Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For as you critically evaluate your copy of Bookends.
Musically side two is one of the strongest in the entire Simon and Garfunkel oeuvre (if you’ll pardon my French). Each of the five songs could hold its own as a potential hit on the radio, and no filler to be found whatsoever. How many albums from 1968 can make that claim?
The estimableROY HALEE handled the engineering duties. Not the most ‘natural” sounding record he ever made, but that’s clearly not what he or the duo were going for. The three of them would obviously take their sound much farther in that direction with the Grammy winning Bridge Over Troubled Water from 1970.
The bigger production songs on this album have a tendency to get congested on even the best pressings, which is not uncommon for Four Track recordings from the ’60s. Those of you with properly set up high-dollar front ends should have less of a problem than some. $3000 cartridges can usually deal with this kind of complex information better than $300 ones.
But not always. Expensive does not always mean better, since painstaking and exacting set up is so essential to proper playback.
The Wrecking Crew provided top quality backup, with Hal Blaine on drums and percussion, Joe Osborn on bass and Larry Knechtel on piano and keyboards.