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Troubled waters: A history of the discordant pairing of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel topped the charts 50 years ago with their masterpiece Bridge Over Troubled Water. Their relationship has been volatile ever since, writes Martin Chilton

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The sound of silence: Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon have had four reunions - but they never last long

The sound of silence: Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon have had four reunions - but they never last long

Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon in 2010, the last time the pair performed together

Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon in 2010, the last time the pair performed together

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The sound of silence: Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon have had four reunions - but they never last long

Some grudges last a lifetime. In his late 70s, Paul Simon was still festering about a cutting jibe from his teenage friend Art Garfunkel, even though the stinging remark about his short stature was by then six decades old. For a duo who joined forces to create some of the most sublime harmonies in popular music - lasting classics such as 'Homeward Bound', 'The Sound of Silence' and 'Scarborough Fair' - Simon and Garfunkel certainly rank as one of the most discordant pairings in music history.

Between 1964 and 1968, these two young Americans made five magnificent albums before starting work on their final masterpiece, Bridge Over Troubled Water.

That final studio album, released on January 26, 1970, was for many years the best-selling LP of all time, certified platinum eight times. But the atmosphere around the album's creation was toxic, and the duo acrimoniously parted ways soon after its release. Although they have brokered occasional peace treaties, Simon and Garfunkel's relationship remained fragile and volatile for the following 50 years.


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