Fakin' It (Simon & Garfunkel song)
|Single by Simon & Garfunkel|
|from the album Bookends|
|B-side||"You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies"|
|Released||July 7, 1967|
Columbia Studio A
(New York City)
|Simon & Garfunkel singles chronology|
Shortly before production began in earnest on Simon & Garfunkel's fourth LP, Bookends, Paul Simon hit a dry spell in his writing. Amid concerns for Simon's idleness, Columbia Records chairman Clive Davis arranged for up-and-coming record producer John Simon to kick-start the recording.
His first session with the group was for "Fakin' It" in June 1967. The duo were signed under an older contract that specified the label pay for sessions ("As a folk duo, how much could recording costs be?" said John Simon). Simon & Garfunkel took advantage of this indulgence, hiring viola and brass players, as well as percussionists. When the viola players arrived, the duo were so taken with the sound of the musicians tuning their instruments before recording that they spent nearly all night (at Columbia's expense) trying to find the random sound.
In "Fakin' It", melodies are occasionally deleted to suit lyrics, but the song generally follows a similar chord structure and melodic outline over a "funky rock beat" that sonically references the Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows". The song opens with an "unearthly rhythmic sound" (that some critics felt owed a debt to the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever") that was an example of Simon & Garfunkel's desire to push the limits of studio recording. Near the middle of the song is a brief spoken word vignette featuring a British woman entering a tailor shop and greeting the owner: "Good morning, Mr. Leitch. Have you had a busy day?" The woman performing was singer Beverley Martyn, who was friends with singer-songwriter Donovan. Donovan's last name was Leitch, hence the name's use in the song. The line arose from an occasion in which Simon was wondering what his occupation would be had he been born a century earlier; he settled on the idea that he may have been a tailor, and likely from Vienna or Hungary, as that is where his ancestors migrated from. Simon's father revealed to him later that, coincidentally, his grandfather was a tailor named also named Paul from Vienna.
"Fakin' It" was issued as a single that summer and found only modest success on AM radio; the duo were much more focused on the rising FM format, which played album cuts and treated their music with respect. The running time of the song was actually 3 minutes and 14 seconds. Radio stations at the time resisted playing songs lasting longer than three minutes, so Paul Simon had the time "faked" to read 2:74 on the label.
|US Billboard Hot 100||23|
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