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Song For The Asking
ROIO - Recordings Of Illegitimate Origin

Title 20 Years Of TV
Label unknown
Catalog Number n/a
Source Various TV performances, sourced from video and/or broadcast.
Performers Paul Simon - guitar, vocals

"The Paul Simon Special":
Richard Tee - keyboards
Tony Levin - bass
Eric Gale - guitar
Steve Gadd - drums
Toots Theilmans - harmonica
Art Garfunkel - vocals
The Jessy Dixon Singers - vocals
SNL 1976 add:
George Harrison - guitar and vocals

SNL 1986:

Tony Cedras - keyboards and accordion
Steve Gadd - drums
Vincent Nguini - guitar
Armand Sabal-Lecco - bass
John Selolwane - guitar
Richard Tee - keyboards
Ray Phiri - guitar
Ladysmith Black Mombazo - vocals (1987)
SNL 1990 add:
Grupo Cultural OLODUM - percussion
Barney Rachabane - sax and pennywhistle
Chris Botti - trumpet
Mingo Araujo - percussion
Cyro Baptista - percussion
Dom Chacal - percussion

X-Ref My Home Town (SNL 1976)
Quality VG+/7.5 to EX/9.0

"The Paul Simon Special" 1978:
1. Something So Right (4:48)
2. I Do It For Your Love (3:40)
3. Loves Me Like A Rock (3:42)
4. Still Crazy After All These Years (3:39)
5. Old Friends/Bookends (with Art Garfunkel) (2:54)
6. The Boxer (5:10)

"Saturday Night Live" - 20 November 1976:
7. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (3:18)
8. Here Comes The Sun (with George Harrison) (3:50)
9. Homeward Bound (with George Harrison) (2:39)
10. Something So Right (4:31)

"Saturday Night Live" - 10 May 1986:
11. The Boy In The Bubble (3:56)
12. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes (5:48)

"Saturday Night Live" - 17 November 1990:
13. The Obvious Child (4:20)
14. Proof (5:15)

"Sesame Street" 1987:
15. The Alphabet Song (with Ladysmith Black Mombazo) (1:09)

Bonus Track (origin unknown):
16. American Tune (Simon & Garfunkel) (4:17)
This discs attempts to cull together the highlights of Paul Simon's many U.S. television appearances. In doing so, the compilation has its hits and misses.

The tracks from "The Paul Simon Special" cover all of the complete songs performed on this Emmy-winning show. The music sounds like it was sourced from the commercial videocassette of the program, which has slightly compressed, flat sound. However, the performances are quite spirited, and the arrangements are different than usual on "Loves Me Like A Rock" (fast-paced gospel) and "The Boxer" (country-rock). However, these songs do work better when featured in the context of the whole program.

The 1976 SNL material is from the actual broadcast of the show, as opposed to the more common (to ROIO, anyway) rehearsal takes. As such, these are sourced from video of the broadcast, in excellent mono. The two duets with George Harrison are a lot of fun, and highlight Simon's versatility and ability to harmonize with virtually anybody. I especially like the harmonies on "Homeward Bound" (which is available on the legitimate release Nobody's Child: Romanian Angel Appeal with no difference in sound quality).

The 1986 and 1990 SNL appearances are wonderful for what they are, especially the 1986 performance, which was the first mainstream introduction of Paul's new touring band and Ladysmith Black Mombazo. The 1991 performances are similar to those from the Central Park concert.

The performance of "The Alphabet Song" is more of a Ladysmith Black Mombazo performance, although Paul did the basic musical arrangement and the lyrics (performed by Kermit the Frog). It's a fun song, and a real treat for those who haven't watched "Sesame Street" since the 1970s or 1980s (or who only know the Elmo-heavy 1990s and 2000 version of the show).

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