First Hit #1: January 1, 1966
We begin 1966 with a question, why do I like Simon and Garfunkel but not the Byrds? They’re largely pretty similar, folk rock groups that like vocal harmonies and have interesting guitar work. The Sound of Silence could be a Byrds song with little difficulty, but I like it, so what’s different? It’s something very subtle, that being that Simon and Garfunkel don’t drown their songs in honey. While they have pleasant vocals and arrangements, they still have a bit of an edge there. The Sounds of Silence isn’t a happy song, and as nice as everything sounds it’s not pretending to be a happy song. It hits a melancholy mood which undercuts any attempt to sweeten it up. Simon and Garfunkel, in other words, know how to flavor a song.