Song of the Day, April 10: All I Know by Art Garfunkel

garfunkelalliknowToday’s song is a majestic tribute to love. When Simon and Garfunkel went their separate ways, Art Garfunkel took a little time to craft his solo debut. Angel Clare, produced by Garfunkel with long-time S&G partner Roy Halee, is a smart collection of songs that shows off the singer’s strong, flexible voice.

The highlight is the Jimmy Webb song All I Know, also Garfunkel’s first (and most successful) solo single. Soaring and anthemic, it looks at the transitory nature of life and relationships. In the face of this, the singer asserts, simply, “I love you, and that’s all I know.” It’s a smart construction, moving in its structure and delivery. After a full build with strings and horns, it drops so a simple piano line, emphasizing the need to focus on the basic truths in our lives. It’s a masterpiece of writing, singing, and production.

Enjoy this beautiful song today.

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Song of the Day, June 11: I Am A Rock by Simon & Garfunkel

Today’s song is I Am A Rock by Simon & Garfunkel. This duo has always been a conundrum. Both were highly educated, articulate, and oddly ill-suited to rock star fame. Paul Simon was the neurotic lyricist and Art Garfunkel the angel-voiced partner. Somehow, however, putting them together made magic. Their harmonies were impressive, particularly given how different their vocal talents were. They had three powerful #1 hits (The Sounds of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, and Bridge Over Troubled Water) and rank as one of the top five duos in U.S. chart history. This song has always been my favorite. It is remarkable for its mixture of admiration of independence and condemnation of isolation. In a canon suffused with irony, it ranks at the top. As Paul Simon notes in this great live performance, “This, according to Artie, is my most neurotic song.” That takes some doing.

I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no one and no one touches me

I am a rock
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

This amazing song peaked at #3 on this date in 1966. Enjoy this beautiful neurosis today.

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