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Better Off With The Single Disc Collection
on March 23, 2006
Simon & Garfunkel are one of my all time favorite groups. They rank right up there with Zeppelin, Dylan, The Beatles, The Who, the Stones, Queen and all my other favorite musicians.
I loved my very first S & G cd, "The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel". Since that collection had but a mere 20 songs and had a somewhat short running time of only 64 minutes, I felt I hadn't gottent the full extent of their work. I thought I'd get a far greater view with the two cd, 31 song "The Essential Simon & Garfunkel". Unfortunately, I was wrong. Why? Read on for the positives and the negatives.
-You do get the most well known hits from the band. "The Sound Of Silence", "Homeward Bound", "I Am A Rock", "Scarbourough Fair/ Canticle", "Hazy Shade Of Winter", "The 59th Street Bridge (Feelin' Groovy)", "Mrs. Robinson", "The Boxer", "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and all the rest of the band's biggest hits are here.
-A few underrated gems are included as well, such as "Keep The Customer Satisfied", "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright" and "Baby Driver".
-Good sound quality.
-Easy to locate.
-As many reviewers pointed out, several of the songs are different than the original versions, most notably "Homeward Bound", "The Sound Of Silence" and "I Am A Rock".
-Too many live versions! If they wanted to make a far more concise S & G collection that could've perhaps been definitive, they should've put the original versions.
-Neither disc fills up the eighty minute time limit. Stuff like "He Was My Brother", "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night", "Save The Life Of My Child", "Punky's Dilemma", not to mention the studio versions of the live tracks, could've easily been included.
-"Old Friends" and "Bookends" are separated. I've always preferred them together, like on "The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel".
-Sound quality is good, but the earlier "The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel" is better IMO.
Overall, this is a decent collection, but I feel that the single disc "The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel" is BY FAR a better bet. I hope to one day acquire the "Columbia Studio Recordings" boxed set, but until then, "The Best Of Simon & Garfunkel" is the best I can do. I prefer it to "The Essential Simon & Garfunkel", which I find pretty weak.