“The Obvious Child” – Paul Simon
I will not be able to do Paul Simon justice in this small space, but I will try.
Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an award-winning musician whose talents in composing, performing, and vocal harmony placed him at the forefront of the singer-songwriters on an international scale. Simon’s fame, influence and commercial success began as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, launched in 1964 with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair’s songs, including three that reached No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts: “The Sound of Silence”, “Mrs. Robinson”, and “Bridge Over Troubled Water”.
Simon has won 12 Grammy Awards (one of them a Lifetime Achievement Award) and five Grammy nominations, the most recent for his album You’re the One in 2001. In 1998 he received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award for the Simon & Garfunkel album Bridge over Troubled Water. He also received an Oscar nomination for the song “Father and Daughter” in 2002. He is also a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; as a solo artist in 2001, and in 1990 as half of Simon & Garfunkel. Needless to say, Paul Simon is one of the great talents of our time.
Following the success of 1986’s Graceland, on which he worked principally with South African musicians, Simon broadened his interests in diverse forms of music from around the world. He turned to Latin America for the musicians and rhythms which characterize much of this album, partnering with Afro-Brazilian superstars Grupo Cultural Olodum, masters of the heavily percussive sub-style of samba called Batuque or Batucada. The group’s drumming is featured on the opening song and first single, “The Obvious Child”. The build up of this song has long endeared it to me, and I have always been a sucker for a catchy drumline!