Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Up Til Now

Ever since I saw Simon and Garfunkel in concert at the old Salt Palace on November 14 1969 I wanted to be Art Garfunkel.  His tone when singing is so pure and his range phenomenal.  During that concert I fiirst heard the classic Bridge Over Troubled Waters I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The sound was just pure. Just a couple of years I was web surfing and I happened upon Garfunkel's website and my desire to be him even increased more when on his site I came across a list of the books that he has read. I envy that he has been able to read so much.

Up til now is a "greatest hits" album from 1993 and contains some of the songs that were from previous albums.  Cryin in the Rain was originally written by Carole King and is a duet with James Taylor.  The harmonies are wonderful.  The Everly Brothers first had a hit with this song and the harmonies here on this version are I think just as good. 

One of my favorite Garfunkel songs is next, a song written by one of my favorite songwriters, Jimmy Webb   All I know    
The lyrics are great 

I bruise you, you bruise me
We both bruise too easily, too easily to let it show
I love you and that's all I know .
All my plans have fallin' through,
All my plans depend on you, depend on you to help them grow,
I love you and that's all I know.

The next song Just Across the Brooklyn Bridge was apparently the theme song for a TV Series Brooklyn Bridge and was written by Marvin Hamlsich and Marilyn and Alan Bergman.  The lyrics are so nostalgic

A world of its own,
The streets where we played,
The friends on every corner were the best we ever made.
The backyards, and the school yards
And the trees that watched us grow,
The days of love when dinner time was all you had to know.
Whenever I think of yesterday,
I close my eyes and see,
That place Just Over The Brooklyn Bridge
That will always be home to me.
It'll always be home to me.

I think that we can say that about anyplace we grew up.  I know I still consider Hyde my home.
Talk about nostalgia the next track is The Sound of Silence with Paul Simon which is followed by a comic track called The Breakup is Garfunkel acting as if he is making an announcement about Simon and Garfunkel being directed by Simon in the Recording board.     Simon and Garfunkel originally met in the sixth grade and according to some sources Simon only saw the possibilities of singing after he heard Garfunkel sing at a school performance.  The track talks about "singular commitment to separate pathways" and it's true but they seem to run parallel and come together at different times during their lives.
Another Jimmy Webb song is next Skywriter one source stated it was written for Art and is about his life in the 80's when he was suffering from depression after his partner Laurie Bird committed suicide in Garfunkel's apartment in 1979.  According to Garfunkel's Website, Skywriter," is a fine example of why Webb is considered one of the great ballad writers of the 20th Century. Art said at the time, "Jimmy wrote with my life in mind, so it's autobiographical.  I did it recently at the Royal Albert Hall (in London) and we recorded it there with Nicky Hopkins on piano and me, it's a really meaty new Jimmy Webb song, very romantic with a lot about some of my private pain."  It is the first track on any solo Garfunkel album to feature Art singing live.

Another collaboration with Webb is The Decree a musical retelling of the things preceding the Nativity and is accompanied by a children's choir. 

A 1958 hit for Tommy Edwards, It's All in The Game is the next track and is given a wonderful arrangement with I think a steel guitar and a fiddle accompaniment.

Stephen Bishop wrote the next one called One Less Holiday.  According to Garfunkel's Site, "One Less Holiday," an unreleased Stephen Bishop tune from the magnificent SCISSORS CUT sessions (1981), shows off Art's range with a soaring vocal opening."

Since I Don't Have You is Garfunkel's tribute to 50's Doo Wop Music and from a group called the
Skyliners    According to Wikipedia, Garfunkel recorded an album in 2007 The album was a dedicated celebration of pop standards of Garfunkel's childhood.

A Classic pop song contained on this album is Two Lonely People that he recorded for Penny Marshall 's film A League of Their Own .  According to Garfunkel, Garfunkel had a brief affair with actress Penny Marshall in the mid 1980's and credits her with helping him through his depression. Their friendship stayed strong even after the relationship's end. Garfunkel would later say of Marshall, "Everything changed. Penny is a sweet human being who can bring anybody down to earth. We had a lot of laughs, great sex and a ton of party nights".
The Song itself was written by Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael 

Another of My favorite songs on this album is written by Mark Knopfler called Why Worry. 
The Lyrics are
Why Worry?
There should be laughter after pain,
There should be sunshine after rain,
These things have always been the same,
So Why Worry, now?
Why Worry, now?
It is such a truism. 

Another song by Jimmy Webb completes the album All My Love's Laughter. 

When I recorded this I tagged on another Garfunkel song taken from the sound track for As Good As It Gets The song was lifted from another film, a Monty Python film Life of Brian  and was written by
Eric Idle.  It is called    Always Look On the Bright Side of Life. 
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle,
This'll help things turn out for the best.
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.
Always look on the right side of life.
If life seems jolly-rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing!
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly, chumps,
Just purse your lips and whistle,
That's the thing!
So, always look on the bright side of death,
Just before you draw your terminal breath,
Life's a counterfeit,
And when you look at it,
Life's a laugh, and death's the joke,
It's true!
You see, it's all a show,
Keep them laughing as you go,
Just remember the last laugh is on you!
(Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.)
(Repeat and Fade) 

Good night.

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