Bookends is the fourth studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. Produced by Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel and Roy Halee, the album was released on April 3, 1968, in the United States by Columbia Records. The duo had risen to fame two years prior with the albums Sounds of Silence and Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and the soundtrack album for the 1967 film The Graduate. Bookends is a concept album that explores a life journey from childhood to old age. Side one of the album marks successive stages in life, the theme serving as bookends to the life cycle. Side two largely consists of previously-released singles and of unused material for The Graduate soundtrack. Simon's lyrics concern youth, disillusionment, relationships, old age, and mortality. Much of the material was crafted alongside producer John Simon (no relation), who joined the recording when Paul Simon suffered from writer's block. The album was recorded gradually over the period of a year, with production speeding up around the later months of 1967. Initial sales for Bookends were substantial in the US, and the album produced the number-one single "Mrs. Robinson". The album sold well in the US and in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number one. Bookends was considered a breakthrough for the duo, placing them on the same level as artists such as Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones at the forefront of the cultural movement in the 1960s. The album has continued to receive critical acclaim and is debated by critics as to whether it or Bridge Over Troubled Water is Simon & Garfunkel's best album.Wikipedia
Frances McDormand used the album cover as a visual aid for young William Miller to suggest all rock stars were on dope, something obvious by simply looking at their eyes. Frankly, I don't see it. Paul is trying a little too hard for a look that a young David Schwimmer would perfect some 30 years later, and Artie was likely just caught in a moment scratching the back of his head, or maybe he was trying harder to hear out of his left ear. Second Simon and Garfunkel album I've had from the list so far. There are four solid classics on this album that alone could warrant a 5. The final rating comes down to your desire to be transformed into a Kellogg's Corn Flake, or your feelings on poor Artie being tasked with going out and recording voices of old folks just to get a song writing credit. The loud Moog/Clockwork Orange sound at the start of "Save The Life Of My Child" suggests maybe Frances McDormand was on to something. There are some folks who suggest the Bangles cover of "A Hazy Shade of Winter" is better than the original. Others offer a similar opinion about the Lemonheads cover of "Mrs. Robinson". Both camps are wrong, but the popularity of those covers helps underscore how Paul Simon is one of our greatest songwriters. This is the album when Paul really took perfectionistic control of things, as if to leave no doubt as to who was Tom and who was Jerry. Somehow the closing song "At The Zoo" works for me. The only thing I ever want to see at the zoo is the exit sign. What I'm saying is I don't like the zoo, but I really like this album.
“Bookends” by Simon & Garfunkel (1968) Exhibit A in the art of album making, “Bookends” is a prototype of the ‘concept album’. Here we’re treated to a truly poetic treatment of life’s polarities, with images straining to burst through the bonds of beautifully unyielding metric structure. Paul Simon is a storytelling poetic genius (even if he’s a bit of a showoff). It’s too easy to love this album for the striking beauty of “Mrs. Robinson”, “Old Friends”, and “America” (which still makes me weep). But listen to the album from start to finish, and you’ll appreciate it as so much more than a collection of ‘tracks’. Simon’s performance on acoustic guitar is genre-defining, and Art Garfunkel’s tenor harmonies are angelic. Prepare yourself for shocks as you walk through this garden of delights, ending “At the Zoo”. This isn’t just a folk duo anymore. On this album, the excellence of S & G’s transition beyond their initial folk success surpasses Dylan’s. Those of you who know my love for Bob Dylan are welcome to pick yourselves up off the floor. And as an aside, the backing musicians, arrangements, engineering, and production on this album provide evidence for my reluctant acknowledgment that New York is indeed the greatest city in the world. Ever. Kleenex. 5/5
Prob would be a desert island album, what a unique brand these two had. Before all the fluff and fireworks of pop
First off, I've no idea why I started this idiotic project when I've already got more things on the go than I have time for, but it was an impulsive click on a link from Popbitch that brought me here and before I knew what I was doing I'd signed up, so here we are. Right, first of 1,001 albums, hope it's something attention grabbing. Oh. A quick bit of background reading on Wikipedia confirms my worst fears: a Simon & Garfunkel concept album. Brilliant. Three hours of acoustic noodling about herbs and bridges. Better fire up Spotify and get on with it. Let's start with the positives: it's only half an hour long and the "concept" only stretches across side one, so it's a concept album in the same way that "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a concept album, ie only because people keep saying it is. The supposed concept is the human lifespan, so presumably the 30 seconds of "Bookends Theme" are supposed to represent conception or birth. All it conjures up in my mind is a "Schools programmes follow shortly" countdown clock. 30 seconds in and already we're tackling the subject of suicide. "Save the Life of My Child" is the most arresting track on the album, all honking Moogs, sinister choirs and snatches of "The Sound of Silence". Still unclear how suicide fits in with the life cycle concept, but still. Unfortunately it's all downhill from there. Acoustic strum-along follows acoustic strum-along, punctuated by "Voices of Old People" which is literally just that, some old people talking for two minutes, completely derailing the listening experience. Then more acoustic strumming augmented by easy listening orchestra, another bit of the "Bookends Theme" and that's your concept over and done with. Side two deals with an entirely different concept: that of how to pad out an album by the hottest act on your label when they've only delivered quarter of an hour of music. It's a mish-mash of non-album singles and unused tracks from the previous year's soundtrack album for "The Graduate", including, bafflingly, "Mrs Robinson" which wasn't on the soundtrack album - at least, bits of it were but not its familiar single version. So we're on slightly more familiar ground here with "A Hazy Shade of Winter" and "Fakin' It" raising the album above mediocrity. So, not a great start. Like "Sgt Pepper", you probably had to be there at the time. At least "Sgt Pepper" had came with cut-out medals.
A great surprise of an album. If "A Day In The Life" was an entire album, it would be Bookends. The instrumentation, lyrics, and songwriting on this album are phenomenal. All the songs here are highlights and I would highly recommend this album to anyone who hasn't heard it. I love the experimental nature that is incorporated into this album as well. What a pleasant surprise! Highlights: 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.
A collection of some of the most notable songs within the Simon & Garfunkel collection. Bookends, Old Friends, Overs, Fakin' It, At The Zoo, Hazy Shade of Winter, and Mrs. Robinson.
Perhaps their best album. Like both sides of it. The side A song suite and the side B collection of looser and poppier material. Some incredibly iconic songs here. Grew up on this stuff.
Really enjoyed it. S&G are very relaxing to listen to and at the same time I really enjoy the poetic and artsy quality of their music. I liked the first thematic half of the album (bookends), but liked the unthematic second half a bit better. For songs, Mrs. Robinson and Hazy Shade Of Winter are my clear favorites from this album. Great!
Easiest 5 star so far. Continues to be a formative album for every generation. The longevity alone is incredible, all together the album is one of the greatest pieces of American culture ever. Perhaps most impressive of all is that this isn't even their best album!
Look at them! They are high on pot! Great album!
Really solid sound from these two assholes again. I hate myself more.
Alvin, Simon, GARFUNKEL! Do, do, do, do, do, do
Fuck Simon and Garfunkel. A couple of low talent hacks. “Old people talking”!? Get the fuck out of here.
i lost all melinin after listening to this
random documentary in the middle?????
Genuinely amazing calming vibes
Går inte att ge det här albumet något annat.
Surprisingly unorthodox for S&G but still a great album with beautiful songwriting
I've never heard this entire album
Only knew a couple of songs going in, but I loved a lot of them! Bookends and Mrs. Robinson are classics of course. Fakin' It and A Hazy Shade of Winter are new faves.
Nice and chill
Absolutely beautiful, dynamic and nice overall.
Perhaps all the songs I like of S&G are in this album.
Maravilhoso, apesar de não ser o melhor deles.
Classic. Loves in the zoo
I mean, I knew I would like this one because I like Simon & Garfunkel. I have to say I was thrown by the electric sound at the beginning, but I liked it better after that.
Sunday morning folk
Fantastic album, can't fault
Tres bon album. J’ador S&G. Paul Simin est pour moi un des plus grand auteur-compositeur-interprete du 20e siecle. 5*
I love them so much.
A hippie record, with such great songs and concept. A true classic.
Timeless classic! Brings me back to early childhood and my parents listening to this! So good
Excellent and incidentally my husband’s favourite album of all time.
Surprisingly trippy for 1968 thought it would be pure folk but it was real interesting!
POP en mayúsculas. Fantástico.
*i love them and this album *a few short interludes of talking/everyday noises *love folklike sound
The melodies are amazing, love this combination between rock and folk. I can feel really identified with some lyrics, which makes me love this album even more
An absolutely gorgeous album. Sensitive, beautiful, unique, it's everything!
❤️❤️Simon and Garfunkel
What a classic! So pretty, such good music, harmonies, lyrics, everything.
Wonderful album 5/5
2nd best S&G album
Was instantly impressed with this, despite only really knowing the hits previously. Track 2 comes in with heavy synths, and some really incredible production that sounds much more modern than I expected. Fantastic use of reverbs to create a very dynamic feel of size and space. Choice of instruments, arrangements, and musicianship are top notch. And it goes without saying that Paul Simon is an amazing songwriter. I wouldn't usually consider giving an album that I am only hearing for the first time 5 stars, but I'm so blown away by this that I have to.
dit is genieten, ge hoort ook echt dat het een ouder album is love it.
Perfect example of songwriting and singing.
As good as you'd expect. Nice selection of tracks too. The hits are great and the album tracks often go to interesting and unexpected places. Rock solid start to finish.
They could have called this Goosebumps. As wonderful from beginning to end as any album ever. Beautiful, a little weird, evocative, poignant. I have loved it most of my life, to the point that I don't put it on much any more for fear of getting tired of it. But I think I listened to it for the first time on a very good system, and it's even better than I remember. The drums in America. The french horns in Old Friends. The rattle in the voice of the guy who doesn't think it's an ordinary cold in Voices of Old People. The entirety of Hazy Shade of Winter. So beautiful it literally brought me to tears.
I enjoyed it.
The Sounds of Silence will forever be my favourite, but this is also stunning; wonderful songwriting and gorgeous harmonies throughout.
An outstanding album, fully deserves 5 stars
Such a classic! 5/5
Strikingly simple and playful lyrics covering some dark themes. Enjoyed the pleasant guitar and smooth voices of the duo. Would give 4.5 if I could. Would listen again, and I suspect it will grow on me each time I do. Maybe when I'm a bit older I'll give this a 5 after listening to "old friends" with an old friend :)
Is it trite to call this seminal? Because it definitely feels that way
Second album I'm hearing from these guys. First heard Bridge Over Troubled Water and was incredibly impressed. Needless to say, this one too delivered in the same way. Lot's of great variety, fantastic and catchy melodies. I know I'll be coming back to listen to this album again and again.
I’ve always loved this duo but had never listened to this album in full. Beautiful harmonies and exquisite songwriting.
Classic, a little weird and art house-ish, but I love the folk.
THis LP is interwoven into the tapestry of my sou. It was a hand me down. It was always there. This LP introduced me to o much. I mean 'Fakin It', did that sound collage pre date Strawberry Fields, or the drum solo fade out? An ESSENTIAL LP that should demonstrate quality n songwriting, production, modrnism and protest. A artefact of 1966 but one that resonantes, classically.
Classic emo shit.
Love S&G, such a peaceful and beautiful album
næsten ik set bedre
They did it again. 5
This album steps away from the folk revival aesthetic while sounding unmistakably like Simon & Garfunkel. Bookends centers thematically around a cycle of life exploring themes such as youth, old age, and insecurity. The album is grounded thematically by the Bookend Theme which quite literally bookends side one. The sound montages further set this album apart as a conceptual work, but it is still undergirded by Paul Simon's distinctive lyrics and the lush vocal harmonies for which Simon & Garfunkel became famous.
I love how this album is split into two parts. There's the first side which gives a loose chronicle of life from childhood/adolescence, 20s love, middle-aged divorce, and the autumn years all bookended ;) by the title track. Then there's the second side which is a loose selection of quality singles and deep cuts dating back a year or two. I also like the emotional music balance of melancholy/despair (Old Friends/Bookends, Fakin It) and genuine feel good/happy too (Mrs Robinson, At The Zoo) throughout the album. Guess it helps having a talented songwriter like Paul Simon and having the angelic vocal talents of Art Garfunkel.
Another classic 5 star album from Simon & Garfunkel except for "America", but that song is easily compensated by the other tracks.
Paul Simon is one of the all time greats and he really shines on this album. Beautiful poetic lyrics, wonderful acoustic guitar licks and picks with a nice mixture of experimentation - moog/horns/strings. It feels as accomplished as the best Beatles’ albums but pretty much all written by one genius.
Je suis jaloux des talents de compositeur de Paul Simon.
Such a good album! Obviously a precursor to Bridge but Bookends holds its own.
Really good. 9/10
Garfunkel used to fuck my wife behind my back. She paid him $400 an hour for his huge pipe. That daily hot beef injection from young Art cost me a lot of money in the divorce. She had such a massive bucket cunt by then though. It was like throwing a hotdog down an alleyway, but with more genital warts.
I had no clue that ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ was written and originally performed by S&G. Mind blown.
Fantastic record! Simon and Garfunkel at their finest.
My day 1 was simon and Garfunkel… The album opens with the bookends theme It’s not great but brilliant for a short opener. After there is save the life of my child, an amazing song really ahead of it’s time ( sounds at lest late 70’s) also the throwback to the sound of silence works perfectly! America is more of what I imagined from this album it’s an amazingly written acoustic song yeah this could’ve went perfectly on bridge over troubled water with no problem which is what I love! Overs is alright, I don’t think that Simon and Garfunkel can write a bad song but this isn’t as good as the others. Voices of old people= self explanatory I like old friends it’s an innocent enough slow yet sad sounding folk tune; is it worth having the last track to introduce it ( no) but is it good ( yes). A longer reprise of bookends theme ends side one, literally what I said last time round but the lyrics are nice. Side two starts with faking it it’s one of the more typical s and g songs so far but it’s still great I love the exploding chorus also when the orchestral sounding bits come in it just fits perfectly. Punky’s dilemma is nice, breezy and childish, the lyrics are hilariously stupid but I like it still. If I were to take all of this group’s big hits ( Cecilia, the boxer, the sound of silence etc…) mrs Robinson would probably be my least favourite I mean I don’t hate it but I just don’t think it’s of that epic quality that even some random album tracks can beat. The album’s penultimate track a hazy shade of winter is short and more epic sounding, this is honestly the song I will take from this first listen! The album closes with the song at the zoo, ,I much prefer it to the something of nothing song for the asking, it’s slow but long and has this gravitas that can lack in this duo’s weaker songs, still great here! This makes me really wanna change my bridge over troubled water score to a 5, as this is definitely a 5 and I view them as very similar quality!!!
I was excited to see this album pop up. I love Simon and Garfunkel.
Wonderful album, listened in full several times over the weekend. Favorite song: America
14/08/2022 Simon and Garfunkel – Bookends 5/5 I’m starting to become a fan of Simon and Garfunkel. I already listened to Sounds of Silence, with a more classical and even “old” music, this is a total step up in the quality of their sound and song writing. I love indie and pop folk, so there were no doubts I was going to love this album. Masterful acoustic guitar skills, and lovely vocal harmonies, accompanied by genius lyrics. However, I’m a bit more of a fan of the A side of the album (slower, more emotional) than the B side (upbeat, more pop). Bookends Theme / Save the Life of My Child --> 4/5 Great “experimental” song, very original for being from the 60’s-70’s. Love the bit with the “The Sound of Silence” sample. America --> 5/5 I firstly discovered this song thanks to the First Aid Kid cover, and I love it. I really like it both musically and its lyrics and rhyme, they create a very nostalgic and sentimental song. And it’s a great example of how Paul and Art voices complement each other and create wonderful melodies. Overs --> 5/5 Very simple slow and acoustic song, but its brilliance comes from that in my opinion. I’m a very simple man that loves simple guitar folky mawkish ballads. Voices of Old People --> ?/5 Voices of old people, just that. Old Friend/Bookends Theme (Reprise) --> 5/5 How can I not love this album with these songs? Very emotional, connecting with the theme of Voices of Old People. Great string arrangement that gives even more chills at the end. Fakin’ It --> 4/5 Here the B side of the album starts, with a more “upbeat” sound. Good song, with a more 60’s pop sound, maybe more commercial too. It lacks something, I don’t know what, for me to like it completely. Punky’s Dilemma --> 5/5 A very cheerful song, with some funny lyrics. Very catchy, and again, very simple, but no more is needed. Mrs. Robinson --> 5/5 Probably the most famous Simon and Garfunkel song (with permission of The Sound of Silence and the memes). Very catchy, and good. A Hazy Shade of Winter --> 4.5/5 Here comes the most rock-tinged song of the album. A surprise, but very well executed. At the Zoo --> 4/5 Again, a cheerful and original song, perfectly composed for the children's book they would later publish.
If anyone gets close to peak McCartney, is it Paul Simon in this period. Such a strange but wonderful album with some of the best songs they ever produced, and some very unusual other elements
Hard not to love this album
5, very nice experience
Interesting album for sure! Nice conceptual theme on side one, and packed with great songs throughout. Mrs. Robinson is one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, and I love Hazy Share of Winter. Not to mention America. Save the Life of My Child is a great album opener too! Excellent!
Well, this album contains one of my favorite songs (America) with some of my favorite lyrics ("Kathy, I'm lost," I said, though I knew she was sleeping. "I'm empty and aching and I don't know why."). So already that's a 5. But then there's also Mrs. Robinson, Save the Life of My Child, Old Friends, Hazy Shade, and At the Zoo. And more. So good. So very good.
Another case of being familiar with compilation/best of albums, but not much more. Happy to be expanding my horizons . I really enjoyed this one!
As much as I have always enjoyed Simon & Garfunkel, I have never listened to their albums. This one is great! So glad to listen to it several times today.
First off, let me just say wow! I saw this one come up and felt so triumphant because FINALLY I'm being served a real heavy-hitter worthy of a critical listen that actually meets the key MUST HEAR criteria that is the reason for this list's existence. This is magnum opus stuff right here. This is the album that pushed Simon over the top creatively into musical genius and icon territory. I know he struggled with writer's block a lot throughout the recording, but he persevered and the end result is something truly spectacular. Voices of Old People is a track that can go suck an egg, and we're stuck with it to support the whole album concept, but otherwise, this is a flawless record from one of the greatest singer-songwriters to ever do the damn thing.
Album essenziale. Bookends contiene alcuni tra i pezzi più belli di Simon and Garfunkel: America, Fakin’ It, A Hazy Shade of Winter e, ovviamente, Mrs. Robinson.
Unfortunately this is the only of Simon & Garfunkel's studio albums I don't own on vinyl and it's the first of the three on this list that I have gotten. The second I see it in a record store I will certainly be buying it. This is not my favorite of their album, but it is still a 5 star album. "Bookends Theme" - A intro that is short and simple and sounds like a S&G instrumental track. (Reprise) - The way the note from the last song fades in. This is the instrumental at the start with the lyrics you'd expect to be there. Great way to do a reprise. "Save the Life of My Child" - This sounds like somebody covering a S&G song. By that I mean it feels like a S&G song in the lyrics and rhythm, but after that it sounds like a psych band got their hands on it. I like it but it throws me off every time how little it feels like it belongs. "America" - One of my favorite all time S&G tracks. Truly an all time classic and a example of perfect lyrical storytelling. I could write an essay on this song alone, but I will leave it simple and call it one of the most beautiful songs that has ever been written. "Overs" - Definitely a deep cut in the S&G discography, a good chill out song. The guitar drives the track in the most beautifully subtle way. "Voices of Old People" - Yeah....could have done without this one if I'm being honest. Just disconcerting. I could see this one being the reason it drops a star for some people. "Old Friends" - Wow! I don't know that I have listened to this song with as much focus before. The strings tell a story within a story. They start more elegant and in tune with the story and lyrics and as the song goes on they become more chaotic. I also love how that last high note fades into the Theme Reprise. "Fakin' It" - Another somewhat disconcerting start of a song. A bridge into the psychedelic folk world. It's a genre I as a folk head should like more than I do. I like psych music too which is why that confuses me even more. That aside it is still a good song. "Punky's Dilemma" - I too wish I was Kellogg's Cornflake Paul. Not sure about the English Muffin though. I love the bass on this track. A different type of deepcut still a good one. "Mrs. Robinson" - This song speaks for itself and is one of the greatest songs of all time. The guitar on this song is fantastic and I love trying to dissect it. Lyrically fantastic as well of course, no surprise there. "A Hazy Shade of Winter" - The one S&G song that I think you can argue the cover version is better. The Bangles made this song their own. This is still a great version of it and yes the original, but it belongs to The Bangles. "At the Zoo" - The walking bass line does a great job of driving the song from the background. There is so much going on that grabs your attention. The bass pokes through that haze but doesn't overpower any of it. An immaculate album indeed. Not their best, but contains some of their best songs. An all time classic and certainly a must hear.
Very good album, with a subtle and striking sound. Some absolute classic songs.