Two months before they released Bridge Over Trouble Water, Simon & Garfunkel tried out some of the songs on an audience at Carnegie Hall.
After gathering dust for a half-century, four of those tracks were issued as Live at Carnegie Hall 1969, a digital-only EP to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Bridge’s Jan. 26, 1970, release.
Accompanied by a percussionist and pianist, the duo work through a stunning, Garfunkel-only rendition of the title track, a stripped-back “So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright” with a spoken intro from Simon; “Song for the Asking,” sung as a duet; and “The Boxer,” which includes a verse that was ultimately scrapped on the album:
Now the years are rollin’ by me, they are rockin’ evenly/Iam older than I was once was and younger than I’ll be/that’s not unusual/it isn’t strange/after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same/after changes, we are more or less the same, they sing.
A fascinating glimpse of Simon & Garfunkel on the cusp of their greatest accomplishment – and subsequent demise – this EP demands to be an LP.