1964’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ is perhaps the most interesting failure in recorded music history. The 1964 version didn’t chart or get noticed, leading to the break-up of Simon & Garfunkel. What happened a few years later is amazing musical magic.
The song was written by Paul Simon over several months in 1963 and 1964. The duo’s studio audition of the song led to a record deal with Columbia Records. The acoustic version was recorded for their debut album ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.’
The album was a failure upon release, and the duo broke up. Paul Simon returned to England, and Art Garfunkel returned to his studies at Columbia University. It seemed like the end had arrived for the folk singing duo.
In 1965, everything changed. ‘The Sound of Silence’ gained airplay, and the song’s producer, Tom Wilson, remixed a version adding electric instruments and drums. Simon & Garfunkel were not informed of the remix until after it was famous.
In 1966 it hit number one on the Billboard chart. The group quickly reformed to record their second album, attaining legendary status. It is one of the most beautiful success stories in music history.
Now, you can hear the original recorded 1964 version of the song that scored Simon & Garfunkel their first record deal. This version led to their break-up as well! The song was resurrected, and so was the duo, who went on to have tremendous success.
Simon & Garfunkel scored more hits with ‘Mrs. Robinson,’ ‘The Boxer,’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ They became one of the biggest-selling groups of all time, selling over hundred million records.