A nation turns its troubled minds to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bookends”
Ken Shane, new music editor at Popdose, reflects on the American generation of the late 1960s latching onto Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends (1968) and Mike Nichols’ film, The Graduate (1967) during a turbulent period in American history.
"The first side of Bookends is something of a concept. After opening with a portrait of a generation poised on the edge of a precipice ("Save the Life of My Child"), Paul Simon charts the course of a relationship, bookending it if you will, from its start – "Let us be lovers, we’ll marry our fortunes together" ("America"), through tribulations – "Why don’t we stop fooling ourselves? The game is over" ("Overs"), to reconciliation – "Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?" ("Old Friends"). Side One closes with with the "Bookends Theme," which not only addresses the lost relationship, but the lost dreams of an entire generation…
Side Two opens with one of my favorite Simon & Garfunkel songs, “Fakin’ It,” and closes with the wistful “At the Zoo,” in which Simon speculates that perhaps the animals know more than we give them credit for. In the middle of the side are the monster hits “Mrs. Robinson,” and “A Hazy Shade of Winter.” Bookends has it all, the beautiful relationship story, the generational touchstones, and the big hits.”
Read the full review at Popdose.
Photo of Simon & Garfunkel by Richard Avedon
Share your favorite Bookends track or a notable memory from the late 1960s.