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Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfunkel

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Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfunkel

Old 10-03-12, 08:56 AM
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Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfunkel

In July, 1965, Bob Dylan released the single Like A Rolling Stone, and his fans were horrified! Once, when he tried it out onstage, his fans boo'ed him off the stage.

It took quite an effect, and popular music was never the same thereafter (or something).....

Simon & Garfunkel were folk music guys, too, and they released their album Wednesday Morning 3 AM which contained a song called The Sound of Silence. In September, 1965, the song was remixed with electric guitars and drums without Paul Simon's knowledge, and was re-released. By January, 1966, it became a No.1 hit. But, there was no scream from their folk fans - at least not that has been well documented.

Could it be that, between the time of Dylan's July release and Simon & Garfunkel's September release, folk fans got used to the idea of "going electric?"
Old 10-03-12, 09:04 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Simon and Garfunkel never recorded anything remotely as hard rocking as the stuff on Bringing it all Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Comparing Sounds of Silence with Like a Rolling Stone or Maggie's Farm is like comparing The Ace of Spades by Motorhead with Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters.
Old 10-03-12, 09:07 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
Simon and Garfunkel never recorded anything remotely as hard rocking as the stuff on Bringing it all Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Comparing Sounds of Silence with Like a Rolling Stone or Maggie's Farm is like comparing The Ace of Spades by Motorhead with Rainy Days and Mondays by the Carpenters.
C'mon, you know this is a relative argument. It don't matter if Simon & Garfunkel weren't as "hard" as Dylan............the fact is, The Sounds of Silence indicated "change," and that's relative. It was different to the folk fans of S&G, just as much as Dylan's change was different for his fans.
Old 10-03-12, 09:25 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Seriously if you don't hear the difference between the Sounds of Silence and Highway 61, you're not listening. It's not relative. S of S is mid tempo folk strumming with a backbeat. Highway 61 is pure rock and roll with no relationship to folk music. It has kick, it has attitude and it rocks.
Old 10-03-12, 09:48 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
Seriously if you don't hear the difference between the Sounds of Silence and Highway 61, you're not listening. It's not relative. S of S is mid tempo folk strumming with a backbeat. Highway 61 is pure rock and roll with no relationship to folk music. It has kick, it has attitude and it rocks.
Of course there's a difference between Sound of Silence and Highway 61. I'm talking about the fans. I'm sure Simon & Garfunkel had different fans than Bob Dylan (or maybe not).....but I'm strictly talking about the fans relative to Simon & Garfunkel and the fans relative to Bob Dylan.

Like, the fans of Simon & Garfunkel liked the soft acoustic sounds they made on their records. They were happy the way things were, I'm sure! But then someone - unrelated to the band, mind you - comes along and adds electricity to Sound of Silence....yet their fan base didn't complain.

They didn't complain. That's the point I'm trying to make here. Dylan's fans complained, and it don't necessarily matter that they complained because Dylan's music was much harder! They complained because it wasn't acoustic. They complained because it was different, it wasn't the Bob Dylan they were used to.

Same difference here.
Old 10-03-12, 10:02 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Dylan showed up at the Newport Folk Festival and smashed out a seriously wacked-out, loud, electrified, distorted and psychedelic version of "Maggie's Farm", a non-political and frankly anti-folk song. He deliberately was breaking with his protest-song "Blowing in the Wind" past, a process he'd already started with "Hard Rain's Gonna Fall". The crowd felt challenged. Terrible sound quality didn't help.

S+G was several years later and never a politically-charged act, more of a pop act with folk overtones. Apples and orangutans.
Old 10-03-12, 12:01 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
Of course there's a difference between Sound of Silence and Highway 61. I'm talking about the fans. I'm sure Simon & Garfunkel had different fans than Bob Dylan (or maybe not).....but I'm strictly talking about the fans relative to Simon & Garfunkel and the fans relative to Bob Dylan.

Like, the fans of Simon & Garfunkel liked the soft acoustic sounds they made on their records. They were happy the way things were, I'm sure! But then someone - unrelated to the band, mind you - comes along and adds electricity to Sound of Silence....yet their fan base didn't complain.

They didn't complain. That's the point I'm trying to make here. Dylan's fans complained, and it don't necessarily matter that they complained because Dylan's music was much harder! They complained because it wasn't acoustic. They complained because it was different, it wasn't the Bob Dylan they were used to.

Same difference here.
Well if you want to compare audiences, I don't think S&Gs audience were the kind of folk purists that Dylan's were. S&G were more in the pop-folk vein whereas there was nothing pop about Dylan.
Old 10-03-12, 12:05 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by cungar View Post
Well if you want to compare audiences, I don't think S&Gs audience were the kind of folk purists that Dylan's were. S&G were more in the pop-folk vein
I don't know - Simon & Garfunkel's pre-1965 music was pretty laid back. They certainly weren't pop-folk because they weren't really charting, and weren't necessarily getting any airplay either. Their audience centered around a certain beatnik crowd, and S&G were not selling millions of records pre-1965.

The Sound of Silence changed that for them, once the electric sound was implemented. Wouldn't you think their beatnik audience woulda cried out "FOUL!" over this?
Old 10-03-12, 12:37 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by Buttmunker View Post
I don't know - Simon & Garfunkel's pre-1965 music was pretty laid back. They certainly weren't pop-folk because they weren't really charting, and weren't necessarily getting any airplay either. Their audience centered around a certain beatnik crowd, and S&G were not selling millions of records pre-1965.

The Sound of Silence changed that for them, once the electric sound was implemented. Wouldn't you think their beatnik audience woulda cried out "FOUL!" over this?
I also think that Dylan fans had a lot more invested in him as a political activist/folk singer than S&G. They were definitely a lot less political and sang a lot more love songs. I never even thought of them in the same genre as Dylan.
Old 10-03-12, 04:36 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Simon and Garfunkel did not release an electric album.
Old 10-03-12, 04:49 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by The Bus View Post
Simon and Garfunkel did not release an electric album.
Thread officially derailed.
Old 10-06-12, 12:13 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Dylan was viewed as the voice of a generation and the second coming of Woody Guthrie who was going to rescue the folk movement from obscurity. His songs were co-opted as anthems for the Civil Rights and Peace movements. When he said that all he wanted to be when growing up was Elvis, went electric and moved away from political subject matter, the folk movement went predictably ape-shit.

Simon & Garfunkel were a revamped teenage pop duo (Tom & Jerry, i.e. baby Everly Brothers) who went folk but only had success when a song off their failed first album was rocked up by the producer without their input. No one knew who they were, so why would anyone be outraged?
Old 10-06-12, 01:34 AM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by Gerry P. View Post
No one knew who they were, so why would anyone be outraged?
Ding ding ding! We have a winner. People cared when Dylan went electric because Dylan mattered to people. Nobody cared when S&G went electric because at the time very few people cared about S&G.
Old 10-06-12, 12:23 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Ding ding ding! We have a winner. People cared when Dylan went electric because Dylan mattered to people. Nobody cared when S&G went electric because at the time very few people cared about S&G.
I pretty much said that 3 posts earlier.
Old 10-09-12, 11:06 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Bob Dylan was just a lot more important to the music scene.

The 1966 "Judas" moment with Dylan is one of those great music incidents that was recorded:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uEJQWGXFpAU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

And this happened even though Dylan's electric set with the Band (before they were "The Band") was absolutely dynamite in that concert.
Old 10-09-12, 11:13 PM
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Re: Backlash from Folk fans over Dylan's move to electric..but none for Simon & Garfu

Originally Posted by Gerry P. View Post
Dylan was viewed as the voice of a generation and the second coming of Woody Guthrie who was going to rescue the folk movement from obscurity. His songs were co-opted as anthems for the Civil Rights and Peace movements. When he said that all he wanted to be when growing up was Elvis, went electric and moved away from political subject matter, the folk movement went predictably ape-shit.
Dylan was practically a god to the folk movement and when he turned his back on it, things got very nasty by the fans. It was the right move to make for him but some of Dylan's antics seemed staged for maximum publicity.

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