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Songwriter

4.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 24, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

"I think of myself as a songwriter first. The recording artist and performer in me follow in the writer's footsteps." -- Paul Simon
Paul Simon's Songwriter is a selection of songs, chosen by the composer, as the best of his decades-long creative output. Some of these are well-known hits and others less frequently heard, but all bear the distinct lyrical, melodic and rhythmic signature of Paul Simon, one of the great composers of popular song in the last 50 years.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Sound of Silence
  2. The Boxer
  3. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Aretha Franklin
  4. Mother and Child Reunion
  5. Tenderness
  6. Peace Like a River
  7. American Tune
  8. Kodachrome
  9. Something so Right
  10. Late in the Evening
  11. Train in the Distance
  12. Hearts and Bones
  13. Still Crazy After All These Years
  14. Rene and George Magritte with Their Dog After the War
  15. Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes
  16. The Boy In the Bubble
  17. Graceland

Disc: 2

  1. The Obvious Child
  2. Further to Fly
  3. The Cool, Cool River
  4. Spirit Voices
  5. Born in Puerto Rico
  6. Quality
  7. Darling Lorraine
  8. Look at That
  9. Señorita with a Necklace of Tears
  10. That's Me
  11. Another Galaxy
  12. Father and Daughter
  13. Rewrite
  14. Love and Hard Times
  15. So Beautiful or So What


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: October 24, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • ASIN: B005KLN0LA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,235 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Paul Simon Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Dear Music Appreciators,

It seems like Paul Simon releases yet another compilation every time he releases a new studio album. While this is a great way to continually try and convert casual fans and draw in newbies, it can prove a bit frustrating for the long-time dedicated fans who want to own everything Simon releases but also want everything they purchase to be well worth their money and attention.

This latest album's title, SONGWRITER, suggests an attempt to cloak a compilation in a theme and give it a different angle than is found on the average career-spanning collection. The problem with this particular theme is that it doesn't effectively narrow down the number of songs that should belong on the album. If the idea is to narrow down song choices by collecting songs that are particularly noteworthy for the quality of their songwriting, or to have a theme that is friendlier to the less-familiar high-quality songs, then that includes a huge percentage of Paul Simon's catalog and the net need be cast just as wide as with a standard compilation.

With Captain Simon choosing teams for this round of song kickball, something like "My Personal Favorites" might have been a more accurate title.

Despite the fact that this compilation's implied concept dooms its ability to get even close to comprehensive, the album does accomplish its purpose - to collect two discs worth of fine songwriting. There may not be anything new here for faithful fans, but casuals and newbies will love this for what it is and shouldn't get too hung up on what it isn't.
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Format: Audio CD
This two-disc, thirty-two track collection (with a generous running time of 139 minutes) highlights the legendary songwriting of Paul Simon. The composer himself selected the tracks, touching on both hits and the lesser-known compositions of which he's most proud. The result is an idiosyncratic tour of Simon's catalog that will remind you of his broad commercial power, but key you into the depth of his craft as a writer. The selections focus almost entirely on Simon's post Simon & Garfunkel career, with only a solo live take of "The Sound of Silence" (the set's only previously unreleased track), Simon's 1991 Concert in the Park recording of "The Boxer," and Aretha Franklin's 1970 cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" reaching back to his duo work.

The bulk of the collection cherry-picks from Simon's solo albums, stretching from 1972's Paul Simon through this year's So Beautiful or So What. Selections from Simon's well-loved albums of the 1970s and his commercial renaissance sparked by Graceland will be familiar, but deep album cuts, picks from Hearts and Bones and
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Format: Audio CD
This is a poem by a recent Poet Laureate --- out of respect for the position, I won't identify the poet:

All night each reedy whinny
from a bird no bigger than a heart
flies out of a tall black pine
and, in a breath, is taken away
by the stars. Yet, with small hope
from the center of darkness,
it calls out again and again.
Delights & Shadows.

And this is a stanza of a Paul Simon song:

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means
She means we're bouncing into Graceland
And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody feels the wind blow...

Now I ask you: Who is the real Poet Laureate?

And not just for a year --- for every year since he wrote "Sounds of Silence," all 50 of them.

You object. And I know where you're going: Bob Dylan.

It is true, for a six-year period, Dylan was galactic in output and quality. But no one knows better than Dylan how the angel of poetry sits on your shoulder --- and then doesn't. As he told Steve Jobs:

He said, "They [those songs from the `60s] just came through me, it wasn't like I was having to compose them. That doesn't happen anymore, I just can't write them that way anymore." Then he paused and said to me with his raspy voice and little smile, "But I still can sing them."

Well, at 68, Simon can still write them.
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