|Studio album by Simon & Garfunkel|
|Released||April 3, 1968|
|Recorded||September 1966, January 1967, June 1967, October 1967 - February 1968|
|Genre||Folk rock, psychedelic folk|
|Producer||Simon & Garfunkel
|Simon & Garfunkel chronology|
The songs of the first side of the album follow a unified concept, exploring a life journey from childhood to old age, while the second side contained unused songs intended for The Graduate soundtrack.
Bookends was a #1 hit on Billboard's (North America) Pop Albums chart, as well as in the UK. Four singles charted: "A Hazy Shade of Winter", "At the Zoo", "Fakin' It" and "Mrs Robinson," which peaked at #13, #16 and #23 and #1, respectively.
|Rolling Stone||(positive) |
- LP: Columbia KCL-2729 (mono)/KCS 9529 (stereo) - This was the last Simon and Garfunkel album to be released in both mono and stereo. The mono version was pressed in a limited quantity and is considered a rare item amongst record collectors. The mono release also has many sonic differences, most noticeably Paul Simon's trailing echo on "Fakin' It". The song has been released on the 1999 CD compilation The Best of Simon and Garfunkel.
- CD: Columbia CK 09529; Remastered CD: Columbia 66003. It was also released on the MFSL Ultradisc CD series.
- The album is also included in its entirety as part of the Simon & Garfunkel box sets Collected Works and The Columbia Studio Recordings (1964–1970).
The first side of the album is musically and thematically unified: it begins (and ends) with the brief guitar piece "Bookends Theme", evoking a "time of innocence", which moves immediately to "Save the Life of My Child" with the sound of a distorted bass synthesizer in the same key, played by co-producer John Simon and set up by Bob Moog himself. The song features vocal asides and sound effects including synthesizer sounds, disjointed choral voices and a sample from their single "The Sound of Silence". This crossfades into "America", a tale of travelling young lovers that contrasts with the estrangement expressed next in "Overs". "Voices of Old People" is as it says, a collection of taped conversations leading into "Old Friends", an idyll of old age with powerful strings and horns, now stark, now sweet, that connect by a single held note to the final, vocal version of the "Bookends Theme". The whole side marks successive stages in life, the theme serving as literal bookends to the life cycle.
The second side features the single "Mrs. Robinson", famous for its inclusion in the film The Graduate and the accompanying soundtrack album. "Overs", "Punky's Dilemma", and "A Hazy Shade of Winter" were also written by Simon for The Graduate soundtrack, but the film's producers rejected them. The song is driven by congas and overdubbed guitar figures. "Fakin' It" and "Punky's Dilemma" also make use of sound effects, percussion loops and an interlude in an English shop featuring the voice of singer Beverley Martyn in the former, background voices and someone stamping downstairs and slamming a door over the walking bass of the latter. "A Hazy Shade of Winter" has an electric rock sound, seguing suddenly into the intimacy of tinkling bells and quiet finger-picking for "At the Zoo".
The record's brevity reflects its concise and perfectionistic production. The team spent over 50 studio hours recording "Punky's Dilemma", for example, and re-recorded vocal parts, sometimes note by note, until they were satisfied. Simon's guitar parts are intricate, percussion is carefully invented and keyboards and electric bass introduced with economy and taste.
A 2001 CD reissue of the album includes two bonus tracks: "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies" (originally issued as a B-side to the "Fakin' It" single) and a demo version of "Old Friends".
The "Bookends Theme" was featured during the opening scene of the film Girl, Interrupted, and "Bookends" in the denouement of the film (500) Days of Summer. The song was also included on the Stacey Kent album The Boy Next Door (2003).
Track listing 
All songs written and composed by Paul Simon, except where noted.
|2.||"Save the Life of My Child"||2:49|
|5.||"Voices of Old People" (Paul Simon/Art Garfunkel)||2:36|
|4.||"A Hazy Shade of Winter"||2:17|
|5.||"At the Zoo"||2:21|
|Bonus Tracks (2001 CD reissue)|
|13.||"You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies"||2:19|
|14.||"Old Friends (Demo)"||2:11|
Chart positions 
|Australian Albums Chart||3|
|French Album Charts||3|
|German Album Charts||40|
|UK Albums Chart||1|
|US Album Charts||1|
- Paul Simon - Vocals, Guitar, Producer
- Art Garfunkel - Vocals, Producer
- Hal Blaine - Drums, Percussion
- Joe Osborn - Bass
- Larry Knechtel - Piano, Keyboards
- John Simon - Production Assistant
- Roy Halee - Producer, Engineer
- Jimmie Haskell - Arranger, Arrangement Preparation
- Bob Johnston - Production Assistant
- Richard Avedon - Cover Photography
- Robert Honablue - Engineer
- [dead link]
- Rolling Stone Review
- Allmusic Review
- Blender (magazine) Review
- Trevor Pinch, Frank Trocco. Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer. Harvard University Press, 2004.]
- Universal Audio Webzine | UA Heritage
- Simon & Garfunkel interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969).
- "Chart Stats - Simon & Garfunkel - Bookends". chartstats.com. Retrieved 5 June 2011.
The Graduate (soundtrack)
by Various artists
|Billboard 200 number-one album
May 25 - June 14, 1968
June 29 - July 26, 1968
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17 August 1968 - 21 September 1968
28 September 1968 - 12 October 1968
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