs From Simon & Garfunkel Years And Solo Work

Art Garfunkel's The Singer Features 40 Songs From Simon & Garfunkel Years And Solo Work

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts/ Legacy Recordings) Pulling together all the roots and branches of Art Garfunkel's remarkable career in music, THE SINGER is a 40-song collection of songs hand-picked by the artist himself.  Spanning the years from the first Simon & Garfunkel album of 1964 (Wednesday Morning, 3AM) up through 2007's Great American Songbook album (Some Enchanted Evening), this two-CD retrospective will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets starting April 10th through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

The voice and soul of a true American poet have illuminated the work of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Art Garfunkel for nearly five decades.  It is there on record - the Simon & Garfunkel LPs of 1964 to 1970 on Columbia, and his deep catalog as a solo artist starting in 1973 (the first seven albums also on Columbia) - as well as in film, and on the printed page (his 1987 collection of prose poetry, Still Water).  Five-time Grammy Award®-winner Art Garfunkel has always approached every new project with the poet's perspective.

As Garfunkel explained the essence of his artistry to Esquire, "We didn't push for exaggerating one's contributi... There are many songs where I am a shadow.  Many songs, I was a silvery edge around Paul Simon's coffee-brown lead front part.  As the record emerged, you go, 'That's what it is.  Those are the two personalities.  That's what's happening.'  And the sound is lovely as long as the composite works."

In addition to curating THE SINGER, Garfunkel provides his own personal track-by-track annotations, which appear in the booklet in his handwritten form.  The notes are as unique as Garfunkel himself.  He writes of "Cecilia," the S&G hit single from 1970:  "'Car!' we called in Queens.  Then we stopped the game and stepped aside.  I grew up where the brick houses were semi-attached with driveways in between.  Punchball was king.  Somehow the yelling we did as street kids found its way to 'Cecilia.'  We shouted the song over a track we made from a tape loop of rhythmic hand clapping onto our blue jeans."

The weaving of songs from the Simon & Garfunkel repertoire with songs from Art Garfunkel's repertoire as a solo artist is one of the hallmarks of THE SINGER, as the collection takes on a timeless air, moving back and forth through time in a seamless pattern. 

From the five original S&G studio albums (and all-time best-selling Greatest Hits, 14-times RIAA platinum, the largest selling album of all time by a duo):

  • Wednesday Morning, 3AM (1964) - "The Sound Of Silence"
  • Sounds Of Silence (1966) - "April Come She Will"
  • Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme (1966) - "Scarborough Fair/Canticle"
  • Bookends (1968) - "Old Friends / Bookends," "A Hazy Shade Of Winter," "Mrs. Robinson"
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970) - "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Boxer," "Cecilia," "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright," "El Condor Pasa"
  • Greatest Hits (1972) - "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her"

From the three live concert albums by Simon & Garfunkel:

  • Simon & Garfunkel Live From NYC, 1967 (2002) - "Wednesday Morning 3AM"
  • Simon & Garfunkel Live 1969 (2008) - "Song For The Asking"
  • Old Friends: Live On Stage (2004) - "Kathy's Song"

From 10 of Art Garfunkel's solo albums:

  • Angel Clare (1973) - "Barbara Allen"
  • Breakaway (1975) - "Breakaway," "I Only Have Eyes For You," "99 Miles From L.A.," "My Little Town," "Disney Girls," "Waters Of March"
  • Watermark (1978) - "(What A) Wonderful World"
  • Fate For Breakfast(UK, 1979) - "Bright Eyes"
  • Scissors Cut (1981) - "Bright Eyes," "Scissors Cut," "A Heart In New York," "In Cars"
  • Lefty (1988) - "The Promise," "I Wonder Why," "When A Man Loves A Woman"
  • The Animals' Christmas (with Amy Grant, 1986) - "The Decree"
  • Up 'Til Now (1993) - "All I Know," "Cryin' In The Rain," "Two Sleepy People," "Skywriter"
  • Everything Waits To Be Noticed (2002) - "Perfect Moment," "The Thread"
  • Some Enchanted Evening (2007) - "Some Enchanted Evening," "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face"

Garfunkel's work with Simon generated eight Grammy Awards®, starting with the two won by "Mrs. Robinson" (from the movie The Graduate) at the ceremony in 1969, namely Record of the Year and Best Contemporary Pop Performance/ Duo or Group.  Two years later, Bridge Over Troubled Water was voted Album of the Year, and the title song swept Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Contemporary Song, Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists, and Best Engineered Recording. (In 1977, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" received England's prestigious Britannia Award as the Best International Pop LP and Single of the previous 25 years.)  Garfunkel added another Grammy Award® to his shelf in 1998, when his album Songs From a Parent To a Child was named Best Children's Album.

Garfunkel has also maintained a steady presence on the silver screen.  After working with director Mike Nichols on The Graduate soundtrack, Garfunkel followed up with feature roles in Nichols' Catch-22 (1969) and Carnal Knowledge (1971, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination as Best Supporting Actor), opposite Ann-Margret, Candice Bergen and Jack Nicholson.  Garfunkel went on to garner acclaim for roles in Nicholas Roeg's award-winning Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession with Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel (1980); Good To Go (1986); the controversial Jennifer Lynch film, Boxing Helena (1993); and most recently in 2010, The Rebound with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Justin Bartha.

The life and times of Art Garfunkel course throughout THE SINGER, especially felt in the reverence for songs that make up the American pop vernacular.  Two of Garfunkel's signature performances hit #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary (AC) chart: "I Only Have Eyes For You" (a 1930s tune that became a hit for the Flamingos in 1959, revisited by Garfunkel on 1975's Breakaway LP, the song also hit #1 in the UK); and Sam Cooke's "(What A) Wonderful World" (from 1978's Watermark), in which Garfunkel was famously joined by Simon and James Taylor. 

Garfunkel's roster of #1 AC hits also includes "All I Know" (his debut single as a solo artist in 1973, a Jimmy Webb composition); the 1975 reunion duet with Simon on "My Little Town" (premiered on the second show of NBC's Saturday Night Live); and "Breakaway" (written by England's Gallagher & Lyle, one of the three consecutive #1 AC hits from the Breakaway LP, along with "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "My Little Town").

In addition to all the aforementioned, THE SINGER contains many more examples of Garfunkel's unerring way with pop tunes from our collective past: "Barbara Allen" (the folk ballad popularized by Joan Baez); "Disney Girls" (from the Beach Boys' Surf's Up); "I Wonder Why" (via Dion & the Belmonts); "When A Man Loves A Woman" (Percy Sledge); "Cryin' In The Rain" (a duet with James Taylor, via the Everly Brothers, an early Carole King-Howie Greenfield composition); and "Two Sleepy People," the 1930s Hoagy Carmichael-Frank Loesser chestnut that captivated a new generation in 1955 when it was sung by James Dean and Natalie Wood in Rebel Without A Cause.

Finally, THE SINGER continues to underscore Garfunkel's near-lifelong association with the music of composer Jimmy Webb.  After recording 1978's Watermark with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, which contained 10 Webb compositions, Garfunkel said in his understated manner, "I like the idea of inviting people to consider this man... Jimmy Webb."  THE SINGER contains some rarely anthologized Webb tunes recorded over the years by his friend: "Scissors Cut," "In Cars," and "All I Know."

"Never mind the transience of show business and popularity," Garfunkel told Esquire.  "When we hear Ray Charles, we go, 'That's a great singer.'  You don't need a reporter or a writer to tell us.  Good is good and it should shine through the years."

ART GARFUNKEL: THE SINGER (Columbia/Legacy 88691 95801 2)

CD One:

  1. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970)
  2. "All I Know" with Jimmy Webb (Up 'Til Now, 1993)
  3. "Perfect Moment" with Buddy Mondlock & Maia Sharp (Everything Waits To Be Noticed, 2002)
  4. "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" (Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, 1966)
  5. "Cryin' In The Rain" with James Taylor (Up 'Til Now, 1993)
  6. "I Only Have Eyes For You" with Nicky Hopkins (Breakaway, 1975)
  7. "The Boxer" (Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970)
  8. "Cecilia" (Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970)
  9. "99 Miles From L.A." (Breakaway, 1975)
  10. "Wednesday Morning 3AM" (Simon & Garfunkel Live From NYC, 1967) (2002)
  11. "(What A) Wonderful World" with James Taylor and Paul Simon (Watermark, 1978)
  12. "Bright Eyes" (Fate For Breakfast, UK, 1979)
  13. "Two Sleepy People," arranged by Dick Hyman (Up 'Til Now, 1993)
  14. "Skywriter" (Up 'Til Now, 1993)
  15. "My Little Town" (Breakaway, 1975)
  16. "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her" (Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits, 1972)
  17. "Some Enchanted Evening" (Some Enchanted Evening, 2007)
  18. "Disney Girls" with Bruce Johnston and Toni Tenille (Breakaway, 1975)
  19. "The Thread" with Maia Sharp and Buddy Mondlock" (Everything Waits To Be Noticed, 2002)
  20. "Barbara Allen" (Angel Clare, 1973)

CD Two:

  1. "Kathy's Song" (Simon & Garfunkel - Old Friends: Live On Stage, 2004)
  2. "Scissors Cut" (Scissors Cut, 1981)
  3. "The Sound Of Silence" (Wednesday Morning, 3AM, 1964)
  4. "Breakaway" with Graham Nash and David Crosby (Breakaway, 1975)
  5. "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright" (Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970)
  6. "Waters Of March" with Billy Payne (Breakaway, 1975)
  7. "Old Friends / Bookends" (Bookends, 1968)
  8. "The Decree" (The Animals' Christmas, 1986)
  9. "A Hazy Shade Of Winter" (Bookends, 1968)
  10. "El Condor Pasa" (Bridge Over Troubled Water, 1970)
  11. "I Wonder Why" with Kenny Rankin (Lefty, 1988)
  12. "The Promise" with Steve Gadd (Lefty, 1988)  
  13. "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" (Some Enchanted Evening, 2007)
  14. "When A Man Loves A Woman" with Michael Brecker (Lefty, 1988)
  15. "O Come All Ye Faithful" with Eric Weissberg (Acoustic Christmas, 1990)
  16. "April Come She Will" (Sounds Of Silence, 1965)
  17. "Mrs. Robinson" (Bookends, 1968)
  18. "A Heart In New York" with Michael Brecker (Scissors Cut, 1981)
  19. "Song For The Asking" (Simon & Garfunkel Live 1969, 2008)
  20. "In Cars" (Scissors Cut, 1981)

Album index:

Simon & Garfunkel:
Wednesday Morning, 3AM (1964)
Sounds Of Silence (1966)
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966)
Bookends (1968)
Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits (1972)

Simon & Garfunkel live in concert:
Simon & Garfunkel Live From NYC, 1967 (2002)
Simon & Garfunkel Live 1969, 2008)
Old Friends: Live On Stage (2004)

Art Garfunkel:
Angel Clare (1973)
Breakaway (1975)
Watermark (1978)
Fate For Breakfast (UK, 1979)
Scissors Cut (1981)
The Animals' Christmas (with Amy Grant, 1986)
Lefty (1988)
Up 'Til Now (1993)
Everything Waits To Be Noticed (2002)
Some Enchanted Evening (2007)

Acoustic Christmas (1990)

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