A Hazy Shade of Winter
|"A Hazy Shade of Winter"|
|Single by Simon & Garfunkel|
|from the album Bookends|
|B-side||"For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her"|
|Released||October 22, 1966|
|Recorded||September 7, 1966|
Columbia Studio A
(New York City)
|Producer(s)||Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Johnston|
|Simon & Garfunkel singles chronology|
"A Hazy Shade of Winter" is a song by American music duo Simon & Garfunkel, released on October 22, 1966, initially as a stand-alone single, but was subsequently included on the duo's fourth studio album, Bookends (1968). It peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.
"A Hazy Shade of Winter" follows a more rock-tinged sound, with a fairly straightforward verse-refrain structure. The song dates back to Simon's days in England in 1965; it follows a hopeless poet, with "manuscripts of unpublished rhyme", unsure of his achievements in life.
The lyrics recall the transition from fall to winter, as suggested by the repetition of the final chorus of the song:
- I look around,
leaves are brown
And the sky
is a hazy shade of winter
leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground.
|New Zealand (Listener)||14|
|UK Singles Chart||30|
|US Billboard Hot 100||13|
The Bangles version
|"Hazy Shade of Winter"|
|Single by the Bangles|
|from the album Less Than Zero|
12" maxi, CD single
|Label||Def Jam Recordings|
|the Bangles singles chronology|
|"Hazy Shade of Winter"|
"Hazy Shade of Winter" (audio)
In 1987, the Bangles were approached to record a song for the soundtrack of the film Less Than Zero. They chose to record a cover of "A Hazy Shade of Winter", which they had been performing live since at least as far back as March 1983.
Their cover, simply titled "Hazy Shade of Winter", was a harder-edged rock song that removed most of the bridge section. The record, like the rest of the soundtrack album, was produced by Rick Rubin. After a fruitful but disappointing experience with David Kahne, the producer of their Different Light album (they were given little input in the production of the songs) the group decided to take more control for the recording of this song, and they were given an additional producer credit. Michael Steele later commented that "we sounded the most on this record the way we actually sound live" and, "If we hadn't been so messed up as a band, it could have been a turning point for us."
Lead vocals were performed jointly by all four members of the group, with a short solo led by Susanna Hoffs towards the end. This was a rare occurrence in the Bangles songs, as they mostly had just one member singing lead. Due to pressure from their record label, the Bangles removed the verse from the original song that contained the line "drinking my vodka and lime". According to liner notes on the Soundtrack album, Steve Bartek from the band Oingo Boingo played acoustic guitar on the track.
When released as a single in November 1987, "Hazy Shade of Winter" became a huge hit, surpassing the popularity of the original version, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, behind Tiffany's "Could've Been", and also number 11 in the UK. It was also a hit around Europe.
The music video showed the group singing in a studio surrounded by television screens on the walls, similar to a scene of the Less Than Zero film. Scenes of the film also appear throughout the video.
"Hazy Shade of Winter" was not included on any of the group's studio albums, but later appeared on their first official Greatest Hits in 1990, and on many of their subsequent compilations. The accompanying Greatest Hits video compilation did not include the "Hazy Shade of Winter" video, due to complications with the licensing of the movie rights of the Less Than Zero scenes that appear on the video clip.
The song appears during episode two of the Netflix series Stranger Things.
- Weekly charts
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||2|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||37|
|UK Singles Chart||11|
|Ireland Singles Chart||8|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||14|
|Canadian Singles Chart||3|
|Dutch Singles Chart||12|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||7|
|German Singles Chart||52|
Gerard Way version
|"Hazy Shade of Winter"|
|Single by Gerard Way featuring Ray Toro|
|Released||January 24, 2019|
|Gerard Way singles chronology|
|Ray Toro singles chronology|
Gerard Way released a version of "Hazy Shade of Winter" in January 2019 for the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which is based on his comic book of the same name. The track is based on The Bangles' cover, and features fellow My Chemical Romance member Ray Toro on guitar and bass, and Jarrod Alexander on drums.
- Gerard Way – main artist
- Ray Toro – guitar, bass
- Doug McKean – production, record engineering, mixing
- Jarrod Alexander – drums
- Jamie Muhoberac – keyboards
- Ted Jensen – mastering
|Scotland (Official Charts Company)||76|
- Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles at AllMusic. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Fornatale 2007, p. 57.
- Bennighof 2007, p. 40.
- Paul Simon. "A Hazy Shade of Winter". paulsimon.com. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Unterberger, Richie. A Hazy Shade of Winter at AllMusic. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- Fornatale 2007, p. 102.
- Flavour of New Zealand, 10 March 1967
- "Simon And Garfunkel". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- Alfonso, Barry (June 1983). "Put Up or Shut Up Category: No Bobbles by These Bangles". Record. 2 (8): 12.
- "The Bangles: VH1 Behind The Music - Part 3". YouTube. April 7, 2010. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
- "UK Official Charts: Bangles". Official Charts Company. 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 26. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. N.B. The Kent Report chart was licensed by ARIA between 1983 and 19 June 1988.
- "Gerard Way Talks 'The Umbrella Academy' Netflix Series & Why the World is Ready For Superheroes With Demons". Billboard. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- "Gerard Way on Instagram: "This is surreal and exciting and just wild. Getting to cover Hazy Shade of Winter for this with Ray Toro and Jarrod Alexander was so much…"". Instagram. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- "Hazy Shade of Winter (feat. Ray Toro) / Gerard Way". Tidal. January 24, 2019. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
- "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- Bennighof, James (2007). The Words and Music of Paul Simon. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-99163-0.
- Browne, David (2012). Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story Of 1970. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-82072-4.
- Charlesworth, Chris (1997). "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The Complete Guide to the Music of Paul Simon and Simon & Garfunkel. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-7119-5597-4.
- Ebel, Roswitha (2004). Paul Simon: seine Musik, sein Leben [Paul Simon: His Music, His Life] (in German). epubli. ISBN 978-3-937729-00-8.
- Eliot, Marc (2010). Paul Simon: A Life. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-43363-8.
- Fornatale, Pete (2007). Simon and Garfunkel's Bookends. Rodale. ISBN 978-1-59486-427-8.
- Humphries, Patrick (1982). Bookends: The Simon and Garfunkel story. Proteus Books. ISBN 978-0-86276-063-2.
- Kingston, Victoria (2000). Simon & Garfunkel: The Biography. Fromm International. ISBN 978-0-88064-246-0.