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Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. is the debut studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel. Following their early gig as "Tom and Jerry", Columbia Records signed the two in late 1963. It was produced by Tom Wilson and engineered by Roy Halee. The cover and the label include the subtitle exciting new sounds in the folk tradition. Recorded in March 1964, the album was released on October 19.

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.
Simon & Garfunkel, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964).png
Studio album by Simon & Garfunkel
Released October 19, 1964
Recorded March 10–31, 1964 at Columbia Studios, New York City
Genre Folk[1][2]
Length 31:38
Label Columbia
Producer Tom Wilson
Simon & Garfunkel chronology
Wednesday Morning, 3 AM
(1964)
Sounds of Silence
(1966)Sounds of Silence1966

The album was initially unsuccessful, so Paul Simon moved to London, England, and Art Garfunkel continued his studies at Columbia University in their native New York City, before reuniting in late 1965. Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. was re-released in January 1966 (to capitalize on their newly found radio success because of the overdubbing of the song "The Sound of Silence" in June 1965, adding electric guitars, bass guitar and a drum kit), and reached #30 on the Billboard 200. It was belatedly released in the UK two years later (in 1968) in both mono and stereo formats.

The song "He Was My Brother" was dedicated to Andrew Goodman, who was their friend and a classmate of Simon at Queens College. Andrew Goodman volunteered in Freedom Summer during 1964 and was abducted and killed in the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.

The album is included in its entirety as part of the Simon & Garfunkel box sets Collected Works and The Columbia Studio Recordings (1964–1970).

Contents

ProductionEdit

The album was produced by Tom Wilson and engineered by Roy Halee between March 10-31, 1964.

"Benedictus" was arranged and adapted from two-part a capella motet[3] by Orlande de Lassus.[4] The text, in Latin, is benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini (KJV: Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord). The song is set for two voices with cello and sparse guitar accompaniment.

ArtworkEdit

The album's cover photo was shot at the Fifth Avenue / 53rd Street subway station in New York City. In several concerts, Art Garfunkel related that during the photo session, several hundred pictures were taken that were unusable due to the "old familiar suggestion" on the wall in the background, which inspired Paul Simon to write the song "A Poem on the Underground Wall" for the duo's later Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album.[5]

ReceptionEdit

The album was initially unsuccessful, having been released in the shadow of the British Invasion. This resulted in Paul Simon moving to England and Art Garfunkel continuing his studies at Columbia University in New York City.[6] Following the success of "The Sound of Silence," the album peaked at #30 on the Billboard album chart in 1966.[7]

Track listingEdit

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)RecordedLength
1."You Can Tell the World"March 31, 19642:47
2."Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream"Ed McCurdyMarch 17, 19642:11
3."Bleecker Street"Paul SimonMarch 10, 19642:44
4."Sparrow"Paul SimonMarch 31, 19642:49
5."Benedictus"
March 31, 19642:38
6."The Sounds of Silence"Paul SimonMarch 10, 19643:08
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)RecordedLength
7."He Was My Brother"Paul Kane (Paul Simon)March 17, 19642:48
8."Peggy-O"Traditional arr by. Paul SimonMarch 31, 19642:26
9."Go Tell It on the Mountain"Traditional arr by. Paul SimonMarch 31, 19642:06
10."The Sun Is Burning"Ian CampbellMarch 17, 19642:49
11."The Times They Are a-Changin'"Bob DylanMarch 10, 19642:52
12."Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M."Paul SimonMarch 17, 19642:13
Total length:31:38
Bonus tracks (2001 CD reissue)
No.TitleWriter(s)RecordedLength
13."Bleecker Street" (demo)Paul SimonMarch 10, 19642:46
14."He Was My Brother" (alt. take 1, previously unreleased)Paul KaneMarch 17, 19642:52
15."The Sun Is Burning" (alt. take 12, previously unreleased)Ian CampbellMarch 17, 19642:47

PersonnelEdit

  • Paul Simon – acoustic guitar, banjo on "Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream", vocals
  • Art Garfunkel – vocals
  • Barry Kornfeld – acoustic guitar
  • Bill Lee – bass guitar

ChartsEdit

Chart (1964 and 1966) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 24[citation needed]
US Top LPs (Billboard) 30[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Willis, Ellen (2011). Out of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music. University of Minnesota Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-0816672837. 
  2. ^ DeBolt, Abbe Allen (2011). Encyclopedia of the Sixties: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 604. ISBN 978-0313329449. 
  3. ^ "Werner Icking Music Archive: Orlando di Lasso". Icking-music-archive.org. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  4. ^ Walton, Charles (1974). Basic Forms in Music. Alfred Publishing. pp. 142–143. ISBN 0-88284-025-8. 
  5. ^ "A Poem On The Underground Wall (4:45)", Simon and Garfunkel Lyrics Archive, 1 April 2003
  6. ^ Simons, David (2004). Studio Stories - How the Great New York Records Were Made. San Francisco: Backbeat Books.  Cf. pp.94-97.
  7. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/279369/simon-garfunkel/chart?f=305