At the other extreme are sprightly tunes that hearken back to the duo’s Fifties roots: “Cecelia,” whose echoed hand claps sound like an early hip-hop drum loop, and “Keep the Customer Satisfied,” the antic tale of a flimflam man staying ahead of the law. During the Bridge sessions, Garfunkel was often working on the film Catch-22 in Mexico; Simon gently notes his absence in “The Only Living Boy in New York.” The notion of life chapters closing also permeates the folksy bossa nova “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright.” It’s ironic that “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” a gospel-style song of reassurance and solidarity that Simon wrote as a vehicle for Garfunkel’s golden tenor, would be one of their final collaborations. But they exited on an exhilarating note.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
Bridge Over Troubled Water was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade, and it hasn’t fallen too far down on the list in years since. Apart from the gospel-flavored title track, which took some evolution to get to what it finally became, however, much of Bridge Over Troubled Water also constitutes a stepping back from the music that Simon & Garfunkel had made on Bookends — this was mostly because the creative partnership that had formed the body and the motivation for the duo’s four prior albums literally consumed itself in the making of Bridge Over Troubled Water. The overall effect was perhaps the most delicately textured album to close out the 1960s from any major rock act. Bridge Over Troubled Water, at its most ambitious and bold, on its title track, was a quietly reassuring album; at other times, it was personal yet soothing; and at other times, it was just plain fun. The public in 1970 — a very unsettled time politically, socially, and culturally — embraced it; and whatever mood they captured, the songs matched the standard of craftsmanship that had been established on the duo’s two prior albums. Between the record’s overall quality and its four hits, the album held the number one position for two and a half months and spent years on the charts, racking up sales in excess of five million copies. The irony was that for all of the record’s and the music’s appeal, the duo’s partnership ended in the course of creating and completing the album.
2. El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
4. Keep the Customer Satisfied5.
5. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright
2. Baby Driver
3. The Only Living Boy in New York
4. Why Don’t You Write Me
5. Bye Bye Love
6. Song for the Asking