The Vinyl Brew: Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
Shiny Day Brewers,

This week as a chill fills the air and the winter has settled into its old routine, the cup of tea is a welcome addition to our listening pleasure. On the turntable today is an album by one of the most iconic duos of all time. An album which has become synonymous with the pair and highlights the incredible talent that they had: let’s sit down with Simon & Garfunkel and their album Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Listening to Simon & Garfunkel is, for me, listening to what every artist should aim to achieve with sound. The duos harmonising is beyond par and rightly so as by the time of this album they had been singing together for almost 17 years. Having met in school, Simon spotted Garfunkel performing and convinced him to start a band with him. When they signed their first record deal they were announced to the world as Tom & Jerry (a name that thankfully wouldn’t stick around) and had yet to finish high school. After going their separate ways for college, the pair would reunite in 1963 sharing an interest in folk music that would shape their new sound.

By 1970, the time Bridge Over Troubled Water came around, the pair had started to drift apart. It’s hard to believe that this pair who transformed the music world with their sound would be considering ending a career that had seen insane success. Bridge was their final album together, was the biggest selling album of 1970, 1971 & 1972, and at the time, was the biggest selling album in the world. Spending 10 weeks at the top of the US chart and 35 weeks on top in the UK. While critically receiving mixed reviews the album has become accepted by most, as the pairs best album. I guess if you are going to split as a group going out at the top of your game is the way to do it.

What Simon & Garfunkel do so well on Bridge Over Troubled Water is take you on a journey through every emotion imaginable. Giving upbeat numbers to sing along to and then throwing you into the pits of despair before filling you with all the hope in the world again. Lyrically always so beautifully written with the harmonizing of Gods to back them up. I challenge anyone with a pulse to listen to the title track and not be moved by it. A track that acknowledges the pressures and plights we all go through, how sometimes the world seems to be against us and yet there is hope and almost a promise that you are not alone. There are times in the music industry that just don’t make sense as a person on the outside looking in on a situation such as your favourite duo deciding to split. Obviously, it has since come to light what the pair were going through but as a kid in 1971, hearing that they would be no more, it must have been devastating.

The Final Word

So, who should listen to Bridge Over Troubled Water? I don’t want to do the normal thing here and say everyone should be listening but it’s hard not to. They have locked into their sound, they harmonise so well that it’s like they become one person. They have lyrics that will touch your soul. If you want to be moved by just the sound of two guys making music, then get your hands on this album. As always, we’d love to hear some of your favourite memories attached to this album so head over to Twitter @vinyl8records and share some stories. Let’s head out on “The Only Living Boy in New York”

“Tom, get your plane right on time

I know that you've been eager to fly now
Hey, let your honesty shine, shine, shine now”

Till next time,
T

Next Week's Brew

Next Sunday's brew is U2's Achtung Baby. Why not add this gem to your collection so we can listen together next week!