THE A TEAM & GEORGE PEPPARD


ARTICLE IN ENGLISH FIRST

ARTICLE IN FRENCH AFTER

The A-Team is an American action-adventure television series that ran from 1983 to 1987 about a fictitious former United States Army Special Forces unit whose members, after being court-martialed “for a crime they didn’t commit”, escaped from military prison and, while still on the run, worked as soldiers of fortune. A feature film based on the series was released by 20th Century Fox in June 2010.

 

THE A TEAM 1

 

The A-Team was created by writers and producers Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo at the behest of Brandon Tartikoff, NBC’s Entertainment president. Cannell was fired from ABC in the early 1980s, after failing to produce a hit show for the network, and was hired by NBC;

His first project was The A-Team. Brandon Tartikoff pitched the series to Cannell as a combination of The Dirty Dozen, Mission Impossible, The Magnificent Seven, Mad Max and Hill Street Blues, with “Mr. T driving the car”.

The A-Team was not generally expected to become a hit, although Stephen J. Cannell has said that George Peppard suggested it would be a huge hit “before we ever turned on a camera”.

The show became very popular; the first regular episode, which aired after Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983, reached 26.4% of the television audience, placing fourth in the top 10 Nielsen-rated shows.

The A-Team was always portrayed as acting on the side of good and helping the oppressed. Cannell was known for having a particular skill at capitalizing on momentary cultural trends, such as the helicopters, machine guns, cartoonish violence, and joyful militarism of this series, which are now recognizable as trademarks of popular entertainment in the 1980s as seen in the TV shows Magnum, P.I. and Airwolf as well as the films Rambo: First Blood Part II and Top Gun.

The show remains prominent in popular culture for its cartoonish, over-the-top violence (in which people were seldom seriously hurt), formulaic episodes, its characters’ ability to form weaponry and vehicles out of old parts, and its distinctive theme tune.

The show boosted the career of Mr. T, who portrayed the character of B. A. Baracus, around whom the show was initially conceived.  Some of the show’s catchphrases, such as “I love it when a plan comes together”, “Hannibal’s on the jazz”, and “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane!” have also made their way onto T-shirts and other merchandise.

The show’s name comes from the “A-Teams”, the nickname coined for U.S. Special Forces’ Operational Detachments Alpha (ODA) during the Vietnam War, although this connection was never referenced on-screen.

In a 2003 Yahoo! survey of 1,000 television viewers, The A-Team was voted the one “oldie” television show viewers would most like to see revived, beating out such popular television series from the 1980s as The Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider.

“In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… the A-Team.”

The A-Team is a naturally episodic show, with few overarching stories, except the characters’ continuing motivation to clear their names, with few references to events in past episodes and a recognizable and steady episode structure.

In describing the ratings drop that occurred during the show’s fourth season, reviewer Gold Burt points to this structure as being a leading cause for the decreased popularity “because the same basic plot had been used over and over again for the past four seasons with the same predictable outcome”.

Similarly, reporter Adrian Lee called the plots “stunningly simple” in a 2006 article for The Express (UK newspaper), citing such recurring elements “as BA’s fear of flying, and outlandish finales when the team fashioned weapons from household items”.

The show became emblematic of this kind of “fit-for-TV warfare” due to its depiction of high-octane combat scenes, with lethal weapons, wherein the participants (with the notable exception of General Fulbright) are never killed and rarely seriously injured (see also On-screen violence section).

As the television ratings of The A-Team fell dramatically during the fourth season, the format was changed for the show’s final season in 1986–87 in a bid to win back viewers.

After years on the run from the authorities, the A-Team is finally apprehended by the military. General Hunt Stockwell, a mysterious CIA operative played by Robert Vaughn, propositions them to work for him, whereupon he will arrange for their pardons upon successful completion of several suicide missions. In order to do so, the A-Team must first escape from their captivity.

With the help of a new character, Frankie “Dishpan Man” Santana, Stockwell fakes their deaths before a military firing squad. The new status of the A-Team, no longer working for themselves, remained for the duration of the fifth season while Eddie Velez and Robert Vaughn received star billing along with the principal cast.

 

Mister T

Mr T

Premiere Of Walt Disney Animation Studios' "Bolt" - Arrivals

Mr T

The missions that the team had to perform in season five were somewhat reminiscent of Mission: Impossible, and based more around political espionage than beating local thugs, also usually taking place in foreign countries, including successfully overthrowing an island dictator, the rescue of a scientist from East Germany, and recovering top secret Star Wars defense information from Soviet hands.

These changes proved unsuccessful with viewers, however, and ratings continued to decline. Only 13 episodes aired in the fifth season. In what was supposed to be the final episode, “The Grey Team” (although “Without Reservations” was broadcast on NBC as the last first-run episode in March 1987), Hannibal, after being misled by Stockwell one time too many, tells him that the team will no longer work for him.

At the end, the team discusses what they were going to do if they get their pardon, and it is implied that they would continue doing what they were doing as the A-Team. The character of Howling Mad Murdock can be seen in the final scene wearing a T-shirt that says, “fini”.

During the Vietnam War, the A-Team were members of the 5th Special Forces Group (see Season 1, Episode 10, “West Coast Turnaround”).

In Season 2, Episode 4, “Bad Time on the Border”, Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, portrayed by George Peppard, indicated that the A-Team were “ex–Green Berets”.

During the Vietnam War, the A-Team’s commanding officer, Colonel Morrison, gave them orders to rob the Bank of Hanoi to help bring the war to an end. They succeeded in their mission, but on their return to base four days after the end of the war, they discovered that Morrison had been killed by the Viet Cong, and that his headquarters had been burned to the ground.

This meant that the proof that the A-Team members were acting under orders had been destroyed. They were arrested, and imprisoned at Fort Bragg, from which they quickly escaped before standing trial.

The origin of the A-Team is directly linked to the Vietnam War, during which the team formed.

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The show’s introduction in the first four seasons mentions this, accompanied by images of soldiers coming out of a helicopter in an area resembling a forest or jungle.

Besides this, The A-Team would occasionally feature an episode in which the team came across an old ally or enemy from those war days.

For example, the first season’s final episode “A Nice Place To Visit” revolved around the team traveling to a small town to honor a fallen comrade and end up avenging his death, and in season two’s “Recipe For Heavy Bread”, a chance encounter leads the team to meet both the POW cook who helped them during the war, and the American officer who sold his unit out.

An article in the New Statesman (UK) published shortly after the premiere of The A-Team in the United Kingdom, also pointed out The A-Team’s connection to the Vietnam War, characterizing it as the representation of the idealization of the Vietnam War, and an example of the war slowly becoming accepted and assimilated into American culture.

One of the team’s primary antagonists, Col. Roderick Decker (Lance LeGault), had his past linked back to the Vietnam War, in which he and Hannibal had come to fisticuffs in “the DOOM Club” (Da Nang Open Officers’ Mess).

 

At other times, members of the team would refer back to a certain tactic used during the War, which would be relevant to the team’s present predicament. Often, Hannibal would refer to such a tactic, after which the other members of the team would complain about its failure during the War. This was also used to refer to some of Face’s past accomplishments in scamming items for the team, such as in the first season episode “Holiday In The Hills”, in which Murdock fondly remembers Face being able to secure a ’53 Cadillac while in the Vietnam jungle.

The team’s ties to the Vietnam War were referenced again in the fourth season finale, “The Sound of Thunder”, in which the team is introduced to Tia (Tia Carrere), a war orphan and daughter of fourth season antagonist General Fulbright. Returning to Vietnam, Fulbright is shot in the back and gives his last words as he dies.

The 2006 documentary Bring Back The A-Team joked that the scene lasted seven and a half minutes, but his death actually took a little over a minute. His murderer, a Vietnamese colonel, is killed in retaliation. Tia then returns with the team to the United States (see also: casting).

This episode is notable for having one of the show’s few truly serious dramatic moments, with each team member privately reminiscing on their war experiences, intercut with news footage from the war with Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction playing in the background.

The show’s ties to the Vietnam War are fully dealt with in the opening arc of the fifth season, dubbed “The Revolution”/”The Court-Martial”, in which the team is finally court-martialed for the robbery of the bank of Hanoi.

The character of Roderick Decker makes a return on the witness stand, and various newly introduced characters from the A-Team’s past also make appearances. The team, after a string of setbacks, decides to plead guilty to the crime and they are sentenced to be executed. They escape this fate and come to work for a General Hunt Stockwell, leading into the remainder of the fifth season.

The A-Team revolves around the four members of a former commando outfit, now mercenaries.

 

Their leader is Lieutenant Colonel/Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith (George Peppard), whose plans tend to be unorthodox but effective.

Lieutenant Templeton Peck (Dirk Benedict; Tim Dunigan appeared as Templeton Peck in the pilot), usually called “Face” or “Faceman”, is a smooth-talking con man who serves as the team’s appropriator of vehicles and other useful items, as well as the team’s second-in-command.

The team’s pilot is Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Dwight Schultz), who has been declared insane and lives in a Veterans’ Administration mental institution for the show’s first four seasons.

Finally, there is the team’s strong man, mechanic and Sergeant First Class Bosco Albert “B.A.”, or “Bad Attitude”, Baracus (Mr. T).

It is unclear to which U.S. Army unit the four belonged. A patch on Hannibal’s uniform in the season 1 episode “A Nice Place To Visit” indicates they belonged to the 101st Airborne division in Vietnam, but the patch was replaced by the 1st Air Cavalry Division patch in the Season 5 episode “Trial by Fire”. In the Season 1 episode “West Coast Turnaround”, Hannibal stated they were with the 5th Special Forces Group.

Then, in Season 2 episode “Bad Time on the Border”, Hannibal refers to his friends as “ex-Green Berets”. Though the name they have adopted comes from the “A-Teams”, the nickname coined for Special Forces Operational Detachments Alpha, these detachments usually consisted of twelve members; whether the four were considered a “detachment” of their own or had once had eight compatriots who were killed in action was never revealed.

For its first season and the first half of the second season, the team was assisted by reporter Amy Amanda Allen (Melinda Culea).

In the second half of the second season, Allen was replaced by fellow reporter Tawnia Baker (Marla Heasley). The character of Tia (Tia Carrere), a Vietnam war orphan now living in the United States, was meant to join the Team in the fifth season, but she was replaced by Frankie Santana (Eddie Velez), who served as the team’s special effects expert. Velez was added to the opening credits of the fifth season after its second episode.

During their adventures, the A-Team was constantly met by opposition from the Military Police. In the show’s first season, the MPs were led by Colonel Francis Lynch (William Lucking), but he was replaced for the second, third, and earlier fourth season by Colonel Roderick Decker (Lance LeGault) and his aide Captain Crane (Carl Franklin).

Lynch returned for one episode in the show’s third season (“Showdown!”) but was not seen after. Decker was also briefly replaced by a Colonel Briggs (Charles Napier) in the third season for one episode (“Fire!”) when LeGault was unavailable, but returned shortly after. For the latter portion of the show’s fourth season, the team was hunted by General Harlan “Bull” Fulbright (Jack Ging), who would later hire the A-Team to find Tia in the season four finale, during which Fulbright was killed.

 

The fifth season introduced General Hunt Stockwell (Robert Vaughn) who, while serving as the team’s primary antagonist, was also the team’s boss and joined them on several missions. He was often assisted by Carla (Judith Ledford, sometimes credited as Judy Ledford).

Character traits

John “Hannibal” Smith: Master of Disguise. His most used disguise (although not onscreen) is Mr. Lee, the dry cleaner. This is one of the final parts of the client screening process, as he tells the client where to go in order to make full contact with the A-Team. He dresses most often in a white safari jacket and black leather gloves. He also is constantly seen smoking a cigar. Hannibal carries either a Browning Hi-Power, Colt M1911A1 or a Smith & Wesson Model 39 as a sidearm, most often “Mexican Carried” although he uses a holster when on missions. His catchphrase is “I love it when a plan comes together”. Often said, usually by B.A., to be “on the jazz” when in the fury of completing a mission.

Templeton “Faceman” Peck: Master of the Persuasive Arts. The team’s scrounger, he can get virtually anything he sets his mind to, usually exploiting women with sympathy-appeal and flirtation. However, he is not without integrity, as stated by Murdock in the episode “Family Reunion”: “He would rip the shirt off his back for you, and then scam one for himself.” Faceman is also the A-Team’s accountant. He dresses suavely, often appearing in suits. Faceman carries a Colt Lawman Mk III revolver for protection, and drives a white Corvette with orange trim.

Bosco Albert “B.A.” (Bad Attitude) Baracus: The muscle for the A-Team, Able to perform amazing feats of strength. He is also the team’s mechanic. B.A. affects a dislike for Murdock, calling him a “crazy fool”, but his true feelings of friendship are revealed when he prevents Murdock from drowning in his desire to live like a fish. B.A. also has a deep fear of flying, and the others usually have to trick and/or knock him out in order to get him on a plane.

It is very rare that B.A is awake while flying, and even rarer for him actually to consent to it. However, he then goes into a catatonic state. B.A generally wears overalls and leopard or tiger print shirts in the early seasons, then later wears a green jumpsuit in the later seasons.

 

 

He is almost always seen with about 50 pounds of gold necklaces and rings on every finger, and also wears a weightlifting belt. Baracus’s hair is always styled in a mohawk-like cut. He drives a customized black GMC van, which is the team’s usual mode of transport.

H.M “Howling Mad” Murdock: The A-Team’s pilot, he can fly any kind of aircraft with extreme precision. However, due to a helicopter crash in Vietnam, Murdock apparently went insane. He lives in a Veterans’ Hospital in the mental wing. Whenever the rest of the team requires a pilot, they have to break him out of the hospital, generally using Faceman to do so. In Seasons 1-4, Murdock has a different pet, imaginary friend, or persona in each episode. Whenever one of his pets or imaginary friends is killed by an enemy, Murdock snaps and takes revenge (but never kills).

Many times, when B.A is mad at Murdock for being crazy, Hannibal will side with Murdock in a sympathetic way. Once he is discharged from the hospital in Season 5, Murdock has a different job each episode. Essentially, B.A. and Murdock get on each other’s nerves. Murdock usually wears a leather flight jacket, a baseball cap, and basketball sneakers.

Casting

Although the part of Face was written by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Cannell with Dirk Benedict in mind, NBC insisted that the part should be played by another actor, instead.

Therefore, in the pilot, Face was portrayed by Tim Dunigan, who was later replaced by Dirk Benedict, with the comment that Dunigan was “too tall and too young”.

According to Dunigan: “I look even younger on camera than I am. So it was difficult to accept me as a veteran of the Vietnam War, which ended when I was a sophomore in high school.”

Carrere was intended to join the principal cast of the show in its fifth season after appearing in the season four finale, providing a tie to the team’s inception during the war. Unfortunately for this plan, Carrere was under contract to General Hospital, which prevented her from joining The A-Team. Her character was abruptly dropped as a result.

According to Mr. T’s account in Bring Back… The A-Team in 2006, the role of B. A. Baracus was written specifically for him. This is corroborated by Stephen J. Cannell’s own account of the initial concept proposed by Tartikoff.

James Coburn, who co-starred in The Magnificent Seven, was considered for the role of Hannibal in The A-Team, while George Peppard (Hannibal) was the original consideration for the role of Vin (played by Steve McQueen instead) in The Magnificent Seven.

Robert Vaughn, of course, actually appeared in the film.

According to Dirk Benedict, Robert Vaughn was actually added to the cast in season 5 because of his friendship with the notoriously difficult George Peppard. It was hoped that Vaughn would help ease worsening tensions between Peppard and Mr. T.

 

 

 

 

 

L’Agence tous risques (The A-Team) est une série télévisée américaine en 98 épisodes de 45 minutes, créée par Frank Lupo et Stephen J. Cannell, diffusée entre le 23 janvier 19831 et le 8 mars 1987 sur le réseau NBC.

En France, les saisons 1 à 4 ont été diffusées à partir du 1er juillet 1984 sur TF12. Diffusion de la saison 5 inédite du 5 février 19963 au 16 février 19964 sur TF1. Rediffusion intégrale du 6 juillet 20025 au 8 mai 20046 sur M6. Puis en 20037 sur 13e rue, de juin 2010 à août 2013 sur TMC ainsi qu’à partir du 16 décembre 2013 jusqu’en juillet 2014 sur HD1 et depuis le 19 février 2015 sur Paris Première.

Le 16 juin 2010, un film du même nom est commercialisé par 20th Century Fox8.

 

 

 

 

Pendant la guerre du Viêt Nam, le chef hiérarchique de l’Agence tous risque, le général Morrison, leur a donné l’ordre de voler la banque de Hanoï afin de précipiter la fin de la guerre. La mission est un succès, mais quatre jours après la fin de la guerre, ils retrouvent le général assassiné par les Viet Cong, le quartier général étant entièrement brûlé. Par conséquent, aucune preuve indiquant que l’Agence tous risques agissait sur ordre n’existe. Les membres passent alors devant une cour de justice militaire, celle-ci les condamnant à la prison. Incarcérés aux États-Unis, ils s’évadent rapidement et mènent désormais une vie de mercenaires au service « de la veuve et de l’orphelin », combattant les injustices locales.

Distribution

Acteurs principaux

George Peppard  : colonel John « Hannibal » Smith

Dirk Benedict  : lieutenant Peck « Futé » Templeton (VO : « Face ») (à partir de l’épisode 2)

Dwight Schultz  : capitaine Henry « Looping » Murdock (VO : « Howling Mad »)

Mister T.  : sergent Bosco Albert « Barracuda » Baracus (VO : « B. A. »

Melinda Culea  : Amy Amanda « Triple A » Allen (saisons 1 et 2)

Robert Vaughn  : général Hunt Stockwell (saison 5)

Eddie Velez  : Frankie Santana (saison 5)

Tim Dunigan  : lieutenant Templeton « Futé » Peck (VO : « Face ») (épisode pilote uniquement)

 

 

L’Agence tous risques a été créée par les producteurs américains Stephen J. Cannell et Frank Lupo à la demande du président du réseau NBC, Brandon Tartikoff.

Stephen J. Cannell a été renvoyé de chez ABC au début des années 1980, après avoir échoué dans sa tentative de produire une émission à succès pour la chaîne. Cannell est engagé à la NBC et son premier projet était de créer L’Agence tous risques.

Brandon Tartikoff considère l’émission comme un mélange de Les Douze Salopards, Mission Impossible, Les Sept Mercenaires, Mad Max et Capitaine Furillo, avec « Mr. T conduisant l’engin. »

L’Agence tous risques n’était, au départ, pas considérée comme une future série à succès, mais Stephen J. Cannell explique que George Peppard était persuadé qu’elle deviendrait un succès « avant même que l’on allume la caméra »13. L’émission se popularise ; le premier épisode, diffusée juste après le Super Bowl XVII le 30 janvier 1983, atteint 26,4 % de l’audience sur la chaîne, le classant ainsi quatrième sur l’Échelle de Nielsen.

Le titre original de la série vient des « Special Forces » (SF, « forces spéciales »), que les américains surnomment A-Teams et populairement connues sous le surnom des « bérets verts » (green berets), qui sont une des forces spéciales de l’US Army.

Spécialisées dans la guerre non conventionnelle, les actions commandos et la formation de troupes alliées, elles ont, depuis leur création au début des années 1950, été engagées dans la plupart des conflits impliquant les États-Unis.

La série s’inscrit dans un contexte particulier aux États-Unis, qui voit apparaître divers avatars de vétérans de la guerre du Viêt Nam, comme le détective privé Thomas Magnum ou le sergent T.J. Hooker.

 

 

Rapatriés après la fin officielle de la guerre, en 1975, de très nombreux vétérans américains ont éprouvé de grandes difficultés à se réintégrer dans une société qui ne les reconnaissait plus.

D’une part, les traumatismes physiques et psychologiques des soldats les rendaient extrêmement fragiles, d’autre part, à la frustration patriotique de la population s’est ajouté le rejet de soldats dont l’opinion publique découvrit brusquement les techniques de combat.

En effet, si l’Amérique moyenne soutenait la guerre au début des années 1960, dans un contexte de guerre froide, il en allait tout autrement quinze ans plus tard.

Les milliers de morts et de blessés dans le camp américain ne trouvaient plus aucun sens dans l’opinion publique, tandis que de nombreux journalistes révélaient la nature des combats, opposant des soldats lourdement armés à des combattants mêlés à la population.

Des photos d’enfants brûlés au napalm ont tôt fait de retourner le peuple américain contre une guerre jugée mal préparée, idéologiquement discutée et grande consommatrice d’hommes et d’argent public.

Dans ce contexte d’après-guerre, la société américaine rejette les vétérans du Viêt Nam, une attitude illustrée notamment par la chanson Born in the USA de Bruce Springsteen, le film Rambo ou plus tard le film Né un 4 juillet avec Tom Cruise.

L’Agence tous risques en est une autre illustration, puisque des soldats ayant agi sur ordre de la hiérarchie se retrouvent face à la justice de leur pays, pour un délit qu’ils n’ont commis que dans le cadre de leur fonction.

Évadés, ils seront pourchassés pour ce délit, ne parvenant pas à faire reconnaître par le département de la Défense le contexte dans lequel les faits reprochés ont été commis.

Par ailleurs, d’un point de vue plus strictement formel, la série marque une évolution (ou du moins y participe) dans la structure des personnages. Autrefois seul, tel un Colombo ou une Arabesque, le héros se multiplie, ici par quatre, offrant plus de possibilités d’identification au spectateur.

 

Chaque personnage est nettement marqué dans ses singularités, l’ensemble formant une équipe hétérogène mais néanmoins soudée, où tous les grands types de caractères se reconnaîtront.

Cette formule d’écriture des séries coexistera néanmoins avec d’autres personnages isolés, tels Magnum ou MacGyver, mais elle continuera de se développer pour atteindre un casting étendu dans des séries comparable à  Jump Street, Beverly Hills  ou Urgences. Dans ces derniers exemples, il est possible de voir apparaître une nébuleuse de personnages, chacun développant une histoire parallèle ou imbriquée avec celle des autres protagonistes.

De multiples spectateurs peuvent désormais s’identifier à un personnage en particulier, peu importe leur race, sexe, religion ou orientation sexuelle dans certains cas.

Enfin, pour les séries plus récentes, une telle évolution correspond peut-être aussi aux plans de carrière des acteurs, qui profitent des séries pour développer une carrière au cinéma (tels Johnny Depp) ou pas (Jason Priestley).

Dans une telle perspective, les producteurs de la série ne peuvent se permettre d’interrompre une saison à cause du départ du rôle-titre. La multiplication des héros offre une solution à ce problème, puisqu’une série peut se passer d’un personnage dont l’histoire dira qu’il est parti à l’étranger, décédé ou quoi que ce soit qui explique son absence au générique.

 

Saisons une à quatre

 

Les épisodes sont en général construits sur des schémas très semblables. Le début de l’épisode correspond à la prise de contact entre un client qui est terrorisé par une association de malfaiteurs ou un potentat local.

La manière classique de cette rencontre est que le client entre en contact alors qu’Hannibal Smith est déguisé, afin de vérifier que le client n’est pas en réalité à la solde des militaires.

Dans d’autres cas, l’Agence est en train de rouler et tombe sur quelqu’un qui a besoin d’aide. La plupart du temps, les honoraires pour l’intervention de l’Agence ne sont soit pas demandés, soit pas perçus ou sont récupérés d’une autre manière (en prélevant sur l’argent des malfaiteurs par exemple).

Généralement, Looping n’est pas présent dans l’équipe car il est interné dans un hôpital psychiatrique, et l’Agence utilise en général Futé pour aller le récupérer grâce à divers stratagèmes.

Ou alors il s’évade de lui-même pour aller rejoindre l’Agence. Dans beaucoup d’épisodes, il aime avoir un objet ou un animal qui ne le quitte pas jusqu’à la fin, tel qu’un cafard, un homard, une chaussette, avec lequel il agace généralement Barracuda avec ses facéties.

Ensuite, l’Agence qui doit se rendre sur le lieu des crimes et délits des malfaiteurs emprunte parfois l’avion, ce que Barracuda déteste particulièrement auquel cas ils doivent l’endormir.

Une fois sur les lieux, il y a souvent une annonce d’Hannibal aux malfaiteurs indiquant qu’ils doivent désormais compter avec eux. Cela produit en général une bagarre sans armes que l’Agence gagne facilement, tout en laissant curieusement leurs ennemis s’échapper.

Peut-être dans l’espoir que ces derniers, impressionnés par les membres de l’Agence, abandonnent leurs entreprises malhonnêtes et s’en aillent.

Les antagonistes reviennent et au lieu de tuer les membres de l’Agence, les laissent (souvent, sans même les ligoter et/ou les bâillonner) dans une grange, un garage ou un entrepôt, voire une mine.

Privés de leurs armes, ils ont néanmoins à leur disposition du matériel tel que de l’acétylène, de la poudre, des tôles et des tubes d’acier permettant à Barracuda de bricoler des armes ou de refaire fonctionner un engin (voiture, tracteur…) ce qui leur permet de s’échapper, et d’arriver à arrêter les malfaiteurs.

Dans d’autres cas, Looping arrive à prendre le contrôle d’un hélicoptère, souvent sous le nez de son propriétaire, ce qui permet de constituer un appui aérien non négligeable.

L’arrestation finale des méchants se fait parfois par un combat à mains nues, qui oppose toujours les méchants à l’agence en respectant la hiérarchie (Hannibal contre le chef de l’équipe, Barracuda contre le noir ou le plus costaud des méchants), ou alors au terme d’une des innombrables poursuites homériques de la série, qui permettent à chaque fois d’admirer les talents de pilote de Barracuda au volant de sa camionnette ou d’un bolide étrange bricolé par l’agence.

Ils doivent souvent partir rapidement après l’arrestation des méchants pour échapper aux colonels Lynch ou Decker. Dans tous les cas, il n’y a en général, même avec l’utilisation d’armes de guerres mortelles, pas de personnes qui soient tuées, voire sérieusement blessées.

La plupart du temps, les ennemis sont sonnés, ou très légèrement blessés (une douleur à un membre ou à la tête). Il n’y a eu, en tout et pour tout, que deux morts dans toute la série. Cette série est devenue pour cette raison un genre à part entière dans la télévision, puisque c’est la première série violente à avoir été diffusée aux heures de grande écoute aux États-Unis justement en raison de l’absence, ou presque, de morts.

À ce titre, la série apparaît quelquefois peu crédible, notamment dans l’épisode Tirez sur le Cheik, où l’hélicoptère des méchants s’écrase contre une falaise et que leurs occupants en ressortent indemnes.

Cinquième saison

L’avant-dernière saison perdant en popularité[réf. nécessaire], le format de la série a été changé pour la dernière saison (1986-1987).

Après avoir échappé pendant des années aux militaires, l’Agence tous risques est finalement arrêtée. Ils ont le choix entre retourner en prison, être exécutés ou être affectés à une agence gouvernementale dirigée par le général Hunt Stockwell qui réalise des missions secrètes. Ils choisissent de travailler avec Stockwell.

 

Arrêt de la série

Selon le producteur Stephen J. Cannell, la série s’est arrêtée au bout de cinq ans parce qu’elle devenait de plus en plus chère à produire. Qui plus est, les acteurs George Peppard, Dirk Benedict et Mr. T étaient de plus en plus démotivés (ce dernier avait d’ailleurs sa propre série, de 1988 à 1990).

Générique

L’Agence tous risques bénéficie de génériques différents à chaque saison, avec une accroche commune : « Il y a dix ans (en 1972), une unité de commando d’élite stationnée au Viêt Nam fut envoyée en prison par un tribunal militaire, pour un crime qu’ils n’avaient pas commis.

Ces hommes s’évadèrent rapidement de leur prison militaire de haute sécurité, se réfugiant dans les bas-fonds de Los Angeles. Aujourd’hui, encore recherchés par le gouvernement, ils fuient encore et toujours devant leurs poursuivants et survivent comme des mercenaires.

Si vous avez un problème, si vous êtes seul, si personne ne peut vous aider, si vous êtes acculé, si la justice ne peut plus rien pour vous, il vous reste un recours, un seul : l’Agence tous risques. »

Plus tard, au cours de la saison 2, l’accroche fut modifiée : « accusés d’un vol qu’ils n’ont pas commis, n’ayant aucun moyen d’en faire la preuve, ils fuient sans cesse devant leurs poursuivants. Pour subsister, ils emploient leurs compétences. Si la loi ne peut plus rien pour vous, il vous reste un recours, un seul : l’Agence tous risques. »

 

 

GEORGE PEPPARD

 

 

 

SOURCES WIKIPEDIA

Simon & Garfunkel


 

Simon & Garfunkel was an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the most popular recording artists of the 1960s and became counterculture icons of the decade’s social revolution, alongside artists such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Bob Dylan.

Simon and Garfunkel3

Simon and Garfunkel album cover 1

English article / En Français plus bas svp / French below

Their biggest hits—including “The Sound of Silence” (1964/1965), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1969), and “The Boxer” (1969)—reached number one on singles charts worldwide.

Their often rocky relationship led to artistic disagreements, which resulted in their breakup in 1970.

Their final studio record, Bridge over Troubled Water, was their most successful, becoming one of the world’s best-selling albums. Since their split in 1970 they have reunited several times, most famously in 1981 for the “The Concert in Central Park”, which attracted more than 500,000 people, the seventh-largest concert attendance in history.

The duo met as children in Queens, New York in 1953, where they learned to harmonize together and began writing original material. By 1957, under the name Tom & Jerry, the teenagers had their first minor success with “Hey Schoolgirl”, a song imitating their idols the Everly Brothers.

Afterwards, the duo went their separate ways, with Simon making unsuccessful solo records. In 1963, aware of a growing public interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel. Their début, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., sold poorly, and they once again disbanded;

Simon returned to a solo career, this time in England. A remix of their song “The Sound of Silence” was played widely on U.S. AM radio in 1965, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Simon & Garfunkel reunited, releasing their second studio album Sounds of Silence and touring colleges nationwide.

On their third release, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), the duo assumed more creative control. Their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, giving them further exposure. Bookends (1968), their next album, topped the Billboard 200 chart and included the #1 single “Mrs. Robinson” from the film.

After their 1970 breakup following the release of Bridge over Troubled Water, they both continued recording, Simon releasing a number of highly acclaimed albums, including 1986’s Graceland.

Garfunkel also briefly pursued an acting career, with leading roles in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge, and in Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing.

Simon & Garfunkel were described by critic Richie Unterberger as “the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s” and one of the most popular artists from the decade in general. They won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Their Bridge over Troubled Water album was nominated at the 1977 Brit Awards for Best International Album and is ranked at #51 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Early years (1953–1956)

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel grew up in the 1940s and 1950s in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Forest Hills in Queens, New York, just three blocks away from one another, and attended the same schools, Public School 164 in Flushing, Parsons Junior High School, and Forest Hills High School.

Individually, when still young, they developed a fascination with music; both listened to the radio and were taken with rock and roll as it emerged, particularly the Everly Brothers.

Early Simon & Garfunkel F

When Simon first noticed Garfunkel, he was singing in a fourth grade talent show, and Simon thought that was a good way to attract girls;

he hoped for a friendship which eventually started in 1953 when they were in the sixth grade and appeared on stage together in a school play adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. That first stage appearance was followed by the duo forming a street-corner doo-wop group, the Peptones, with three other friends, and learning to harmonize together. They began performing for the first time as a duo at school dances.

They moved to Forest Hills High School in 1955, where, in 1956, they wrote their first song, “The Girl for Me”; Simon’s father sending a handwritten copy to the Library of Congress to register a copyright.

While trying to remember the lyrics to the Everly’s song “Hey Doll Baby“, they created their own song, “Hey Schoolgirl”, which they recorded themselves for $25 at Sanders Recording Studio in Manhattan.

While recording they were overheard by a promoter, Sid Prosen, who – after speaking to their parents – signed them to his independent label Big Records.

From Tom & Jerry to Simon & Garfunkel (1957–1964)

While still aged 15, Simon & Garfunkel now had a recording contract with Sid Prosen’s independent label Big Records.

Using the name Tom & Jerry; Garfunkel naming himself Tom Graph, a reference to his interest in mathematics;

Simon naming himself Jerry Landis, after the surname of Sue Landis, a girl he had dated, the single “Hey Schoolgirl” was released, with the B-side “Dancin’ Wild”, in 1957.

Prosen, using the payola system, bribed Alan Freed $200 to get the single played on his radio show, where it became a nightly staple.

“Hey Schoolgirl” attracted regular rotation on nationwide AM pop stations, leading it to sell over 100,000 copies and to land on Billboard’s charts at number 49.

Prosen promoted the group heavily, getting them a spot on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand (headlining alongside Jerry Lee Lewis).

The duo shared approximately $4,000 from the song – earning two percent each from royalties, the rest staying with Prosen.

They released three more singles on Big Records: “Our Song”, “That’s My Story”, and “Don’t Say Goodbye”, none of them successful.

After graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1959, they were still exploring the possibilities of a music career, though continued their education as a back up; Simon studying English at Queens College, City University of New York, Garfunkel studying first architecture, then switching to art history at Columbia College, Columbia University.

While still with Big Records as a duo, Simon released a solo single, “True or False”, under the name “True Taylor”.

This recording upset Garfunkel, who regarded it as a betrayal; the emotional tension from that incident occasionally surfacing throughout their relationship.

Their last recording with Big Records was a cover of a Jan and Dean single, “Baby Talk”, but the company became bankrupt soon after release; the track was reissued on Bell Records, but failed to sell, so Tom & Jerry was dissolved.

Both, however, continued recording, albeit as solo artists: Garfunkel composing and recording “Private World” for Octavia Records, and – under the name Artie Garr – “Beat Love” for Warwick; Simon recorded with The Mystics, and Tico & The Triumphs, and wrote and recorded under the names Jerry Landis and Paul Kane.

Simon also wrote and performed demos for other artists, working for a while with Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

After graduating in 1963, Simon joined Garfunkel, who was still at Columbia, to perform together again as a duo, this time with a shared interest in folk music.

Simon enrolled part-time in Brooklyn Law School,By late 1963, billing themselves as “Kane & Garr”, they performed at Gerde’s Folk City, a Greenwich club that hosted Monday night open mic performances.

The duo performed three new songs — “Sparrow”, “He Was My Brother”, and “The Sound of Silence” — and got the attention of Columbia producer Tom Wilson, who worked with Bob Dylan.

As a “star producer” for the label, he wanted to record “He Was My Brother” with a new British act named the Pilgrims.

Simon convinced Wilson to let him and his partner have a studio audition, and they performed “The Sound of Silence”. House engineer Roy Halee recorded the audition, and at Wilson’s urging, Columbia signed the duo.

Their debut studio album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., was recorded over three daytime sessions in March 1964 and released in October. The album contains four original Simon compositions, with the remainder consisting of three traditional folk songs and five folk-influenced singer-songwriter numbers.

Simon was adamant that they would no longer use stage names, and they adopted the name Simon & Garfunkel.

Columbia set up a promotional showcase at Folk City on March 31, 1964, the duo’s first public concert as Simon & Garfunkel. The showcase, as well as other scheduled performances, did not go well.

Simon in England (1964–1965)

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. sold only 3,000 copies upon its October release, and its poor sales led Simon to move to England where he had previously visited and played some gigs.

He toured the small folk clubs, appearing on the same bill and befriending British folk artists such as Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, Al Stewart, and Sandy Denny.

He met Kathy Chitty, who became the object of his affection and is the Kathy in “Kathy’s Song” and “America”.

A small music publishing company, Lorna Music, licensed “Carlos Dominguez”, a single Simon had cut two years prior as “Paul Kane”, for a cover by Val Doonican that sold very well.

Simon visited Lorna to thank them, and the meeting resulted in a publishing and recording contract. He signed to the Oriole label and released “He Was My Brother” as a single.

Simon invited Garfunkel to stay for the summer of 1964.

Near the end of the season, Garfunkel returned to Columbia for class, and Simon surprised his friends by saying that he would be returning to the States as well.

He would resume his studies at Brooklyn Law School for one semester, partially at his parents’ insistence. He returned to England in January 1965, now certain that music was his calling.

In the meantime, his landlord, Judith Piepe, had compiled a tape from his work at Lorna and sent it to the BBC in hopes they would play it.

Simon and Garfunkel (1966)

ART AND GARFUNKEK 60s

The demos aired on the Five to Ten morning show, and were instantly successful. Oriole had folded into CBS by that point, and hoped to record a new Paul Simon album.

The Paul Simon Songbook was recorded in June 1965 and featured multiple future Simon & Garfunkel staples, among them “I Am a Rock” and “April Come She Will”. CBS flew Wilson over to produce the record, and he stayed at Simon’s flat.

The album saw release in August, and although sales were poor, Simon felt content with his future in England.

Meanwhile, in the United States, a late-night disc jockey at WBZ-FM in Boston played “The Sound of Silence”, where it found a college demographic.

It was picked up the next day along the East Coast of the United States, down to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Wilson, inspired by the folk rock sound of the Byrds’ cover of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, created a rock remix of the song with the same musicians who overdubbed the Dylan song. The remix of “The Sound of Silence” was issued in September 1965, where it reached the Billboard Hot 100.

Wilson had not informed the duo of his intention to remix the track; as such, Simon was “horrified” when he first heard it.

Garfunkel graduated in 1965, returning to Columbia University to do a master’s degree in mathematics.

Mainstream breakthrough and success (1965–66)

By January 1966, “The Sound of Silence” topped the Hot 100, selling over one million copies.

Simon reunited with Garfunkel that winter in New York, leaving Chitty and his friends in England behind. CBS demanded a new album from the duo, to be called Sounds of Silence to ride the wave of the hit.

Recorded in three weeks, and mainly consisting of re-recorded songs from The Paul Simon Songbook, plus four new tracks, Sounds of Silence was rush-released onto the market in mid-January 1966, peaking at number 21 Billboard Top LPs chart.

A week later, “Homeward Bound” was released as a single, entering the USA top ten, followed by “I Am a Rock” peaking at number three.

The duo supported the recordings with a nationwide tour of America, while CBS continued their promotion by re-releasing Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., which promptly charted at number 30.

Despite the commercial and popular success, the duo received critical derision, as many considered them a manufactured imitation of folk.

As they considered their previous effort a “rush job” to capitalize on their sudden success, the duo spent more time crafting the follow-up. It was the first time Simon insisted on total control in aspects of recording.

Work began in 1966 and took nine months. Garfunkel considered the recording of “Scarborough Fair” the moment they stepped into the role as producer, because they were constantly beside engineer Roy Halee mixing the track.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was issued in October 1966, following the release of several singles and receiving sold-out college campus shows.

The duo resumed their trek on the college circuit eleven days following the release, crafting an image that was described as “alienated”, “weird”, and “poetic”.

Manager Mort Lewis also was responsible for this public perception, as he withheld them from television appearances (unless they were allowed to play an uninterrupted set or choose the setlist).

Simon and Garfunkel album1

Simon, then 26 , felt he had finally “made it” into an upper echelon of rock and roll, while most importantly retaining artistic integrity (“making him spiritually closer to Bob Dylan than to, say, Bobby Darin”, wrote biographer Marc Eliot).

The duo chose William Morris as their booking agency after a recommendation from Wally Amos, a mutual friend through their producer, Tom Wilson.

During the sessions for Parsley, the duo cut “A Hazy Shade of Winter”; it was released as a single, peaking at number 13 on the national charts.

Similarly, they recorded “At the Zoo” for single release in early 1967 (it charted lower, at number 16).

Simon began work for their next album around this time, noting to a writer at High Fidelity that “I’m not interested in singles anymore”.

He had hit a dry spell in his writing, which led to no Simon & Garfunkel album on the horizon for 1967.

Artists at the time were expected to release two, perhaps three albums each year and the lack of productivity from the duo worried executives at Columbia Records.

Amid concerns for Simon’s idleness, Columbia Records chairman Clive Davis arranged for up-and-coming record producer John Simon to kick-start the recording.

Simon was distrustful of “suits” at the label; on one occasion, he and Garfunkel brought a tape recorder into a meeting with Davis, who was giving a “fatherly talk” on speeding up production, in order to laugh at it later.

The rare television appearances at this time saw the duo performing on such diverse network broadcasts as the Ed Sullivan, Mike Douglas and Andy Williams shows in 1966 and twice on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967.

Meanwhile, director Mike Nichols, then filming The Graduate, had become fascinated with the duo’s past two efforts, listening to them nonstop before and after filming.

The graduate

THE GRADUATE  /  LE LAUREAT  with DUSTIN HOFFMAN

After two weeks of this obsession, he met with Clive Davis to ask for permission to license Simon & Garfunkel music for his film. Davis viewed it as a perfect fit and envisioned a best-selling soundtrack album.

Simon was not as immediately receptive, viewing movies akin to “selling out”, creating a damper on his artistic integrity. However, after meeting Nichols and becoming impressed by his wit and the script, he agreed to write at least one or two new songs for the film.

Leonard Hirshan, a powerful agent at William Morris, negotiated a deal that paid Simon $25,000 to submit three songs to Nichols and producer Lawrence Turman.

Several weeks later, Simon re-emerged with two new tracks, “Punky’s Dilemma” and “Overs”, neither of which Nichols was particularly taken with. The duo offered another new song, which later became “Mrs. Robinson”, that was not as developed. Nichols loved it.

Studio time and low profile (1967–68)

The duo’s fourth studio album, Bookends, was recorded in fits and starts over various periods from late 1966 to early 1968. The duo were signed under an older contract that specified the label pay for sessions, and Simon & Garfunkel took advantage of this indulgence, hiring viola and brass players, as well as percussionists. The record’s brevity reflects its concise and perfectionist production. The team spent over 50 studio hours recording “Punky’s Dilemma”, for example, and re-recorded vocal parts, sometimes note by note, until they were satisfied.

While Garfunkel’s songs and voice took a lead role on some songs, the harmonies the band were known for gradually disappeared. For Simon, Bookends represented the end of the duo and became an early indicator of his intentions to go solo.

Although the album had been planned long in advance, work did not begin in earnest until the late months of 1967.

Prior to release, the band helped put together and performed at the Monterey Pop Festival, which signaled the beginning of the Summer of Love on the West Coast.

“Fakin’ It” was issued as a single that summer and found only modest success on AM radio; the duo were much more focused on the rising FM format, which played album cuts and treated their music with respect.

In January 1968, the duo appeared on a Kraft Music Hall special, Three for Tonight, performing ten songs largely culled from their third album.

Bookends was released by Columbia Records in April 1968. In a historical context, this was just 24 hours before the assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., which spurred nationwide outrage and riots.

The album debuted on the Billboard Top LPs in the issue dated April 27, 1968, climbing to number one and staying at that position for seven non-consecutive weeks; it remained on the chart as a whole for 66 weeks.

Bookends received such heavy orders weeks in advance of its release that Columbia was able to apply for award certification before copies left the warehouse, a fact it touted in magazine ads.The record became the duo’s best-selling album to date: it fed off the buzz created by the release of The Graduate soundtrack album ten weeks earlier, creating an initial combined sales figure of over five million units.

Davis had predicted this fact, and suggested raising the list price of Bookends by one dollar to $5.79, above the then standard retail price, to compensate for including a large poster included in vinyl copies.

Simon instead scoffed and viewed it as charging a premium on “what was sure to be that year’s best-selling Columbia album”. According to biographer Marc Eliot, Davis was “offended by what he perceived as their lack of gratitude for what he believed was his role in turning them into superstars”.

Rather than implement Davis’ price increase plan, Simon & Garfunkel signed a contract extension with Columbia that guaranteed them a higher royalty rate.

Lead single “Mrs. Robinson” became, at the 1969 Grammy Awards the first rock and roll song to receive Record of the Year; it was also awarded Best Contemporary Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Growing apart and final years (1969–70)

Bookends, alongside The Graduate soundtrack, propelled Simon & Garfunkel to become the biggest rock duo in the world.

Simon was approached by producers to write music for films or license songs; he turned down Franco Zeffirelli, who was preparing to film Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and John Schlesinger, who likewise was readying to shoot Midnight Cowboy.

In addition to Hollywood proposals, producers from the Broadway show Jimmy Shine (starring Simon’s friend Dustin Hoffman, also the lead in Midnight Cowboy) asked for two original songs and Simon declined.

He collaborated briefly with Leonard Bernstein on a sacred mass before withdrawing from the project due to “finding it perhaps too far afield from his comfort zone”.

Garfunkel took the role of Captain Nately in the Nichols film, Catch-22, based on the Catch-22 novel. Initially Simon was to play the character of Dunbar, but screenwriter Buck Henry felt the film was already crowded with characters and subsequently wrote Simon’s part out.

The filming of Catch-22 began in January 1969 and lasted about eight months.

The unexpectedly long film production endangered the relationship between the duo;

Simon had not completed any new songs at this point, and the duo planned to collaborate when the filming would be finished.

Following the end of filming of Catch-22 in October, the first performance of what was, for a time, their last tour, took place in Ames, Iowa.

The US leg of the tour ended in the sold-out Carnegie Hall on November 27.

After breaking for Christmas, the duo continued working on the album in early 1970 and finished it in late January.

Meanwhile, the duo, working with director Charles Grodin, produced an hourlong CBS special, Songs of America, which is a mixture of scenes featuring notable political events and leaders concerning the USA, such as the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession, Cesar Chavez and the Poor People’s March. It was broadcast only once, due to internal tension at the network regarding its content.

Bridge over Troubled Water, their final studio album, was released in January 1970 and charted in over 11 countries, topping the charts in 10, including the Billboard Top LP’s chart in the US and the UK Albums Chart.

It was the best-selling album in 1970, 1971 and 1972 and was at that time the best-selling album of all time.

It was also CBS Records’ best-selling album before the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller in 1982.

The album topped the Billboard charts for 10 weeks and stayed in the charts for 85 weeks.

In the United Kingdom, the album topped the charts for 35 weeks, and spent 285 weeks in the top 100, from 1970 to 1975.[88] It has since sold over 25 million copies worldwide.

“Bridge over Troubled Water”, the album’s lead single, hit number one in five countries and became their biggest seller.

The song has been covered by over 50 artists since then, including Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. “Cecilia”, the follow-up, hit number four in the US, and “El Condor Pasa” hit number 18

The recording process was tough for both musicians, and their breakup was almost certain considering the deterioration of their relationship. “At that point, I just wanted out,” Simon later said.

Their breakup was not intended to be semi-permanent: Garfunkel hoped for a two-year break from Simon & Garfunkel and did not intend to pursue a film-career. Likewise, Simon did not intend to begin a solo career.

A brief British tour followed the album release, and the duo’s last concert as Simon & Garfunkel occurred at Forest Hills Stadium.

In 1971, the album took home six awards at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. Simon’s wife, Peggy Harper, pushed for him to make the split official, and he placed a call to Davis to confirm the duo’s breakup: “I want you to know I’ve decided to split with Artie. I don’t think we’ll be recording together again.”

For the next several years, the duo would only speak “two or three” times a year.

Breakup, rifts, and reunions (1971–2003)

In the 1970s, the duo reunited several times. Their first reunion was a benefit concert for presidential candidate George McGovern at New York’s Madison Square Garden in June 1972.

In 1975, they reconciled once more when they visited a recording session with John Lennon and Harry Nilsson.

For the rest of the year, they attempted to make the reunion work, but their collaboration only yielded one song, “My Little Town,” that was featured on Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years and Garfunkel’s Breakaway.

It peaked at number nine on the Hot 100. In 1975, Garfunkel joined Simon for a medley of three songs on the television series Saturday Night Live which Simon was guest hosting.

In 1977, Garfunkel joined Simon for a brief performance of their old songs on Simon’s television special The Paul Simon Special, and later that year they recorded a cover of Sam Cooke’s “(What a) Wonderful World” along with James Taylor.

Old tensions finally appeared to dissipate upon Garfunkel’s return to New York in 1978, when the duo began interacting more often.

On May 1, 1978, Simon joined Garfunkel for a concert held at Carnegie Hall to benefit the hearing disabled.

By 1980, the duo’s respective solo efforts were not doing well. To help alleviate New York’s economic decline, concert promoter Ron Delsener came up with the idea to throw a free concert in Central Park.

Delsener contacted Simon with the idea of a Simon & Garfunkel reunion, and once Garfunkel agreed, plans were made.

The Concert in Central Park, performed September 19, 1981, attracted more than 500,000 people, at that time the largest-ever concert attendance.

Warner Bros. Records released a live album of the show that went double platinum in the US.

A 90-minute recording of the concert was sold to Home Box Office (HBO) for over $1 million.

The concert created a renewed interest in the duo’s work.

They had several “heart-to-heart talks,” attempting to put past issues behind them.

The duo planned a world tour, kicking off in May 1982, but their relationship grew contentious: for the majority of the tour, they did not speak to one another.

Warner Bros. pushed for them to extend the tour and release an all-new Simon & Garfunkel studio album.

After recording several vocal tracks for a possible new Simon & Garfunkel album, Simon decided to adopt it as his own solo album. Garfunkel had refused to learn the songs in the studio, and would not give up cannabis and cigarettes, despite Simon’s requests.

An official spokesperson remarked, “Paul simply felt the material he wrote is so close to his own life that it had to be his own record. Art was hoping to be on the album, but I’m sure there will be other projects that they will work on together. They are still friends.”

The material was later released on Simon’s 1983 effort Hearts and Bones.

Another rift opened between the duo when the lengthy recording of Simon’s 1986 album Graceland prevented Garfunkel from working with Roy Halee on a Christmas album.

In 1990, the duo were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Garfunkel thanked his partner, calling him “the person who most enriched my life by putting those songs through me,” to which Simon responded, “Arthur and I agree about almost nothing. But it’s true, I have enriched his life quite a bit.” After three songs, the duo left without speaking.

We are indescribable. You’ll never capture it. It’s an ingrown, deep friendship. Yes, there is deep love in there. But there’s also shit. =>  Garfunkel describing his six-decade-long friendship with Simon

 

By 1993, their relationship had thawed again, and Simon invited Garfunkel on an international tour with him.

Following a 21-date, sold-out run at the Paramount Theater in New York and an appearance at that year’s Bridge School Benefit in California, the duo toured the Far East.

The duo had a falling out over the course of the rest of the decade, the details of which have never been disclosed.

Simon thanked Garfunkel at his 2001 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist: “I regret the ending of our friendship. I hope that some day before we die we will make peace with each other,” resuming after a pause, “No rush.”

They were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 45th Annual Grammy Awards in 2003, for which the promoters convinced them to reconcile and open the show with a performance of “The Sound of Silence.”

The performance was satisfying for both musicians, and they planned out a full-scale reunion tour over the summer.

The Old Friends tour began in October 2003 and played to sold-out audiences across the United States for 30 dates until mid-December.

The tour earned an estimated $123 million.

Following a twelve-city run in Europe in 2004, they ended their nine-month tour with a free concert at the Colosseum in Rome. It attracted 600,000 fans, more than their The Concert in Central Park.

Recent years (2009–present)

In 2009, the duo reunited again for three songs during Simon’s two-night arrangement at New York’s Beacon Theatre. This led to a reunion tour of Asia and Australia in June 2009.

Their headlining set at the 2010 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival was very difficult for Garfunkel, who was experiencing serious vocal problems. “I was terrible, and crazy nervous. I leaned on Paul Simon and the affection of the crowd,” he told Rolling Stone several years later.

Garfunkel was diagnosed with vocal cord paresis, and the remaining tour dates were postponed indefinitely. His manager, John Scher, informed Simon’s camp that Garfunkel would be ready within a year, which did not happen, leading to poor relations between the two. He regained his vocal strength over the course of the next four years, performing shows in a Harlem theater and to underground audiences.

Art_Garfunkel_2013

ART GARFUNKEL

Despite this, the duo have not staged a full-scale tour or performed shows since 2010. Garfunkel confirmed to Rolling Stone in 2014 that he believes they will tour in the future, although Simon had been too “busy” in recent years. “I know that audiences all over the world like Simon and Garfunkel. I’m with them. But I don’t think Paul Simon’s with them,” he remarked.

Musical style and legacy

Over the course of their career, Simon & Garfunkel’s music gradually moved from a very basic, folk rock sound to incorporate more experimental elements for the time, including Latin and gospel music. Many adolescents of the 1960s found their music relevant, while adults regarded them as intelligent.

Their music, according to Rolling Stone, struck a chord among lonely, alienated young adults near the end of the decade.

Despite its popularity, the group was also criticized sharply, especially in its heyday. Rolling Stone critic Arthur Schmidt, for example, described the duo’s music as “questionable…it exudes a sense of process, and it is slick, and nothing too much happens.”

New York Times critic Robert Shelton said that the group had “a kind of Mickey Mouse, timid, contrived” approach to music.

Their clean sound and muted lyricism “cost them some hipness points during the psychedelic era” according to Richie Unterberger of AllMusic, who also notes that the duo “inhabited the more polished end of the folk-rock spectrum and was sometimes criticized for a certain collegiate sterility.”

Paul_Simon

PAUL SIMON

Unterberger further observes that some critics would later regard Simon’s lyricism in his work with Simon & Garfunkel to pale in comparison to his later solo material.

But Unterberger himself believed that “the best of S&G’s work could stand among Simon’s best material, and the duo did progress musically over the course of their five albums, moving from basic folk-rock productions into Latin rhythms and gospel-influenced arrangements that foreshadowed Simon’s eclecticism on his solo albums.”

Their rocky personal relationship led to their “breaking up and making up about every dozen years.”

Simon and Garfunkel est un duo américain de folk rock, constitué du guitariste et auteur-compositeur-interprète Paul Simon et du chanteur Arthur Garfunkel. Tous deux se rencontrent pour la première fois dans le Queens en 1953.

Simon and Garfunkel album2

Ils apprennent à s’accorder l’un avec l’autre et commencent à écrire leurs propres compositions. Ils connaissent leur premier succès en 1957, sous le nom de Tom & Jerry, avec la chanson Hey Schoolgirl, qui imite le style de leurs idoles The Everly Brothers.

Mais ce succès n’est pas confirmé et ils poursuivent ensuite leurs études universitaires chacun de leur côté. Ils se retrouvent en 1963, avec un intérêt accru pour la musique folk, et signent un contrat avec Columbia Records. Leur premier album, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. (1964), est un échec commercial à sa sortie et le duo se sépare, Simon décidant de poursuivre sa carrière en solo en Angleterre.

Cependant, une nouvelle version de leur chanson The Sound of Silence connaît le succès sur les ondes américaines en 1965 et atteint la première place du Billboard Hot 100.

Le duo se reforme alors et enregistre un deuxième album, Sounds of Silence (1966), qui est rapidement suivi par Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), album sur lequel le duo prend un plus grand contrôle créatif. La popularité du duo s’accroît avec la bande originale du film Le Lauréat (1967), composée en majeure partie par leurs chansons.

Leur album suivant, Bookends (1968), les propulse au rang de stars internationales majeures. Néanmoins, les relations entre les deux hommes se dégradent et le duo se sépare peu après la sortie de leur album suivant, Bridge over Troubled Water (1970), qui est leur plus grand succès commercial.

Simon and Garfunkel comptent parmi les artistes les plus populaires des années 1960 et sont considérés comme des icônes de la contre-culture de cette décennie, au même titre que les Beatles et Bob Dylan.

Leurs chansons les plus célèbres, The Sound of Silence, I Am a Rock, Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, A Hazy Shade of Winter, Mrs. Robinson, Bridge over Troubled Water, The Boxer, Cecilia et El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could), ont  connu un très grand succès international.

Depuis leur séparation, Simon et Garfunkel ont reformé plusieurs fois le duo, notamment à l’occasion d’un concert à Central Park en 1981 qui réunit plus de 500 000 spectateurs, ce qui constitue à l’époque la plus grande affluence de tous les temps pour un concert.

Rencontre et débuts musicaux (1953-1962)

Paul Frederic Simon et Arthur Ira Garfunkel, nés tous deux en 1941, grandissent à New York dans le quartier du Queens de Kew Gardens Hills à seulement trois pâtés de maisons l’un de l’autre1. Ils se passionnent pour la musique dès leur plus jeune âge, notamment avec l’avènement du rock ‘n’ roll2. Garfunkel commence à chanter dans des radio-crochets dès le CM1 et rencontre Simon deux ans plus tard, en 1953.

Leur amitié s’épanouit quand tous deux sont choisis pour jouer dans une adaptation théâtrale d’Alice au pays des merveilles, Simon dans le rôle du Lapin blanc et Garfunkel dans celui du Chat du Cheshire. Ils commencent à chanter ensemble dans des groupes de doo-wop et apprennent ainsi à s’accorder l’un avec l’autre.

Simon et Garfunkel entrent à la Forest Hills High School en septembre 1955 et entreprennent d’enregistrer leurs arrangements sur des bandes magnétiques. Ils écrivent leur première chanson, The Girl for Me, en 1956 et commencent à se produire en tant que duo dans des écoles de musique. Très influencés par Elvis Presley et The Everly Brothers, ils décident de présenter une maquette d’une de leurs compositions, Hey Schoolgirl, à des éditeurs musicaux de Manhattan.

Ils enregistrent la chanson, avec Dancin’ Wild en face B, au Sanders Recording Studio, un minuscule studio d’enregistrement de Manhattan.

Ils rencontrent ensuite Sid Prosen, qui dirige le label indépendant Big Records, et celui-ci leur fait signer un contrat en proclamant qu’ils sont les nouveaux Everly Brothers. Le duo adopte le nom de Tom and Jerry, d’après le cartoon du même nom.

Garfunkel prend le pseudonyme de Tom Graph, en référence à ses aptitudes en mathématiques et à sa manie de consigner les classements de singles sous forme de graphiques sur du papier millimétré

Simon prend celui de Jerry Landis, d’après le nom de famille d’une fille qu’il a fréquenté.

Sid Prosen verse un pot-de-vin à Alan Freed afin que ce dernier diffuse Hey Schoolgirl dans son émission de radio, et la chanson devient rapidement l’un des morceaux les plus populaires de l’émission.

Hey Schoolgirl est alors diffusée régulièrement sur les ondes à l’échelle nationale.

Le single se vend à plus de 100 000 copies en 1957 et se hisse à la 49e place du Billboard Hot 100. Prosen assure efficacement la promotion du duo, en les faisant notamment passer dans l’émission télévisée American Bandstand aux côtés de Jerry Lee Lewis.

Le producteur s’adjuge toutefois la part du lion dans les royalties dégagées par le duo, prélevant 96% de celles-ci

. Garfunkel, qui n’apprécie pas le milieu de l’industrie musicale, informe Simon qu’il souhaite se consacrer à ses études.

Simon décide alors de continuer sa carrière en solo sous le pseudonyme de True Taylor. À sa sortie du lycée, Simon poursuit des études d’anglais au Queens College alors que Garfunkel étudie les mathématiques à l’université Columbia.

Les ventes des disques de Simon ne décollant pas, celui-ci propose à Garfunkel de reprendre leur collaboration et son ami accepte.

Simon and Garfunkel3

Simon and Garfunkel Cover album3

Cependant, les nouveaux singles sortis par le duo sont des échecs commerciaux, ce qui provoque la fin de leur collaboration avec Sid Prosen.

Simon reprend sa carrière en solo, ce qui entame son amitié avec Garfunkel, qui voit cela comme une trahison.

Cette tension jamais résolue entre les deux hommes influera sur leurs relations durant tout leur parcours commun. Simon achève son premier cycle universitaire et s’inscrit à temps partiel à la Brooklyn Law School.

Un nouveau départ (1963-1964)

Le premier concert de Simon and Garfunkel sous ce nom est à l’origine d’une longue brouille entre Paul Simon et Bob Dylan, ici en 1963.

Simon et Garfunkel s’intéressent chacun de leur côté au mouvement émergeant de la contre-culture et de la musique folk.

Simon devient un habitué de Greenwich Village alors que Garfunkel retourne à l’université Columbia afin de conserver son statut d’étudiant et d’éviter d’être incorporé alors que l’engagement américain au Viêt Nam se précise.

Tous deux se retrouvent pour discuter des nouvelles compositions de Simon et les interpréter au siège de la fraternité étudiante Alpha Epsilon Pi.

Fin 1963, ils se produisent sous le nom de Kane & Garr à la Gerde’s Folk City, une salle de concerts de West Village.

Ils y interprètent trois nouvelles chansons, Sparrow, He Was My Brother et The Sound of Silence, et captent l’attention du producteur Tom Wilson, qui a déjà travaillé avec Bob Dylan.

Wilson souhaite faire enregistrer He Was My Brother à un groupe britannique mais Simon le persuade de les laisser faire une audition. Leur interprétation de The Sound of Silence lors de celle-ci convainc Wilson, qui presse Columbia Records de leur faire signer un contrat.

Le premier album du duo, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., est enregistré sur trois sessions en mars 1964 et sort le 19 octobre.

L’album contient cinq compositions originales de Simon, les sept autres étant des reprises de chansons folk dont The Times They Are a-Changin’ de Bob Dylan.

Simon_&_Garfunkel_932-2092

Simon insiste auprès de Garfunkel pour qu’ils utilisent désormais leurs véritables noms.

Columbia met en place un concert promotionnel à Folk City le 31 mars 1964, qui est le premier concert où le duo se produit sous le nom de Simon and Garfunkel.

Dylan est présent à ce concert et une altercation l’oppose à Simon, ce qui sera à l’origine d’une longue rancune entre les deux hommes. L’origine de cette tension reste peu claire, certains biographes affirmant que Dylan aurait délibérément parlé très fort tout au long du concert alors que d’autres soutiennent qu’il aurait totalement dédaigné celui-ci.

Le concert, tout comme d’autres organisés plus tard, n’est pas un succès.

Simon, anticipant l’échec de l’album, part pour l’Angleterre et rencontre Kathy Chitty dans un club de folk où il se produit.

Ils tombent amoureux et Kathy lui inspirera plusieurs chansons, notamment Kathy’s Song, America et Homeward Bound.

Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. ne se vend qu’à 3 000 exemplaires en quelques semaines et cet échec pousse Simon à rester en Angleterre tandis que Garfunkel reprend ses études d’architecture.

Le son du succès (1965-1966)

Les démos que Simon enregistre en Angleterre sont diffusées sur les ondes par la BBC et connaissent le succès.

En juin 1965, Columbia fait alors enregistrer à Simon un album solo, The Paul Simon Songbook, qui sort en Angleterre deux mois plus tard et contient plusieurs chansons qui seront reprises plus tard par le duo.

Les ventes de l’album sont médiocres mais Simon demeure confiant sur son avenir en Angleterre. Pendant ce temps, de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique, un disc-jockey de Boston commence à diffuser The Sound of Silence et la chanson devient populaire dans le milieu étudiant de la côte Est des États-Unis.

Tom Wilson l’apprend et décide de faire réenregistrer la chanson dans une version électrique sans en informer le duo.

Le single sort en septembre et entre dans le Billboard Hot 100. Garfunkel informe Simon, toujours en Europe, de ce qui est en train de se passer. Simon est horrifié lorsqu’il entend la version électrique pour la première fois mais les deux hommes apprécient le succès du single28,29.

Simon revient à New York vers la fin de l’année 1965 afin de reformer son duo avec Garfunkel.

Columbia leur fait enregistrer en décembre un nouvel album et l’intitule « Sounds of Silence » afin de profiter du succès du single.

Ce dernier s’empare de la première place du Billboard Hot 100 en janvier 1966 et dépasse désormais le million d’exemplaires vendus.

En plus d’une réédition de The Sound of Silence, l’album comprend cinq chansons de l’album solo de Simon, dont I Am a Rock, et seulement deux titres sont de nouvelles compositions originales.

L’album sort de façon précipitée le 17 janvier 1966 et est suivi quelques jours plus tard par le single Homeward Bound, qui ne figure pas sur l’album et qui intègre le top 10 des classements musicaux dans plusieurs pays.

Au mois de mars, c’est ensuite I Am a Rock qui sort en single et qui se classe 3e du Billboard Hot 100. Mais en dépit du succès commercial remporté par l’album, 21e au Billboard 200, et les singles, le duo est tourné en dérision par de nombreux critiques musicaux qui estiment qu’il ne produit qu’une imitation manufacturée de la folk.

Alors que le duo part en tournée à travers les États-Unis, Columbia réédite Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. et l’album accède à la 30e place du Billboard 2003.

Simon and Garfunkel en 1966.

Conscients que Sounds of Silence est un travail réalisé dans la précipitation afin de capitaliser sur leur succès soudain, Simon et Garfunkel décident de peaufiner leur prochain album.

Simon insiste d’ailleurs pour avoir le contrôle total pendant la production de celui-ci. Garfunkel considère l’enregistrement de leur version de la chanson traditionnelle « Scarborough Fair » comme le moment où ils sont devenus les véritables producteurs de leurs albums.

Le duo travaille plusieurs mois sur l’album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme et celui-ci sort le 10 octobre. Comprenant notamment Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), The Dangling Conversation et For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her, il se caractérise par de vifs contrastes entre les chansons et obtient l’approbation de la critique, qui reconnaît son intégrité artistique, Simon se révélant comme « l’un des auteurs-compositeurs les plus doués de l’époque ».

L’album se hisse par ailleurs à la 4e place du Billboard 200.

Le duo entame dans la foulée une mini-tournée sur les campus universitaires où tous les concerts se jouent à guichets fermés. Mort Lewis, leur agent artistique, entretient l’image décalée et poétique du duo en refusant qu’ils fassent des apparitions à la télévision à moins que des conditions draconiennes ne soient acceptées par l’émission.

A Hazy Shade of Winter, qui n’a pas été retenu par le duo pour figurer sur Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, sort en single deux semaines après la sortie de l’album et se classe 13e du Billboard Hot 100.

Popularité et récompenses : les lauréats (1967-1968)

Simon et Garfunkel enregistrent en janvier 1967 le single At the Zoo et ce dernier est publié le mois suivant, atteignant la 16e place du Billboard Hot 100.

Simon commence alors à travailler sur le prochain album du duo, affirmant qu’il n’est plus intéressé par les singles.

Il est cependant affecté par un blocage de l’écrivain qui a pour conséquence que ce nouvel album ne voit pas le jour en 1967.

À cette époque, il est courant que les artistes sortent deux voire trois albums par an et ce manque de productivité inquiète les dirigeants de Columbia. Clive Davis, le président de Columbia, tente d’accélérer la production de l’album en convoquant Simon et Garfunkel à plusieurs reprises pour leur adresser des discours paternalistes mais les deux amis, déjà méfiants envers l’industrie musicale, tournent cela en dérision en enregistrant un sermon de Davis pour en rire par la suite.

 

Le 16 juin 1967, Simon and Garfunkel se produisent sur la scène du festival international de musique pop de Monterey qui marque le coup d’envoi du Summer of Love. Fakin’ It sort en single quelques semaines plus tard mais ne remporte qu’un succès modéré.

Pendant ce temps, le réalisateur Mike Nichols tourne Le Lauréat et se prend de passion pour la musique du duo, écoutant leurs chansons en boucle. Deux semaines plus tard, il rencontre Clive Davis pour lui demander l’autorisation d’utiliser certains morceaux du duo pour la musique du film. Davis est enthousiaste, flairant une parfaite occasion de placer une musique de film en tête des ventes de disques.

Simon est beaucoup plus réticent, craignant de compromettre son intégrité artistique. Il change d’avis après avoir rencontré Nichols, qui l’impressionne par son intelligence et la qualité de son scénario, et accepte d’écrire de nouvelles chansons pour le film.

L’agent du duo négocie un contrat qui offre à Simon 25 000 $ pour la composition de trois chansons. Simon propose d’abord à Nichols Punky’s Dilemma et Overs mais aucune des deux ne satisfait le réalisateur. Simon revient alors avec une première version de Mrs. Robinson, qui ne porte pas encore ce titre, qui enthousiasme Nichols.

L’album « The Graduate », composé essentiellement de chansons du duo dont Mrs. Robinson, sort le 21 janvier 1968 et s’empare de la première place du Billboard 200 en avril.

Entretemps, l’enregistrement de Bookends, le quatrième album du duo, est enfin terminé après avoir été échelonné sur plusieurs sessions depuis un an et demi, mais plus particulièrement depuis octobre 1967.

La production de l’album est marquée par son perfectionnisme, l’enregistrement de Punky’s Dilemma étant par exemple étalé sur une cinquantaine d’heures. Mrs. Robinson est réécrite et réenregistrée en février 1968, lors des dernières sessions et constitue l’une des chansons-phares de l’album aux côtés d’autres titres célèbres tels que America, A Hazy Shade of Winter et At the Zoo. Bookends, considéré comme l’album « le plus intellectuel » du duo, est composé sur sa première face d’un cycle de chansons plutôt sombres, évoquant une méditation sur le passage du temps, qui sont suivies dans sa deuxième partie par des titres plus légers et au son plus rock. Il marque par ailleurs le déclin des harmonies du duo, qui disparaissent graduellement au profit d’un chant individuel.

Simon_and_Garfunkel_1968

Bookends sort le 3 avril 1968 et est suivi deux jours plus tard par la sortie en single de Mrs. Robinson dans un contexte très particulier puisque Martin Luther King est assassiné le 4 avril, ce qui provoque une grande émotion et une série d’émeutes à travers les États-Unis.

Bookends prend au mois de mai la première place du Billboard 200, occupée jusqu’alors par The Graduate, tandis que Mrs. Robinson s’installe au sommet du Billboard Hot 100 au mois de juin. Bookends devient à cette date le plus grand succès commercial du duo, ayant profité du phénomène de bouche-à-oreille engendré par la sortie de The Graduate, et les ventes combinées des deux albums dépassent les 5 millions de copies. Lors des Grammy Awards qui se tiennent en mars 1969 et célèbrent les accomplissements des artistes pour l’année 1968, Mrs. Robinson remporte le prix de l’enregistrement de l’année, The Graduate celui de la meilleure musique de film et Simon and Garfunkel celui de la meilleure prestation pop d’un duo ou groupe avec chant.

 BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER : dernier album et séparation (1969-1970)

Bookends et The Graduate propulsent Simon and Garfunkel au rang de stars internationales majeures, les deux hommes devenant le duo musical le plus célèbre du monde. Malgré un désaccord avec Clive Davis, qui désirait augmenter d’un dollar le prix de vente de Bookends ce que le duo a refusé et que Davis perçoit comme un manque de gratitude58, Simon et Garfunkel prolongent leur contrat avec Columbia et négocient au passage une augmentation de leur pourcentage de royalties.

Simon est approché par plusieurs producteurs de cinéma qui souhaitent qu’il écrive des musiques de films et refuse notamment une offre pour Macadam Cowboy (1969).

Il décline également une offre d’écriture pour un spectacle de Broadway et collabore brièvement avec Leonard Bernstein sur une messe avant de se retirer du projet. De son côté, Garfunkel est engagé par Mike Nichols pour interpréter l’un des rôles principaux du film de guerre satirique Catch22 , dans lequel Simon devait aussi jouer avant que son rôle ne soit supprimé.

Le tournage de Catch 22 commence en janvier 1969 et dure huit mois car il est entravé par de nombreux problèmes.

Dans l’intervalle, le single The Boxer est publié en avril et se classe dans le top 10 de plusieurs pays. Cette absence prolongée de Garfunkel affecte les relations entre les deux hommes car Simon, qui prépare pendant ce temps le prochain album du duo, se sent abandonné.

Dès le retour de Garfunkel, le duo se met au travail avec ardeur et décline l’invitation qui leur est faite de participer au festival de Woodstock.

En octobre et novembre 1969, Simon and Garfunkel font une mini-tournée aux États-Unis qui se termine par un concert à guichets fermés à Carnegie Hall.

Le duo produit par ailleurs un documentaire musical, Songs of America, qui est diffusé sur CBS le 30 novembre et qui mêle des extraits de leurs chansons à des images d’événements importants des années 1960.

Ce documentaire n’est diffusé qu’une fois en raison des tensions, en rapport avec son contenu politiquement chargé, qu’il provoque sur la chaîne.

L’album « Bridge ove r Troubled » Water sort le 26 janvier 1970, tout comme le single du même nom. Dans cet album, le duo abandonne en partie le son folk rock qui a fait sa gloire pour explorer d’autres sonorités, comme le gospel, la musique sud-américaine, le latin jazz, le rockabilly ou encore le reggae, un mélange d’influences qui contribue à sa « richesse musicale ». L’album contient onze titres dont Bridge over Troubled Water, Cecilia, El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could), The Boxer et The Only Living Boy in New York. L’inclusion d’un douzième titre est longuement discuté sans que les deux hommes n’arrivent à se mettre d’accord sur son choix.

L’album arrive au sommet des classements musicaux dans dix pays dont les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni et la France. C’est l’album le plus vendu des années 1970, 1971 et 1972 ; il devient à cette époque l’album le plus vendu de tous les temps.

Le single homonyme s’empare lui aussi de la première place des classements musicaux dans plusieurs pays, alors que les autres singles tirés de l’album, Cecilia en avril et El Cóndor Pasa (If I Could) en août, se vendent aussi très bien4.

Malgré cet énorme succès, le processus d’enregistrement s’est révélé très éprouvant pour les deux hommes et les tensions accumulées entre eux rendent leur séparation prochaine presque certaine avant même la sortie de l’album.

Cette séparation n’est cependant pas prévue au départ pour être permanente, Garfunkel souhaitant seulement faire une pause de deux ans et Simon ne prévoyant pas de reprendre sa carrière en solo.

En avril et mai, le duo se produit pour quelques dates en Europe, dont un passage à l’Olympia le 1er mai, avant de jouer son dernier concert le 18 juillet 1970 au Forest Hills Stadium.

Lors de la cérémonie des Grammy Awards 1971, l’album et la chanson Bridge over Troubled Water remportent six récompenses, dont celles de l’album de l’année et de la chanson de l’année. Quelque temps plus tard, Peggy Harper, l’épouse de Simon depuis 1969, pousse celui-ci à rendre la séparation du duo officielle.

Simon appelle alors Clive Davis pour lui annoncer qu’il ne pense pas reprendre sa collaboration avec Garfunkel. Durant les quelques années qui suivent, les deux hommes ne se parlent que deux ou trois fois par an.

Réunions occasionnelles

Le duo se reforme pour la première fois au Madison Square Garden en juin 1972 à l’occasion d’un concert de soutien pour George McGovern en vue de l’élection présidentielle américaine.

En 1975, les deux hommes se réconcilient, dans une atmosphère embarrassée, à l’occasion d’un passage à une session d’enregistrement avec John Lennon et Harry Nilsson.

Ils tentent de produire de nouvelles chansons ensemble mais n’en concrétisent qu’une seule, My Little Town, qui paraît à la fois sur l’album de Paul Simon Still Crazy After All These Years, et sur celui de Art Garfunkel, Breakaway.

En 1977, Garfunkel vient se joindre à Simon pour une brève représentation lors d’une émission télévisée consacrée à ce dernier. L’année suivante, ils enregistrent en compagnie de James Taylor une reprise de Wonderful World.

Les deux hommes passent plus de temps ensemble lorsque Garfunkel revient s’installer à New York en 1978.

En 1981, alors que les carrières respectives des deux hommes battent de l’aile, ils sont contactés par le producteur de spectacles Ron Delsener qui leur propose de se produire pour un concert gratuit à Central Park.

Le concert se déroule le 19 septembre 1981 et attire plus de 500 000 personnes, ce qui constitue pour l’époque la plus grande affluence de tous les temps pour un concert. Un enregistrement du concert est réalisé et donne lieu au premier album live du duo, The Concert in Central Park, qui sort le 16 février 1982 et connaît un grand succès commercial international.

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L’événement renouvelle également l’intérêt du public pour le duo, et les deux hommes ont plusieurs conversations à cœur ouvert afin d’essayer de mettre leurs problèmes derrière eux80. En mai et juin 1982, Simon and Garfunkel font une tournée au Japon et en Europe mais leurs vieilles querelles refont surface85. Néanmoins, Warner Bros. insiste pour qu’ils repartent en tournée, ce qu’ils font en février 1983 en Australie et en Nouvelle-Zélande, puis en juillet et août 1983 en Amérique du Nord, et pour qu’ils préparent un nouvel album en commun.

Malgré plusieurs sessions d’enregistrement, leurs différends se révèlent être trop nombreux et Simon enregistre à la place un nouvel album solo, Hearts and Bones, la raison officielle étant qu’il trouve les textes qu’il a écrits trop personnels pour être interprétés par quelqu’un d’autre.

En 1990, le duo est intronisé au Rock and Roll Hall of Fame et les deux hommes interprètent trois chansons ensemble à cette occasion, sans toutefois s’attarder.

Trois ans plus tard, leurs relations s’étant améliorées, ils se réunissent à nouveau en octobre 1993 pour une série de 21 concerts joués à guichets fermés au Paramount Theatre de New York, qui sont suivis par quelques dates en Asie. Cependant, une nouvelle brouille les tient éloignés pour le reste de la décennie4.

En 2003, ils sont récompensés aux Grammy Awards pour l’ensemble de leur carrière et les organisateurs les persuadent de se réconcilier pour cette occasion. Les deux hommes interprètent ensemble The Sound of Silence en ouverture de la cérémonie et jugent cette expérience satisfaisante. Ils mettent alors en place une nouvelle tournée, nommée Old Friends Tour, pendant laquelle ils sillonnent les États-Unis d’octobre à décembre en jouant 40 concerts.

Ils repartent en tournée, pour 20 dates aux États-Unis et 12 en Europe, en juin et juillet 200488. Cette tournée se termine par un concert gratuit au Colisée de Rome qui réunit environ 600 000 personnes89. Un double CD-DVD intitulé Old Friends: Live on Stage immortalise cette tournée.

Simon and Garfunkel en concert au New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival en 2010.

En 2009, le duo se réunit une nouvelle fois pour interpréter trois chansons au Beacon Theatre de New York. Une tournée en Océanie et au Japon est organisée dans la foulée en juin et juillet90. Cette tournée se passe très bien et de nouveaux concerts en Amérique du Nord sont planifiés pour l’été 2010. Cependant, alors qu’ils se produisent le 24 avril 2010 sur la scène du New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Garfunkel est atteint de sérieux problèmes vocaux. Une paralysie des cordes vocales lui est diagnostiquée et la tournée doit être annulée. Garfunkel ne récupère totalement sa voix qu’après un combat de quatre ans et espère une nouvelle réunion du duo dans le futur91.

Postérité

Simon and Garfunkel sont considérés comme le duo le plus célèbre de l’histoire de la musique populaire. Leurs chansons ont laissé une impression forte et durable sur la génération du baby boom et ils comptent, aux côtés des Beatles et Bob Dylan, parmi les artistes les plus représentatifs du mouvement culturel des années 1960.

En 2004, le magazine Rolling Stone les classe à la 40e place de sa liste des 100 plus grands artistes musicaux de tous les temps, considérant que « l’énorme impact » qu’ils ont laissé sur la décennie est dû principalement à l’alliage entre les talents d’auteur-compositeur de Paul Simon, créateur d’hymnes dans une palette musicale très vaste, et la voix unique d’Art Garfunkel.

Dans le Dictionnaire du Rock, ils sont décrits comme ayant apporté au folk militant un « mélange inégalé de raffinement vocal et de tendresse mélancolique ».

Pour Gilles Verlant et Thomas Caussé, dans la Discothèque parfaite de l’odyssée du rock, « la seconde moitié des sixties est marquée de leur empreinte » grâce à leurs « mélodies fines, légères et reconnaissables entre mille » alors que « le mariage de leurs voix, absolument unique, est au cœur de leur magie, tout comme les textes résolument poétiques et modernes, remplis d’images singulières ».

ART GARFUNKEL : SOLO ALBUM : BRIGHT EYES

SOURCES WIKIPEDIA

A.J. CROCE


ajcroce2014

A. J. CROCE

Adrian James “A.J.” Croce (born September 28, 1971 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) is an American singer-songwriter. He is the son of singer-songwriters Jim Croce and Ingrid Croce.

Shortly before his father’s death in a 1973 plane crash, Croce’s family moved west to San Diego, California, where he was raised by his mother, Ingrid Croce.

At the age of four Croce was completely blinded as the result of serious physical abuse by his mother’s boyfriend. Between the ages of four and ten, Croce gradually regained vision in his left eye. It was during this difficult time in Croce’s life that he began to play the piano. “I learned to play music by listening and playing along to the radio and to records…” Croce says, “At some point I was given the music of Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder as inspiration, which it was, and has been ever since.”

Croce’s first paying gig was at the age of 12, when he was paid $20 to perform at a Bar Mitzvah party. By the age of 16, Croce was performing regularly at San Diego nightclubs as a sideman and band leader. Croce reflected, “I was into every kind of music… you might say I was unfocused, but I consider an eclectic taste in music to be the foundation of versatility.” His house burned down when he was age 15.

Croce and his wife Marlo have two children, daughter Camille and son Elijah.

Ron Goldstein and Peter Bauman of Private Music signed Croce to his first recording contract at age 19.

 

AJ CROCE 3

ADRIAN   J  CROCE

He recorded two albums for Private Music: his self-titled debut, A. J. Croce, produced by T-Bone Burnett and John Simon, and That’s Me in the Bar, produced by Jim Keltner, and featuring artists such as Ry Cooder, David Hidalgo, and Keltner himself. Croce is also the owner/operator of his own record label, Seedling Records.

Croce’s third release, Fit to Serve, was recorded in Memphis, and produced by Jim Gaines, who had previously produced Van Morrison, Santana, and The Steve Miller Band. Croce then took a musical turn with the release of his album Transit. He explained, “I had been playing blues-based music for a long time, and I was ready to try something new.

“Transit was compared by critics to the work of John Lennon, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, and Van Morrison. Glen Starkey of New Times labeled Croce “a song crafter of the first order”.

Croce’s next three albums were self-produced. Adrian James Croce (Croce’s only pop-oriented album) was the only independently produced album of 2004 to chart in Top 40 charts in America. In Europe it was on the charts for six months, sitting in between songs by U2 and Coldplay. That same year Adrian James Croce won Best Pop album at the San Diego Music Awards.

His 2006 release Cantos on his own label Seedling Records notably features Ben Harper. In 2009, his album Cage of Muses was released on Seedling Records, garnering a 4-start review from Rolling Stone Magazine.

In 2013, Croce signed with Compass Records and has since released his latest album, Twelve Tales. Croce considers Twelve Tales to be his most ambitious recording project to date. He recorded two songs with each of six legendary producers in five U.S. cities throughout a year long period, at the same time releasing one song per month exclusively on iTunes in 2013.

The full album was released on CD and LP in 2014. The album’s producers are: the late ‘Cowboy’ Jack Clement, famous for his work with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash; Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Allen Toussaint, notable producer of classic New Orleans recordings by artists such as Dr. John and Irma Thomas; Golden Globe-nominated Mitchell Froom, whose work includes Randy Newman and Crowded House; Grammy winning engineer and producer Kevin Killen, who has produced multiple albums by Elvis Costello; Notable A&R executive and record producer Tony Berg whose sessions have included Bob Dylan and Fiona Apple; and Greg Cohen, avant-garde bass player and producer, known for his work with Tom Waits.

Croce co-wrote a few of the songs on Twelve Tales, including one song with legendary songwriter Leon Russell. Croce’s albums have charted on eight radio charts including AAA, Blues, College, Jazz, and Americana.

He has performed as an opening act for artists such as Carlos Santana, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Dr. John, Lyle Lovett, James Brown, B.B. King, Dave Matthews, Earth, Wind and Fire, Rod Stewart and Ray Charles. Croce has sat in with many notable artists live, including Willie Nelson, Ben Harper, Ry Cooder, the Neville Brothers, Waylon Jennings, and David Hidalgo (Los Lobos). He has also performed on national television, on shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Today Show, Good Morning America, MTV, CNN, and Austin City Limits.

In 2015 Croce’s performance on the show “Music City Roots” began airing nationwide on PBS, including in Los Angeles and Nashville. It will air on 85 stations across the country 2015. It was announced that later this year Compass Records will release a re-issue of Croce’s highly regarded sophomore album, “That’s Me In the Bar” for its 20th anniversary. All of Croce’s 2015 concerts will feature a set from that album.

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Discography

J. Croce (1993)

That’s Me in the Bar (1995) including  chekin’

Fit to Serve (1998)

Transit (2000)

Adrian James Croce (2004)

Early On – The American Recordings 1993–1998 (2005)

Cantos (2006)

Cage of Muses (2009)

Twelve Tales (2014)

JIM CROCE:


OPERATOR

TIME IN A BOTTLE

I GOT A NAME

BAD BAD LEROY BROWN

 

Sources WIKIPEDIA