Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel

Released January 26, 1970 this is the fifth and final studio album from the duo before splitting up later that year. The album won six Grammy Awards, topped the charts in over 10 countries, sold 25 million copies.

Jason: This album has some good classic tracks on it.

Brad: Yeah, the high points are really high on this one. Some of the most-covered songs in music history.

Jason: There aren’t really any low-points but some of the songs aren’t up the same caliber as the title track or “The Boxer”. Not that they are bad but they seem like B-sides.

Brad: I agree. The one weird choice for me is that they included a cover of “Bye Bye Love”. I’m not so much bothered by including that song but the fact that they included a live version with an audience. It seems like something that would be a B-side or tacked on as the last song on an album. 

Jason: Yes, that one in particular sticks out and I read a lot of the original critic reviews point that out as well.

Brad: The title song still gives me chills even though I’ve heard it a thousand times. I’ve never seen Simon & Garfunkel live but I’ve seen Paul several times. “The Boxer” and “The Only Living Boy in New York” are two of my favorites to see him perform live. 

Jason: I think my favorite on this album is “The Boxer” were I to choose one. I am going to guess yours is “Cecilia”.

Brad: “Cecilia” was one of my favorite songs as a child. I can totally hear 7 year old me singing ” Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
Up in my bedroom…making love!” and not really knowing what I was singing but loving it. I still love that song but I think I grew to love other S&G songs more as I got older. 

Jason: This was their last record together and I guess they knew they were breaking up because Simon says “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” is about Garfunkel and his way of saying goodbye.

Brad: They always seemed to have a rocky relationship but I guess I didn’t realize until reading their bio that one of the reasons they drifted apart was because Art was pursuing an acting career.

Jason: Yes, although I don’t think that went the way he anticipated. By the way “The Only Living Boy In New York” (which was about Simon feeling lonely after Garfunkel left to film “Catch-22”) reminds me of Belle & Sebastian.

Brad: Now that you mention it, it does! Garfunkel seems like the the Andrew Ridgeley of this duo.

Jason: Oof! Or the John Oates? Simon & Garfunkel are much loved though and Paul Simon has had such a great career since. I know Garfunkel still records but I don’t think I know any of his solo stuff.

Brad: I’ve tried to get into Garfunkel’s solo stuff but it doesn’t have the magic that S&G does. Meanwhile, Paul’s solo career has been incredible. So many high points in every decade since they broke up. 

Jason: So Art WAS the rock (weighing Paul down.) 

Brad: Yikes. I think they made great music together but Paul is my favorite of the two. 

Jason: Had you listened to this album in its entirety before?

Brad: Yeah, I’ve listened to all of their studio albums. I got a cd box-set of all their albums at least 20 years ago. 

Jason: This album is pretty short but it’s such a nice listen. A good coffee-shop-and-crossword-puzzle-by-the-fire album. Well, sudoku for you.

Brad: I agree. What grade would you give this one?

Jason: Hmmm. I am going with an A- because it has some iconic, beautiful songs and despite a few not-as-great ones, which are still pretty good, it’s a venerable album.

Brad: I’m between A- & B+ but I think I might go with a B+ for similar reasons. 

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Below is the scratch-off artwork from the 100 Bucket List poster.

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