Bridge Over Troubled Water [40th Anniversary Edition] [CD/DVD]

by: Simon & Garfunkel

The massive commercial success of Bridge Over Troubled Water -- it topped the charts for ten weeks, won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, included four hit singles, and has sold more than five million copies in the U.S. -- tends to exaggerate its significance in the Simon & Garfunkel catalog. Actually, it's a step down from the masterpiece of Bookends, containing some filler, such as the comic if slight "Baby Driver" and the pleasant if inessential live cover of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love"; it also lacks the previous album's musical and thematic unity. Still, one is admittedly splitting hairs when talking about an album that contains such classics as the title song and "The Boxer," as well as such notable tunes as "Cecilia," "El Condor Pasa," and "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright." This is Simon & Garfunkel's most popular album because it legitimately spoke to its audience, and much of it continues to set standards in thoughtful pop music decades later. [The 40th Anniversary Edition of Bridge Over Troubled Water adds little in the way of music -- indeed, it strips away the two bonus tracks (“Feuilles-O” and an alternate “Bridge Over Trouble Water”) added to the 2001 remaster of the classic -- but there is a handsome booklet and an additional DVD that contains the CBS television special Songs of America, a documentary of Simon & Garfunkel’s 1969 tour never rebroadcast since its original airing, as well as a new documentary about the making of the album.] ~ William Ruhlmann

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