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Paul Simon — The Sound of Silence
Album: Concert In The Park
Avg rating:
7.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 862









Released: 1991
Length: 5:26
Plays (last 30 days): 0
(no lyrics available)
Comments (218)add comment
Love the song, but the studio version is far superior to this live version IMHO
I have always held a certain reverence for this song and in comparison to that interpretation, this seems almost flippant. But, it's just me...
 Randomax wrote:
Great song but this version is so lackluster...still, what a concert!!
 
it was awesome!
I was so far back I didn't even know there was a jumbotron. 
One of the great ballads ever, when done by S&G.  This is barely acceptable.  Sad, like watching Willie Mays play for the Mets.  Be creative or be gone, Paul.  {#Moon}

This is such a timeless piece of music
I feel quite blessed to have experienced the Paul Simon era in my life. Truly, a poet of our times.
I don't care about the politics or the schism between Simon and Garfunkel when this was done. I love the simplicity of it, and the pure, unadorned vocal of Paul Simon. Had Garfunkel been there, I'm sure at that time there would have been a definite edge, but it didn't happen. It is what it is. And I love what it is.
Makes me miss Artie.  Still, it's a great song.
I adore S&G but this version is somewhat of a letdown after Cloud Cult!

Paul Simon and Willie Nelson - Homeward Bound, Live  (2003)

"Beautiful. Two men, one soul. "


Great song but this version is so lackluster...still, what a concert!!
A great song, but the definitive version is from "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM", before the guitars and drums were dubbed in. I'm not as fond of this live version.
 gjeeg wrote:
Artie was watching this concert from his lofty perch in some Central Park West penthouse, reading the dictionary from front to back.
He was not invited.  Or maybe he was walking across America. I'm not sure.
 
He actually left the city.
Man, I was so far back in the park for this, I couldn't even see the jumbotron. 
{#Meditate}

Artie was watching this concert from his lofty perch in some Central Park West penthouse, reading the dictionary from front to back.
He was not invited.  Or maybe he was walking across America. I'm not sure.
 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Guy you yelled "SING IT!" ——> douche
 
Maybe because Paul isn't singing it. Not compared to his old sidekick. More like some sort of "folk rap".
crap. 
Nice!!
 jnhashmi wrote:
The story on Paul Simon's "iTunes Originals" about this song becoming a hit gives me the chills, it's a great story, told in minute detail (like how he covered the Billboard magazine chart with a piece of paper so he could reveal each song one by one to see if Sounds of Silence was on it.) He describes the exact moment when he knew his life was changed forever, and his destiny as a professional musician was set.
 
Besides the great music, this type of insight is why I listen to RP

Big fat 10! I love the song and the City!
 baltimorelovejoy wrote:
Guy you yelled "SING IT!" ——> douche
 
I think that was Art - standing offstage.

 guiguy wrote:
Stripped down, broken down to haiku, cheers of silent joy.
 
{#Clap}

Stripped down, broken down to haiku, cheers of silent joy.
The first line of this sounded like George Bush trying  to do an imitation of Paul Simon.


love it...


I was sad to read that Los Lobos accused Simon of stealing their song and putting it on Graceland with no "joint writing credit".  More on the story?  Click HERE.
I love this song, but I dont like this version at all.  I cant put my finger on it, but the way Paul enunciates, he sounds like he's on an SNL skit or something.  Or the way I would sing it if I were making fun of it.
I've long considered this show in general to be one of the truly great musical accomplishments.  10, easy.
Guy you yelled "SING IT!" ——> douche
WOOOOOW - my 10!

DEFINITELY and for more than just one reason...!
Just love this version.
 siandbeth wrote:

Not enough cowbell, for sure.
 

{#Lol}
I guess this is another case of "you had to be there", as with most live recordings. The song is indestructable though, so even this version gets a 7 despite the lacking vocals and the noise from the audience.

I like this version better than the hippie version.
 michaelgmitchell wrote:
 jnhashmi wrote:
The story on Paul Simon's "iTunes Originals" about this song becoming a hit gives me the chills, it's a great story, told in minute detail (like how he covered the Billboard magazine chart with a piece of paper so he could reveal each song one by one to see if Sounds of Silence was on it.) He describes the exact moment when he knew his life was changed forever, and his destiny as a professional musician was set.
 Thanks for this.  Interesting note.  Look at that cover.  Look at that crowd.  Think about this little folk tune keeping that massive crowd mesmerized.  Stuff from legends.  I'm lucky to have lived in his lifetime.
 
What a nice thing to say! Ol' Paul has been entertaining me my whole life. His song "Loves Me Like A Rock" was the first song I learned to play on the guitar. I also feel that we are lucky to have had artists of his magnitude. Pax vobiscum. {#Wave}
May not have been 40 years ago, but still most-decent!  {#Bananajumprope}

Happy Birthday to Apple!!
 billbangert wrote:
I normally go postal when Bill plays S & G, but this I like because we haven't heard this version of this song for forty years.
 
Forty years?  Dude, the date of the concert is on the album cover.

 jnhashmi wrote:
The story on Paul Simon's "iTunes Originals" about this song becoming a hit gives me the chills, it's a great story, told in minute detail (like how he covered the Billboard magazine chart with a piece of paper so he could reveal each song one by one to see if Sounds of Silence was on it.) He describes the exact moment when he knew his life was changed forever, and his destiny as a professional musician was set.
 Thanks for this.  Interesting note.  Look at that cover.  Look at that crowd.  Think about this little folk tune keeping that massive crowd mesmerized.  Stuff from legends.  I'm lucky to have lived in his lifetime.


{#Notworthy}
Thanks for the fantastic birthday gift...wish I would have known earlier.
 TheFriendlyCat wrote:
Ah, I hate to say it but I am highly disappointed in this version compared to the original w/ Garfunkel. This one's suffering from less interesting vocals and bad arrangment in my opinion. Only a six, and thats for the lyrics and original genius.
 
My sentiments exactly.  This version just doesn't do it for me somehow.  Still, an amazing song.

The story on Paul Simon's "iTunes Originals" about this song becoming a hit gives me the chills, it's a great story, told in minute detail (like how he covered the Billboard magazine chart with a piece of paper so he could reveal each song one by one to see if Sounds of Silence was on it.) He describes the exact moment when he knew his life was changed forever, and his destiny as a professional musician was set.
lester wrote:
I would disagree. He failed to keep quiet a gaggle of drunks in a park (though a pretty tall order, you'd have to admit).
yeah, ironic that it's a song about silence. SILENCE !! HELL YEEEEAH!!
I normally go postal when Bill plays S & G, but this I like because we haven't heard this version of this song for forty years.
gjeeg wrote:
There was never a song less suited to a stadium rock rendition.
Not enough cowbell, for sure.
kcar wrote:
BTW--Has Art Garfunkel finally tired of bullying Paul Simon into periodic reunion concerts and tours? Art should find someone else to write lyrics for him or just hang it up.
Check out "Everything Waits to Be Noticed", a 2002 recording where Garfunkel collaborates with Maia Sharp & Buddy Mondlock. Very beautiful recording, imo.
sfListener wrote:
gjeeg wrote:
There was never a song less suited to a stadium rock rendition.
And only Paul can make it work.
I would disagree. He failed to keep quiet a gaggle of drunks in a park (though a pretty tall order, you'd have to admit).
TheFriendlyCat wrote:
Ah, I hate to say it but I am highly disappointed in this version compared to the original w/ Garfunkel. This one's suffering from less interesting vocals and bad arrangment in my opinion. Only a six, and thats for the lyrics and original genius.
BTW--Has Art Garfunkel finally tired of bullying Paul Simon into periodic reunion concerts and tours? Art should find someone else to write lyrics for him or just hang it up.
gjeeg wrote:
There was never a song less suited to a stadium rock rendition.
And only Paul can make it work.
There was never a song less suited to a stadium rock rendition.
TheFriendlyCat wrote:
Ah, I hate to say it but I am highly disappointed in this version compared to the original w/ Garfunkel. This one's suffering from less interesting vocals and bad arrangment in my opinion. Only a six, and thats for the lyrics and original genius.
far from it! in my opinion this version has more "soul". this version gives me the creeps, especially at "in the naked light i saw...".
Ah, I hate to say it but I am highly disappointed in this version compared to the original w/ Garfunkel. This one's suffering from less interesting vocals and bad arrangment in my opinion. Only a six, and thats for the lyrics and original genius.
Interesting discussion about crowd noise. I agree that this recording would be better off without it (especailly the clapping along...to this song!!?). I especially hate when, listening to a live recording, the audience screaming at the end all of a sudden gets really loud and I have to rush to turn it down. But sometimes it really gives me a chill to hear and feel the audience's reaction during a live show. It can convey some of the energy of a live performance and the peaks of a really intense song.
I hate recorded crowd noise. Ruins a nice song for me.
very ironic rendition.... redtex wrote:
Maybe some "people hearing without listening"?
If I must hear this song, I much prefer to hear this version. The original, as well as Bridge Over Troubled Waters, just didn't sit well with me back then. Nor now, for that matter. Kind of like The Turtles' Happy Together, though I'd dig that if I were at a Flo & Eddie concert and they were camping it up, ala Zappa's Live at the Fillmore.
mark93 wrote:
....the crowd applauds wildly? Without apparently realizing how the lyrics are about to describe them?...
Maybe some "people hearing without listening"?
LizDeines wrote:
I think this is the prettiest version I've heard, besides the annoying audience.
And add this irony, contributed by Mark93: Am I the only one who finds it incredibly creepy that when (on either version) Paul&Artie/just Paul sing/s "and in the naked light I saw, 10,000 people maybe more..." the crowd applauds wildly? Without apparently realizing how the lyrics are about to describe them? Very good observation! :whipit: :whisper: :yes: :doh: There needs to be an icon for "trying to laugh silently at my desk while my upper body shakes"! Thanks, Mark, you really gave me a chuckle/guffaw!
I agree!!! My favourite crowd reaction on a live recording is on Dylan/The Band's Before the Flood, when Dylan does the 'even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked' line in It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding).
WHat a strange technological achievement: this intimate song being broadcast over about a million people.
Hannio wrote:
It's like when the audience goes wild when Neil Young sings "every junkie's like a setting sun". That line should invoke horror, not cheering.
My favourite crowd reaction on a live recording is on Dylan/The Band's Before the Flood, when Dylan does the 'even the President of the United States sometimes must have to stand naked' line in It's Alright Ma (I'm Olnly Bleeding).
hcaudill wrote:
Must they clap in rhythm? I hate that, even if I'm in the crowd. On a recording, it's unbearable. Give me the studio version any day.
:iamwithstupid:
I'm supposed to be going somewhere; but with the wonderful playlist this morning, I'm finding it difficult to leave my desk!
meydele wrote:
Sometimes I am more horrified than appreciative of live versions (even making allowance for the fact the musicians must be sick of singing the same song over and over and are looking for new ways to play the same old thing) but this is a really excellent reworking of the standard.
It seems I can't be silent! If you actually experienced a live show (Brisbane, 'Saints' world tour) where 5 percussion players and numerous other fine players rocked us silly, and Mr Simon introduced lesser known soloists to take the stage (without him) then perhaps you would not spend time speculating on what musicians do and think.
mark93 wrote:
Am I the only one who finds it incredibly creepy that when (on either version) Paul&Artie/just Paul sing/s "and in the naked light I saw, 10,000 people maybe more..." the crowd applauds wildly? Without apparently realizing how the lyrics are about to describe them? That's driven me nuts for years.
It's like when the audience goes wild when Neil Young sings "every junkie's like a setting sun". That line should invoke horror, not cheering.
LizDeines wrote:
I think this is the prettiest version I've heard, besides the annoying audience.
I liked the audience, at least you didn't have to hear them try to sing along :p
Without Art Garfunkel it only rates a 9. Sorry Mr. Simon, but Art's voice was a bigger part of the act than your ego would admit. c.
I think this is the prettiest version I've heard, besides the annoying audience.
Paul's voice warms my heart.
Must they clap in rhythm? I hate that, even if I'm in the crowd. On a recording, it's unbearable. Give me the studio version any day.
fredriley wrote:
I don't get the hype about Paul Simon, I really don't. A good singer/songwrite right enough, but his best work was back in the S&G days and since then all he's done is rip off - sorry, pay homage to - other musical styles, particularly Cuban and African music. I've heard this particular number so many times, none of them voluntary, that I can sing the blasted lyrics in my mind, and it grates. Or maybe it's Monday morning and I'm just being a grump... ;-
...with a hangover. Take 187 paracetamol and ring me in the morning
Sometimes I am more horrified than appreciative of live versions (even making allowance for the fact the musicians must be sick of singing the same song over and over and are looking for new ways to play the same old thing) but this is a really excellent reworking of the standard.
9 for the song, not the singer :music:
fredriley wrote:
I don't get the hype about Paul Simon, I really don't. A good singer/songwrite right enough, but his best work was back in the S&G days and since then all he's done is rip off - sorry, pay homage to - other musical styles, particularly Cuban and African music. I've heard this particular number so many times, none of them voluntary, that I can sing the blasted lyrics in my mind, and it grates. Or maybe it's Monday morning and I'm just being a grump... ;-
Certainly he's done a few explorations into other styles, but I really don't think you give him proper credit. He is extremely creative, Rhymin' Simon', Graceland, and the latest cd "Suprise" is wonderful.
A pint for the DJ!
timrd wrote:
Song sounds best when you play it LOUD and have a beer in hand.
That makes just about any song sound better. :drunk:
Timeless.
Hello darkness ... my old friend
squidish wrote:
Dang, that's a lotta folks in that there park.
there were blankets spread out on the grass like at a festival. there were a lot of people but it wasn't everyone standing next to eachother. the picture kinda looks like that.
Makes me wish I had been there.
Vacals remind me of Roy Buchannan.
Dang, that's a lotta folks in that there park.
boober wrote:
ORIGINAL VERSION....10 THIS VERSION.........8
And I see it hard to feel slandered to recieve an 8.
I love the lead in on this one
cattgirl813 wrote:
I agree. The harmony makes the song. Still, I love the guitars and the spareness of the accompaniment.
I,m not a fan of the bass at all. It feels disjointed. I do love this song, but not a fan of this version. 5
mark93 wrote:
Am I the only one who finds it incredibly creepy that when (on either version) Paul&Artie/just Paul sing/s "and in the naked light I saw, 10,000 people maybe more..." the crowd applauds wildly? Without apparently realizing how the lyrics are about to describe them? That's driven me nuts for years.
I realized but I still cheered wildly, waiting for that line..... such is life, it was fun, we were a big crowd.
artmarcia wrote:
Love this song--but it's even better with Garfunkel.
I agree. The harmony makes the song. Still, I love the guitars and the spareness of the accompaniment.
I love this song even more live...love the guitar in the beginning. Had a mix cd made last year and this was #1 on the track. Song sounds best when you play it LOUD and have a beer in hand.
Am I the only one who finds it incredibly creepy that when (on either version) Paul&Artie/just Paul sing/s "and in the naked light I saw, 10,000 people maybe more..." the crowd applauds wildly? Without apparently realizing how the lyrics are about to describe them? That's driven me nuts for years.
If I'd only two 10s to give, this would be one of them. Version with Artie would be the other one.
ORIGINAL VERSION....10 THIS VERSION.........8
If I had to choose an all time favorite song, this would be it. Ten all the way.
great album, great artist
TRUELY one of the best songs Neil Finn never wrote! Ultimate harmonies! 10+ stars! Godlike! Stingray!
nice slow version without the harmonies with what's-his-name :neutral:
baboo is quite right. I love RP.
I don't get the hype about Paul Simon, I really don't. A good singer/songwrite right enough, but his best work was back in the S&G days and since then all he's done is rip off - sorry, pay homage to - other musical styles, particularly Cuban and African music. I've heard this particular number so many times, none of them voluntary, that I can sing the blasted lyrics in my mind, and it grates. Or maybe it's Monday morning and I'm just being a grump... ;-\
Interesting twist. I love it when artists do this type of thing. There are an infinite number of ways to approach, manipulate, and tweak a piece of music, all of which would be equally valid. That said, I prefer that unique and mysterious atmosphere the original gives off.
the original is old & tired...this is much better
classic! good choice billy... :bounce:
zipper wrote:
well put. Seconded or thirded or whatever count we're on now.
It's not the original and never will be the orginal, but this version has charm all its own...unique, refreshing...differnet enough to stand on its own...somehow more melodic.
I want the original. :cry: Hearing this makes me sad how old everyone's getting. Give me the movie "The Graduate"! This version is just pandering to ageing Paul Simon groupies.
Pure ten. :notworthy:
R.I.P. Art.... Wait, he's not dead?!? Well why the hell would you play this without him then?
liser wrote:
This is from 1991 - just how old are you, anyway? (;
Okay, okay, I didn't double-check the date. I would have been 8. My family's road trip to NYC wasn't until 1997.
wondertoofar wrote:
Paul without Art is not art.
well put. Seconded or thirded or whatever count we're on now.
I would love to hear him sing this live someday..:good-vibes:
wow this is so beautiful live :)
Love this song--but it's even better with Garfunkel.
supremo wrote:
I'd never really listened to the lyrics to this song, maybe because of how profound the music itself is. They're amazing too: https://www.songmeanings.net/lyric.php?lid=7354
Me too! Even more beautiful song than I first thought! Timeless! :clap:
Franlrc wrote:
I don't understand why everyone is bashing this. I think Paul did a great job and his voice showed a lot of improvement, technique and gentle subtlety at this juncture in his career. Sure Artie is the real singer of the group but hey, the words are wonderful too. This was my favorite song in the 1960's and I don't resent this version at all. As for the reason that people cheered at the line re "10,000 people" was not due to ignorance as to the next words but an acknowledgement of the fact that there was a huge crowd at the Park. It is probably because the concert was in an open meadow where you could have had "10,000 people, maybe more". If I'd been there in 1991, I would've cheered at at the line "10,000 people" too (and probably at other lines in other songs!)
Not sure I would have cheered, but possibly. Otherwise I agree with about everything you said here. I generally don't care too much for live versions of songs, but I like this interpretation. He wrote this song decades ago; he has changed some and saw fit to change the song some, not the words but the nuances. He grew, we've grown. I have to say I like this version as much as the earlier studio version.
Fabulous! And what a terrific version. Love it.
Man the sound of silence would be better than this.
Did he do this song last? Because it sounds like he just wants to get out of there.
Freebird ! I wuz there!
UltraNurd wrote:
I strongly prefer the original. Plus, I don't like crowd noise. If I wanted to hear it live, I would have been born long enough ago to go ;o).
This is from 1991 - just how old are you, anyway? (;
wondertoofar wrote:
Paul without Art is not art.
No Kidding....
Paul without Art is not art.
thewiseking wrote:
damn, dont you hate when a bunch of white boomers in the crowd with absolutely no sense of rhythm start clapping during a performance. it rushes the tempo and utterly destroys it for me. thats one reason why live albums so often suck.
Yeah, why clap to this? Did you smoke too much cheap weed? It'd be cool -- it's not so much that I miss Art necessarily because this is an interesting and sensitive rendition, but I did find myself singing the harmony.
UltraNurd wrote:
I strongly prefer the original. Plus, I don't like crowd noise. If I wanted to hear it live, I would have been born long enough ago to go ;o).
Yeah, I need to hear Art Garfunkel's voice and no crowd. It just doesn't have the power-it sounds more like a resigned, depressed, defeated person.
ruthless wrote:
LOVE this version. Quite a sensitve rendition.
Yep, that intro is spectacular. I would have liked to hear it.
I strongly prefer the original. Plus, I don't like crowd noise. If I wanted to hear it live, I would have been born long enough ago to go ;o).