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Art Garfunkel

Art Garfunkel

Biography

Though he'll probably always be remembered as the second fiddle in his iconic partnership with Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel's unclouded tenor was as elemental to the duo's sound as Simon's literate writing, and he forged a solo career on the strength of it alone. Personal and profession differences with Simon led them to split after 1970's Bridge Over Troubled Water, when Garfunkel began a reasonably successful sideline career as an actor. After a somewhat bungled adaptation of Joesph Heller's Catch 22, he starred opposite Jack Nicholson in 1971's racy Carnal Knowledge and earned a Golden Globe nomination. When he returned to music a couple years later the expectations were huge in light of the success of his former partner's brilliant pair of solo records, so Garfunkel played it safe by reuniting with Simon & Garfunkel producer Roy Haylee for Angel Care in 1973. Never a writer, Garfunkel made a hit out of Jimmy Webb's sappy "All I Know" -- likely a chart success due to its similarity to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" -- and thereby set the standard for the solo career to follow: well-groomed and buttressed by crack session musicians and top shelf guest stars, but doomed to exist in Simon's tall shadow. It was his second solo effort, Breakaway, that got the most traction on American charts, thanks to the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes For You." A string of records followed over the next decade, but the tepid response to 1981's Scissors Cut diminished his aspirations as a solo artist.
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