Album no. 125/1001
Our mates Simmo & G-Funk are back with one of their best releases – and if you’re a boysenberry jam fan, you’ll love it.
This is the album that has ‘Mrs Robinson’ on it, so it’s arguably their best-known. It’s also the album that Frances McDormand uses to explain how every band in the 60s is on drugs in Almost Famous.
Have you listened to this album before?
CL: YES! I own this on record – it’s probably the only original pressing I have and it’s GREAT.
NK: Show off.
CL: It goes without saying, but ‘America’. It is absolutely one of my favourite songs of all time, and was the song that actually turned me onto the band. ‘Punky’s Dilemma’ is also one of my favourites – I love the sound effect of the guy falling down the stairs! It’s so naff, but I love it.
NK: Disappointingly, I 100% agree about ‘America’. I think that’s the best track here for sure. I love the load-up lines before it goes into the chorus. ‘It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw’, and the New Jersey turnpike. I used to be able to play that song on guitar, believe it or not. ‘America’ is the best Simon and Garfunkel song.
CL: Get out! This is a first. I can certainly do without ‘Voices of Old People’, which is exactly what it says on the box. There’s no music, just a bunch of old people talking. I don’t really get it? What does this mean?!
NK: It’s the circle of life mate. Starts off with ‘Save The Life Of My Child’, ends up with old people yakking on. If there is one thing to take away from Bookends it’s this: WE ALL DIE.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
CL: Oh anytime. There’s a lot of variety here – you’ve got the real slow, guitar ballad ones, some more upbeat ones like ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’, then the typical twee Simon and Garfunkel stuff like ‘At The Zoo’. Something for everyone!
NK: If you like pretty melodies and being reminded of your own mortality, you will LOVE this album.
Why has this album been included on the list?
CL: I think this album is where Simmo and G-funk lose a little bit of the pretentiousness that was on their earlier records – which is a good thing. Plus the songs are just excellent. This just goes to solidify their place as one of music’s best sounding partnerships.
NK: I just realised that I have basically only mentioned ‘America’, so a couple of other quick shoutouts: ‘Mrs Robinson’ is still good (best line ‘Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio our nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you’), and this ‘Hazy Shade of Winter’ is up there with the Bodyjar cover as the best version. Along with ‘America’ they’re my favorite tracks on this. I didn’t get into ‘Punky’s Dilemma’ as much as you did. Still a fun album though, especially after yesterday’s prog nonsense.
Will you be listening again?
CL: Oh yes. I wish I could give this 5 stars, but the old people just ruin it for me.
NK: As long as it’s got ‘America’ on it I’ll probably come back.
Listen to Bookends on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.