Paul Simon

When Simon and Garfunkel broke up, Paul stayed in the music industry, with one film attempt. Art pursued film with some success & did some okay solo recordings. I’ve heard some & wasn’t interested in having them. Paul’s solo works, on the other hand, continued to deepen his ability to craft top ten masterpieces – often with the help & inspiration of prime jazz, latin & world musicians. 

Over a couple of mp3 collections I have: Paul Simon (1972); There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973); Still Crazy After All These Years (1975); One-Trick Pony (1980); Hearts & Bones (1983) (includes: The Late Great Johnny Ace); Graceland (1986); In The Blue Light (2018). elsewhere I have his The Rhythm of the Saints (1990) & Songs from The Capeman (1997). In 2022 he performed live at the Newport Folk Festival & was amazing.

The rush of freedom energy carried him though for several years producing a series of best-selling classic albums but eventually by Saints he slowed down – which showed in some of the work on those later lps. By The Saints his urge to create was satisfied & his need for more fame, money hits was satiated. Capeman was a curious message-heavy Broadway musical. 

But those lps from 1972 to 1986 are enough to make his work memorable & replayed for centuries. I picked up Blue Light to hear what he was now writing & it was solid but more pretty than inspired. Do I have a favorite? No – do you?

Rounding out the Paul Simon cds I added Johnny Ace: Memorial Album (1955) – Paul has song on Hearts & Bones about Ace so downloaded this ‘hits’ collection. A tragic rock life. He was a romanic r’n’b singer who died too soon. Time for a movie bio? No, let’s have one about Elvis.

Another seventies singer/songwriters who was a chart topper is Cat Stevens. Here I have his Catch Bull At Four (1972), Buddha and the Chocolate Factory (1974). More excellent top ten writing with a slightly more spiritual sensibility than Paul Simon. I loved Cat & was saddened when he departed for deep spiritual values (that were also somewhat homophobic). Rick Nelson was a late 50’s TV sitcom star with a decent pop career but found that nearly denied him any serious critical respect until Garden Party (1972). Romantic country-rock with a great song about chasing off that pop career reputation.

Richard Betts: (of Allman Brothers) Highway Call (1974) – a solo career thanks to his work with the Brothers – simple sincere country music – good voice & pleasant forgettable songs. Leon Haywood: The Best of (1996) an American funk and soul singer, songwriter, and record producer. Simple sincere funk-soul, danceable music – good voice & pleasant forgettable songs. Mickey Newbury: Winter Winds Live (2002) – folk/pop emotional singer/songwriter with a pleasant voice, nice acoustic guitar & cello? Chamber folk pleasantness. 

Harvest: various old time ‘folk’ songs ie: The Bowery, I Dream of Jeannie. I had this urge to hear The Bowery complete & found it as a part of this great collection of classic American songs that surface at campfire sing-a-longs. Not sing-a-longs is Neil Young’s with Promise of the Real: The Visitor (2017). Does he live in a studio? There seems to be a new release from him every six months. A fun collection of politically motivated rock.

David Bowie: The Gouster (76-79) is a miscellaneous collection of early versions & jams some of which became Diamond Dogs. Originally only part of the 2016 box set Who Can I Be Now? (1974–1976) it was made available separately after his death. For completists like myself.

n3lly: N3LLY is out of the Danish urban scene. Is there easy listening hip-hop? Sweet rapping in a language I don’t understand with great samples by an eye-candy guy. saw his Nu video on YouTube & followed the link to this soundcloud lp.

Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees. Thanks 

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