Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Simon & Garfunkel - Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.

Album: Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.
Artist: Simon & Garfunkel
Release: October 19, 1964

Perhaps the greatest gift an artist can give us is the gift of music.  I don't necessarily mean their own music (although, that is a precious gift to be sure), but the music that inspires them.  The music they listen to.  It not only gives us something new (and possibly awesome) to listen to; it also gives us some insight into where they're coming from as musicians. 

So you have to love it when you go to a live show expecting to hear that artist's music and then he gives you 3 other (classic) artists' music too!!  And that's exactly what happened at the last show I went to.  That's how my interest in Simon and Garfunkel was stirred.  They (him and him) did an amazing acoustic version of "The Boxer" that inspired me to go find the original and partake in the awesome.  I was so blown away by it that I've decided to start at the beginning and take the full Simon and Garfunkel trip.  I've been a fan of "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon forever (love, love, love that little bass line in the middle) - but this music is much, MUCH different from that.

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was their debut album which, thanks in large part to at little band called The Beatles busting out in the U.S. at about the same time, saw little commercial success.  It took a couple years for people to really come around to appreciating their music (seems like that happens to some of the best albums).  This one is kind of a mix of gospel and folk music.  Personally, I could do without the gospel-feeling songs being as I don't exactly believe in them and therefore am not really inspired by them.  But I have to admit, there is something simply hypnotic about "Benedictus".  It kind of makes me wish that I wanted to go to church. 

This is not one of those albums (and "The Boxer" is not one of those I think it might be a Simon and Garfunkel thing) that you can listen to in passing and really appreciate it.  You can't let it bounce off of you, you have to let it soak in.  Ear buds and dark rooms were made for this kind of music.  Listening to this record felt like having my head underwater in a hot bathtub.  The music and the vocals come together to just fill up all the spaces.  I'm not sure everyone on earth would love this record, but I should think that everyone could at least appreciate the raw talent and brilliance that was involved in creating this sound 48 years ago.

I thought I would have to approach this album with my mind full of the social climate in 1964 in order to really appreciate it.  But as I laid in bed last night listening to it, I realized that perhaps the world we live in now is not so different from the one these songs were written in.

"He Was My Brother", a song about a soldier lost in war could easily be written today.  And if this song doesn't make you break out in cold chills then you need to check your pulse.  Another timely tune on this record is "The Sound of Silence".  Even if you think you don't know any Simon and Garfunkel, you know this song.  It's the one that starts out, "Hello, Darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again."  It's a beautiful song.  They're all beautiful songs.  Paul Simon's songwriting is genius and Art Garfunkel's voice is enchanting and together, it's just magic.


  1. Great post. I am a BIG Simon & Garfunkel fan!

  2. Thanks! So far I just have this one and "The Boxer", but I intend to get them all over time. So there will definitely be more S&G posts!