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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Bridge Over Troubled Water (40th Anniversary)'
Artist - Simon & Garfunkel

The most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel crafted a series legendary hit albums and singles. Indeed, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' has sold over 25-million copies worldwide and was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade - topping the charts for ten weeks and containing four hit singles.

Well, there's nothing like getting straight to the heart of it and that's what this 40th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD does, for the very first song is that very same titular 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' The song still sounds as glorious, as gorgeous, as lush as it ever did and it simply flows along with style and grace. Next is 'El Condor Pasa (If I Could),' a song originally by the Peruvian composer Daniel Alomía Robles (written in 1913 and based on traditional Andean folk tunes), and as much as you might shrug your shoulders, not recalling its lyrics, here you go: 'I'd rather be a sparrow than a hawk, Yes I would. If I only could, I surely would.' See, told you you'd remember it!

The bouncy, always fun to sing aloud, 'Cecilia' is next (a song that might refer to St. Cecilia, patron saint of music in the Catholic tradition), before another at-full-pace song in 'Keep The Customer Satisfied' - another title you might shrug at (I did), but here are some lyrics to remind you: 'I get slandered, Libeled, I hear words I never heard in the Bible. And I'm one step ahead of the shoe shine, Two steps away from the county line, Just trying to keep my customers satisfied, Satisfied.'

Then comes the mellow album track, 'So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright,' a song dedicated to the American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, before we trip into the delicious, and world-renowned, 'The Boxer.' The fun 'Baby Driver' is next and is as infectious to listen to now as it was back then.

Two trippy, and in the case of the latter, funky tracks come at us next: 'The Only Living Boy In New York' and 'Why Don't You Write Me,' before the live song (from Ames, Iowa) made popular by The Everly Brothers' 'Bye Bye Love.' The final track is the 1:48 'Song For The Asking,' which as much as it is a pleasant track to end with, seems to leave us short.

The DVD comes with two different featurettes - the first being a wonderful, close up 'Songs Of America' TV special from 1969. Beginning with the duo ambling onto the bare stage, they go straight into 'Mrs. Robinson.' This TV special sent ratings through the roof for CBS back in the day and has remained a rare commodity in the S&G market ever since!

Considered controversial at the time, the program featured the live footage of Simon & Garfunkel on stage, in the studio and on tour, but it also integrated video montages of key events of the era - including news clips of Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, and even activist Cesar Chavez.

Songs include: "America," "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright," "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," "Scarborough Fair," "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)," "Punky's Dilemma," "Mystery Train," "Feeling Groovy," "The Boxer," "Homeward Bound," "Sounds Of Silence," and the aforementioned opener, "Mrs. Robinson."

The second featurette, 'The Harmony Game: The Making of Bridge Over Troubled Water' is fascinating; truly fascinating for all fans of good, classic music. It tells the story behind Simon & Garfunkel's last studio album, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,' of course. With a legacy shrouded in musical mythology - the endless tales of late night inspiration sessions, innovative last minute lyrical additions, and on-again, off-again, on-again bouts of separation, both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel share the journey once more. This time, calmer, in their own words, their time to reflect back now honed after some 40 years later.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk