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The Rhythm of the Saints Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

147 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, July 27, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B0002EQ7EC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,890 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Peter Uys HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Paul Simon followed up the classic Graceland, his fusion of African and Western pop music with this stunning album of great songs with a South American and more particularly Brazilian flavour. This reissue includes four previously unreleased tracks.

The Obvious Child is my favorite, a powerful melodic song with great drums and guitars and a wistful, nostalgic feel. Another favorite is The Coast, a story about a family of musicians taking shelter in a church; this song really impresses with its flowing melody, polyrhythmic drum patterns and moving lyrics.

Proof is another charming pop song, particularly noted for its evocative backing vocals and gentle, lilting rhythm whilst Further To Fly and She Moves On are more subdued, melancholy numbers with bubbling and insistent rhythmic patterns.

The mood lifts with the uptempo and buoyant Born At The Right Time, once again a lyrical and musical masterpiece and filled with catchy hooks. The guitar and atmospheric backing voices of Spirit Voices are beyond compare whilst the title track is a meandering piece with innovative instrumental flourishes.

What makes these songs particularly moving is that Simon tells the stories of ordinary people and that his perceptive, poetic lyrics are carried so well on the exotic instrumentation. Of course, the beautiful tunes have a lot to do with that. Rhythm Of The Saints may not be as immediately appealing as Graceland and may not offer quite as many classics, but it remains a major achievement, a brilliant marriage of Brazilian and Western popular musical styles.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By tropic_of_criticism on May 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of my top 10 favorite albums of all time, _The Rhythm of the Saints_ is absolutely Paul Simon's best work, easily outdistancing his groundbreaking work on _Graceland_. Where _Graceland_ felt in places like an experimental coupling of two traditions, _Rhythm_ gives us an artist now confident with the blending of musical influences.
What comes forth in _Rhythm_ is complete emotional evocation. Like the best classical music, the efforts here are so fully realized that you can actually *see* the music. Putting this CD into your player is inviting this music to define another world for your mind to play in.
"Further to Fly" is perhaps the best example the album has to offer of this visual transportation. To me, it has always represented what Africa (or, to a lesser extent, any place) feels like to a foreigner. The unique combination of the drums, the guitar, and Simon's own hauntingly-produced voice makes me actually see Africa from the luxurious, safe height of a plane.
Yet, what makes Simon so satisfying here is that of course the lyrics often aren't directly about what the music feels like on first listen. "Further to Fly", to continue to the example, has many different levels of interpretation, most of which have nothing really to do with actual travel.
This, then, is an album that continues to give up its secrets long after it has seduced you with its music. It will be one you long keep in your CD player just so you can return to its world with ease.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Fred McGhee on November 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I'm coming out of the closet and finally putting myself on record as saying that this is Paul Simon's best album as a solo artist. I also agree with other reviewers--this is one of the fifty best albums of the twentieth century.

Although Graceland was a landmark record, there were many "outside" issues with that record. Troubles with cultural snobbery and exploitation (particularly of Los Lobos), unsituated appropriation of "Third World" musics and musicalisms, and just plain screwed up "liberal" New York elitism. Some of that is still here in this album--even Caetano Veloso took some pot shots at Paul Simon, as has Carlinhos Brown.

But great art is judged by time as much as anything else, and I believe that this is a fascinating and moving record, whose subtle and shifting rhythms, melodies, harmonies, and chords represent perhaps the best admixture of Brazilian, African, and American sensibilities in the history of pop music (Jazz music is here, of course, excepted; that music is beyond this discussion and is in an entirely separate category). The single biggest thing that sticks out for me about this album is the percussion work. You get a broad and deep emotional working out of a variety of African-matrixed South American percussion styles, and the perhaps biggest musical achievement by Simon here is his sly and sophisticated incorporation of a stunning variety of polyrythms into his already legendary folk and folksy pop music. This music is at times simply gorgeous--it flows like a river, and on occasion it flows thick and lovingly like hot lava.

This is grown-up, laid back, (in the best American/Brazilian collaborative tradition), intelligent, lovely, and wise music.

Highly Recommended.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By on September 4, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Without a doubt my all time favorite album. Not just my favorite Paul Simon album. This album is a complete crossover for the pop world . Paul Simon has created an experience with this collection of songs. His lyrics are simple and to the point and make you wish that feelings you had could be expressed so blunt and with such beauty. Lines such as "wash you tangled curls with gamblers soap", pervey a sense of grace that is universal. The afro- cuban and latin percussion is stunning.I bought this album five years ago and still listen to it almost every day..Just buy it..If I took the time to write this it is well worth the time listening to it.
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