Originally only available in Starbucks coffee houses in the US, Simon & Garfunkel’s Live 1969 is now released to all retail and online retailers. It features 17 songs gathered from concerts in six U.S. cities during October-November 1969.
Songs from Sounds Of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme and Bookends and Bridge Over Troubled Water – part acoustic, part electric backing
New live archive treasure from Columbia/Legacy arrives at both physical and digital retail outlets on April 14, 2009
“Several shows on the ’69 tour were recorded in anticipation of what was earmarked to be their sixth album, the follow-up to Bridge. That live LP never came to be (until now, that is); in fact, there was no follow-up of any kind, mainly because Simon & Garfunkel were in the final months of their partnership.”
– from the liner notes written by Bud Scoppa
In the fall of 1969, at the absolute pinnacle of their decade-and-a-half working association – and with two Grammy Awards, four multi-millions elling Columbia LPs and nearly a dozen hit singles under their belts, including the #1′s ‘The Sounds Of Silence’ and ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ and their penultimate album masterpiece, Bridge Over Troubled Water, newly recorded (but not yet released) – Simon & Garfunkel undertook a major North American tour, which turned out to be their last live dates together until 1982.
Thoughthere were occasional surprise reunions down the years, the litany of Simon & Garfunkel’s powerful work has always resided in the 1960s. Of their work onstage, only a few sanctioned live concert recordings were made by Columbia, but not a note of it was heard on any official album until the Legacy era in 1997 – when the three-CD Old Friends box set unveiled five songs from the Lincoln Center concert in New York of January 1967. In 2002, the entire concert was finally issued as Live From New York City 1967, on Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
Chronologically situated in the aftermath of Woodstock and shortly before Altamont, SIMON & GARFUNKEL, LIVE 1969 is a 17-song chronicle of the tour which took places between the recording and release of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Gathering songs that were recorded during October and November in six cities – Long Beach (CA), New York, Carbondale (IL), St. Louis, Toledo, and Detroit – reissue producer Bob Irwin (who has overseen every release of Simon & Garfunkel material for Legacy over the past decade) has seamlessly re-createdthe magic of those concerts. This eagerly anticipated CD from Columbia/Legacy will be available at both physical and digital retail outlets starting April 14, 2009.
‘The performances on LIVE 1969,’ writes Bud Scoppa in his liner notes, ‘were impeccably recorded, and that is a good thing indeed, because Simon & Garfunkel were in absolute peak form at the time, their imminent estrangement notwithstanding.’ Scoppa also penned the notes for the five individual original albums that were packaged together as expanded editions in the 2001 box set Simon & Garfunkel: The Columbia Studio Recordings (1964-1970) – namely Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964); Sounds Of Silence (early-1966); Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme (late-1966); Bookends (1968); and Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970).
Three major differences set LIVE 1969 apart from its predecessor, the 18-song Live From New York City 1967, beginning with the fact that the latter was a single concert, while the new release is a compilation of definitive performances from different cities on different nights.
Second, in purely chronological terms, the 1967 concert was (for the most part) comprised of songs drawn only from the first three Simon & Garfunkel LPs. (The exceptions were two songs, both singles, that had not yet found their way onto albums, ‘A Hazy Shade Of Winter’ and ‘You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies.’) The lion’s share of seven numbers at the 1967 concert originated on Sounds Of Silence. The duo had rigorously toured in North America and Europe in support of that album for all of 1966 into ’67, during which they landed three LPs and four singles inside the top 30 on the Billboard charts – no mean feat.
In contrast, of course, LIVE 1969 broadens the scope of songs as the timeline moves ahead nearly three full years. Now the concerts encompassed the release of Bookends and looked forward to the imminent release of Bridge Over Troubled Water in late-January 1970. On tour in 1969, in addition to dropping any songs from Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., Scoppa sums up ‘the 17 songs gathered on this collection include four apiece from Sounds Of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme (both released in 1966), three from Bookends (1968) and five from Bridge.’ Scoppa continues, ‘The obvious inspiration for the lone outside selection, the Gene Autry-co-written ‘That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine,’ was the Everly Brothers, who’d sung it on their autobiographical 1958 LP, Songs Our Daddy Taught Us.’
Third and perhaps most importantly – and certainly most interestingly –i s that 1967 presented an acoustic folk duo onstage. LIVE 1969 begins and ends with the acoustic folk duo, but Simon & Garfunkel play ‘the meat of their sets’ (Scoppa) with four superb and legendary studio musicians who were among the stellar backing cast of the Bridge Over Troubled Water sessions. After reportedly spending more than 800 hours over a two year span recording the album – and after three previous albums that employed full complements of studio musicians – it came as no surprise when fans saw the duo onstage in the company of Hal Blaine (drums), Joe Osborn (bass), and Larry Knechtel (keyboards) – mainstays of Hollywood’s so-called ‘Wrecking Crew’ – and Nashville A-Team guitarist Fred Carter, Jr.
Bridge Over Troubled Water took on a life of its own around the world as one of history’s greatest achievements in recorded music. But by early 1970, not long after its release, the partnership of Simon & Garfunkel had run its course. Through the years, hopes and dreams of reunions have been fulfilled in unexpected ways – among them, their benefit performance at Madison Square Garden for 1972 Presidential candidate George McGovern; an appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 1975 to promote a one-off single, ‘My Little Town’ (that both artists included on their solo albums at the time) and a return to SNL in 1977; a collaboration with James Taylor on an update of Sam Cooke’s ‘(What a) Wonderful World’ in ’78, intended for Art’s solo album at the time; their record-setting free concert in New York’s Central Park, September 1981, subsequently issued as a double-LP in ’82, followed by a European tour that year and a U.S. tour in ’83; a performance at their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1990; and their sold-out 21-show run at the Paramount Theatre of Madison Square Garden in 1993.
A full decade passed before they sang together in public again, in recognition of their Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys in 2003. The event inspired a two-month North American tour from October through December that year. In conjunction with the tour, Legacy ‘inducted’ the duo into its prestigious series of double-CD retrospectives with The Essential Simon & Garfunkel. The 33-song collection spanned recordings from 1964 to 1975, including every song to hit theHot 100 on Columbia, plus 10 album tracks, and eight live performances.
It was a perfect companion to Old Friends, the three-CD box set from 1997, which contained 59 tracks – their entire output of chart singles and a majority of the album tracks from their five original LPs, plus 15 previously unreleased tracks, including unissued demos, Christmas songs, newly-discovered masters (of unissued songs), and ten live performances.
Most recently, in March 2004, The Paul Simon Songbook made its historic reappearance on Columbia/Legacy. A virtually impossible-to-find LP in the Simon & Garfunkel canon, it was recorded by him during his 1965 sojourn in London, the year after the release of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. Songbook contained Simon’s early versions of six songs that would be recorded in new versions in New York in 1966 for Sounds Of Silence.
The release of SIMON & GARFUNKEL, LIVE 1969 fills a significant gap in the duo’s history. It sheds light not only on their development but on the American cultural and political landscape at the height of the Civil Rights and free speech and Anti-War movements that involved so many of their listeners and concert-goers. It was, ‘a time of great extremes, a tumultuous era,’ Scoppa writes. ‘In short, it was an era similar in many ways to the one we’re now living through. We needed Simon & Garfunkel then, and we could very much use their equivalent now, 40 years later.’
SIMON & GARFUNKEL, LIVE 1969 (Columbia/Legacy 82796 92582 2)
1. Homeward Bound (E)
2. At The Zoo (F)
3. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) (C)
4. Song For The Asking (E)
5. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (D)
6. Scarborough Fair/Canticle (F)
7. Mrs. Robinson (From the Motion Picture The Graduate) (C)
8. The Boxer (E)
9. Why Don’t You Write Me (E)
10. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright (C)
11. That Silver-Haired Daddy Of Mine (E)
12. Bridge Over Troubled Water (F)
13. The Sound Of Silence (C)
14. I Am A Rock (C)
15. Old Friends/Bookends Theme (B)
16. Leaves That Are Green (A)
17. Kathy’s Song (D).
A) Detroit, Michigan – October 31, 1969
B) Toledo, Ohio – November 1, 1969
C) Carbondale, Illinois – November 8, 1969
D) St. Louis, Missouri – November 1969 (exact date unavailable)
E) Long Beach Arena, California – November 15, 1969
F) Carnegie Hall, New York – November 28, 1969
Tracks 13,14,16,17 – originated on Sounds Of Silence.
Tracks 1,3,5,6 – originated on Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme.
Tracks 2,7,15 – originated on Bookends.
Tracks 4,8,9,10,12 – originated on Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Track 11 – originated on Songs Our Daddy Taught Us by the Everly Brothers.
source: Legacy Records