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Harper Simon [CD]

Harper Simon Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
Price: £9.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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With a steel guitar and a microphone
I hope that you will find your way
Someday you’ll find out who you are
Someday you’ll be more than just a shooting star

-- “Shooting Star” by Harper Simon
Give a listen to Harper Simon’s shining solo debut and you’ll soon recognize that he is much more than just a shooting star. Harper Simon is the work ... Read more in Amazon's Harper Simon Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 April 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: [PIAS] Recordings
  • ASIN: B00384GJ3W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 64,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. All To God 1:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Wishes And Stars 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Audit 3:40£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Shooting Star 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Tennessee 3:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Ha Ha 2:30£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Cactus Flower Rag 2:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. All I Have Are Memories 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. The Shine 4:17£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Berkeley Girl 3:38£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Harper Simon is the long awaited self-titled debut album from Paul Simon's son Harper. Taking psychedelic country and rock music of the late 1960’s and 70’s as inspiration the ten-track album features a whole host of legendary production and musical talent. Recorded in Nashville (with Bob Johnston (Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen) on production duties), Los Angeles and New York, guest musicians include: Charlie McCoy (Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Nashville Skyline) pedal steel player Lloyd Green (The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo), drummer Gene Chrisman (Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin’s "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman"), along with Sean Lennon and Paul Simon himself. Tracey Emin even contributed the cover art.

BBC Review

There’s something very noble about following in one’s father’s footsteps, maintaining a family tradition through a chosen profession, safeguarding the reputation of a blood line. In music, though, successful sons and daughters aren’t as abundant in the mainstream pop world as they might be – Sean Lennon’s yet to make good on great promise, while lightly hyped Sting-offspring I Blame Coco is shaping up to be every bit as divisive as her father. As Harper Simon, son of Paul, acknowledges on this overdue debut album: “there are more wishes than stars.” Many have aimed, most have missed.

But this eponymous disc, which clocks in at a refreshingly brief 30 minutes, could nudge Harper out from his father’s shadow. Not that he makes things easy for himself: throughout there are echoes of Graceland’s author, in both Harper’s gentle alto vocals and the bright, airy arrangements of Ha Ha and nostalgic closer Berkeley Girl. But Harper’s assembling of a vastly experienced team of session musicians, combined with an ear for delightful melodies and a cute couplet, makes for a record that’s deceptively enjoyable. It does little, ultimately, but it does it very well.

The album’s first few numbers are reminiscent of Elliott Smith. An affecting lilt characterises these folk-hued acoustic tracks, and mixing from Tom Rothrock, who produced three of Smith’s albums, increases the potency of this parallel. The songs that kick up a little dust – Cactus Flower Rag, Shooting Star – are tinged with country pedal steel, courtesy of Lloyd Green. He, like harmonica player Charlie McCoy, played with Johnny Cash: confirmation of the quality of contributor Harper has been able to call upon for this release.

Paul Simon co-wrote a couple of these songs – fair enough, given the inspiration Harper provided him in the 1970s – and there are appearances from Inara George (daughter of Little Feat’s Lowell George) and in-demand violinist Petra Haden (daughter of Ornette Coleman bassist Charlie Haden). But throughout it’s Harper’s still-developing talent that shines brightest – if he builds upon this pleasant, unfussy debut, turning down the cliché just a tad, he could produce a classic of his own. Not a Bridge Over Troubled Water beater, but there’s evidence here that he could eclipse the old man’s Sounds of Silence, at least. --Mike Diver

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can tell its in the genes! 27 Feb 2010
Format:Audio CD
Harper Simon has been knocking about in the music scene for a few years now, performing with his friend Sean Lennon, popping up now and again on compilation albums, collaborating with his step mom (on The Heavy Circles) and touring with his very famous dad. And they would be Edie Brickell and of course, Paul Simon.

Here we have his self titled debut album which has take him 37 years to realise, and there is no mistaking his fathers influence. Delicate finger style guitar, coupled with sensitive lyrics and attention to detail, have resulted in a wholly satisfying, albeit short (half an hour or so) package. As Alison Krauss once said, this album is all killer and no filler. There is not a weak track from beginning to end. Each melody is executed with a relaxed precision that seems to go well with his almost horizontal laid back persona. The production is bolstered by several legends of the music industry, and I suspect Harper has taken full advantage of his pa's legendary status to surround himself with the very best (wouldn't you?). It clearly shows. Highlights for me are The Shine co-written with his former step mom, Carrie Fisher (this is getting complicated), and the simply gorgeous Berkley Girl which will invoke memories of Simon & Garfunkel in its poise and simplicity.

This is a lovely, lovely album, which has had heavy rotation in my CD player since its release in the US in 2009. It is a solid buy, although I believe his best is still to come. Watch this space!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coming soon to a dinner party near you... 21 April 2010
Format:Audio CD
This album took me a little by surprise. I read some positive reviews in the media (and I do have a soft spot for Simon and Garfunkel), so I thought I'd buy it - I'm glad I did.

Harper Simon is of course Paul Simon's son and comparisons are inevitable. Famous siblings don't always make good records so it was a pleasant surprise to hear a collection of well written country/folky acoustic songs sung with a laid back style familiar to anyone who has heard C.S.N, late period Byrds and..err..Simon and Garfunkel. Helping Harper out on his debut are a varity of Nashville stalwarts including Lloyd Green on pedal Steel and Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan producer Bob Johnston giving the album a classy uncomplicated sound which, although could be accused of being a little unadventurous, should help the record achieve a deserved wider appeal. Album highlights include "Wishes and Stars" a gorgeous melody with a memorable vocal, and "All I Have Are Memories" a contemporary country classic which sounds a little like Jason Lytle from Grandaddy fronting The Fallen Angels (imagine that!). Elsewhere the folkier "Ha Ha", "Berkeley Girl" and "Cactus Flower Rag" all sound strangley, wonderfully familiar. In fact this record will be making itself at home in your collection within no time at all.

Harper Simon has made a great debut record here and despite my nagging feeling he is playing it a little too safe, deserves your attention. This album really wants to be your new best friend and resistance is futile.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harper Simon 2 Jun 2010
Format:Audio CD
A lovely, poetic album. Not all the songs have the immediate impact of Shooting Star but listen a few times. Although Shine took time to grow on me, it is now my favourite track. The music, overall, is very close to the style of Paul Simon, so if you like his music, you will like this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's always a pretty impossible task for children of Singer / songwriting Legends to create their own identities and realise their potential ( just look at The Beatles children ). This album however is 30 minutes of mature well recorded good songs . Genetics are a fascinating thing as the last song on the album ( Berkeley Girl ) sounds so early Simon And Garfunkel ( in a positive way ). Having said that , the overall feel of the album is in a Country style . There is a depth to the lyrics in places on this album , a confessional aspect , which sort of tells you a bit about having a famous dad , ie " The shine " ( my favourite track ) , "Shooting Star" , and " Tennesse " ." Wishes and Stars " jumps out at you as the most easily radio friendly song with it's delightfully silly lyric and simple yet infecious melody .Thats the albums strenght in my opinion , there's light and shade , the more serious songs are balanced with witty pop songs . This is a fine first album and , although a little short , hopefully will pave the way to even greater things -Gez .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That silver haired Daddy of mine.... 6 Sep 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
While Harper Simon may not look the dead spit of his old man, on the evidence of this debut album he certainly sounds like him. Tonight Matthew, he IS going to be Paul Simon. While the guy clearly cannot help the way he sounds, there is more than a little knowing indulgence here in his evocation of his father's earliest back catalogue. This may lead to an instant polarisation of views. While some may berate him as a copyist shamelessly capitalising on his father's sound; others will take delight in the revisited structures of early Simon & Garfunkel material.

Thankfully, the quality of the songs is enough to successfully gainsay the doubters. Shot through with a country-folk ambience, these are quite simply lovely songs, for the most part sparingly arranged and beautifully sung in that strangely familiar alto. Some of them are joint compositions between father and son, one of the best being the lovely 'The Shine'. Loveliest of all, and perhaps most bizarrely, the closing song 'Berkeley Girl' manages to sound like both Simon and Garfunkel at the same time, testament to Harper Simon's vocal range or copying ability, depending on your point of view. It's a beautiful song, strongly reminiscent of 'The Dangling Conversation', that wears its lineage openly on its sleeve, almost playfully so.

For those who have been waiting 40 years for the next Simon & Garfunkel studio album, this may be the one to satisfy your hunger. It is undoubtedly a lovely album by any standards that should be taken entirely on its own merit. Whether its success or failure is based on that premise, or whether it merely creates a market for Harper Simon as a familial tribute act remains to be seen. For now, that the album wears its heritage so openly, is in my view, no bad thing at all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love love love
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not to bad
Published 2 months ago by Frank Donnelly
4.0 out of 5 stars Harper Simon
Like listening to Paul Simon in the Simon & Garfunkel" years all over again. I wonder if that's what his son intended? I loved it - but did keep thinking it was Paul!
Published 8 months ago by brookwoodsue
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I hoped Harper would follow on in his father's footsteps and he has, but with his own twist. Very enjoyable and frequently played.
Published 10 months ago by jane grace
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like his Father
I wanted to get this because I knew that Harper had a similar voice/style to his father Paul - and I wasn't disappointed - great album - shut your eyes and you are transported back... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Melodic
A highly melodic album. A really quality sound, obviously compared with his Dad, but I'd say the recording sound/layers/harmonies etc are even better. Read more
Published 18 months ago by NickyB
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cd
Must say talent surely runs in the family. Can hear Paul so clearly in Harper's voice. Love this cd; the lyrics and the music. Enjoyed it highly.
Published on 30 Oct 2011 by L. Blood
4.0 out of 5 stars harper simon
Harper Simon has come up with an impressive album to act as his debut. Musically this is a force to be reckoned with. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Miss M. Potter
4.0 out of 5 stars Harper Simon
Harper Simon has come up with an impressive album to act as his debut. Musically this is a force to be reckoned with. Read more
Published on 17 Mar 2011 by Miss M. Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars A chip of the old block!
I bought this CD on the strength of one song that I had heard on the radio. I thought it was by Simon and Garfunkel and was both surprised and delighted to learn that Paul Simon's... Read more
Published on 20 Feb 2011 by BarbieJ
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