Simon & Garfunkel, Sounds Of Silence, Columbia CS-9269, 1966
How many times can one song appear on an artist’s albums? If you’re Simon & Garfunkel, and the song in question is The Sounds Of Silence, the answer is three. As crazy as it might seem today, this was the second of three albums that Sounds came out on. The basic track was recorded in 1964 for Wednesday Morning 3A.M., which went on to sell about 74 copies worldwide. Disappointed with the sales, and without S&G’s knowledge, Columbia took the song and had a staff producer add electric guitars and drums. Released as a single in September 1965, the song took a slow climb to the #1 spot at Christmas 1965.
With a #1 hit on their hands, Columbia eventually got around to tracking down Art Garfunkel in New York and Paul Simon in London to see if they could maybe come up with a few more songs for a new album. The answer was “I guess so”. and the bulk of this album was recorded in one day. Even Columbia was surprised by the reaction, and when the follow up single I Am A Rock took off, they redesigned the cover of the album to feature the new smash.
But that’s not all! Two years later, as the producers of The Graduate were waiting for new Simon & Garfunkel songs to use in their film, they used filler songs like The Sounds Of Silence as a placeholder. The film was edited around the songs and everyone seemed to like the film as it was. So once again, Sounds was released again on The Graduate Soundtrack. Luckily, all three of the albums can be found in virtually any record store, thrift store or yard sale for next to no money.
Cost: $3, $202 Remaining
Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Columbia KCS-9914, 1970
New York has it all. Shows, Restaurants, History, Excitement, and Shopping to name but a few, are all great reasons to go there. Well maybe not so much shopping, if you’re looking for good quality cheap records. I was fortunate to spend a few days in The City recently and even had some time to check out a few local record shops. While I found a few things I was interested in, I was shocked at how much they were.
Take this decent copy of Simon & Garfunkel’s last great studio album. I brought it with from from the West Coast as part of a gift. It is a very solid copy that set me back $4. One shop I visited had a much worse version, complete with a seam split on the jacket and severe ring wear. It was offered at $20!
Maybe because real estate is so expensive there, shops have to charge more to stay in business. Also, I was looking in Manhattan, so maybe the prices are cheaper in the outer boroughs or New Jersey, but still, I came away with the feeling that New York isn’t a great place to shop for vinyl. I suppose it really is true that if you can make it there, you’re gonna make it anywhere.
Cost: $4, $536 Remaining
Simon & Garfunkel, Bookends, Columbia KCS-9529, 1968
The best part about landmark albums is that they’re usually very good, the cornerstones of every collection, and they sold in such numbers that they are usually pretty easy to find. The Beatles aside, classics like Bookends turn up really often, so I usually jump at the chance to get a better copy than the one I already have.
This album was the first studio release from S&G in nearly 18 months, and it set records for sales and weeks at number one. I might have spent more weeks at the top, but for the soundtrack of The Graduate which was out at the same time, featured Simon and Garfunkel and also peaked at number one.
It’s maybe a sign that I bought a later pressing when the album I bought is also advertised on the inner sleeve. Maybe for such a highly anticipated record Columbia did advance promotion, but I have to believe that inner sleeve art would take a while to get caught up to a new release.
In any event, this $3 was a gamble. It was shinny and clean, but it doesn’t play very well. There are a few scratched and pops that come through more on a record like this than you might hear on, say, a Led Zeppelin record. This one doesn’t rise to the level of a keeper and get re-donated.
Cost: $3, $899 Remaining