It’s been too long since your ears have been at rest… I know my tastes can confuse you, but I regularly allow you to discover nuggets. Yes, Mitch, for you, it’s sometimes horrors, but at least I’m in the offices and the music cradles cats.
In this new section, I will let you discover a song, its story, but especially all the covers I found during my many sleepless nights. We will inaugurate with a song that is ranked 157th in the Rolling Stones magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time: “The Sound of Silence”. A must that rocked my childhood!
The Sound Of Silence is a 1964 song by Simon & Garfunkel. Paul Simon began writing it in 1963 after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He began with music before placing the lyrics on the melody. He finalized the song on February 9, 1964.
The first verses of the song, “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again”, refer to the fact that Simon used to play guitar in his bathroom, whose tile served as a light echo chamber, turning off the light and by pouring the tap because he found that sound soothing.
The duo recorded the song on March 10, 1964, in an acoustic version. She appeared on their first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., released on October 19, 1964, but the album went unnoticed by the audience and this failure led to the separation of the duo. Garfunkel resumed his studies in architecture and Simon moved to London.
In June 1965, Tom Wilson, the producer of the duo’s album, learned that the Sound of Silence was stunned on several radio stations on the east coast of the United States. Folk rock became increasingly popular and Wilson, who just finished recording Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone, is looking for a new hit folk rock song. The producer believes that The Sound of Silence has the potential but finds the song too soft and decides to re-record it in a more muscular, electric version, without even warning Simon and Garfunkel.
This new version was released as a single in September 1965, and began a slow but inexorable progress to the heights of the Billboard Hot 100. Simon is in Denmark when he reads a copy of Billboard and discovers, to his amazement, that The Sound of Silence is ranked 86th. Garfunkel explains to him by phone what happened and the duo is reforming, even though Simon is horrified when he hears the electric version for the first time. Simon and Garfunkel recorded a second album, Sounds of Silence, in December 1965, while the song reached first place on the Billboard Hot 100 in the first week of 1966. The album Sounds of Silence was released on January 17 with the electric version of The Sounds of Silence as the first track. The song brings fame to the duo, which will be confirmed a few months later with the singles Homeward Bound and I Am a Rock.
This song deals with people’s inability to communicate emotionally and has been considered by many as a response to Kennedy’s murder.
|Hello darkness, my old friend|
|I’ve come to talk with you again|
|Because a vision softly creeping|
|Left its seeds while I was sleeping|
|And the vision that was planted in my brain|
|Within the sound of silence|
|In restless dreams I walked alone|
|Narrow streets of cobblestone|
|‘Neath the halo of a street lamp|
|I turned my collar to the cold and damp|
|When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light|
|That split the night|
|And touched the sound of silence|
|And in the naked light I saw|
|Ten thousand people, maybe more|
|People talking without speaking|
|People hearing without listening|
|People writing songs that voices never share|
|And no one dared|
|Disturb the sound of silence|
|“Fools” said I, “You do not know|
|Silence like a cancer grows|
|Hear my words that I might teach you|
|Take my arms that I might reach you”|
|But my words like silent raindrops fell|
|And echoed in the wells, of silence|
|And the people bowed and prayed|
|To the neon god they made|
|And the sign flashed out its warning|
|In the words that it was forming|
|And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls|
|And tenement halls”|
|And whispered in the sounds of silence|
I rediscovered this song with the cover by the vocal band I love, Pentatonix.
This version is made all in power and in low… She puts goosebumps on me every time I hear her.
Julia Westlin (2018)
The job is crazy on this title. Everything is homemade and only with Julia’s voice. It brings a subtlety, a sensitivity that is really interesting.
An original version.
Jemma Jonhson (2015)
An interpretation close to the original and full of subtleties. It’s soothing to hear it.
Korean Version (2018)
Richard Stirton (2016) (The Voice South Africa)
Coagula Solve (2013)
Personally, I’m not a fan. It distorts too much for me, but all tastes are in nature.