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My Favorite Paul Simon Tunes

  • Oct 17, 2011
In recognition of Paul Simon's 70th birthday I am presenting a list of my all-time favorite Paul SImon penned tunes. Quite a few of them are from his days with Simon & Garfunkel, many are from his highly creative period in the late 1970's and 1980's as a solo artist and a few are songs that were recorded by other artists. They are presented in no particular order but I must confess that in general I was a bigger fan of Simon & Garfunkel than Paul SImon as a solo artist.  Hope you enjoy the list! 
1
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
A catchy title with very clever lyrics. This is Paul Simon entering his most creative period.
2
Hazy Shade Of Winter
The Bangles had the big hit with this one but I much prefer the Simon & Garfunkel version from late 1966.
3
Hearts and Bones
A clever little ditty that Paul wrote for his then girlfriend Carrie FIsher. Title tune of his fine 1983 album.
4
Homeward Bound
A huge hit for Simon & Garfunkel in 1966.
5
Late In The Evening
A terrific tune from Paul's 1980 album "One Trick Pony".
6
Kodachrome
One of the biggest hits of the summer of '73.
7
America
A stunningly beautiful song about a trip from Michigan to New Jersey. From the 1968 album "Bookends".
8
Red Rubber Ball
Great pop tune that was a huge hit for The Cyrkle in 1966. Co-written by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers.
9
Bridge Over Troubled Water
This haunting and moving ballad proved to be Simon & Garfunkel's biggest hits and is one of Paul Simon's crowning achievements as a songwriter. I have always considered Art Garfunkel's lead on this tune to be the finest vocal performance of the rock and roll era.
See the full review, "Kick back and enjoy one of the great vocal performances in the history of rock and roll.".
10
You Can Call Me Al
From the Grammy award winning album "Graceland". First released as a single in 1986 and then re-released in 1987. Not a huge hit either time but I consider this to be one of his 20 or so best songs ever.
11
I Am A Rock
Another of the memorable singles from the heyday of Simon & Garfunkel in 1966.
12
Still Crazy After All These Years
The title song of Paul Simon's classic 1975 album that won the Grammy for "Album of the Year". Great stuff!
13
The Sound Of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel's debut single on Columbia in 1965 that quickly rose to the top of the charts. People quickly realized that these guys were something pretty special.
14
The Dangling Conversation
Another early Simon & Garfunkel single. This is a tune about a young couple's failure to communicate. I once read that in retrospect that Paul Simon thought the song was dreadful. I respectfully disagee.
15
One-Trick Pony
Yet another title tune from a Paul Simon solo album. This album was released back in 1980 and was moderately successful.
16
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)
Another instance where I preferred the cover to the original. A group called Harper's Bizarre rode this all the way to #2 on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart in 1967.
17
Old Friends
I can remember listening to this song about aging friends when I was a teenager and was especially struck by one line in the song: "How terribly strange to be seventy". It certainly gave you pause to think. Well, the years sure have flown by and Paul SImon just turned 70 and I just turned 60. And two of my closest friends whom I expected to be "sharing a park bench quietly" have already passed away. This has to be one of Simon's best songs ever!
18
Run That Body Down
Here a tune I bet you never heard of. This track appeared in Paul's 1972 debut solo album simply called "Paul Simon" and was the flip side of the single "Duncan" which never really caught on. However, I loved it the very first time I heard it and continue to enjoy it to this day.
19
Mrs. Robinson
From the 1968 motion picture "The Graduate" this song was honored with a par of Grammys as both Record and Song of the Year.
20
Mother and Child Reunion
Paul's debut single after the break-up of Simon & Garfunkel went all the way to #4 in 1972.
21
My Little Town
Simon & Garfunkel reunited briefly in 1975 and recorded "My LIttle Town" with producer Phil Ramone. Although the duo's personal relationship had deteriorated the magic was still there in the studio and the song would be a Top Ten hit.
22
Slip Slidin' Away
One of Simon's biggest hits as a solo act was backed up by then country superstars "The Oak Ridge Boys".
23
The Boxer
From the album "Bridge Over Troubled Water" this anoher of Simon & Garfunkel's best-selling singles from the late 1960's. A terrific tune!
24
Graceland
This was the title track to Paul Simon's Grammy Award winning album back in 1986. The song was honored as "Record of the Year"
25
Cecilia
Simon & Garfunkel's last big single before their breakup in 1971.
26
At The Zoo
Since I always loved this song I feel I would be remiss if I left it off the list. A big hit single back in 1967.
27
Keep The Customer Satisfied
This driving tune from "Bridge Over Troubled Water" highlights just how great Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sounded together.

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Post a Comment
October 20, 2011
Great list, Paul! My favorites are all on this list except Scarborough Fair/Canticle- though he didn't write that song (traditional English folk song), it's still my favorite Simon and Garfunkel tune.
 
October 18, 2011
I've heard most if not all of these great songs.
 
1
About the list creator
Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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