This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Paul Simon


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Early music folk/pop; later music (1986 on) world-influenced

Status:

Most recent release, Over the Bridge of Time: A Paul Simon Retrospective (compilation, 2013); most recent release of new material, So Beautiful Or So What (2011)

See also:

Paul Simon's site

Wikipedia's entry for Paul Simon

Paul Simon web (fan site?)

Paul Simon's MySpace page

Simon and Garfunkel site

Comparisons:

Not sure, but I've seen Suzanne Vega, Elvis Costello, Carly Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Leonard Cohen, and Gordon Lightfoot mentioned. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own and co-written

General comments:

One of my very favorite artists. (JoAnn Whetsell)

When I was a wee lad (er, 3? 4?), "Kodachrome" was my favorite song. I've always had a thing for Paul Simon's work, but he *really* took off in my estimation with Graceland, which, 11 years down the line, I still feel is one of the best albums. Ever. By anyone. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Comments about live performance:

When I saw the Graceland tour, Paul Simon stepped aside and allowed Miriam and Hugh Masakela to play a few songs of their own, which were great. (neal)

Recommended first album:

Tossup between Graceland and Hearts and Bones (which I still think is lyrical perfection!) (brianb@mooman.com)

Graceland or The Rhythm of the Saints if you like world music at all. There Goes Rhymin' Simon or Still Crazy After All These Years if you don't. There are also numerous compilations and live albums that provide a career retrospective. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Recordings:


There Goes Rhymin' Simon

Release info:

1973—Warner Bros.—25589

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Pete Carr—guitar (1, 5); electric guitar (3, 9)
Jimmy Johnson—electric guitar (1, 3)
David Hood—bass (1, 3, 5, 9, 10)
Roger Hawkins—drums (1, 3, 5, 10); percussion (9)
Barry Beckett—keyboard (1, 9); piano (5); vibes (9)
Cornell Dupree—guitar (2)
Gordon Edwards—bass (2)
Paul Griffin—piano (2)
Rick Marotta—drums (2)
The Dixie Hummingbirds—vocals (2, 10)
Allen Toussaint—horn arrangement (2)
Rev. Claude Jeter—falsetto voice (3)
The Onward Brass Band—horns (3)
David Spinozza—guitar (4)
Alexander Gafa—guitar (4)
Bob Cranshaw—electric bass (4); bass (6, 7)
Richard Davis—acoustic bass (4)
Grady Tate—drums (4, 6)
Bob James—keyboard (4, 6)
Bobby Scott—piano (4)
Don Elliott—vibes (4)
Quincy Jones—string arrangement (4)
Del Newman—string arrangement (6)
Airto Moreira—percussion (7)
Maggie & Terre Roche (The Roches)—vocals (7)
Jerry Pucket—guitar (8)
Vernie Robbins—bass (8)
James Straud—drums (8)
Carson Witsett—organ (8)

Produced by:

Paul Simon; co-producers Phil Ramone (4, 7, 8, 10); The Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section (1, 3, 5, 9, 10); Paul Samwell-Smith (6); Roy Halee (2)

Comments:

Most of the songs on this album became hits so it took a while listening to the album for the first time more than 30 years after its initial release to hear it as an album rather than a collection of hits. But it's been worth getting to know it that way. The songs I already loved are great, but so are the new-to-me songs (including "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor"). The 2004 edition has four bonus tracks, demos that are pretty interesting in how they differ from the final album versions. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin'

Release info:

1974—Warner Bros.—25590

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

Paul Simon also has Live Rhymin' which is also great (he brings on the Jesse Dixon singers and also does a fantastic gospel-style "Bridge Over Troubled Water"), but Concert in the Park is more comprehensive. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

This album is a good early career retrospective, pulling from Paul Simon's solo catalog as well as his work with Simon & Garfunkel. It's interesting to hear Simon performing solo (six tracks). But perhaps most interesting is "The Boxer" with the Andean group Urubamba (they also play on "El Condor Pasa" and "Duncan"). And perhaps the most moving is "The Sound of Silence" with The Jessy Dixon Singers. They play on 5 tracks, including a memorable version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water." (JoAnn Whetsell)


Still Crazy After All These Years

Release info:

1975—Warner Bros.—25591

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium-high

Produced by:

Paul Simon and Phil Ramone

Comments:

This album is best known for the title track and "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," but there are great songs throughout (provided you like music with a decidedly 70s sound). I was familiar with about half the album from compilations and live albums, but really enjoy some of the songs I'd never heard before. I also really like the demo version of "Gone at Last" with the Jessy Dixon Singers. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One-Trick Pony

Release info:

1980—Warner Bros.—3472

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Medium-low

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, background vocals; nylon string guitar (2, 4, 8); electric guitar (3, 6); percussion (8); string and horn arrangements (4, 8)

Guest artists:

Steve Gadd-drums (1-10)
Eric Gale—electric guitar (1, 4, 7, 9); lead electric guitar (3, 6); nylon string guitar (4)
Hugh McCracken—acoustic guitar (1, 7, 9, 10); acoustic & slide guitar (2)
Tony Levin—bass (1–4, 6–10); background vocals (6)
Ralph MacDonald—percussion (1, 2, 8)
Dave Grusin—horn arrangement (1, 9); string arrangement (9)
Richard Tee—piano (2-–10); vocals (3, 6); tambourine (6); background vocals (6)
Hiram Bullock—electric guitar (2)
Don Grolnick—synthesizer (2)
Anthony Jackson—bass (5)
Jeff Mironov—electric guitar (5)
Jon Faddis—flugelhorn (5)
John Tropea—acoustic guitar (8)
Joe Beck—electric guitar (10)
Patti Austin—vocals, background vocals (10)
Lani Grove—background vocals (10)
Bob Friedman—string and horn arrangements (10)

Produced by:

Phil Ramone & Paul Simon

Comments:

The best songs on this album are "Late in the Evening" and "How the Heart Approaches What It Yearns." I got to know them (as well as "Jonah," another good track) through the 1964/1963 box set. Discovering this album after that doesn't feel like I'm gaining anything. I much prefer Holly Cole's version of "One-Trick Pony" so the only new-to-me song I like is "Ace in the Hole," and that's like, not love. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Hearts and Bones

Release info:

1983—Warner Bros.—23942

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, acoustic guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 10); electric guitar (8); Linn drum machine programming (9)

Guest artists:

Dean Parks—electric guitar (1, 4, 5, 7, 10); hi-strung guitar (2)
Al Di Meola—guitar solo (1)
Anthony Jackson—contrabass guitar (1-5, 7-9)
Steve Gadd—drums (1, 2, 4, 5, 10)
Steve Ferrone—drums (1, 3, 6)
Greg Phillinganes—Fender Rhodes (1, 5, 10)
Rob Sabino—synthesizer (1, 9); piano (8)
Rob Mounsey—synthesizers (1); vocoder (5)
Airto Moreira—percussion (1–4, 7)
Dave Mathews—horn arrangement (1, 9)
Richard Tee—Fender Rhodes (2, 7, 8); keyboards (3); piano (4); synthesizer (8)
Michael Mainieri—vibes (2, 7); marimba (2, 4)
Eric Gale—electric guitar (3)
Tom Coppola—synclavier (3-6)
Marcus Miller—bass (4, 7)
Nile Rodgers—electric guitar (6, 9); Linn drum machine programming (9)
Bernard Edwards—bass (6)
Jeff Porcaro—drums (7)
Jess Levy—cello (7)
Peter Gordon—French horn (7)
Mark Rivera—alto sax (7)
Wells Christie—synclavier (8)
The Harptones—background vocals and arrangement
George Delerue—orchestration (8)
Sid McGinnis—electric guitar (10)
Michael Boddicker—synthesizer (10)
Phillip Glass—closing composition and orchestration (10)
Michael Riesman—synthesizer, orchestra conducting (10)
Carol Wincenc—flute (10)
George Marge—bass clarinet (10)
Marin Alsop—violin (10)
Frederick Zlotkin—cello (10)
Jill Jaffe—viola (10)

Produced by:

Paul Simon, Russ Titelman, Roy Halee

Comments:

one of my all-time favorite albums (brianb@mooman.com)

A commercial failure, but still a pretty good album a little 70s, a little 80s, and Paul Simon's first forays into world music. "Think Too Much (B)" is a great song that didn't become as well known as the title track and "Train in the Distance" (both also great). "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War" and "The Late Great Johnny Ace" are also standouts. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Graceland

Release info:

1986—Warner Bros.—25447

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Essential

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, background vocals, acoustic guitar, synclavier, guitar, six-string electric bass

Guest artists:

Forere Motloheloa—accordion (1)
Baghiti Khumalo—bass (1, 2, 5–7)
Vusi Khumalo—drums (1, 2)
Makhaya Mahlangu—percussion (1, 2)
Adrian Belew—synthesizer guitar (1, 6, 9); guitar (7)
Rob Mounsey—synthesizer (1, 6)
Chikapa "Ray" Phiri—guitar (2, 5-7, 9)
Demola Adepoju—pedal steel (2)
The Everly Brothers—vocals (2)
General M.D. Shirinda (3)
The Gaza Sisters—vocals (3)
Jonhjon Mkhalali—accordion (4)
Lulu Masilela—tambourines (4)
Daniel Xilakazi—lead guitar & rhythm (4)
Barney Rachabane, Mike Makhalemele, Teaspoon Ndlela—saxophones (4)
Ralph McDonald—percussion (4, 6, 7, 11)
The Boyoyo Boys—vocals (4)
Diane Garisto, Michele Cobbs—background vocals (4)
Isaac Mtshali—drums (5-7, 9)
Youssou N'dour, Babacar Faye, Assane Thiam—percussion (5)
Earl Gardner—trumpet (5)
Leonard Pickett—tenor sax (5)
Alex Foster—alto sax (5)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo—vocals (5, 8)
Ronald E. Cuber—bass sax & baritone sax (6)
John Faddis, Ronald E. Brecker, Lewis Michael Soloff, Alan Rubin—trumpets (6)
David W. Bargeron, Kim Allan Cissel—trombones (6)
Morris Goldberg—pennywhistle solo (6)
Linda Ronstadt—vocals (7)
Joseph Shabalala—lead singer (8)
Stimela (9)
Lloyd Lelose—bass (9)
Morris Goldberg—soprano sax (9)
Good Rockin' Dopsie and The Twisters (10):
     Alton Rubin, Sr. (Dopsie)—accordion (10)
     David Rubin—washboard (10)
     Alonzo Johnson—bass (10)
     Johnny Hoyt-saxophone (10)
Los Lobos (11):
     Cesar Rosas—guitar, vocals
     David Hildago—guitar/accordion, vocals
     Louie Perez—drums
     Steve Berlin—saxophone
     Conrad Lozano—bass
Steve Gadd—additional drums (11)

Produced by:

Paul Simon

Comments:

jeff (who seems to refer to Graceland as one of the greatest albums of all time every year or so on ecto...) (burka@jeffrey.net)

it's a terrific album. (kscleaves@juno.com)

Best back catalog album I found in 1997. (nightwol@dircon.co.uk)

It's hard to review Graceland for just its music. It's so rich, blending American pop with black South African music, even a bit of Cajun and zydeco. It's mostly joyous and incredibly infectious. But for me, Graceland will never be just an album. It's quite possibly my very favorite album of all time, the only album I've bought 3 times (cassette, CD, and 25th anniversary CD), and one I've been listening to regularly for over 20 years. It's the album that made me fall in love with music and think about the possibilities of what music could do and be (after my 6th grade social studies teacher played "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" in class).
     You've almost certainly heard some of its singles ("Graceland," "You Can Call Me Al"), so if you like them or if you like world music hybrids and you've never heard the whole album, you really should. It might turn your head, or at the very least make you dance.
     If you're a big fan of the album, the 25th anniversary edition is well worth having. The CD has 5 bonus tracks of demos and alternate versions (all great), as well as a track of Paul Simon talking about how the song "Graceland" came together. The DVD has the film Under African Skies: Paul Simon's Graceland Journey, which addresses the making of the album and the controversy of Simon's trip to South Africa during the era of the global boycott of South Africa due to apartheid. It also includes concert footage from the original Graceland tour and the 2011 reunion concerts. Also on the DVD are extended interviews with five of the people featured in the film and four music videos. (JoAnn Whetsell)


The Rhythm of the Saints

Release info:

1990—Warner Bros.—26098

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Essential

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, guitar

Guest artists:

Grupo Cultural OLODUM—drums (1)
Kim Wilson—harmonica (1)
Michael Brecker—Akai Ewi synthesizer (1, 3, 5, 8, 9); saxophones (6)
Briz—background vocal (1, 4)
J.J. Cale—guitar (2, 7)
Steve Gadd—drums (2, 4)
UAKTI (Marco Antonio Guimaraes, Paulinho Santos, Decio Ramos, Arthur Andres)—percussion (2, 10); percussion effects (8)
Nana Vasconcelos—percussion (2, 10); gourds (3, 5, 8, 9); voice (3); berimbau (8, 10); triangle, congas (9)
Mingo Araújo—talking drum (2, 4); triangle (2, 8); casinet (2); African bells, shaker (3); cymbal (4); bass drums (4, 9); percussion (5); conga (6-8); go go bells (7)
Remy Kabocka—talking drum (2)
Mazzola—chicote (2)
Paulo Santos—chicote (2)
Vincent Nguini—guitar (3, 5-10); bass (5, 8); clave (9)
Bakithi Kumalo—bass (3, 4, 7, 9)
Greg Phillinganes—synthesizer (3, 5, 8)
Jude Bethel—tenor sax (3)
Charles Doherty—alto sax (3, 8); tenor sax (8)
Clifton Anderson—trombone (3, 8)
Errol Ince—trumpet (3, 8)
Clyde Mitchell—trumpet (3, 8)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo—background vocals (3)
Karen Bernód, Myrna Lynn Gomila, Kia Y. Jeffries—background vocals (3)
Georges Seba—electric guitar (4)
Martin Atangana—electric guitar (4)
Andre Manga—bass (4)
Justin Tchounou—synthesizer (4)
Ya Yo de la Nelson—chakeire (4, 7, 8)
Sidinho—water bowl (4); bongos (5); congas (5–7, 9); bass drum, bottles (7); tambourine (9)
Dom Chacal—bongo (4, 6); bata (5); congas (5, 7); gourd (9)
Alain Hatot—saxophone (4)
Phillipe Slominski—trumpet (4)
Jacques Bolognesi—trombone (4)
Jimmy McDonald—accordion (4)
Florence Gnimagnon, Charlotte Mbango, Djana'd, Elolongue Mbango Catherine—backrgound vocals (4, 6, 7)
Ringo Star—guitar (5)
Rafael Rabello—classical guitar (5)
Jorginho, Marcalzinho—additional percussion effects (5)
Wilson das Neves—additional percussion effects (5); cowbell (6)
Canegal—additional percussion effects (5)
Beloba—additional percussion effects (5)
Luna—additional percussion effects (5)
Pedro Sorongo—additional percussion effects (5)
Dave Bargeron—euphonium (5)
Randy Brecker—trumpet (5); piccolo trumpet (6)
Hugh Masekela—flugelhorn (5)
Ray Phiri—guitar (6)
Armand Sabal-Lecco—bass (6, 7, 9, 10)
Gordinho—sordu (6)
Pedro Sorongo—scraper (6)
Felix Sabal-Lecco—drums (7)
C.J. Chenier—accordion (7)
Asante—box drum (8)
Milton Nascimento—vocals (9)
Adrian Belew—guitar synthesizer (9)
Anthony Carillo—bongo (9)
Francisco Aguabella, Giovanni Hidalgo—congas (9)
Kofi Electrik—guitar (10)
Tommy Bilson-Ogoe—guitar (10)
Joao Severo da Silva—accordion (10)
Armando Macedo—Baiana guitar (10)

Produced by:

Paul Simon

Comments:

I like Rhythm of the Saints better (than Graceland)! (kscleaves@juno.com)

The Rhythm of the Saints is probably less well-known and less appreciated than Graceland, but it's quite possibly a better album, musically. While Graceland put American and South African music together, The Rhythm of the Saints really fuses the music of different traditions (largely South American) into a new, organic whole. It's not as immediately catchy (if it were artwork, it might be described as having cooler colors) but it is an excellent album, very much worth getting to know. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Concert in the Park

Release info:

1991—Warner Bros.—26737

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon

Guest artists:

Mingo Araújo—percussion
Cyro Baptista—percussion
Chris Botti—trumpet
Michael Brecker—saxophone and EWI
Tony Cedras—keyboards and accordion
Dom Chacal—percussion
Steve Gadd—drums
Sidinho Moreira—percussion
Vincent Nguini—guitar
Ray Phiri—guitar
Barney Rachabane—saxophone and pennywhistle
Armand Sabal-Lecco—bass
John Selolwane—guitar
Richard Tee—keyboards
The Waters (Julia, Maxine, Oren)—vocals
Grupo Cultural OLODUM—percussion on "The Obvious Child"
Briz—vocals on "The Obvious Child"

Produced by:

Paul Simon

Comments:

My favorite live album ever, and just one of my favorite albums ever. There's soo much energy (the brass is amazing). I've been listening to this regularly for over 23 years, and every time I sing along and dance and think that I really wish I had been there because it sounds like it was just so much fun! (JoAnn Whetsell)

1964/1993

Release info:

1993—Warner Bros.—0 9362-45394-2 1

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This box set is a great comprehensive overview of the first 29 years of Paul Simon's career, with 52 tracks covering his Simon and Garfunkel days through Concert in the Park. It was one of the first albums I ever got and my introduction to the pre-Graceland albums; it made me a lifelong fan. For people who already have most or all of the albums, there's a previously unreleased song, "Thelma" that sounds like it could have been on The Rhythm of the Saints, a book with notes from Paul Simon and 3 essays from others (including Philip Glass), as well as a detailed listing of all the personnel involved in the recording of all tracks. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Songs from The Capeman

Release info:

1997—Warner Bros.

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—lead vocals, background vocals, acoustic guitar, hi-string guitar

Guest artists:

Briz, Karen Bernod, Renee Connell-Adams, DeWayne Snype, Kia Jeffries, Ed Vasquez, Derrick James—background vocals (1, 3)
Myrna Gomila—background vocals (1, 3, 4, 6); duo vocal (3, 6)
Oriente Lopez—organ (1); flute (2, 8, 10); horn arrangement (10); Fender Rhodes (13)
Danny Rivera—coro vocal (2)
Ray De La Paz—background vocals (2, 4)
Nestor Sanchez—background vocals (2)
Oscar Hernandez—piano (2, 5, 8, 10); synthesizer (2, 4); celeste, vibes, glockenspiel (4); horn arrangement (5)
Nelson Gonzalez—tres, plenaro (2)
Edgardo Miranda—cuatro (2, 3)
Vincent Nguini—guitar (2, 4, 10, 13)
John Beal—bass (2, 4)
Robby Ameen—drums (2)
Bobby Allende—bongos, cymbal (2); bell tree (4)
Marc Quinones—timbales, congas, cua (2)
David Rodriguez—trumpet - 1st solo (2); trumpet (10)
Ray Vega—trumpet - 2nd solo (2); trumpet, solo trumpet (5)
Juliet Hafner—viola (2)
Stewart Rose—French horn (2)
Marcia Butler—oboe (2)
Stanley Silverman—orchestration (2)
Marc Anthony—lead vocal (3)
Teana Rodriguez—background vocals (3, 4, 6); duo vocal (3, 6)
Edgar Stewart—background vocal (3)
David Mann—tenor and baritone saxophone (3)
Milton Cardona—background vocals (4, 5); bongos, maracas, clave (8); conga, guira (10)
Kevin Harrison—background vocals (4)
Paul Livant—guitar (4)
Bill Holloman—tenor saxophone (4); trumpet (13)
Horace Ott—piano (4)
Robby Ameen—drums (4, 10); guitar case kick drum (4)
Angelo Aponte, Hechter Ubarry, David Davila, Hans Giraldo, Luis Marrero, Angel Ramirez, Robert Vargas—background vocals (5)
Bernie Minoso—bass guitar (5)
Edwin Montalvo—congas (5)
Johnny Andrews—timbales (5)
Pablo Nunez—bongos, cowbell (5)
John Walsh—trumpet (5)
Luis Lopez—trombone (5)
Mitch Frohman—tenor (5)
Pablo Calogero—baritone sax (5)
Frank Negron—falsetto lead vocal (6)
Bobby Bright, Sean Pulley, Trent Sutton, Dionte Sutton—background vocals (6)
Wallace Richardson—guitar (6)
Paul Griffin—piano (6)
Jay Leonhart—bass (6)
Jimmy Sabater—conga, cowbell (6)
Richard Crooks—drums (6)
Chris Eminizer—tenor saxophone (6)
Ednita Nazario—lead vocal (8)
Saturnino Laboy—acoustic guitar (8)
Diomedes Matos—acoustic guitar (8)
Ruben Rodriguez—bass (8, 10)
Laura Bontrager—cello (8, 10)
Stanley Silverman—orchestra conducting (8); orchestration (10)
Harper Simon—guitar (9, 11, 12); harmonica (9)
Arlen Roth—guitar (9, 11-13); acoustic guitar solo (13)
Tony Garnier—bass (9, 11, 12)
Horace Ott—piano (9)
Shannon Ford—drums (9, 11-13)
Marc Anthony—lead vocal (10)
Ruben Blades—lead vocal (10)
Steve Cropper—guitar (10)
Bobby Franceschini—soprano saxophone (10)
Pablo Calogero—bass clarinet (10)
Barry Danielian—flugel (10)
Ozzie Melendez—trombone (10)
Krista Feeney—violin (10)
Paul Peabody—violin (10)
Juliet Hafner—viola (10)
Sara Ramirez—vocal (13)
Robby Turner—pedal steel (13)
Bakithi Kumalo—bass (13)
Mike Ramos—accordion (13)
Crusher Bennett—shaker (13)

Produced by:

Paul Simon; Roy Halee co-produced tracks 6 and 13

Comments:

This latest album, a collection of songs from the musical he co-wrote (with Derek Walcott) is just phenomenal. While he's shifted gears yet again (away from African, and then South American) to doo-wop and a Latin American sound, the roots and rhythms remain... brilliant stuff. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Being a musical, the songs are more expository than his usual writing, but it's an interesting album with a lot of Latin American and doo wop sounds. Try "Born in Puerto Rico." (JoAnn Whetsell)


You're the One

Release info:

2000—Warner Bros.—9 47844-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, sitar guitar

Guest artists:

Vincent Nguini—electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Bakithi Kumalo—bass
Steve Gadd—drums
Jamey Haddad—percussion
Steve Shehan—percussion
Alain Mallet—Wurlitzer piano, pump reed organ
Evan Ziporyn—bass clarinet
Steve Gorn—bamboo flute
Jay Elfenbein—vielle & vihuela
Mark Stewart —cello and electric guitar, dobro, sitar guitar, pedal steel gong and dobro, banjo, tromba doo
Clifford Carter—celeste, keyboard glockenspiel
Peter Herbert—upright bass
Larry Campbell—pedal steel guitar
Abraham Laboriel—bass (5, 6)
Howard Levy—harmonica
Skip La Plante—96-tone harp, whirly pipe and rubbed steel bowl
Dan Duggan—hammer dulcimer

Produced by:

Paul Simon

Comments:

An underrated album. You can really hear the blend of his later world-influenced style and his early 60s/70s work, and it's a great combination. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Surprise

Release info:

2006—Warner Bros.—49982-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, guitars, electric, acoustic, and nylon string guitars

Guest artists:

Brian Eno—electronics
Pino Palladino—bass (1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10)
Steve Gadd—drums (1, 2, 4-11)
Robin DiMaggio—drums (1, 3, 5, 7, 10)
Gil Goldstein—harmonium, keyboards
Bill Frisell—electric guitar (2)
Abraham Laboriel—bass (2, 7, 11)
Alex Al—bass (4)
Herbie Hancock—piano (5)
Jessy Dixon Singers—choir (5)
Leo Abrahams—fretless bass (9)
Jamey Haddad—percussion (9)
Vincent Nguini—acoustic rhythm guitar (11)
Adrian Simon—additional vocal (11)

Produced by:

Paul Simon

Comments:

Short of revealing that he is, in fact, a member of TV on the Radio, there's nothing that Mr Simon can do to acquire credibility in the eyes of today's critics, who have been holding an unspecific grudge against him for many decades. If they're not ignoring him, they're putting the boot in. Thus, this album has been unjustly overlooked, when it's really quite glorious. I got it for my partner for Xmas and have played it several times myself, just out of sheer love of it. (adamk@zoom.co.uk)

Paul Simon explores electronica on this underrated album. It took a while to grow on me, and there are still a few songs I find a little boring or bizarre, but there's also a lot to recommend it, particularly "Wartime Prayers," "How Can You Live in the Northeast?," and "Everything About It Is a Love Song." (JoAnn Whetsell)


So Beautiful Or So What

Release info:

2011—Hear Music—HRM-32836-00

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—vocals, electric guitar, 12-string rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, nylon string guitar, Moog guitar, percussion, glockenspiel, whistle, bells

Guest artists:

Edie Brickell—background harmony (1)
Rev. J. M. Gates with congregation—sermon and call and response (1)
Vincent Nguini—electric guitar (1, 2 ); acoustic rhythm guitar (1); acoustic guitar (9)
Jim Oblon—drums (1, 2, 6, 9, 10); slide baritone guitar (2); percussion, Drop D electric guitar (6); Danelectro bass (9)
Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver—background vocals (3, 6)
Joshua Swift—dobro (3)
Gabe Witcher—fiddle (3)
Karaikudi R. Mani—Indian ensemble, vocal syllables of percussion (3)
V.B. Madhusadanan—tabla (3)
V. Suresh-Ghatam—clay pot (3)
Yacouba Sissoko—kora (4)
Steve Shehan—tuned bass djembe, bass talking drum, angklung (4, 10); glass harp (4); brushes (4, 6); cymbal, conga, sticks (6); crotales, bass, saz, resonator (10)
Mick Rossi—piano (5)
Vincent Lionti, Desiree Elsevier and Lois Martin—violas (5)
Richard Locker and Jeanne Le Blanc—celli (5)
David Finck—bass (5)
Pamela Sklar and Elizabeth Mann, —flutes (5)
Charles Pillow and Mary Abt—clarinet (5)
Sara Cutler—harp (5, 8)
Diane Lesser—English horn (5)
Gil Goldstein—arrangements (5)
Sonny Terry—harmonica solo (6)
Chris Bear—electronic intro (6)
Skip La Plante—gongs, wind chimes, 96-note harp (8)
Etienne Stadwijk—celeste (8)
Nancy Zeltsman—marimba (8)
Lulu Simon—background harmony (9)
Dr. Michael White—clarinet (9)
Steve Gorn—bansuri flute (10)

Produced by:

Phil Ramone and Paul Simon

Comments:

There is so much to love on this album, it's really quite stunning. The album continues Simon's love affair with world music, this time with West African and Indian influences. The opening track, "Getting Ready for Christmas Day," has all these... sounds in it (including a sample of a 1941 sermon by the Reverend J. M. Gates. It's raucous, but it works. The closing, title track is another energetic rocker. I love the kora on "Rewrite," one of my favorite tracks. "Dazzling Blue" is gorgeous… I could go on and on. I do find "Questions for the Angels" (which the critics seem to love) kind of dull and maybe a bit pretentious in its Grand Philosophizing. But I love this album and often hit "play" again when I get to the end. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Live in New York City

Release info:

2012—Hear Music—HRM-34122-00

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Paul Simon—guitar, vocals

Guest artists:

Tony Cedras—trumpet, accordion, keyboards, guitars, vocals Jamey Haddad—percussion
Bakithi Kumalo—bass, percussion, vocals
Vincent Nguini—guitars, vocals
Jim Oblon—drums, guitars, vocals
Mick Rossi—piano, Hammond organ, harmonium, percussion
Andy Snitzer—saxophone, glockenspiel, synthesizer, flutes
Mark Stewart—guitars, saxophone, wind instruments, vocals

Produced by:

James Pluta

Comments:

Another great live album. Half the songs are from Graceland (5), The Rhythm of the Saints (1), and So Beautiful Or So What (4), and half is earlier material. The energy is different than on Concert in the Park, and some lesser-known songs are brought out, so both albums are worth having. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Video releases include:
  • Concert in the Park: August 15th, 1991 (1991)
  • Graceland: The African Concert (1999)
  • You're the One: In Concert from Paris (2001)
  • Live at the Tower Theatre (2003)
  • Classic Albums—Graceland (2005)
  • Night of Gospel Glory (2006)
  • The Essential Paul Simon (2 CD/DVD, 2007)
  • Live From Philadelphia GHL (2008)
  • Paul Simon and Friends: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song (2009)
Paul Simon appears in the film Annie Hall and stars in the film One-Trick Pony.


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

Why the ads?


Contemporary Folk

281 - 320 of 380 entries

<<  10-Br  Br-Da  Da-Fr  Fr-Jo  Jo-Ma  Ma-Mu  My-Re  Rh-Ta  Ta-We  We-Ze  >>

Click the bullet for speed (drop the menu) or the name for convenience (keep the menu)


>
JR Rhodes

>
Lou Rhodes

>
Lisa Richards

>
Amy Rigby

>
Leslie Ritter & Scott Petito

>
The Roches

>
Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris

>
Clarelynn Rose

>
Haroula Rose

>
Patti Rothberg

>
Bic Runga

>
Kate Rusby

>
Heather Russell

>
Sacred Raisin Cakes

>
Allison Sattinger

>
Kate Schutt

>
Semi-Free

>
Shenanigan

>
Richard Shindell

>
Michelle Shocked

>
Jane Siberry

>
Paul Simon

>
Sheryl Skye

>
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams

>
Megan Slankard

>
Smoke Fairies

>
Sohre

>
SONiA & Disappear Fear

>
Kathy Sparling

>
Spires That in the Sunset Rise

>
Jennie Stearns

>
Sufjan Stevens

>
Savourna Stevenson, June Tabor, Danny Thompson

>
The Story

>
Anita Suhanin

>
Ajaia Suri

>
Sweetbird

>
The Swell Season

>
Jean Synodinos

>
June Tabor

<<  10-Br  Br-Da  Da-Fr  Fr-Jo  Jo-Ma  Ma-Mu  My-Re  Rh-Ta  Ta-We  We-Ze  >>


Other Genres...
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-05-05 19:23:12.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.