Simon & Garfunkel’s 1964 song “Sound of Silence” is an American rock/pop classic. A definitive part of the duo’s discography, the song evokes deep emotions, especially when taken in context with the time in which it was composed.
If you’re going to remake a standard, you’d better bring something to the table.
Paul Simon covered the song in 1965, and did it in his style. Bouncy lyrics and percussive sound mark his edition. It doesn’t really, to my mind, fit the nature of the song. I like Paul Simon’s work, but his style isn’t a good fit for this song.
I’d thought the S & G rendition would remain the gold standard, until earlier this year. The heavy metal band ‘Disturbed’ covered the song in 2015, and I found out about it from a ‘Behind The Black‘ post earlier this year. ‘Disturbed’ front man David Draiman breathes life into the song, and while Simon & Garfunkel were superlative songwriters, they had some shortcomings as singers. Range and phrasing weren’t their forte. You can take a listen to the official video here, or the appearance on Conan O’Brian here. I’d suggest listening to the original song, and then the ‘Disturbed’ remake. In my opinion, the Conan performance is superior, but judge for yourself.