Desrves more than 5 stars!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video was recored live in Central Park on September 19, 1981. I think it deserves more than 5 stars. I think is the greatest video that ever was. Simon and Garfunkel sing infront of 500,000 people. It contains 2 extra songs that were cut from the album; The late great Johnny Ace, and Late in the evening(reprise). Durring The Late Great Johnny Ace, a duranged fan jumps on stage after Paul sings about John Lennon being shot. Paul gets real scared and the bouncer comes and grabs the kid and takes him away. The highlight of the evening I think is when Paul sang 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Art sings an OK version of Bridge over troubled water. Paul and Art play with an amazing backing band too. Also much of the dialogue that was cut from the record, is restored on the tape. Things such as intro's of songs, Paul introduces the band, and Paul had a speech about fireworks. I think it is great and you should buy it. You can't be considered a Simon and Garfunkel fan without it."
Simon and Garfunkel - Revisited.
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 02/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was happy to see Simon and Garfunkel in concert on their recent "Old Friends" tour, and was more than pleased by the performance of two men who, by all rights, should've been retired and not in the best of vocal form. The afterglow of the Philadelphia show led me to acquire this DVD from the 1981 Central Park reunion show. Since most of the songs from the current tour are reflected by the Central Park set list, it was worth it for me.
This DVD is actually better than I originally remember from watching it on TV. Maybe I was just too wrapped up in my new wave years (I was a junior in college at the time the album was released), but both men were in strong form vocally. It also meant that, as a greatest hits sort of show, all the bases are essentially covered. Even the Paul Simon solo material comes across as well matched (in particular, "American Tune" which rings truer in the post 9/11 world as it did back then). The instrumentation is a bit dated, Richard Tee's keyboards especially, but that's more the fault of the times than of performance.
And the performances here are superb. Oddly, the one major musical flub from the disc is "The Late Great Johnny Ace." It was Simon's tribute to John Lennon and is when a fan charges the stage, distracting Simon from the microphone. Art Garfunkel is relegated to only one solo hit here, and naturally it's "A Heart In New York." Just as "counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike" gets a huge outburst of applause (it did here in Philly, too), "Heart" brings the crowd to express itself with exuberence.
On the other hand, when Art begins to sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water," it's hard not to notice that he can still sound like the folk singing choirboy of the sixties, and even more so for "The Sound of Silence." Despite all the infighting, back biting and legendary arguments that Simon and Garfunkel have shared over their career, there is no denying that - as a duo - they created magic. After 20 years, I'm glad "The Concert In Central Park" is in my DVD library.
There are a few minuses: A serious lack of extra features. Jamming two songs into one chapter, and not just once but six times. Crappy liner notes/graphics. The fact that you can still sense the personal tension between Art and Paul. (They were supposed to produce an album entitled "Think Too Much" together after the tour, the resulting album was Paul's "Hearts and Bones.")
PS: I eagerly await the inevitable "Old Friends" concert CD and DVD, and would also recommend Paul Simon's "Concert In The Park" from 1991."
Great nostalgia, terrific music, horrible DVD
Rezaul Hasan Laskar | New Delhi, India | 01/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Is there anyone who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s that isn't familiar with the terrific music of Simon and Garfunkel??
Well, this DVD of their 1981 reunion concert before 500,000 people in New York's Central Park brings back lots of fond memories, laced as it with nice renditions of classics like "Mrs. Robinson", "Scarborough Fair", "Bridge Over Troubled Water", "The Boxer" and "The Sound of Silence".
Backed by a band of stellar musicians that included Richard Tee on piano and Steve Gadd on drums, the duo also run through some of their solo hits, like Simon's "Kodachrome".
Did I say the concert is terrfic?? Sure it is, but the DVD is truly horrible. The video looks only a little better than its VHS origins, and couldn't the music company have popped up the money for upgrading the plain Dolby Digital 2.0 track to a full-fledged surround track?? That would have made this a truly great package.
Even with these drawbacks, this is a must buy for S&G fans, as well as those seeking a DVD to acquaint themselves with the music of S&G.
"Great" Doesn't Even Come Close to a Fair Description!
smhboslee | East Hartford, CT United States | 09/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A Simon & Garfunkel fan since 1965, I was thrilled to see this concert on HBO back in '81. Everyone who has reviewed it has said the music was fantastic, and it was. It was a reunion concert that left the audience completely satisfied. My reason for writing this review is really to comment on S & G's actions towards each other. They never spent much time looking at each other in ANY concert that I ever saw, so I didn't expect them to do so in Central Park. Some other reviewers have mentioned that, and stated, essentially, that they let petty bitterness show through. I never had that impression at any point. Several smiles were exchanged between them, as well as some of what I presumed to have been friendly comments between songs. During The Boxer, Art Garfunkel put his arm around Paul's shoulders a couple times...and let's not forget the easy way they each slung an arm around the other at the end of the show. I think they were, and are, true professionals who have more class than to display personal problems to their audience(s)."