POLL paul simon - the rhythm of the saints

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this guy had the WORST album cover ever

Poll Results

OptionVotes
"The Obvious Child" 10
"Can't Run But" 4
"The Coast" (Simon, Vincent Nguini) 4
"The Cool, Cool River" 2
"Spirit Voices" (Simon, Milton Nascimento) 0
"Born at the Right Time" 0
"She Moves On" 0
"Further to Fly" 0
"Proof" 0
"The Rhythm of the Saints" 0


swag serf (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 20:52 (thirteen years ago) link

album covers ever**

anyway

1 the coast
2 she moves on
3 obvious child
4 proof
5 the rhythm of the saints

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 20:53 (thirteen years ago) link

wtf jordan, i feel this is out of character

surm, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:06 (thirteen years ago) link

:]

surm, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:06 (thirteen years ago) link

yeah i was kinda surprised to see js posting about a record from 1990 or earlier tbh

some dude, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:08 (thirteen years ago) link

ban fake jordan s

velko, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:09 (thirteen years ago) link

obvious child will take this easily

i want to marry a pizza (gbx), Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:09 (thirteen years ago) link

what up yall its the real me

here's the story of how i decided to make a poll about paul simon's the rhythm of the saints

last night i was drinking beer in my bedroom and deej im'd me and said "the rhythm of the saints" is dope. i said i'd never heard it so he linked me to a few songs. i downloaded the whole thing and played it through like 3 straight times. i continued to drink beer. eventually i listened to "the coast" a few more times before "falling asleep"

then i made this poll

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:13 (thirteen years ago) link

betting $10 the words "vampire weekend" were willfully excised from that story

some dude, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:29 (thirteen years ago) link

ugh. "snap"

what a disaster for 1p3 (k3vin k.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:30 (thirteen years ago) link

also what do scarequotes around "falling asleep" mean

some dude, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:31 (thirteen years ago) link

i pretty much passed out

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:43 (thirteen years ago) link

better than GRACELAND this album. shame it was his last good one.

piscesx, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:58 (thirteen years ago) link

The Obvious Child, obviously.

Wrong about it being better than Graceland. Dead right about the rubbish sleeve (though I do like the typography).

Ismael Klata, Saturday, 20 June 2009 21:59 (thirteen years ago) link

The Obvious Child. Probably my favorite song he ever wrote.

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:02 (thirteen years ago) link

not to repeat what's been said, but there's absolutely no way "The Obvious Child" will ever be beat. the best thing he ever wrote, imho.

the blowhard is the blowhard (the table is the table), Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:08 (thirteen years ago) link

I can't see any reason to deny "The Obvious Child".

Mark, Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:11 (thirteen years ago) link

betting $10 the words "vampire weekend" were willfully excised from that story

― some dude, Saturday, June 20, 2009 4:29 PM (45 minutes ago) Bookmark

lol @ this btw

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Saturday, 20 June 2009 22:16 (thirteen years ago) link

was just gonna re-paste that with a "lol"

surm, Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:20 (thirteen years ago) link

pretty sure vamp week was mentioned by 1 j0rdan s. last nite lol

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:29 (thirteen years ago) link

could post aim transcript but its mostly boring

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:29 (thirteen years ago) link

im going to vote for something non-obvious ... child. just cuz

"cool cool river" is super underrated so im going with that. could also go with 'she moves on' & 'further to fly' is dope too. love this album. my dad used to play it allll the time

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:30 (thirteen years ago) link

wtf jordan, i feel this is out of character

Srsly!

Anyway, the first Simon I ever owned, and one of my first concerts. He started playing this ballad and I turned to the yuppie next to me in the buttoned-down white shirt and said, "Hey, what is this?" He said, rather huffily, "`The Boxer'" and looked away. I hated yuppies from that point on.

Also: the only concert I've ever attended at which the performer plays one hit song ("You Can Call Me Al") and then says, "Boy, that was great! Let's do it again!" And plays it again!

I voted for "Can't Run But," just cuz of the synth and the way he pronounces "cooling system."

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:34 (thirteen years ago) link

sargnt: "can't run but" is something like hoos would title a song

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:36 (thirteen years ago) link

btw jordan, whenever you're back in town, this is the first album we gotta discuss

Bud Huxtable (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 21 June 2009 01:56 (thirteen years ago) link

"can't run but" is cool but the first time i expected it to build to something in the outro and i've been disappointed that it kinda just peters out ever since

i voted for "the coast" cuz as much as i love like "the obvious child" i think this album's about riding out the grooves on the longest songs and "the coast" is my favorite of those - the verse (or is it the chorus?) that starts with "to prove that i love yoou" and goes into "ooh ahh ooh ahh doo wah doo wah" is probably my fav part on the whole album - it's almost too jimmy buffet or something but instead it's perfect

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 21 June 2009 04:41 (thirteen years ago) link

it doesnt even bother me that he says "the rose of jericho"

swag serf (J0rdan S.), Sunday, 21 June 2009 05:52 (thirteen years ago) link

Coast #1, Rhythm #2. Two of the most relaxed pieces of music ever.

Hideous Lump, Sunday, 21 June 2009 06:09 (thirteen years ago) link

"Can't Run But"

Geir Hongro, Sunday, 21 June 2009 20:03 (thirteen years ago) link

haha thats the last song i would expect geir to like

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 22:34 (thirteen years ago) link

way 2 be inconsistent

autogucci cru (deej), Sunday, 21 June 2009 22:34 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 27 June 2009 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 28 June 2009 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

six months pass...

Man, I missed this one. Would've been "The Coast" in a heartbeat, with "Cool Cool River" and "Obvious Child" in at #3 and #2.

i voted for "the coast" cuz as much as i love like "the obvious child" i think this album's about riding out the grooves on the longest songs and "the coast" is my favorite of those - the verse (or is it the chorus?) that starts with "to prove that i love yoou" and goes into "ooh ahh ooh ahh doo wah doo wah" is probably my fav part on the whole album - it's almost too jimmy buffet or something but instead it's perfect

― swag serf (J0rdan S.), Sunday, June 21, 2009 12:41 AM Bookmark

Yeah for real! Love the main riff too. And "If I have weaknesses, don't let them blind me no-o-ow!"

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 21 January 2010 16:07 (thirteen years ago) link

I've gotten some merciless clowning from trying to turn people on to this album but FUCK THE HATERS, MAAAN.

Trip Maker, Thursday, 21 January 2010 16:41 (thirteen years ago) link

ten months pass...

THE CROSS IS IN THE BALLPARK

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 December 2010 01:21 (twelve years ago) link

still rubbing the cold from my eyes at sarge starting this poll

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 December 2010 01:21 (twelve years ago) link

my first real rock concert was during the "born at the right time" tour. LA forum! i was 10? 11? it was awesome.

tylerw, Thursday, 16 December 2010 02:16 (twelve years ago) link

great poll

i love you but i have chosen snarkness (Steve Shasta), Thursday, 16 December 2010 02:21 (twelve years ago) link

ten months pass...

born at the right time didn't get any votes?

plax (ico), Sunday, 13 November 2011 15:15 (eleven years ago) link

I would have voted for 'The Coast' in this. One of Simon's best ever songs, IMO. Some absolutely beautiful guitar work and almost everything about the track seems to be a hook.

Turrican, Sunday, 13 November 2011 15:57 (eleven years ago) link

TO PROVE THAT I LOVE YOU

lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 13 November 2011 15:58 (eleven years ago) link

That's worth something, when you think about it, that is worth some monn-ehh!

Turrican, Sunday, 13 November 2011 16:05 (eleven years ago) link

i like this album more than graceland

plax (ico), Sunday, 13 November 2011 16:25 (eleven years ago) link

Repoll this sometime!

Tower Feist (Eazy), Sunday, 13 November 2011 16:26 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...

this album is just fucking interesting. particular the interaction between the vocal melody of the obvious child and the drumming on the bridge.

cf. joni mitchell's jungle line.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Friday, 10 February 2012 03:31 (ten years ago) link

i've been listening to this a lot recently and am good w/these poll results. the coast is a great song no question but the obvious child is just on another level.

call all destroyer, Friday, 10 February 2012 03:36 (ten years ago) link

i only got into obvious child recently and this is probably my favourite simon album. def abt the second half

judith, Friday, 10 February 2012 08:54 (ten years ago) link

SUMMER SKIES STARS ARE FALLING
ALL ALONG THE INJURED COAST

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 10 February 2012 11:58 (ten years ago) link

i would change my vote to “she moves on” now. such a tender and vivid song

there were a few weeks this past summer where i basically only listened to the 91 concert in the park album… great new york summer album, when he says it’s a beautiful night in new york you can really feel it. he plays a good number of rhythm of the saints songs including ones like “she moves on” that seem to have been dropped from his sets by the 2000s.

J0rdan S., Thursday, 5 January 2023 07:00 (one month ago) link

My storybook lover
You have underestimated my power
As you surely will discover

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 January 2023 10:30 (one month ago) link

appreciate this revive, Veg. giving this a listen this morning. my boo got us an upgrade for the turntable cartridge for Christmas and it is sounding so gently enveloping and fabulous on headphones. love the little bits of synth sprinkled throughout. and man, Vincent Nguini deserves a lot more attention... his guitar work is so lovely and so essential to the sound of the album.

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:50 (one month ago) link

Love that '91 concert album.

The self-titled drags (Eazy), Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:51 (one month ago) link

guys now that i have a kid i sing so much paul simes to her

can't listen to "born at the right time" without sobbing tbh

i also feel v corny, but there it is

not rhythm of the saints-specific but she just stopped letting me sing her "graceland" to sleep after basically a year of doing so.

i think rhythm has become my favorite of his albums

horseshoe, Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:52 (one month ago) link

guys now that i have a kid i sing so much paul simes to her

can't listen to "born at the right time" without sobbing tbh

i also feel v corny, but there it is

not rhythm of the saints-specific but she just stopped letting me sing her "graceland" to sleep after basically a year of doing so.

i think rhythm has become my favorite of his albums

horseshoe, Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:52 (one month ago) link

argh sorry for the double post

horseshoe, Thursday, 5 January 2023 14:52 (one month ago) link

great post tho!

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 5 January 2023 15:06 (one month ago) link

so nice it needed posting twice :)

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 January 2023 15:27 (one month ago) link

I got this t-shirt on the Born at the Right Time tour — let me tell you, I was the envy of my 6th grade peers.

https://totalholisticbody.s3.amazonaws.com/band-tees-rock-tees-vintage-paul-simon-born-at-the-right-time-tour-1991-lhoxc.jpg

tylerw, Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:26 (one month ago) link

damn that shirt rules wtf

J0rdan S., Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:30 (one month ago) link

Scorned at the Right Time

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:31 (one month ago) link

Never been laundered, never been dry cleaned

The self-titled drags (Eazy), Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:49 (one month ago) link

i was pretty into comic books at the time, so i thought Paul looked kinda like the surprisingly ruthless villain in a Punisher graphic novel or something

tylerw, Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:51 (one month ago) link

It's funny how, for exemplifying "grown-up" songwriting, Simon's songs connect so well with kids. One of the earliest songs I remember hearing and loving was "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," though I thought the line was "you don't have to be corduroy."

The self-titled drags (Eazy), Thursday, 5 January 2023 16:58 (one month ago) link

was like a pencil point
a love bite

― guess that bundt gettin eaten (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, June 28, 2014

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 5 January 2023 17:03 (one month ago) link

xp ha, that's one of my kids' favorite songs! the internal rhyming in the chorus with the names makes it a fun sing along and is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss -- "hop on the bus, Gus!"

Indexed, Thursday, 5 January 2023 17:41 (one month ago) link

it was one of my favorites too!
also slip slidin away

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:32 (one month ago) link

re: kids: he's just a great pop songwriter, great ear for hooks and always looking for more rhythmic interest than probably any other "folk singer-songwriter" i can think of. he puts in the work to get the songs there.

i also think there's a lot of comparison to be made with Billy Joel, who i also loved from a pretty early age (though Simon got me first - maybe 3rd vs. 6th grade?). craft out the wazoo, songs you can sing along to, and maybe this intriguing edge of unfamiliar words and sketches of vaguely 'adult' situations --- all without the dreariness of sitting down to watch a 'people movie' where a bunch of grownups are just talking all the time.

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:41 (one month ago) link

oh man as a kid i was obsessed with

cars are cars
all over the world
cars are cars
all over the world
cars are caaaaaaaaaaars
all over the world

na (NA), Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:41 (one month ago) link

yeah as a kid I think I associated him with the adults on Sesame Street (though I didn't see his appearance on that show til years later) — they hung out with (and liked) kids and muppets but clearly had some other unknowable life going on elsewhere.

tylerw, Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:56 (one month ago) link

Never been laundered, never been dry cleaned

Hazy Shirt of Winter

Immodest Moose (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 5 January 2023 20:40 (one month ago) link

I HAD THAT SAME SHIRT AS A HIGH SCHOOLER, I got it at a thrift store.

The druggy boys one year ahead of me, whom I worshipped, often complimented me on it, which brought me into their good graces and eventually their inner circle.

Goose Bigelow, Fowl Gigolo (the table is the table), Thursday, 5 January 2023 21:22 (one month ago) link

Dr C otm

assert (matttkkkk), Thursday, 5 January 2023 22:08 (one month ago) link

Then I fall to my knees
I grow weak, I go slack
As if she captured the breath of my
voice in a bottle
And I can't catch it back

But I feel good
It's a fine day
The way the sun hits off the runway
A cloud shifts
The plane lifts
She moves on

― le goon (J0rdan S.), Sunday, June 29, 2014 11:52 AM (eight years ago)

J0rdan S., Thursday, 5 January 2023 22:17 (one month ago) link

hard to imagine better, more economical writing than "a cloud shifts / the plane lifts / she moves on." it's up there w/ "ro-lex / mo sex" for me

J0rdan S., Thursday, 5 January 2023 22:24 (one month ago) link

The Hilburn bio has draft lyrics of "The Cool Cool River" rather different from the published ones. He was meticulous about paring down.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 January 2023 00:00 (one month ago) link

The Cool, Cool River is a strong candidate for my choice of the greatest song ever made.

I've always adored this entire record (there's a couple of earlier posts of mine within this thread) but of late I got even more appreciation for especially Vincent Nguini's playing. It seems to me that he played guitar as if playing elaborate bass riffs, but distinct from actual bass by picking higher notes over the full span of an acoustic guitar, creating an incredible gentle, subtle and wonderfully lush background sound of a large diversity of notes. With a huge sense of rhythm to them.

Valentijn, Friday, 6 January 2023 12:11 (one month ago) link

an acoustic guitar

or electric, obviously - simply meant 6-string.

Valentijn, Friday, 6 January 2023 12:23 (one month ago) link

I've been meaning to get The Cool, Cool River down on solo acoustic guitar myself, but so far struggling a lot inbetween the unusual chord scheme that's out there and some youtube video which supposedly shows all of the riffs but sounds to me like a wildly jazzed-up version. My failing to follow what's exactly happening made me so much more in awe of the song than I already was.

Valentijn, Friday, 6 January 2023 12:29 (one month ago) link

Good post, Valentijn.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 January 2023 12:51 (one month ago) link

Alfred, I LOVE all the draft lyrics (already gushed twice upthread); for a couple of these songs the work-in-progress versions could easily have been released and been beloved.

my horse and my saddle
and my gracious companions
we tripped over a mountain
and we fell into a vast canyon

That the dude can write that and then throw it away continues to amaze me.

Immodest Moose (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 6 January 2023 13:10 (one month ago) link

Also when I was first learning guitar - 1989 or so - I had a book of tabs called Fingerpicking Paul Simon. I don't play fingerstyle much lately, but I still use a lot of Simonesque voicings - there's a world of fun just in the "50 Ways" intro and I throw those chords on whenever I want a spacey maj7 vibe.

Immodest Moose (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 6 January 2023 13:17 (one month ago) link

Simon's helluva guitarist in his own right. It's not one of his more complicated parts, but I like his strumming beneath the guitar synth and rhythmic clatter in "The Obvious Child."

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 January 2023 13:23 (one month ago) link

I really hate the "funny" horn fill after "We had a little son and we thought we’d call him Sonny", doubling down on a terrible lyric.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 6 January 2023 15:25 (one month ago) link

ha, that lyric always works for me, but i may be biased as my Dad's Italian family, and maybe everybody who knew him growing up, all called him "Sunny."

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Friday, 6 January 2023 15:35 (one month ago) link

wound you say that the funny horn fill after the corny lyric is a bit... obvious, child?

J0rdan S., Friday, 6 January 2023 15:37 (one month ago) link

would*

J0rdan S., Friday, 6 January 2023 15:37 (one month ago) link

boom

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 January 2023 15:45 (one month ago) link

Bonus track Thelma is amongst my favorite PS songs and would have easily been a great single. No idea why it didn’t make it, it’s one of the best songs from this sessions.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 6 January 2023 16:10 (one month ago) link

Never heard "Thelma" before, this is wonderful. Thanks, Moka!

The title track has always been my favorite thing here. Such a gently euphoric groove that I wish went on for another five minutes.

Always a stranger when strange isn't fashionable / Fashion is rich people waving at the door

J. Sam, Friday, 6 January 2023 16:39 (one month ago) link

i don't think I've heard "Thelma" in 25 years ... sounds amazing this morning.

tylerw, Friday, 6 January 2023 16:41 (one month ago) link

yeah Thelma is gorgeous

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 6 January 2023 17:33 (one month ago) link

Xps but

My life’s so common it disappears
And sometimes even music
Cannot substitute for tears

Goddamn. It always makes me think of Eno, somehow. It's too sweet and linear for Eno, really, but there's something in the backing that's a bit of Before and After Science, even a bit of Bush of Ghosts.

Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski), Friday, 6 January 2023 17:42 (one month ago) link

Yeah, "Thelma" was a nice surprise on that 1964-1993 box set, which was also my introduction to Simon's work beyond Graceland. IIRC, it didn't seem like it was well-reviewed, but I liked it and thought it was a generally organized and mastered really well. There's probably a few more tracks I would've included and there are a few edits that seem pointless, but that's it.

birdistheword, Friday, 6 January 2023 18:45 (one month ago) link

so nice to read all the praise for "The Cool, Cool River." a remarkable song!

horseshoe, Friday, 6 January 2023 19:14 (one month ago) link

Goddamn. It always makes me think of Eno, somehow. It's too sweet and linear for Eno, really, but there's something in the backing that's a bit of Before and After Science, even a bit of Bush of Ghosts.

― Shard-borne Beatles with their drowsy hums (Chinaski),

NARRATOR: Fifteen years later, Eno would collaborate with Simon.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 January 2023 19:15 (one month ago) link

Ah so glad to see the Thelma love in here and to have introduced it to j. Sam. It’s gorgeous indeed. Very underrated song in his catalogue.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Friday, 6 January 2023 19:20 (one month ago) link

i definitely hear the Before and After Science connection! especially after the first quiet bridge section, when the backing track comes pulsing back in.

got it in the blood, the kid's a pelican (Doctor Casino), Friday, 6 January 2023 21:18 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

The Cool, Cool River has been the song that has stuck with me for thirty-odd years from this. The propulsion of the rhythm, ambiguous harmonic structure and typically syncopated Simon vocal.

In general I find this record to be overflowing with unpretentious melodic ideas, with memorable verses, choruses, bridges, countermelodies, calls and responses on almost every track: The Coast, Can’t Run But, The Obvious Child, Spirit Voices, and Born at the Right Time. And unlike Graceland you almost never see the strings. Knit together with a production that kind of kind of marries adult contemporary and prog and has mostly aged really well, the result for me is one of the most listenable records in a decade that doesn’t have too many.

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 22 January 2023 22:58 (two weeks ago) link


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