#2 Simon & Garfunkel – Bookends Theme

“Time it was and what a time it was,

a time of innocence, a time of confidences.

Long ago it must be, I have a photograph.

Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.

#2 is where the Some of the Best canon began in earnest. It was 1994, the Channel Tunnel was opening, OJ Simpson was keeping the LAPD busy in his white ford bronco and my family had moved to the wildlands of Kent. Here I was befriended by my new neighbour Jon Tuckwell and was introduced to his music collection, a library of contemporary cassettes exotic and foreign to my hitherto more sheltered ears. 5 years my senior, Jon was a fellow archivist also and was already a dizzying seven volumes into his own compilation voyage. Jon’s collection was somewhat prosaically (or classically) numbered ‘One’, ‘Two’, ‘Three’ and so forth. I am not sure if he ever moved into double figures. For shame.

So it was that one afternoon I cycled over to the Tuckwell homestead armed with a blank BASF Sound Level Type 1 Position Normal 90 Cassette and the heady desire to plunder Jon’s tapes in order to birth my second musical chronicle. A few hours – and several orange soda streams – later, Some of the Best 2 was born, and with it a title that has stuck with me for 26 years and counting.

SOTB2 is heavily – although not exclusively – Tuckwell oriented, with appearances from Whitney Houston, Elton John and Chris De Burgh. Beverly Craven gets a look in with Promise Me. However, today’s standout track is one plucked from my parents’ LP collection: Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends Theme, the Side A closer from their 1968 Bookends album. To my ears this remains as close to perfection as one minute and 16 seconds of folk music can get. Simon’s deceptively simple plucked acoustic guitar frames an elegiac melody, the sweetest of vocal harmonies and a bittersweet poem that just so happens to be a lyric. I have never tired of listening to this song, and never will.

Honourable Mentions

American Pie Don McClean

Love is All Around Wet Wet Wet

Have Mercy on the Criminal (Live in Sydney) Elton John