In 1981, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for a massive Central Park concert. 500,000 people showed up, and a live album taped at the show turned out to be a huge hit. Shortly afterward, Simon and Garfunkel started work on what was supposed to be a reunion album. But they had another falling out, and those songs became Hearts And Bones, a Paul Simon solo album that turned out to be a total commercial disaster. But it’s still full of ridiculously pretty songs, and anyway Simon bounced back just fine three years later with Graceland.
In any case, Simon deserves credit for releasing a song called “Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War” as a single. One afternoon, Simon was waiting around at Joan Baez’s house to rehearse, and he idly pulled a book off a shelf and flipped to a photo. That picture turned out to be an image of a surrealist artist and his wife, and it inspired a perfectly lovely song.
Simon, currently in the midst of his farewell tour, is also getting ready to release In The Blue Light, an album full of new versions of his old songs. We’ve posted his re-recorded takes on “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor” and “Can’t Run But,” and now he’s also shared the recent take on “Rene And Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War.” Simon recorded it with yMusic, the experimental string ensemble with whom he performed at last year’s Eaux Claires festival. It’s a soft, floaty take on a song that was already plenty soft and floaty. Check it out below, alongside the original.
In The Blue Light is out 9/7 on Sony Legacy.