Sunday, August 10, 2008

Number 468 - Paul Simon


Number 468

Paul Simon

"50 Ways to Leave Your Lover"

(1975)
.
Genre:Pop
5o [18] ways [excuses] to leave your lover: 1: Brad Pitt [I'm sorry Jennifer, you're just not hot anymore] 2: John Lennon [Well Cynthia .. she makes an excellent egg foo yung] 3: Prince Charles [It's like a familiar fox hole, Dianna] 4: Bill Clinton [If you were me Hillary, you would too] 5: Arnold Schwarzenegger [I let her go] 6:Clint Eastwood [She made my day] 7: Eric Clapton [Wanna swap?] 8: Matthew McConaughey [C'mon Penelope, you take up to much of the mirror] 9: Vince Vaughan [What Brad said] 10: Paul McCartney [Look here Skippy] 11: Kid Rock [I just can't compete with the video, Pamela] 12: Michael Jackson [Hes out of my life] 13: Jenna Jameson [Sorry hunny, i was flat out at work today] 14: Scott Stapp [I just love bus rides] 15: Kate Hudson [Sorry Owen but the nose knows] 16: Ben Affleck [MATT DAMON!] (called out during a love making session) 17: Matt Damon [MATT DAMON!] (cos' he can) 18: Shania Twain [Hey Mutt, lets move to New Zealand] (wink ~ I could've written more but i didn't want to bore you to tears. crowbarred)
seen a taxi?
The third new studio album of Paul Simon's post-Simon & Garfunkel career was a musical and lyrical change of pace from his first two, Paul Simon and There Goes Rhymin' Simon. Where Simon had taken an eclectic approach before, delving into a variety of musical styles and recording all over the world, Still Crazy found him working for the most part with a group of jazz-pop New York session players, though he did do a couple of tracks ("My Little Town" and "Still Crazy After All These Years") with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section that had appeared on Rhymin' Simon and another ("Gone at Last") returned to the gospel style of earlier songs like "Loves Me Like a Rock." Of course, "My Little Town" also marked a return to working with Art Garfunkel, and another Top Ten entry for S&G.
Wheres Gonzo?
But the overall feel of Still Crazy was of a jazzy style subtly augmented with strings and horns. Perhaps more striking, however, was Simon's lyrical approach. Where Rhymin' Simon was the work of a confident family man, Still Crazy came off as a post-divorce album, its songs reeking of smug self-satisfaction and romantic disillusionment. At their best, such sentiments were undercut by humor and made palatable by musical hooks, as on "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," which became the biggest solo hit of Simon's career. But elsewhere, as on "Have a Good Time" (written for but not used in the film Shampoo and perhaps intended to express the shallow feelings of the main character), the singer's cynicism seemed unearned. Still, as out of sorts as Simon may have been, he was never more in tune with his audience: Still Crazy topped the charts, spawned four Top 40 hits, and won Grammys for Song of the Year [1975] and Best Vocal Performance. ~ [William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide]
For Art Garfunkel see Number 682
For more Paul Simon see Number 742
For Simon & Garfunkel see Number 964
About the song ...
Were you there?
It was written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper and takes a humorous look at ways to end a relationship: Just slip out the back, Jack / Make a new plan, Stan. Studio drummer Steve Gadd created the unique drum beat that became the hook and colour for the song consisting of an almost military beat. The song was recorded in a small New York City studio in the heart of Broadway. "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" broke in the US in late December 1975 becoming number one on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 on February 7, 1976, and remaining there for three weeks. It was certified gold on March 11, 1976, and remained a best-seller for nearly five months. The song also topped the adult contemporary chart for two weeks. It remains Simon's biggest ever solo hit. ~ [Source:Wikipedia]
So .. what does Rolling Cone think about Mr Simon?
"Still Crazy after All These Years" is the album's best song because it is the only one that successfully breaks through the stylistic barrier between Simon's subject matter and its natural implications and confronts both artist and audience directly. There is a poignancy and openness about its first verse that is charming. Mike Brecker's saxophone solo throbs with passion, and for once the writer's sensibility is determined by the fierceness of his will rather than his fussy fashionableness.
There is something ominous about the disparity between Simon and Phil Ramone's typically elaborate, creamy production and the downbeat theme of the album. Even Simon's overextended sense of irony cannot—indeed, may not want to—resolve the discrepancy. "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" is a complex. ironic song whose verses probe deeply into a unique situation of adultery: seduction disguised as therapy. Disappointingly, it suffers an attack of terminal cuteness during its facile chorus, which scans like an ad for Cosmopolitan. ~ [Source Rolling Stone 1975] (Sometimes, [most times] Rolling Stone just don't get it, do they?)
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '468th Song of all Time' was "Search & Destroy" by The Stooges. The Stooges has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ Number 980
Other songs with reference to Paul Simon #485, #664, #792
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We only like the song Graceland) and the Album ranked at (Graceland again :p)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 76.5 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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