PAUL SIMON is the latest writer to be highlighted in Ace Records’ ‘Songwriters Series’ and the lavish 23 tracker underlines just what a contribution the boy from Newark, New Jersey has made to modern popular music.
As you’re probably aware, each album in the ‘Songwriters Series’ is a cross genre collection of recordings from names famous and not so of the chosen writer’s songs. Here, surprisingly, given how we perceive Paul Simon, there are a fair number of soul inclusions – like the Intruders’ ‘Mother and Child Reunion’, Peaches and Herb’s ‘Sound Of Silence’, Smokey Robinson’s ‘Cecilia’, Johnnie and Floyd Taylor’s ‘Take Me To The Mardi Gras’, the Persuasions’ ‘Love Me Like A Rock and Aretha’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ –a song that could have been written for her. You also get Dana Valery’s ‘You Don’t Know Where Your Interest Lies’ – which had more than a few spins at the Wigan Casino! Paul Simon – Northern soul hero… who’d have thought!
Amongst the other featured artists are Cher (‘Homeward Bound’), Emmylou Harris (‘The Boxer’), Annie Lennox (‘Something So Right’) and the always wonderful Willie Nelson with his impeccable version of ‘Graceland’. Amongst personal highlights are the Hollies’ ‘I Am A Rock’ and the Harpers Bizarre version of ‘The 89th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) – a sunshine pop classic and guaranteed to raise a smile on a miserable, wet, Brexit-blighted autumn day!