Turn That Noise Down - Paul Simon

Paul Simon The Rhythm of the Saints

So many well-known albums turn 30 this year and Steve Taylor-Bryant and Susan Omand travel back to 1990 to revisit some of the sounds of their youth that made parents shout "Turn that noise down!" This week, Steve gets all percussive as he listens to Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints...

The Rhythm of the Saints was my first Paul Simon solo record. I had listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel growing up but was maybe a bit young when Graceland came out and before Rhythm, I vaguely remember You Can Call Me Al because it had Chevy Chase in it. I was not expecting much to be honest, I was just looking for something a bit easy to listen to as I studied for my exams as I was not the most academic of people and got frustrated really easily. I was hoping for some S&G-esque background noise but being the percussionist and drummer that I am, and was ( I’m confused now) I was instantly struck by the album and got no homework done at all (It's okay mum, I did alright in the end). The multi-cultural rhythms on display from beginning to end are astonishing and you can just sit and marvel for hours and the production quality of it all. It is mesmerising, and tuneful, and foot tapping, and just bloody marvellous and when you add in Paul Simon’s tuneful Bob Dylan voice it just all marries together really well.

The entire album is a delight, a tour de force, and having listened to Graceland since I have to say Rhythm is the better album. Obvious highlights are the title track, Spirit Voices, and Born at the Right Time all of which are unique sounding and beautifully constructed in their own way. Its quite a task to pick a favourite track from an album that has so much wonder contained within, so I will not, I will just pick the first video from the album that appears on my YouTube search…


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