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Music PopWrapped | Music

Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds Of Silence" Stands The Test Of Time And Celebrates Its 50th Birthday

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


03/11/2014 11:42 am
PopWrapped | Music
Simon & Garfunkel's
Media Courtesy of Wikipedia
Courtesy of Wikipedia Courtesy of Wikipedia

Nicole MacDowell

Staff Writer


Today, the song “Sounds of Silence” is widely popular and known by people of many ages. I would know, I’ve been singing along to the song since I was 8, and I’m now 18. But 50 years ago, the song was just being born in the recording studio. Paul Simon wrote the song in 1963 while still living with his parents. He told Playboy that he would take his guitar, shut himself in the bathroom with the lights off, and run the water and sing, which is where the first lines of the song come from. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel took their time perfecting the song in coffeehouses in Greenwich Village before recording the song with Tom Wilson, two acoustic guitars and an upright bass. Unfortunately for the duo, “Sounds of Silence” was quickly drowned in the wave of Beatlemania that rolled into the United States in 1964. Simon told NPR that the song resonated with millions of people because of its simplicity. “It’s not a sophisticated thought, but a thought that I gathered from some college reading material or something. It wasn’t something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level – nobody’s listening to me, nobody’s listening to anyone – it was a post-adolescent angst.” [embed][/embed] In an interview with Mojo Magazine, Simon said that he was very inspired by Bob Dylan and actually tried desperately to avoid copying Dylan’s aesthetic. He said that Bob Dylan inspired him to write something that wasn’t a “teen language song.” The song’s break came in 1965 when Wilson hired Buddy Salzman, Vinnie Bell, and Al Gorgoni to overdub the song with an electric backtrack to give it the extra push it needed. Garfunkel was not impressed with the new version and claimed that it would never become a hit because “I don’t have hits.” However, he was disproven when the song was released in November 1965 to the US. Within months, it was sitting at Number 1 on the Billboard charts. The pair then made the decision to record a follow-up single that they were determined to make different from “Sounds of Silence.” In January 1966, they released their second album, titled The Sounds of Silence, which featured the title song as well as their next two best hits: “Homeward Bound” and “I Am A Rock”. [embed][/embed] [embed][/embed] Last year, “Sounds of Silence” was selected by the Library of Congress for long-term preservation in the archives so that in another 50 years children who are eight years old can hear what their grandparents were listening to. Times may have changed and music may have evolved, but “Sounds of Silence” has become one of those timeless songs that children and adults will enjoy for decades to come. [embed][/embed]

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