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Simon And Garfunkle
Live From New York City, 1967

Review By Steven Stone
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Simon And Garfunkle Live From New York City, 1967

CD Stock Number: Columbia Legacy CK 61513

 

  "Sherman, set the way-back machine for New York City, 1967. I want to go to a concert." This new release from Columbia Legacy beats Mr. Peabody's infernal device by a mile. Recorded at Lincoln Center on January 22 1967, Live from New York City sounds as fresh today as it did 33 years ago.

Seventeen selections, including such well-known songs as "Homeward Bound", "A Most Peculiar Man," "59th Street Bridge Song," "The Dangling Conversation," "A Hazy Shade of Winter," I Am a Rock," "The Sound of Silence," "Richard Cory," "Wednesday Morning at 3 AM," join more obscure titles "For Emily Whenever I Find Her," "A Church is Burning," "Sparrow," "Wee Wee Tot," "Benedictus," "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies," "Blessed," "A Poem On The Underground Wall," and "Anji" to make up the 58:23 set. Song introductions and some between-song banter fill the spaces between numbers, but the stage patter is minimal, as befits S&G's serious pop-art folk music demeanor.

Accompanied by Paul Simon's lone guitar, the duo's signature dual leads possess a simple and undeniable power. Personally, I much prefer these unadorned versions to the tarted-up pop arrangements found on their studio albums. Their two voices coupled with Simon's virtuosic guitar work is really all the arrangement these songs need. Originally recorded on 1/2 four-track analog tape, and then transferred to digital media, reissue producer Bob Irwin changed nothing; "no redos and no-retouching." The final result is much like a good black and white documentary photograph - simple, compelling, unadorned truth. Except for a bit of tape flutter, which you can hear primarily on the guitar parts, the sound preserves the immediacy and intimacy of the original event. With Simon panned to the right, Garfunkle panned left, and the guitar part dead center, the natural soundstage has a seductively palpable verisimilitude.

Live from New York City, 1967 should appeal to both hardcore Simon and Garfunkle fans, and anyone who would like just one Simon and Garfunkle album containing their most famous songs. Simple and direct, Live from New York City, 1967 is a musical flashback that makes virtual time-travel a satisfying reality.

 

 

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