Paul Simon – There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973)

FrontCover1AThere Goes Rhymin’ Simon is the third solo studio album by American musician Paul Simon rush-released on May 5, 1973. It contains songs covering several styles and genres, such as gospel (“Loves Me Like a Rock”) and Dixieland (“Take Me to the Mardi Gras”). It received two nominations at the Grammy Awards of 1974, including Best Male Pop Vocal performance and Album of the Year.

As foreshadowed by the feel-good lead single “Kodachrome” (which reached #2 on the Billboard charts, blocked by Billy Preston’s “Will It Go Round in Circles”), There Goes Rhymin’ Simon proved to be a bigger hit than its predecessor, reaching #2 on the Billboard 200 chart (kept off the top spot by George Harrison’s Living in the Material World), and #1 on Cashbox Magazine for one week on June 30, 1973.[4] In the United Kingdom, the album peaked at #4. Subsequent singles were also the #2 single “Loves Me Like a Rock” (knocked off by Cher’s “Half-Breed”, but reaching #1 on Cashbox on September 29, 1973), and the Top 40 hit “American Tune”. Also “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” was released in the UK reaching the Top 20.

The song “Kodachrome” is named after the Kodak film of the same name. Kodak required the album to note that Kodachrome is a trademark of Kodak. The song was not released as a single in Britain, where it could not be played on BBC radio due to its trademarked name. The song “Was a Sunny Day” has an interesting reference to early rock and roll in the line “She called him Speedo but his Christian name was Mr. Earl” which echoes the chorus from the 1955 song “Speedo” by The Cadillacs: “They often call me Speedo but my real name is Mr. Earl,” referring to lead singer, Earl “Speedo” Carroll.


Critical praise was practically universal for this album. The Denver Post’s Jared Johnson called it “a brilliantly executed masterpiece, and surely the finest album in three years,” citing such 1970 releases as Bridge Over Troubled Water and After the Gold Rush.

Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times said, “Combining a variety of musical textures (from a touch of gospel to an infectious trace of Jamaican rhythm to a hint of the old Simon and Garfunkel grandeur), Simon’s new album firmly establishes him as one of our most valuable and accessible artists.”

But Stereo Review’s Noel Coppage found much to complain about. Though he gave it an “excellent” rating, he added that it was “deficient in spontaneity, excitement, strain…I don’t know how it could sound so cut-and-dried, having been recorded in four different locations (New York, London, Muscle Shoals, and Jackson, Mississippi), but although the arrangements are clean and sensible, they are oddly predictable.” (by wikipedia)

In other words: Another classic album by Paul Simon,


Paul Simon (vocals, guitar)
Barry Beckett (piano 01., 06. + 09.,  organ on 03., vibraphone on 09.)
Pete Carr (guitar on 01. 03., 06. + 09.)
Bob Cranshaw (bass on 05., 06. + 07.)
Richard Davis (bass on 04.)
Cornell Dupree (guitar on 02.)
Gordon Edwards (bass on 02.)
Don Elliott (vibraphone on 04.)
Alexander Gafa (guitar on 04.)
Paul Griffin (piano on 02.)
Roger Hawkins (drums on 01., 03., 06., + 10., percussion on 09. + 10.)
David Hood (bass on 01., 03., 06., 09. +10.)
Bob James (piano on 04., keyboards on 06.)
Rev. Claude Jeter (vocals on 03.)
Jimmy Johnson (guitar on 01. + 03.)
Rick Marotta (drums on 02.)
Airto Moreira (percussion on 07.)
Jerry Puckett (guitar on 08.)
Vernie Robbins (bass on 08,)
Bobby Scott (piano on 04.)
David Spinozza (guitar on 04.)
James Stroud (drums on 08,)
Grady Tate (drums on 04. + 06.)
Carson Witsett (organ on 08.)
The Onward Brass Band (horns on 03.)
The Dixie Hummingbirds (group vocals on 02. + 10.)
Maggie and Terre Roche (background vocals on 07.)
Quincy Jones – string arrangements on 04.)
Del Newman (string arrangements on 06.)
Allen Toussaint (horn arrangements on 02.)


01. Kodachrome 3.32
02. Tenderness 2.53
03. Take Me To The Mardi Gras 3.27
04. Something So Right 4.33
06. One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor 3.44
06. American Tune 3.43
07. Was A Sunny Day 3.41
08. Learn How To Fall 2.44
09. St. Judy’s Comet 3.19
10. Loves Me Like A Rock 3.31

All songs were written by Paul Simon. The melody of “American Tune” was almost note-for-note written by Johann Sebastian Bach (St Matthew Passion), who was not credited on the album. In turn, Bach had imitated the melody of Mein G’mueth ist mir verwirret by Hans Leo Hassler.




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