Bookends

Bookends

[book-end]

Bookends is the name of an album and its title track, both recorded by Simon and Garfunkel, released April 3, 1968. It was produced by Paul Simon, Roy Halee and Art Garfunkel.

Bookends was a #1 hit on Billboard's (North America) Pop Albums chart, as well as in the UK. Four singles charted: "A Hazy Shade of Winter," "At the Zoo," "Fakin' It" and "Mrs. Robinson," which peaked at #13, #16 and #23 and #1, respectively.

In 2003, the TV network VH1 named Bookends the 93rd greatest album of all time.

Releases

  • LP: Columbia KCL-2729 (mono)/KCS 9529 (stereo) - This was the last Simon and Garfunkel album to be released in both mono and stereo. The mono version was pressed in a limited quantity and is considered a rare item amongst record collectors. The mono release also has many sonic differences, most noticeably Paul Simon's trailing echo on "Fakin' It." The song has been released on the 1999 CD compilation The Best of Simon and Garfunkel.
  • CD: Columbia CK 09529; Remastered CD: Columbia 66003

The songs

The album begins softly, but takes a heavier turn with the second track, "Save the Life of My Child," which uses the sounds of a distorted synthesizer and is a noted departure from the softer sound that was the signature of the duo. "Save the Life of My Child" also features a sample from their single "The Sounds of Silence." The album also features the single "Mrs. Robinson," which was famous for its inclusion in the film The Graduate.

"Overs," "Punky's Dilemma," and "A Hazy Shade of Winter" were also written by Simon for The Graduate soundtrack, but the film's producers rejected them.

A harder-edged cover of "A Hazy Shade of Winter" was performed by The Bangles for the soundtrack to the 1987 film Less Than Zero. During their 2004 tour, Simon and Garfunkel used a similar sound with electric guitars during their own performances of the song.

A 2001 CD reissue of the album includes two bonus tracks: "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" (originally issued as a B-side to the "Fakin' It" single) and a demo version of "Old Friends."

The "Bookends Theme" was featured during the opening scene of the film Girl, Interrupted.

Track listing

All songs by Paul Simon, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Bookends Theme" (Instrumental) – 0:32
  2. "Save the Life of My Child" – 2:49
  3. "America" – 3:34
  4. "Overs" – 2:14
  5. "Voices of Old People" (Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel) - 2:09
    • An audio collage recorded by Art Garfunkel in various locations in New York and Los Angeles. The original liner notes credit the United Home for Aged Hebrews and the California Home for the Aged at Reseda, where they were likely recorded.
  6. "Old Friends" – 2:36
  7. "Bookends" – 1:16

Side two

  1. "Fakin' It" – 3:14
  2. "Punky's Dilemma" – 2:10
  3. "Mrs. Robinson" – 4:02
  4. "A Hazy Shade of Winter" – 2:17
  5. "At the Zoo" – 2:11

Bonus tracks (2001 CD reissue)

  1. "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" – 2:19
  2. "Old Friends" (Demo)

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1968 Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200) 1

Personnel

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