Klinger: In the two-plus years we’ve been embarked on this fool’s crusade to discuss the most acclaimed albums of all-time (as compiled by the mathmagician over at the aptly named and highly addictive Acclaimed Music website), we’ve covered more than a few break-up albums, those wrenching chronicles of love gone wrong and valiant attempts to pick up the pieces in the aftermath. I’m pretty sure, though, that Simon & Garfunkel’s 1970 blockbuster Bridge Over Troubled Water is our first LP that focuses primarily on the break-up of a professional relationship—and certainly the only one to do so before the split is even officially announced. But references to Paul and Art’s impending dissolution are scattered all throughout the record in one form or another.
Like a lot of people, I’ve headed back into Bridge Over Troubled Water on those occasions when romance goes pear-shaped, so maybe that’s why it took me a while to realize that so much of it was based on a different kind of loss. But it’s also such a big-sounding album, with its lush orchestrations and slick production, that it’s easy to lose sight of the intimacy that’s at its core.