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Top Customer Reviews
"Paul Simon" is his first solo album, and I think there may have been three hit singles off this, including one of the first efforts by a white, U.S. musician to use reggae players, "Mother and Child Reunion," "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," an antic look at the protest politics of the day (1970), and "Duncan" which made use of Inca pipe players. His lyrics were increasingly direct and autobiographical, seemingly influenced by the confessional school of poetry--except you always had the sense that Simon was always under control, never yielding to the call of the wild, but instead always studying and commenting ironically on his heartbreaks and confusions.
What I really like about this album is some of the musicianship. The session players Hal Blaine on drums and Larry Knechtel on electric piano shine throughout--Knechtel especially on the last song, "Congratulations." Stefan Grossman contributes wonderful slide guitar on "Paranoia Blues," and Simon's own playing on the great "Peace Like a River" is tasty. The late great Stephane Grappelli is given a chance to show off his fiddling on "Hobo's Blues," an instrumental.
The remastering cleans up what was already a very clean recording; the three extra tracks are fine, but not particularly essential.
On the other hand, we hear a more playful side of Simon with "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard", an upbeat number with intriguing lyrics and overlaced with a wonderfully latinized treatment. He shows his own concerns with a comical "Wear That Body Down", and a later take on trying to deal emotionally with a world gone crazy with "Peace Like A River". This is an album one must listen to appreciate, and the new directions Simon began with this album have now stretched out in a dozen or so albums and compilations. This is a terrific album and a brand new start for a man who had the courage and nerve to walk away from a phenomenally successful situation as half of Simon and Garfunkel to follow his own artistic heart. I highly recommend it. Enjoy!
At 32, Simon had matured from the sharp, at times bitter, worldview of his twenties. The difficulty of Simon & Garfunkel's end had given way to the freedom of a solo act, and there's a sense of renewed discovery in his characters and lyrical forms. The wayward "Duncan" recounts the education of a small-town fisherman's son into a clear-eyed world traveler, while the fragmentary allusions of "Mother and Child Reunion" are surprisingly open-ended and poetically opaque.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
See my review of "Still Crazy After All These Years" as those comments regarding the quality of these first three Paul Simon re-issues also apply here. Read morePublished 1 month ago by audiofan
Classic Paul Simon, what a genius. If you're a fan this should be part of your collection.Published 2 months ago by BallaghMan
I love the songs Paul Simon did on the REAL album.
This is a BOOT LEG .
Static , Distortion almost totally unable to identify the music The place that is... Read more
I don't listen to this as much as other Paul Simon albums, but I have begun. (PS played "Duncan" on Prairie Home Companion and that reminded me! Read morePublished 6 months ago by JoeBrazil
1st solo effort and everything I recall from owning this on vinyl many years agoPublished 9 months ago by Tom G.
When it comes to vinyl records, this one is a must own. Every track on it reminds you why music on vinyl is so special. Read morePublished 14 months ago by ThatMarriedGuy