Hearts and Bones
|Hearts and Bones|
|Studio album by Paul Simon|
|Released||November 4, 1983|
|Paul Simon chronology|
Hearts and Bones is the sixth solo studio album by Paul Simon. It was released in 1983.
The album was originally intended to be called Think Too Much, but Mo Ostin, president of Warner Bros. Records, persuaded Simon to change it to Hearts and Bones. The album was written and recorded following Simon & Garfunkel's The Concert in Central Park in 1981, and the world tour of 1982-1983. Several songs intended for Think Too Much were previewed on tour, and Art Garfunkel worked on some of the songs with Simon in the studio, with an intention that the finished product would be an all new Simon & Garfunkel studio album. Garfunkel ultimately left the project early on, and none of his contributions were included in the final mix. This was due to a fight between Simon and Garfunkel that ended with Simon taking a month off to digitally remove Garfunkel from the album, note for note.
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The title track is about Simon and his then-girlfriend, Carrie Fisher, traveling through New Mexico ("one and one-half wandering Jews"), and also about love in general. (It is often wrongly assumed that Fisher was his wife at the time of this composition; however, the song is copyrighted 1982 and the couple did not marry until August 1983). The album also contains one of the few songs about numbers — "When Numbers Get Serious", which evokes the beginnings of the Information Age. Also unusual is "Think Too Much", actually two different songs with the same title and chorus line, dealing generally with thinking (and love).
The eighth track, "René and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War", is about the surrealist artist René Magritte and his wife Georgette, and suggests that they secretly admired the music of such doo-wop artists as The Penguins, The Moonglows, The Orioles and The Five Satins. The title derives from a caption to a photograph of the Magrittes, "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog During the War". Simon changed "During" to "After" as it scanned better for the song lyric.
The last track, "The Late Great Johnny Ace", is Simon's homage to John Lennon, who had been murdered shortly before Simon wrote it. The song and its title also wistfully hark back to Johnny Ace, an early rock and roller who died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot to the face. Simon premiered the song during Simon & Garfunkel's reunion concert in Central Park; near the end of the song a fan ran onto the stage. The man was dragged offstage by Simon's personnel. The man can be heard speaking to Simon, "I have to talk to you". The closing music of this track (an instrumental section using strings, clarinet and flute) was written by composer Philip Glass.
Although in 1983 the album was considered a commercial failure and signaled a low point in Simon's career, the passage of time has been kind to the album. It has been re-examined and considered to be one of Simon's more important records and a lyrically strong one. Robert Christgau later referred to the album as being "a finely wrought dead end."
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There were two songs from this album released as singles. The first single with "Allergies" as the A-side and "Think Too Much (b)" as the B-side peaked at #44 in the U.S. Hot 100. The second single failed to chart, this being "Think Too Much (a)" (A-side) and "Song About the Moon" (B-side). (Also, the title track was released as the flipside to "Graceland" in the U.S. in 1986, and as the B-side of "The Boy in the Bubble" elsewhere in the world).
- Side one
- "Allergies" – 4:37
- "Hearts and Bones" – 5:37
- "When Numbers Get Serious" – 3:25
- "Think Too Much (b)" – 2:44
- "Song About the Moon" – 4:07
- Side two
- "Think Too Much (a)" – 3:05
- "Train in the Distance" – 5:11
- "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War" – 3:44
- "Cars Are Cars" – 3:15
- "The Late Great Johnny Ace" – 4:45
- Bonus tracks
11-14 are bonus tracks on the remastered Rhino Records CD-release (July 2004):
- Paul Simon - guitar, programming, vocals
- Rob Mounsey - synthesizer, vocoder
- The Harptones - background vocals
- Bernard Edwards - bass
- Nile Rodgers - guitar, programming
- Airto Moreira - percussion
- Marin Alsop - violin
- Michael Boddicker - synthesizer
- Wells Christy - synthesizer, Synclavier
- Tom Coppola - synthesizer, Synclavier
- Al Di Meola - guitar
- Steve Ferrone - drums
- Steve Gadd - drums
- Eric Gale - guitar
- Anthony Jackson - contrabass guitar
- Jill Jaffe - viola
- Jesse Levy - cello
- Mike Mainieri - marimba, vibraphone,
- George Marge - bass clarinet
- Sid McGinnis - guitar
- Marcus Miller - bass
- Jeff Porcaro - drums
- Dean Parks - guitar
- Greg Phillinganes - Fender Rhodes
- Michael Riesman - synthesizer, conductor
- Mark Rivera - alto saxophone
- Rob Sabino - synthesizer, piano
- Richard Tee - synthesizer, piano, Fender Rhodes,
- Carol Wincenc - flute
- Frederick Zlotkin - cello
- Peter Gordon - French horn
- Dave Matthews - horn arrangements
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- Allmusic review
- Christgau, Robert (January 24, 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
- Rolling Stone review
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- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.