“The Sound Of Electricity” – Simon and Garfunkel

It was on this day,  March 10, 1964 that “Folk Singers” Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel went into a New York studio and recorded their now classic debut single , “The Sound Of Silence”. Paul and Art considered themselves a “Folk Duo” and recorded the song with just Pauls guitar and their two voices!

However, when they delivered the finished track to Columbia records, the record label folks didn’t like what they heard! So, without permission from the duo, the label and it’s staff producers took the basic track back into the studio and added Electric Guitar, Bass and Drums ! Thankfully resulting in a number one record and an iconic piece of 60’s greatness!…

“The Sound Of Silence” became the semi title track to their second L.P. “Sounds Of Silence” catch the subtle variation?

However, you can actually hear the original recording of the song ( without  all that pesky electricity ) on their first L.P. Wednesday Morning 3 a.m. It’s always great to compare the two versions!

So, as SMS is always aiming to please, here’s the less often heard “Acoustic” version of “The Sound Of  Silence”

Kinda boring, ain’t it? ( scroll way down to leave a comment )

But!….What do you think?


  1. Hey Wood,
    I’m with you……I also was a serious “Folkie”. However, the first time I heard “Sounds of Silence ( the Electric version ) I was hooked ! I too went back and listened to the original acoustic version from Wednesday Morning 3:00 a.m. But I felt it had zero energy…..
    Furthermore, I love your description of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and I’d like to add that the meandering piano during the introduction make it a pop music confection…
    Thank YOU Woodman

  2. I really like the version on “Wednesday Morning 3: a.m.”. During this time I was very attracted to the acoustic tunes (I was ofcourse a child of the great folk artists genre)!!! But when I heard the electric guitar doing the classic opening riff fluctuating with each chord change I felt energized listening to this version! I NEVER EVEN CONTEMPLATED that “other hands” were sticking their paws on after wrapped recorded tracks without consulting the artists first! But THAT IS THE BIZZ $$$$$$!
    But the viseral experience of hearing that electric guitar riffing (especially thru the intro) is just as powerful for me as the the sound of the simultaneous SPAP/CRACK of the bass and drum, then organ and Fender Strat electric on the intro of Dylan’s “Like a Rollin’ Stone”!!!
    P.S. Paul Simon did a special performance of “Sound of Silence” at the 9/11 Memorial a few years back….GOOSE BUMPS!!!!
    Thanx “Shoe-man”
    the wood

  3. Due to the lack of interest in the original recording of “Sounds of Silence”, Paul Simon went to England to try to see if he could get anything happening there. Strolling through London one day, he heard (the electric) Sounds of Silence on the radio. He initially thought the song had been covered (or worse) since he was unaware that Columbia had electrified it. Quickly he realized it was he and Art and that the song was in heavy rotation!

    • Hey John,
      Another great inside story, thank you very much! Take a look at the above exchange between Fred Vogel and myself, as it pertains to your story about Paul Simon in the U.K.
      Thanx John for another great Sixties Music Secret!…

  4. The acoustic version is more organic…I am a fan of Paul Simon’s clean guitar playing.
    Speaking of Mr. Simon, I was surprised to read that his final live concert is going to be in London. Another free concert at Central Park would have been a nice way to say goodbye.

    • Hey Fred,
      Yes, the acoustic version is very organic and that in itself is pretty cool, but we feel it really lacks energy!
      Meanwhile, we share your appreciation for Simon as a Guitar player! Since the early days we’ve felt he’s never received the recognition he surely deserves. Furthermore, you make a great point about the location for his farewell concert…..I’m with you, a free show in Central Park would be the perfect capper!
      With that in mind, take a look at this recent post below from John Zambetti about Paul Simon in London…It may be a clue as to why he wants to wrap things up in “Foggy London Town
      Thanx Fred, always great to hear your input!

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