Album: Hearts and Bones

"Hearts and Bones" is the 6th solo album by American singer-songwriter Paul Simon, launched in November 1983. The album marked a return to Simon's acoustic roots after the heavily electronic sounds of his 1980 album, "One-Trick Pony". Despite being considered a vital success, "Hearts and Bones" was not favored by the public and remains among Simon's lesser-known works. However, many fans and critics regard it as one of his most individual and reflective albums, laying the groundwork for his later success with "Graceland".

Background and Recording
After the relative commercial disappointment of "One-Trick Pony", Simon looked for to develop a more intimate, lyric-driven album. The writing and recording process for "Hearts and Bones" were greatly affected by his troubled relationship with actress Carrie Fisher, to whom he was married for a short duration throughout the album's production. The album was at first planned as a Simon & Garfunkel reunion, however tensions in between the duo eventually resulted in Simon re-recording Art Garfunkel's vocal tracks with his own voice.

The album includes contributions from a selection of distinguished artists such as jazz bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Steve Gadd, and guitarist Dean Parks, as well as a guest look by reggae legend Bob Marley's child, David Marley, on "In Cars". Recording sessions took place in studios across New York, Los Angeles, and Montserrat.

Lyrics and Themes
Lyrically, "Hearts and Bones" is considered among Simon's the majority of intimate works. A lot of the album's tunes assess his relationship with Fisher and check out styles of love, marital strife, and self-discovery. For instance, the melancholic title track "Hearts and Bones" narrates the story of 2 enthusiasts, commonly thought to represent Simon and Fisher, walking through a desert and trying to reconcile their differences.

Another standout track, "Rene and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War", is a surreal, dream-like ode to the well-known surrealist painter and his partner, motivated by a photograph Simon saw in a book. In this tune, Simon weaves intricate and vibrant images of the couple, revealing the transformative power of art and love.

Musical Style
Musically, "Hearts and Bones" sees Simon go back to his folk-rock roots, highlighting guitar-based tunes and intricate arrangements. The album is identified by a more reserved, introspective, and stripped-down sound compared to the electronic production of "One-Trick Pony". Nevertheless, Simon likewise checks out numerous musical designs throughout the album, consisting of jazz, reggae, and Afrobeat influences, which would later notify his deal with the acclaimed "Graceland" album.

Legacy and Reception
Upon its release, "Hearts and Bones" garnered appreciation from critics for its deeply personal lyrics and improved songwriting. Nevertheless, the album stopped working commercially, peaking at No. 35 on the Billboard charts, with no singles arriving 40.

In spite of its lack of commercial success, "Hearts and Bones" has actually withstood as a deeply personal and introspective work within Simon's discography, and its tunes continue to feature in his live efficiencies. The album's musical experimentation and desire to push boundaries eventually prepared for Simon's transformative and extremely effective 1986 album, "Graceland.".
Hearts and Bones Cover

Artist: Paul Simon

Paul Simon Paul Simon, from his humble beginnings in Newark to Grammy-winning albums like Graceland. Read quotes and stories about the legendary singer-songwriter.
More about Paul Simon

Other Albums by Paul Simon