ARTIST: Paul Simon
TITLE: Paul Simon
YEAR RELEASED: 1972
CHART ACTION: #4 US, #1 UK
SINGLES: Mother and Child Reunion (#4 US, #5 UK), Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (#22 US, #15 UK), Duncan (#52 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Peace Like a River
LINEUP: Paul Simon and 24 other session players and singers.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First authorized solo record for a beloved songwriter and singer expands his style by incorporating some world music motifs, something he’d return to again and again.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Almost two years after he split with Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon released his first solo album. With the lead single “Mother and Child Reunion”, Simon stepped into the world of reggae. On other cuts, Simon explored Brazilian rhythms, and still others were simple, bare acoustic songs. Most all of them are poignant and thoughtful, if not a bit oblique.
Even though you definitely recognize Paul Simon, very few of these songs would really fit into a Simon & Garfunkel record. There’s a liberation about them, and also a sense of ownership.
While the big singles are what most people know, the other songs are touching and varied. Simon came out of the gate strong in his solo career, confirming that the breakup of his beloved duo was the best thing for him as an artist.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He recorded “Mother and Child Reunion” in Jamaica
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, three demos from 1971 as he was putting together the songs.
GRADE: A: The songs are the thing, and almost all are exemplary.