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The Singer

4.3 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 28, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Pulling together one man's remarkable career in music, The Singer is a 34-song collection of songs hand-picked by the artist himself. Spanning a life's body of work from the first Simon & Garfunkel album of 1964 (Wednesday Morning, 3 AM) through 2007's Great American Songbook album (Some Enchanted Evening) and continuing with two newly recorded performances for this release ("Lena" and "Long Way Home"). The Singer includes every #1 U.S. and UK solo hit "All I Know," "Breakaway," "I Only Have Eyes For You," "My Little Town" (with Paul Simon), "(What A) Wonderful World" (with Simon & James Taylor), "Bright Eyes" and more!

In addition to curating The Singer, Garfunkel provides his own personal track-by-track annotations, which appear in the booklet in his handwritten form. The notes are as unique as Garfunkel himself.

The voice and soul of a true American poet have illuminated the work of Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Art Garfunkel for nearly five decades. It is there on record the Simon & Garfunkel LPs of 1964 to 1970 on Columbia, and his deep catalog as a solo artist starting in 1973 (the first six albums also on Columbia) as well as in film, and on the printed page (his 1987 collection of prose poetry, Still Water). Five-time Grammy® Award-winner Art Garfunkel has always approached every new project with the poet's perspective.

"What is the singing voice to me? A name, a skill, or a flag I see? A certain thrill the gift of glide, the ride on the cusp of emotion, uplift from the heart to the cords, love for the song, for the sound." Art Garfunkel.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 28, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • ASIN: B008EZVO4E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,131 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was so excited when I saw this CD advertised last May. I couldn't wait to see what songs had been selected. It was a long wait before they revealed what songs would be on the CD. (That was the first disappointment!) I, along with other Garfunkel fans, have waited FOREVER for the true 45 version of "Second Avenue" to be released on CD! My old and beat up Columbia 45 from the fall of 1974 is 3:58 seconds and has a whole extra chorus than the edited 2:46 version included on the "Best of" album from the days of vinyl and cassettes. (The only CD release of "Second Avenue"!!!)

I purchased the CD anyways because I love Art's voice and music. For the most part, the collection is awesome, but I totally agree with the reviewer that mentioned the glaring omission of "Traveling Boy". That is one of Art's finest songs! Also, others have pointed out the far inferior and shortened version of "All I Know". (Believe me, it doesn't even come CLOSE to the original hit version!!) Another "Blow" is how they faded in "I Only Have Eyes For You", leaving off the first 31 seconds from the original hit. That makes no sense!

A few songs were pretty lame, but that is always going to happen over the course of a collection this large. Since I own all of the five or so Simon and Garfunkel greatest hits packages, the addition of their tunes on this collection was here or there to me, but I get why Art chose them. I would have liked to have had, "Crying in My Sleep", "Mr. Shuck N Jive", "And I Know", plus "So Much in Love" included to replace a few of the Simon and Garfunkel songs.

The quality of the CD is good but not audiophile. I compared "Scissors Cut" to the "Best OF" one, and the main difference was that on the "The Singer", the volume level was louder.
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By Ivan on September 3, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Was never a big fan of Art Garfunkel - a little bit too Sweet for my taste - but sitting on the balcony, drinking my first cup of Bailey's laced coffee, looking at the Atlantic and giving this a first listen I was blown away.

The reviews that are currently posted are from people very familiar with Garfunkel and they seem to be focused more on what is wrong then what is right. As a relative novice I find his voice to be transcending. It's a matter of seeing the Forest and not looking at a dismembered tree.

Beauty was never a big part of rock and roll but this is beautiful music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For years I have been hoopin' and hollerin' for a comprehensive Art Garfunkel collection. Columbia's pathetic 1988 single disc 12 track offering "Garfunkel" simply did not cut the mustard. Finally, in 2012 Sony Legacy has seen fit to release a solid two-disc anthology "Art Garfunkel: The Singer". According to the product description on Amazon "The Singer" is a 34-song collection of songs hand-picked by the artist himself." My beef is not so much with the tunes Art Garfunkel chose to include but rather some of the ones that he inexplicably left off.

It goes without saying that no Art Garfunkel collection would be complete without a sprinkling of tunes from his days as one half of Simon & Garfunkel. "The Singer" offers up more than a half dozen Simon & Garfunkel tunes including their #1 debut single "The Sound of Silence", the haunting 19th century folk ballad "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" as well as lesser known tunes like "Kathy's Song" and the luscious "April Come She Will". It has been years since I have enjoyed that tune! Also included is the boys biggest hit of all time "Bridge Over Troubled Water" which topped the charts for 6 big weeks in the Spring of 1970. I have always contended that Art Garfunkel's lead is the single greatest vocal performance in the history of rock and roll.

When Simon & Garfunkel parted ways in the early 1970's some wondered if Art could make it as a solo act. Garfunkel dispelled those fears by recording a pair of Top 10 albums before the middle of the decade. "The Artist" must not have been a big fan of his debut album "Angel Clare" because he only chose to include only one of the songs from that disc which was a tune called "Barbara Allen". That is definitely not the tune I would have chosen from that album.
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Format: Audio CD
thought you fans would like to know that Art Garfunkel had his magnificient voice at 12 years old. He used to sing in the adult congregation services at the Jewish Center of Kew Gardens Hills during the high holy days. Cantor Kousevitsky (I believe related to the Boston Symphony conductor) would take him out of Hebrew School classes and work with him. I still remember hearing his voice back then and could not quite believe its angelic tone (such as in Bridge Over Troubled Waters.) I only wish they had recordings of his singing. It was like he was almost not from this world. We all take for granted that professionals can sing amazingly but this was a 12 year old boy. Live. I will never forget it
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Format: Audio CD
One of the finest singers of ballads of his or any other generation, this compilation is exactly what I expected it to be. Anybody who wants bouncy music to get those toes tapping has to look elsewhere (and I enjoy such music too), but when it comes to mellow music, Art Garfunkel is in his element.

Some people are disappointed with this collection, either because it includes tracks that Art recorded with Paul Simon, or because of other songs that they think should be here but aren't. Personally, I am very happy with the track selection. Art apparently chose both the tracks and the running order, so I guess he had his reasons for omitting tracks that some fans wanted to be here. He also wrote notes in which he says what each chosen song means to him. I also think that while a single CD focusing on Art's solo music is fair enough, a double CD works better with at least some of the songs that he recorded with Paul Simon. All the tracks that most fans would want are here. Minor hits are always a topic for debate. Some minor hits can nevertheless be important in an artist's career, but most aren't. As such, if Art felt that there are tracks that he preferred, I'm happy with that. It's not described as a greatest hits collection.

After splitting with Paul Simon, finding great songs to record wasn't quite so easy, although he found some good songs, most notably Bright eyes. If he was ever short of original material, there was never any shortage of songs that he could cover, and there are a fair number of those here, from the traditional Barbara Allen through I only have eyes for you (originally from the thirties, and revived in the fifties by the Flamingos) and other great songs of the forties and fifties to covers of songs that were contemporary.
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