PAUL SIMON The Paul Simon Songbook (1965)

The Paul Simon Songbook (1965)
Once Forgotten Solo Simon

This import-only album, a rare delicacy for nearly 40 years, was long one of my prized vinyl possessions. Before its re-release in 2004, the scuttlebutt was that Simon had no interest in ever hearing it again. Can’t imagine why. It was recorded when Simon left the United States, and Art Garfunkel, in 1965, after the failure of the duo’s debut LP, Wednesday Morning, 3AM. Finding moderate success in the UK, Simon entered a recording studio with only an acoustic guitar to record the cream of his crop of originals. Stripped, raw and unplugged. And… it’s quite possible that Simon may have remained overseas – without Garfunkel – had fate not stepped in. You probably know the story. Producer Tom Wilson (the great Tom Wilson) took it upon himself, without Simon’s knowledge, to add electric instrumentation to “The Sound of Silence,” a track from 3AM. It took off at radio, bringing Simon back to the States (and to Garfunkel) to capitalize on Wilson’s genius with the follow up LP, Sounds of Silence – leaving this album, The Paul Simon Songbook, to languish in obscurity for four decades. Why the LP cover was altered is anybody’s guess, but this CD reissue is still relatively obscure, selling for $7 (brand new with bonus tracks) at Amazon.

I Am A Rock
Leaves That Are Green
A Church Is Burning
April Come She Will
The Sound Of Silence
A Most Peculiar Man
He Was My Brother
Kathy’s Song
The Side Of A Hill
A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d Into Submission)
Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
I Am A Rock (Alternate)
A Church Is Burning (Alternate)


  • Capt. Willard
    November 2, 2010 - 20:32 | Permalink

    Get it HERE.

  • 25thBeatle
    February 26, 2013 - 23:51 | Permalink

    Yo Willard….I’ve been digging around your excellent treasure trove of musical goodies. Compliments for all the variety of different media and styles of music available. Big kudos. About this selection….If my (foggy) memory serves right, this was the 2nd bootleg I acquired back in 70. 1st was The Beatles Xmas LP. I still have both. A buddy of mine was a DJ @ a local FM station in the early 80’s and he actually played a couple of tracks of Paul’s Songbook on the air. Big No-No at the time. The radio station was a mainstream corporate station and he almost lost his job. I love that! I have turned a lot of people onto this chestnut and many have wondered what it was. I really didn’t know the story when I picked it up. Plain white ‘bootleg’ cover with a press stamp as the only info. All I knew was that S & G were incredible and so this album had to be good. Still listen to it today – thanks to your upload. Thank you very much for providing!
    (This link looked lonely….needed a comment!)

  • Willard
    February 27, 2013 - 00:44 | Permalink

    HA! Thanks for the comment, 25th. It DID need one. Many folks don’t remember what it was like to scrounge around for music back in the day. In my case, I was lucky enough to find an original sometime in the very early 70s. In your case, there were so few of them you had to score a bootleg to enjoy it. It’s one of the reasons we hold some of these records so dear, because the quest for them was part of the joy of possession. But, you know how those kids are these day, a Google search and a couple of clicks and it’s all in house. These are good days to acquire music, that’s for sure. But, without the longing, desire and the quest… it’s just not the same, is it? Thanks again.

  • zappahead
    November 14, 2013 - 10:37 | Permalink

    Thanks for putting this little….lost gem? up….A grandmaster at work so many thanks for bringing it back to the fore……haven’t heard it in years so much obliged for making that right…all the very best to you Willard ….cheers.

  • furrball
    December 17, 2013 - 06:54 | Permalink

    I heard a wild story that this was produced by Al Stewart (the *great* Al Stewart :) ). True or booshwah? In any event, thanks for posting it, Sir! :D

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