Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paul Simon in Concert: LIVE RHYMIN'

Paul Simon in Concert: Live Rhymin' is a live album by Paul Simon, released in March 1974 by Columbia Records.  It was recorded during Simon's 1973-74 tour in the wake of the release of There Goes Rhymin' Simon – which produced a number of hit singles ("Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like a Rock") and radio staples (as "Something So Right" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras").  However, the album presents a very truncated version of the concerts he performed on this tour, which consisted of up to 24 songs.  The album fails to note where the performances were recorded, although according to liner notes in a later Simon compilation, "Duncan" is from a London concert and "American Tune" was recorded in New York City.  Simon was joined by Urubamba and the Jessy Dixon Singers, although the individual members are not identified either on the recording or on the liner notes.

In addition to "Jesus Is the Answer", included on the album, Jessy Dixon also performed "What Do They Call Him" on tour, while Urubamba performed the instrumentals "Kacharpari" and "Death in Santa Cruz."  The album was Simon's first live release and showed him performing Simon & Garfunkel songs solo in concert for the first time.  The variety of songs and richness of styles helped with the album's appeal. Most notable was Simon's fascination with gospel, something that materialized in the arrangements on many of the songs, taking distance from Simon's classical folk early style.  Near the end of the album, an audience member calls out for Simon to "say a few words." He replies: "Say a few words? Well, let's hope that we continue to live."  The album was a moderate success.  It reached #33 in the US and was eventually certified gold by the RIAA.  However, it failed to chart at all in the UK. Further, two of the live performances were released as a single as part of the promotion for the album: the breakthrough Simon & Garfunkel "The Sound of Silence" as the A-side, along with Simon's debut single "Mother and Child Reunion" on the B-side.

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