I’ve never really got on with Simon & Garfunkel’s brand of high pitched harmony singing. I like the Beach Boys and a lot of Reggae, but somehow their sound just seems too polished.
So that means that “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and the original version of “The Sound Of Silence” just don’t appeal to me that much.
But I can’t deny that they are clearly very talented songwriters and musicians. “I Am A Rock” is much more my style, and I appreciate their folksy charm on it.
The song was actually written by Paul Simon (the one with a critically and commercially successful solo career…) in 1965, with a view to him having it on his own album, but then it was re-recorded with Art Garfunkel and released in 1966.
The re-release was based on the new electric guitar and drums “rock” overdub of “The Sound Of Silence”, so Paul Simon’s 1965 version was injected with a folk-rock vibe, helping it to reach #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The lyrics are sort of sad in a way, about a bitter and jaded guy who seeks solace in his room reading poetry, with no belief in friendship or love. It ends with a particularly cutting line:
“And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries”
Which reads like an admission, that actually, the strong pose is a bit of a front.
It remains a ought thought provoking song, and not half catchy either…