Saturday, October 12, 2013


Paul Simon has been making music for six decades, seven if you count his 1957 minor hit Hey Schoolgirl, made with Art Garfunkel as Tom and Jerry.  Although not really prolific, almost all of what he's made has been exemplary, aside from the odd Broadway or film diversion.  So try boiling all that into one single CD collection.
You can't and that's what's frustrating about this release.  It's packaged as the first-ever Simon best-of to cover both S&G and his solo career, but that is folly.  The notes admit as much, and advise it can only serve as a primer.  Take the Simon and Garfunkel years, for instance.  There's only six cuts from them, and since someone has elevated The Only Living Boy In New York to hit status, that means no Mrs. Robinson, no Homeward Bound, or Scarborough Fair or I Am A Rock.  The remaining 14 cuts are for his solo career, but rushing through at an average of one an album just scratches the surface. 
It's actually gets even sillier when you discover that this is the 8th best-of set released by Simon over the years, all juggling the track listing as another new album comes out.  The better ones are double-CD sets which allow for, say, four cuts from Graceland.  But who doesn't, or shouldn't, own that album?  Here's my solution:  get 'em all, except The Capeman, they all cost less than ten bucks now in most places, love them, and make your own mixtape of your favourites.

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