Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Paul Simon May Be Retiring, But “The Sound of Silence” Gets Olympic Treatment, Goes to Top of the Charts


Paul Simon wrote “The Sound of Silence” a really long time ago– like more than 50 years ago. It was a hit for him and Art Garfunkel in 1966 and it’s never gone away.

This morning, “The Sound of Silence” is bigger than ever thanks to a heavy rock version by the group Disturbed. They had a hit with it in 2016, but thanks to the Olympics it’s bigger than ever.

“SOS” is number 2 this morning on iTunes and number 4 on Amazon because Olympic ice skaters have been using it for their performances. On BuzzAngle, “SOS” has sold around 15,000 copies in downloads and streams in the last couple of days.

It’s funny. When Simon & Garfunkel first released it in 1964, “SOS” was a folk song– and a failure. Then producers Tom Wilson and Roy Halee remixed it with a rock track a la the Byrds’ “Turn Turn Turn” and it became a sensation. Simon & Garfunkel went on to have six years’ of hits. Now Simon, 76, is retiring from touring. He and — very likely– Garfunkel will have a huge finale sometime this summer at Madison Square Garden.

Disturbed? Have no idea who they are, but the royalties are pouring in. It’s all good.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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