Confidential to High School

Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water was as big as an album could get my last year of high school (1969-1970). A few of us malcontents were annoyed that it was a notable retreat from louder, more electric rock albums. But now, listening to the third disc of the box set Old Friends (1997 — the best possible presentation of the material: utter gunk out, trivia easy to skip), I can forgive my old classmates taste more than I did back then, but also insist there were two camps. The perceptive first one, and I do include myself, cherished “Cecilla,” both because it was kinda smutty and it promised Paul Simon had a bright future adopting international music styles. The klunkhead second camp could not even begin to admit that “Bridge” would be a lot better song without Arty G warbling his buns off all over it.

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