Tag Archives: Simon & Garfunkel

The Elite Eight: Beatles vs. Simon and Garfunkel and The Mothers of Invention vs. The Mamas and the Papas

23 Mar

Well I guess I should have expected this. A tie. The 5 vs. 12 matchup featuring the Mamas and the Papas debut album vs. The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension was shaping up to be a close Mamas and the Papas victory, but, with a few minutes to spare, the match became tied and stayed tied at 2:30 p.m., when I officially closed the poll (at least in my mind because you can technically still vote). Overtime. I never established how overtime works but I made a call earlier this month that if a match-up was tied I’d bring it down to where the album charted in their respective category using U.S. Billboard rankings (pretty neutral). If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears by The Mamas and the Papas reached the #1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Pop charts. The Byrds reached #24 on the Top LP charts. Yes, not a very accurate way of making this decision, but for the sake of this competition, the five-seed moves on to face another mother in the second Elite Eight match-up.

Before we go on to that, the #1-seed Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, coming off of its commanding victory against Buffalo Springfield, will take on Simon and Garfunkel’s Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme, which pulled off a narrow victory against John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton infused album. These two albums go neck-and-neck in the first match.

#1 Seed: Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys vs. #8 seed: Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme

Can Simon and Garfunkel pull off an upset? If this was Bookends, maybe. While Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme is an excellent album that features some classic Simon and Garfunkel folk, Pet Sounds is true tour de force, an inspirational album that saw a band transform into quasi-psychedelic and master it. I predict another easy victory for the 1-seed and a spot in the final four to face the winner of our next match.

#4 seed: Freak Out by the Mothers of Invention vs. #5 seed: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears by The Mamas and the Papas

This one is tougher to predict. It would seem correct to say that Freak Out should take this one easily since it beat it’s 13-seeded opponent The Soul Album by Otis Redding quite handily. But some might argue that The Mamas and the Papas had a more difficult path with the experienced Byrds and 5D. Interestingly, both albums are debuts. The winner gets this poll’s Kentucky (Pet Sounds) in the next round which will most definitely be a difficult match-up. You have the choice to send one of them there.

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Mrs. Robinson, Are You Trying to Seduce Me?

3 Nov

People of today, Lady Gaga isn’t the first one to push boundaries of what we are willing to accept from our stars in terms of eccentricity.  Elton John started blazing trails of strange looking clothing, obnoxiously large earrings and oversized sunglasses back in the 70s, and his reign as a pop icon has lasted for more than four decades.  Just to give you some perspective on how popular he is, here are some stats I find unbelievable.  He’s sold more than 250 million albums, putting him in the same class as Elvis, the Beatles, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones; those numbers helped by his seven straight number one albums in the US. Oh, in case you weren’t impressed enough, his tribute to Princess Dianna A Candle in the Wind, sold 33 million (THAT’S RIGHT 33 MILLION) copies.  (To put that in perspective, it takes one million copies sold to make a record platinum certified and five million to make it diamond certified.)  He’s still relevant too, check out Elton at the Grammys with Eminem.

They probably consider themselves a folk duo, but Simon and Garfunkel are pretty much everything a pop band should be.  From the folk mold, they sampled acoustic instrumentation, simple harmonies and traditional song structure.  But folk in many cases had become political (like Dylan) or attempted to emulate the common man by sounding like him (like Woodie Guthrie) or was rough around the edges (like Pete Seeger), yet Simon and Garfunkel inherited none of these characteristics.  Their songs are finely polished and record not man at his most weary, but man at a stage of perfection, with graceful harmonies that are caressing enough to put a baby to sleep.

Trivia Answers For the Weary

20 Aug

Give this man some answers! Just to be clear, I did manipulate this cartoon, but all the credit obviously goes to the creator who is listed on the side of the cartoon. Still, this suited dude really does want answers, and how can I possibly say no to the desert businessman? Well, I can’t. How about some answers?

Wait! You have not tried your luck at the questions yet? No fear. Follow this link.

1.) In The Doors’ “Touch Me” Jim Morrison concludes the instrumental at the end with these three words. What are they? And, because this is the easy question, I will provide an audio clue.

“Stronger than dirt.” Yes, that is what Jim Morrison utters at the end of “Touch Me.” But why did Morrison mumble the AJAX advertisement slogan in the song. Were they paid to do it? The Doors, brought to you by AJAX, where you can just touch the dirt right off the shirt. Does Morrison sound like a guy who would have allowed his music to slip into the hands of advertisers? Absolutely, not. Morrison says “Stronger than Dirt” to express his disappointment with his other band members, who apparently were considering an offer from Buick for the use of “Light My Fire” in a commercial. Obviously, Morrison did not approve of this money-making scheme and it fell through. And, because of it all, we get this nice easter egg for trivia questions to be formed around! Every answer choice got a vote, which means that I am doing my job well, and that somebody thought he said “Robbie’s a Jerk” which is kind of funny.

2.) Woodstock, baby. That Jimi Hendrix finish was mind-boggling. But, man, who was the act that went on right before him. Uhh…?

This is one of those questions where you think you should know the answer, but then you realize you have absolutely no clue. The weird thing about this festival was the times when acts went on. Unlike regimented music festivals today, the concert didn’t stop at a reasonable hour. It just went on and on and on. Crosby Still & Nash played at 3:00 a.m., the morning of the last day. The band that opened for Hendrix went on at 7:30 a.m. Hendrix closed the show at 10 a.m., and gave his famous performance to a tired, muddy and dispersed crowd. Who was the band that opened for Hendrix?

Excuse me? The greasers with the corny dance moves? This must be a joke? No, as people woke up after their short power naps, they saw Sha Na Na on stage. I’m sure members of the audience thought that they took the “bad” acid. Sha Na Na performed, and, if it was a doo wop show, it would’ve been looked at as a solid and fun performance. And then it would have been forgotten. But it was WOODSTOCK. Their performance sparked a saying though. He/She was as out of place as Sha Na Na at Woodstock. That pretty much says it all.

3.) Now comes the HARD question. Let’s see if I can stump you guys. Simon and Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” otherwise known as “Feelin’ Groovy” was recorded in August of 1966 with what famous Jazz drummer behind the drum kit in the studio?

I’ll admit it, this question was tough. Like damn near impossible. Unless you are familiar with Jazz drummers or the studio recordings of Simon and Garfunkel songs, then this question was not going to yield an educated guess. The answer, though, is Joe Morello. And, here is a drum solo.

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