Today we’re taking a look at some of the best covers of the classic Simon & Garfunkel song “The Sound of Silence”. It is a song by the American duo Simon & Garfunkel. The song was written by Paul Simon over several months in 1963 and 1964 and was a hit across the World hitting the number 1 spot and going gold in several countries. Some of Simon & Garfunkel’s other huge hits include “Bridge over Troubled Water” & “Mrs. Robinson”.
Many many artists have tried to cover this song over the years, many went unnoticed but a few had huge success.
Amongst some of the musicians/acts who have covered it to date are Disturbed, Nevermore, Bobaflex, Bananarama, The Turnups. Before we get to those, let’s remind ourselves what the original sounds like so you can better compare.
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound(s) Of Silence (1964 & 1965)
This is the original version which was titled “The Sounds Of Silence”. It went largely unnoticed and the failure of the album it was on led to the Duo breaking up. Even though they had split a few radio stations started playing the song which leads us onto the next version.
The song was reworked Without the knowledge of Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel by the original songs producer & the single was re-released in September 1965. Now titled “The Sound Of Silence” It took off & hit the number 1 spot causing the duo to reform & record another album together. The resulting album titled Sounds Of Silence.
Onto the covers. Each brings their musical genre/style & and their own unique mark on it.
1. Disturbed (2015)
This is a live version of the song they did in 2016. Not their usual musical direction which makes the result all the more special. The song became Disturbed’s highest charting song. On Youtube, This live version has amassed 90+ million views while the album version has amassed 500+ million views. I read that Paul Simon emailed the Disturbed singer David Draiman to praise him on the performance.
The studio version of the song appears on their 2015 album Immortalized. The version in the video is available as the Live on CONAN version.
2. The Turnups (1980)
The Turnups were a early 80s new wave punk rock band who did quite a lot of covers. This one in particular sees The Sound Of Silence get a punk makeover & it’s actually quite good! The guitar solo in the middle is fantastic.
3. Nevermore (2000)
Nevermore was an American heavy metal band active between 1991 – 2011 fronted by baritone voiced Warrel Dane. Rather than follow the original vocal melody they put their own spin on it. The song appears on their album Dead Heart In a Dead World.
4. Bobaflex (2011)
Ni-Metal/Hard Rock band from West Virginia, US formed in 1998. The beginning leads you into a false sense of what kind of cover it is going to be, sounding more like the original version. The combination of softer & more angry/gritty vocals combined works well on this one.
The cover appears on their album Hell In My Heart.
5. Bananarama (2009)
With a Career spanning 38 years Bananarama aren’t afraid to cover some of the biggest songs around. Originally intended as a track on their 2009 Viva Album as it was originally intended to be a covers album the group changed their mind and wrote new material instead and made this cover available as a bonus track in certain countries.
The song appears on their 30 song Viva (Deluxe Expanded Edition).
That’s it for now of our look at The Sound of Silence cover versions. Which is your favorite?
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