Editors’ NotesBridge Over Troubled Water marked the end of a lot of things, including the '60s, the partnership of one of the biggest acts of the era, and that duo's reliance on the folk-rock sound they helped invent. But boy did they go out with a bang. The 1970 album is the most ambitious of Simon & Garfunkel's career, in both songwriting and production. Among other things, it prefigures Simon’s knowledge of and affection for international sounds and styles, a toolkit that would serve him well on 1986's Graceland. The Andean folk ensemble Los Incas on "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)," the Afro-inflected polyrhythmic base of "Cecilia," and the Brazilian bossa nova feel of "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" all take Simon & Garfunkel sailing far from their folkie past.
Besides bearing a batch of huge hits that would remain ubiquitous on radio for decades, Simon & Garfunkel's swan song contains a pair of tunes destined to become dyed-in-the-wool American standards. The album's title track is an epic, gospel-swathed ballad of enduring compassion, with Garfunkel’s soaring vocal a tour de force that's widely regarded as his finest moment. "The Boxer," one of the few songs harking back to the duo's earlier sound, is the poignant jeremiad of a young man making his way in the big city; its "lie-la-lie" refrain became as resonant a part of the Simon & Garfunkel legacy as anything. Bridge was one of the era's biggest albums—both its scope and its success set a high bar for Simon's subsequent solo career. Fortunately he'd prove up to the task.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
El Condor Pasa / If I Could
Keep the Customer Satisfied
So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
The Only Living Boy In New York
Why Don't You Write Me
Bye Bye Love
Song for the Asking
11 Songs, 37 Minutes
January 26, 1970
℗ Originally released 1970. All rights reserved by Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
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