Sunday, May 5, 2013

there goes rhymin' simon

Paul Simon hit his solo stride with the confident and eclectic stylistic mix of this sparkling and savory sophomore spread.  Building on the success of his eponymous solo debutSimon brings in elements of gospel, jazz, and soul for the follow-up.  'There Goes Rhymin' Simon' was recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; Malaco Recording Studios in Jackson, Mississippi; and Morgan Studios in London with production by Paul Simon, Phil Ramone, Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Paul Samwell-Smith, and Roy Halee.  The sessions featured Paul Simon on vocals and guitar; Pete Carr on guitar and electric guitar; Jimmy Johnson on electric guitar; Cornell Dupree, Alexander Gafa, David Spinozza, and Jerry Puckett on guitar; David Hood, Gordon Edwards, Bob Cranshaw, and Vernie Robbins on bass guitar; Richard Davis on double bass; Barry Beckett on keyboard, piano, and vibraphone; Paul Griffin and Bobby Scott on piano; Bobby James on keyboard; Carson Witsett on organ; Don Elliott on vibraphone; Roger Hawkins, Rick Marotta, Grady Tate, and James Straud on drums; Airto Moreira on percussion; The Onward Brass Band on horns; The Dixie Hummingbirds on group vocals; Rev. Claude Jeter on falsetto vocals; Maggie and Terre Roche on backing vocals; Allen Toussaint on horn arrangements; and Quincy Jones and Del Newman on string arrangements.  

Simon mused:   "I believe it's no good to talk about your songs; it's wrong. You should leave your songs alone and let them say what they say; let people take what they want from them.  All I try to do in the songs is write about the world that I'm in, and I try to do it honestly. But it's not good to explain. If they were meant to be explained then they wouldn't be written...I think my songs are lyrically...grown-up, you know?  I've seen some reviews of [There Goes Rhymin 'Simon] where they say it's disillusioned or bitter, but I strongly don't feel that it is--nor do I feel that I am.  I think that those guys, those songwriters who grew up in rock and roll and were prominent in the 1960's have to keep writing about their lives as they reach their thirties...One of the big things that revitalized popular music in the 1960's was the Beatles, who came around and wrote the truth when the lyrics were still based on a 1950's mentality of 'We're not too young to fall in love' and shit like that. The Beatles wrote about their age. That's what I'm doing. I can't stay writing the same lyrics I wrote when I was twenty-three...So much of what I hear on the radio is boring.  I think part of the reason is because it's not real. It may be real-- maybe--if you're eighteen, but not if you're thirty. People thirty years old wonder why they're not getting off on popular music the way they once did, and it's because nobody's singing for them. When you reach a certain age you're not naive anymore. Everything I write can't be a philosophical truth, but it certainly isn't innocent--because I'm not. Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following you right on up until you die." 

'There Goes Rhymin' Simon' went to number seventeen in Finland; ten in Japan; seven in Australia; six in Norway; five in France; four in the UK; three in Canada; two in the US; and number one in Spain and Sweden.  

'There Goes Rhymin' Simon'
full album:

All songs were written by Paul Simon. The melody of "American Tune" was almost note-for-note written by Johann Sebastian Bach (St Matthew Passion), who was not credited on the album. In turn, Bach had imitated the melody of Mein G'mueth ist mir verwirret by Hans Leo Hassler.

Side one
"Kodachrome" – 3:32
"Tenderness" – 2:53
"Take Me to the Mardi Gras" – 3:27
"Something So Right" – 4:33
"One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor" – 3:44
Side two
"American Tune" – 3:43
"Was a Sunny Day" – 3:41
"Learn How to Fall" – 2:44
"St. Judy's Comet" – 3:19
"Loves Me Like a Rock" – 3:31

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