Saturday, February 28, 1970

Simon & Garfunkel hit #1 with “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Simon & Garfunkel

Writer(s): Paul Simon (see lyrics here)

Released: January 26, 1970

First Charted: January 31, 1970

Peak: 16 US, 14 CB, 13 HR, 16 AC, 1 CL, 13 UK, 14 CN, 2 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 6.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 7.0 radio, 97.4 video, 151.25 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In the 1958 song “Mary Don’t You Weep” Reverend Claude Jeter wrote the lyric “I’ll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me.” WK Paul Simon used it as the basis for his slightly better known “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” “A narrator (who could be God, a parent, a lover, or a friend) pledges to help someone in adversity, to be ‘like a bridge over troubled water.’” AMG It became “one of the great statements about modern relationships” TC including Simon’s “relationship with his wife, with his audieince and with music.” TC

Simon originally wrote the song on guitar TB and tried to sing it in falsetto, before deciding Art Garfunkel’s voice was better suited to the song. AMG Garfunkel disputed Simon’s contention that it was the best song he’d ever written AMG and thought Simon should sing it. As Simon said in 1972, “Many times I think I’m sorry I didn’t do it.” RS500 “In the earlier days when things were smoother I never would have thought that, but towards the end when things were strained I did. It’s not a very generous thing to think, but I did think that.” FB

The duo disagreed with Clive Davis, then CBS Records president, over releasing the ballad as the album’s lead single. Simon said, “I didn’t think it was a hit, because I didn’t thnk they’d play a five-minute song on the radio.” TC In the end, Davis won out AMG and the result was the top pop single of the year. AMG

The song became an instant favorite to cover. It was current, but not really a rock and roll song, which gave it broad appeal. The R&B community seized on the song’s gospel feel while the country world latched on to the religious implications of the song. By the close of the year, 24 charted albums had featured the song. Since 1970, it has been recorded by hundreds of artists. AMG In all its renditions, it has built up more than 7 million airplays, making it one of the top ten most played songs in radio history. The song has also sold more than 6 million worldwide and topped the US and UK charts.


  • AMG All Music Guide
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 270.
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 288-9.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 27.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/04). “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA. Page 121.
  • WK

Related Links:

First posted 2/26/2012; last updated 8/16/2022.

Friday, February 27, 1970

Van Morrison released Moondance


Van Morrison

Released: February 27, 1970

Charted: March 14, 1970

Peak: 29 US, 32 UK, 46 CN, 20 AU, 13 DF

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.1 UK

Genre: folk rock/blue-eyed soul


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. And It Stoned Me [4:30] (17 CL, 28 DF)
  2. Moondance [4:35] (3/14/70, 92 US, 91 CB, 94 HR, 2 CL, 1 DF)
  3. Crazy Love [2:34] (4/70, 18 CL, 21 CN, 3 DF)
  4. Caravan [4:57] (49 CL)
  5. Into the Mystic [3:25] (5 CL, 21 DF)
  6. Come Running [2:30] (3/28/70, 39 US, 30 CB, 33 HR, 18 CL, 21 CN)
  7. These Dreams of You [3:50]
  8. Brand New Day [5:09]
  9. Everyone [3:31]
  10. Glad Tidings [3:13]

All songs written by Van Morrison.

Total Running Time: 38:14


4.559 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“Van Morrison had high expectations to live up to after” RV “the dreamy acoustic sound of Astral WeeksTL and its “celestial poetry.” RV The “Irish musician didn’t disappoint;” RV he responded by serving up “the brilliant,” AMG “light, soulful, and jazzy Moondance.” AMG It “is every bit as much a classic as its predecessor.” AMG

Part of the genius of Van’s one-two punch with the two albums is that they “are so distinct they almost sound as if they’ve come from different artists.” EK He “move[s] away from the folk template and stream-of-consciousness lyrics into a more rock-driven arena with sharper storytelling and touches of Americana.” JM It makes Moondance a “far more accessible follow-up” EK with “succinct shots of rock and jazz and healthy doses of R&B.” JM Van “put more emphasis on the orchestrations of his bluesy melodies” RV by building “his arrangements around a powerful horn section, veering more toward the punchy, old-school R&B he loved than Astral’s jazzy meanderings.” TL Any “debates about the authenticity of blue-eyed soul ring hollow when one listens to Van the Man.” VB

Thematically, Moondance “retains the previous album’s deeply spiritual thrust but transcends its bleak, cathartic intensity to instead explore themes of renewal and redemption.” AMG He continues to swing “back and forth between the mystical and the earthy. It happens musically, and…lyrically…He’s a dewy-eyed romantic and a cranky curmudgeon—sometimes within the same song.” EK “Ireland’s finest R&B acolyte married mysticism and mojo into a collection of sexual rebirth and redemption.” VB

“Morrison’s singing got more aggressive, too.” TL as he delivers “a more precise blast of R&B energy, but he still wails himself into another consciousness in places.” EK He “sings about fishing, swimming, rain and drinking, but his voice gives it an epic feel.” RV The album kicks off with the “lush, ethereal And It Stoned MeRV which uses a “sweetly nostalgic” AMG message and “pastoral imagery” AMG to deliver what feels “like a fable of self-discovery.” RV

That song establishes “the dominant lyrical motif recurring throughout the album – virtually every track exults in natural wonder.” AMG “At the heart of the record is” AMG “the glorious Caravan,” TL “an incantatory ode to the power of radio.” AMG

There’s also “the unlimited promise offered in” AMG “the gospel-flavored Brand New DayTL and “Crazy Love is his most romantic song.” RV There’s “the immortal, swinging title trackTL celebrating “nocturnal magic” AMG which has become “a staple of prep schools and lounge acts to this day, and still none the worse for wear.” TL

“He kept his croony side, though, on the murmuring” TL and “majestic Into the Mystic.” AMG The song has “such elemental beauty and grace” AMG that it could be considered his “greatest ballad” RV and “arguably the quintessential Morrison moment.” AMG It is “a hauntingly sublime work that evokes feelings of extreme longing. When he finishes with the line, ‘It’s too late to stop now,’ music-lovers couldn’t agree more.” RVMoondance seems to have it all.” JM


A 2013 deluxe edition expanded the album to a four-box set with three discs of session recordings.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 2/28/2012; last updated 11/30/2022.