Simon & Garfunkel – A Paris 1970 (Jack Of Hearts JOH 05)

A Paris 1970 (Jack Of Hearts JOH 05)

Paris, France – May, 1970 

(48:12):  Homeward Bound, The Boxer, Fakin’ It, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), Silver Haired Daddy, I Am A Rock, For Emily Whenever I May Find Her, Anji, Scarborough Fair, Mrs. Robinson, Leaves That Are Green, America, So Long Frank Lloyd Wright, Lightening Express, Song For The Asking, A Poem On The Underground Wall

When this Simon & Garfunkel soundboard fragment first surfaced it contained fifteen track but a subsequent version added a sixteenth song.  Commonly called So Long, Artie, this comes from the final tour before they broke up in 1970.  It is attributed to Paris although nobody seems to know the date or the venue of the recording.  It is still incomplete however.  Compared to the more well known May 21st Holland show, Paris is missing “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Sounds Of Silence,” “Bye Bye Love” and “Old Friends/Bookends.”   The recording is a very clear and detailed soundboard recording with nice balance of the voices, guitar, and audience reactions to the performance on stage.  Jack Of Hearts did a commendable job on the transfer to silver although they left little bumps between some of the tracks which could have easily been omitted. 

Since the sound is only the voices with Simon’s guitar, the tape is good at conveying the intimacy of the performance between both the artists and the audience who listen attentatively throughout the show (with a few whoops the exception).  “Homeward Bound” is the opener which, given the subject matter, is ironic.  It is almost as if they’re saying they don’t want to be in Paris performing for the fans but would rather be home.  Perhaps that is reading too much into it and the appeal is much more universal.

After the breezy “59th Street Bridge Song” they cover Gene Autry’s “Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine” quite faithfully.  In the middle of the set both take their solo spots.  Garfunkel sings “For Emily Whenever I May Find Her” solo.  Simon covers Davey Graham’s “Anji” with a hint of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” thrown in, probably in commemoration since this is right around the time The Beatles announced their break up.

“Scarborough Fair” is haunting and an excellent example of their “healing harmonies.”  After an excellent “Leaves That Are Green” they perform “Lightning Express,” a country/western tune they covered on tour.  This is the only known recording of Simon & Garfunkel performing this song.  It is a shame the complete concert has not surfaced since, given the overall quality of the performance the final four numbers probably are excellent.  Nevertheless A Paris 1970 is a nicely produced title which is worth having for the collection.  The little bumps between tracks are a sight distraction, but really not enough to detract from enjoying the show.   

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