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Album Review

Superior's 2002 release Tom & Jerry is an abridged reissue of the 2000 album Two Can Dream Alone released by Burning Airlines, containing early recordings by Paul Simon and/or Art Garfunkel. It omits two tracks, "I Love You (Oh Yes I Do)" and "Soldier and a Song (Light Your Way)," which probably were included erroneously, since they did not sound like Garfunkel, to whom they were credited. The music bears little resemblance to Simon & Garfunkel's folk-rock recordings of 1964-1970. "Hey, Schoolgirl," originally released on Big Records, is in an Everly Brothers/Buddy Holly mold, and the duo's unsuccessful follow-ups, "Our Song" and "That's My Story," are in that style, too, while Simon's first solo single, "True or False," released under the name True Taylor, finds him aping the hiccupping rockabilly sound of Holly and Elvis Presley. On songs like "Shy" and "Just a Boy," released on either side of a Warwick Records single in 1960, Simon clearly was aspiring to be another Frankie Avalon. In keeping with the more gimmicky sound of the early '60s, he moved on to up-tempo novelties like "The Lone Teen Ranger," which actually made the charts in early 1963. The material on this album is likely to fascinate as well as flabbergast fans of Simon & Garfunkel's later recordings. No small part of the fascination will be that Garfunkel wrote a lot of this material as well as singing it, since he dropped out of songwriting later on. It would be nice to have a complete collection of Simon & Garfunkel's juvenilia sequenced in chronological order, but this partial selection may be the best to be expected, and the duo's fans may enjoy hearing their youthful efforts, as long as they don't buy it expecting work of the caliber of "The Sound of Silence."


Born: 13 October 1941 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Paul Simon was one of the most successful and respected songwriters of the second half of the 20th century. Rising to fame in the mid-'60s, Simon's songs were mature and literate, but also melodically engaging, and spoke to the concerns and uncertainties of a generation. As the 1960s gave way to the '70s and '80s, Simon's work tended to focus on the personal rather than the larger world, but he also expanded his musical palette, and helped introduce many rock and pop fans to world music. Paul Frederic...
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