Simon and Garfunkel are undoubtedly one of the most successful songwriting duos of the 60s, reaching a similar level of popularity to the Beatles during the latter part of the decade. This Definite Collection shows what a diverse duo they really were and how many memorable tunes they performed together. Though many were put off by the pair's more sterile folk-rock arrangements and clean choirboy harmonies, this collection shows that there was much more to their artistic palette. Songs such as "Homeward Bound", "I Am a Rock", "Cecilia" and "Mrs Robinson" all show that the duo could rock with the best of them and "The Sound of Silence" and "Bridge over Troubled Water" are just some of the beautifully timeless records the pair gave us. It may not be as definitive as it claims but this is a great collection featuring some of their best and most well known works.
This album has had over three decades to make an impact, and it says something for its staying power that, in the face of more recent, more generously programmed, and better mastered compilations of the duo's work, it remains one of the most popular parts of the Simon & Garfunkel catalog – which doesn't mean it isn't fraught with frustrations for anyone buying it…
The soundtrack to Mike Nichols' The Graduate remains a key musical document of the late '60s, although truth be told, its impact was much less artistic than commercial (and, for that matter, more negative than positive). With the exception of its centerpiece track, the elegiac and oft-quoted "Mrs. Robinson" – which only appears here as a pair of fragments – the Simon & Garfunkel songs that comprise much of the record (a series of Dave Grusin instrumentals round it out) appeared on the duo's two preceding LPs; Nichols' masterstroke was to transplant those songs into his film, where they not only meshed perfectly with the story's themes of youthful rebellion and alienation (and the inner life of the central character, Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock) but also heralded a new era in movie music centered around the appropriation of past pop hits, a marketing gimmick that grew exponentially in the years to follow.
The most comprehensive Simon & Garfunkel library anthology ever assembled, The Complete Albums Collection includes the duo's five studio masterpieces (first released between 1964 and 1970), newly remastered from first generation analog sources, and first-time remasters of The Graduate (the groundbreaking motion picture soundtrack album released in 1968) and the long out-of-print The Concert in Central Park (recorded in 1981).
When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel first teamed up in the ‘50s under the somewhat nondescript name of Tom and Jerry, few could have predicted what was to come. When the pair finally split in 1970 after a much publicised falling out, most fans would have given up on any notion of a reunion. Apart from one track in the ‘70s, My Little Town, that appeared on one of each of the pair’s solo albums of the time, there was no combined musical output.
Simon & Garfunkel reunited on September 19, 1981, to perform a free concert in Central Park, New York City. This two-record set presents some of the duo's biggest hits in a live context, and also allows listeners a chance to hear what many Simon solo numbers could sound like in S&G mode.