The Sound Of Silence
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel 1966 Sounds of Silence 45

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

1966
1
Year
Peak Chart Position
  • No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966 for two weeks
  • Hot 100 chart debut: Nov 20, 1965
  • RIAA certified Gold record
  • B-side: We've Got A Groovey Thing Goin'
  • from the album Sounds of Silence (1966)
  • the song was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • ranks #157 on Rolling Stone magazine's 2010 list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • the first of three Number One singles on the Hot 100 for Simon & Garfunkel
  • the song was originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel on March 10, 1964 at Columbia Records in New York City as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.; without the knowledge or participation of Simon & Garfunkel, producer Tom Wilson overdubbed guitar, bass and drums in a session on June 15, 1965 and released it as a single in September of 1965
  • on the record:
         Paul Simon - vocals, acoustic guitar
         Art Garfunkel - vocals
         Al Gorgoni - electric guitar
         Vinnie Bell - electric guitar
         Bob Bushnell - electric bass
         Bobby Gregg - drums
  • session guitarist Al Gorgoni: “‘The Sound of Silence’ just knocked me out the first time I heard it. The song was already great in its original form – it just needed that extra touch to put it over the top and turn it into a hit. I remember listening to Paul’s acoustic guitar part through the headphones and basically just copping it. I had this Epiphone Casino, which had the right sound. People used to think it was a 12-string electric like the Byrds – it’s not, it’s just me and Vinnie (Bell) playing together mixed together onto the same track. And Vinnie added a few bluesy fills that you can hear in there as well. It took us a couple hours and it was done. I love the song – but those guitars… they’re just awful. I really can’t listen to it now…. Of course, all the things that are wrong with the recording didn’t stop it from becoming a huge success. So there you go.”
  • written by Paul Simon
  • Paul Simon:  “The main thing about playing the guitar was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream,” Simon told Playboy. “And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run – I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me – and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again.’”
  • Simon: “‘The Sound Of Silence,’ which I wrote when I was 21, I never would have wrote it were it not for Bob Dylan. Never, he was the first guy to come along in a serious way that wasn’t a teen language song. I saw him as a major guy whose work I didn’t want to imitate in the least.”
  • produced by Tom Wilson
  • recorded at Columbia Records in New York, NY; main track recorded March 10, 1964, overdubs recorded June 15, 1965
  • Columbia Records label
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