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Lorena Smalley

Today as part of our Live Music From Home series we are sharing Paul Simon’s The Boxer.  We also have shared an interesting article about the song itself…enjoy!

This history of Paul Simon’s The Boxer

In an 1984 interview, Simon revealed that he wrote this song when critics were writing harsh things about his music – he was the boxer. Said Simon: “I think the song was about me: everybody’s beating me up, and I’m telling you now I’m going to go away if you don’t stop. By that time we had encountered our first criticism. For the first few years, it was just pure praise. It took two or three years for people to realize that we weren’t strange creatures that emerged from England but just two guys from Queens who used to sing rock’n’roll. And maybe we weren’t real folkies at all! Maybe we weren’t even hippies!”

This song took over 100 hours to record, with parts of it done at Columbia Records studios in both Nashville and New York City. The chorus vocals were recorded in a church: St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University in New York. The church had a tiled dome that provided great acoustics. It was an interesting field trip for the recording crew who had to set up the equipment in the house of worship.

With all this material to work with, a standard 8-track recorder wasn’t enough, so the album’s producer, Roy Halee, brought Columbia boss Clive Davis into the studio to demonstrate his problem and lobby for a new, 16-track recorder. Davis, who didn’t become a legendary record executive by turning down such requests, bought him the new machine.

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