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The Columbia Studio Recordings (1964-1970) Box set, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Buy all five Simon & Garfunkel studio albums- Wednesday Morning, 3 AM; Sounds of Silence; Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme; Bookends , and Bridge over Troubled Water -and save $10 off what you'd pay for these upgraded reissues singly! Bonus tracks, new remastering and graphics, the whole deal.

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Though the American folk movement of the early '60s would influence bands like the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield and a score of oh-so-sensitive '70s singer-songwriters, its two most looming successes during the decade--Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel--couldn't have seemed more disparate. While Dylan turned hard-left, outraging many a folk purist by zealously embracing rootsy blues-rock and its electrified cacophony, S&G veered toward the center, equally infuriating snooty pundits by embracing a Top 40 pop sense whose ostensible shallowness often belied its rich musical diversity. In retrospect, Simon and Garfunkel's career as a duo was remarkably brief (five albums in six years), if no less commercially potent (a slew of Top 40 singles, two Number One albums, and the requisite handful of Grammy Awards). This box set compiles digitally remastered versions of the original S&G albums, each expanded to include bonus tracks (mostly previously unissued demos with a few scattered outtakes, the quartet on Sounds of Silence the best of the lot) and a booklet featuring new notes for each album and song lyrics. It's a rewarding journey, wending from the almost slavish folk devotion of Wednesday Morning 3 AM through the greeting-card iconoclasm of Sounds of Silence, the madrigal-pop of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme to the increasingly impressionistic lyrical landscape of Bookends. It also covers the rich musical tapestry of Bridge over Troubled Waters, which foreshadowed Simon's own diverse solo career by embracing everything from the Everlys and Jan & Dean to Andean folk and R&B. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2001)
  • Ltd ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: August 21, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 191 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005NKKU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,033 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Simon and Garfunkel's five studio albums spent a total of 470 weeks on the album charts--that's nine years! As a child of the Sixties, this music helped create the soundtrack of my youth. Yes, I already owned Collected Works and I bought the box set Old Friends, and now this is part of my collection, too. Is it essential to own all three? It pretty much makes Collected Works obsolete. Collected Works had no liner notes or photos (a glaring omission corrected on this new box set). And the anthology Old Friends at best becomes dispensible. Of the 15 previously unreleased tracks on that anthology, only the eight live tracks and the two Christmas songs are not included here. [It does make you wonder about the greed factor on Columbia's part when there are 49 tracks shared between the two.]
If you have not upgraded to CD with any of these three collections, the latest box wins hands down. Each of the five CDs comes in a miniature sleeve duplicating the original albums (both front and back). The 76-page booklet contains some terrific photos and new liner notes for each album by Bud Scoppa along with the original liner notes. Lyrics are also included--except for the bonus tracks. However, it would have been nice to have a running commentary from both Simon and Garfunkel on each of the songs or at least an extensive interview. Recording dates and session musicians would also have been a plus. But the main thing is the music--and it's never sounded better than it does here! Listen and enjoy. ESSENTIAL
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Format: Audio CD
Has this material been released before? Yes. Is it duplicated on other sets? Of course?
So why buy it?
Finally, after more than 30 years, the entire "official" canon of Simon and Garfunkel is released in the original form from the original master tapes (long thought lost, but as noted in the "Old Friends" box, recently unearthed). Comparing the past CD issues of these albums to these new masters is like comparing a MacDonald's hamburger to a filet mignon. The richness of the sonics, the presence of the instruments, this is an absolute feast.
Of course, the earlier albums weren't as remarkable as recordings as the later albums. Once they got to "Bookends" they were creating records that were both great music as well as imaginative recordings. "Bookends" in particular is one of the few post-psychedelic records that still holds up as well today as it did way back then. Frankly, when "Save the Life of My Child" begins, you'll be hoping to save the life of your sub-woofer.
And the good news - beyond the quaint reproductions of the original album sleeves and the fine booklet - is that should you not wish to buy this whole box, each of the CD's is also available individually.
So...yes, it's old music once again, but it's never sounded this good. And it's fair to say that if you have "Old Friends" you have much of this, but if enjoying the albums in pristine sonic quality as the artists intended you to, this is a wonderful box set.
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Format: Audio CD
A few years ago, I reviewed COLLECTED WORKS, which at the time was the only comprehensive collection of Simon and Garfunkel's work (on 3 CDs). This is better. Much better.
One complaint, though, just to get it out of the way. I love the fact that the discs have the original label design on them, but BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER was also released on the same label as the others in its first edition (I own two such vinyl copies). That aside, onward and upward.
The music is what is important here. And it is given the royal treatment, beginning with WEDNESDAY MORNING, 3AM, a very good, if somewhat unassuming effort of basic folk arrangements. There are some standout tracks, indeed. "Sparrow", "Sounds of Silence", and the title track are among my personal favorites, but the rest of the album will not disappoint.
With 1966's SOUNDS OF SILENCE, the duo opted for a more folk-rock approach, which has been impuned for its commercial value. Commercial does not mean bad. The Beatles were, after all, the most commercial music group of all time. No one seems to mind. Neither should they here. "Leaves That Are Green", "Blessed", "Somewhere They Can't Find Me", "A Most Peculiar Man", and "I Am a Rock" never cease to captivate me. They were well on their way with this one.
Also in 1966, the duo released PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY, AND THYME. Let the opening title track work it's melodic and contropunal magic on you--it is hauntingly beautiful. PATTERNS is also first rate. In fact, very little on this record is not.
BOOKENDS (1968) is, I must admit not my favorite of their collections--just a bit pretentious. Still has "Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Mrs.
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By A Customer on August 23, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This box set is very easily recommended to any fans of sixties music who do not own the Old Friends box set released a few years ago. It is not so easily recommended to those who do already own the Old Friends box set, and I will direct my comments to those who do own the box set. Overall there are ten songs that appear here that do not appear on the Old Friends Set. Four of these are on the first CD, three are on Sounds of Silence, two are on Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme, and one is on Bookends. In addition to these ten songs, there are 15 other songs which appear on this set in different versions than they do on the Old Friends Box set. Most of these are songs which made an appearance on the Old Friends set as a live song, but the studio version was absent. There are also a few demos/outtakes added to the Columbia box set which were not on the Old Friends boxset. Plus, some of the rarities that were on the Old Friends set, appear in this box set. Confused yet? I own both, and enjoy both, but for those with limited funds, choosing between them can be difficult. Perhaps the best answer is to compliment Old Friends with a few of the single rereleased remastered CDs, such as Wednesday Morning or Bookends (since Wed. morning has the highest number of non-old friends tracks on it (8) and Bookends is masterly sequenced, which is completely lost on the Old Friends set.)
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