Paul Simon – The Paul Simon Songbook (1965/2004) [Official Digital Download 24bit/44,1kHz]

Paul Simon – The Paul Simon Songbook (1965/2004) [MONO]
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 38:41 minutes | 258 MB | Genre: Folk
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Front cover | © Columbia/Legacy

The Paul Simon Songbook is the first solo studio album by Paul Simon. It was recorded in London and released in the UK in 1965 and was supposedly deleted in 1969 at Simon’s request. The album was produced by Reginald Warburton and Stanley West as CBS Records LP 62579, and later remastered for Columbia/Legacy CD 90281.

The first album to use this title is one of the most mysterious in Paul Simon’s output and almost belongs more with Simon & Garfunkel’s discography, given its 1965 recording date. Following the failure of Simon & Garfunkel’s first, all-acoustic folk revival-style album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, Simon headed off to England to see about pursuing music over there. While he was in London, he found himself in demand as a visiting American “folksinger” (though Simon’s credentials in this area were rather limited), began building up a following in the coffeehouses, and was eventually pegged for a performing spot on the BBC. Suddenly, there were requests for Paul Simon recordings, of which there were none — as a result of his being signed to Columbia Records in America, however, he was brought into the London studios of British CBS and recorded this album with only his acoustic guitar for backup. The resulting album is spare, almost minimalist, as Simon runs through raw and unaffected versions of songs that he was known for in London, including “The Sounds of Silence,” “The Sun Is Burning,” “I Am a Rock,” “A Simple Desultory Philippic” (in its earliest form, and far nastier than the version later done by Simon & Garfunkel), and “Kathy’s Song.” The notes are very, very strange, but a bigger problem is the production by Reginald Warburton and Stanley West, which isn’t terribly sympathetic; the sound isn’t very natural, being very close and booming, but the album is a fascinating artifact of Simon’s work during the interregnum in Simon & Garfunkel’s career. And there is one fascinating number here, “The Side of a Hill,” which eventually resurfaced as the countermelody song in the Simon & Garfunkel version of “Scarborough Fair” (a song curious by its absence here, considering that Simon was doing it in his coffeehouse appearances) two years later.

01 – I Am a Rock
02 – Leaves That Are Green
03 – A Church Is Burning
04 – April Come She Will
05 – The Sound of Silence
06 – A Most Peculiar Man
07 – He Was My Brother
08 – Kathy’s Song
09 – The Side of a Hill
10 – A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission)
11 – Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall
12 – Patterns
13 – I Am a Rock (Alternate Version) [Bonus Track] 14 – A Church Is Burning (Alternate Version) [Bonus Track]

Recorded at Levy’s Recording Studio in London in August 1965.


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