The iconic soundtrack for “The Graduate” debuted at #1 in the US on this day in 1968
On this day in 1968, modest folk-pop duo Simon & Garfunkel took the bare scraps of a song dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt's alleged drunken infidelities and made one of the most unexpected smash hits of the 1960s.
The duo's soundtrack for Mike Nichols' vexatious comedy/drama The Graduate debuted at #1 in the US on April 6, 1968. The relatively unknown New York-based pair suddenly became pop stars. It was rare for a film soundtrack to make such a splash, but the album's success was a joint-effort between Simon & Garfunkel's haunting melodies and Nichols' affecting execution of those melodies in the film.
While crafting the film, Nichols approached the duo about handling the music, but they were initially hesitant. It was only when the illustrious film producer Lawrence Turman got involved that Simon & Garfunkel became interested. Turman put up his own money for the film and sealed a three-song deal with the duo in the process. The soundtrack's haunting minimalism only added to The Graduate's overall sense of unease. Minus the duo's contributions, Nichols' film is relatively quiet, devoid of any unnecessary noise.
The Graduate - Sound of Silence www.youtube.com
Simon & Garfunkel's hushed moments are given the space to breathe as a result. "It's difficult to imagine Benjamin's stunned passage on the L.A. airport's motorized sidewalk during the opening credits without the accompaniment of 'The Sound Of Silence,'" wrote Variety. The film's music was an arresting accompaniment that brought the ennui of The Graduate together. Tracks like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" transport us directly into Benjamin's tortuous subconscious. His loneliness and annexation fully realized and painfully palpable.
But in the case of "Mrs. Robinson," the song barely came together. It's origin: a cycled minute-long diddly about First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her alleged promiscuity. Nichols' fell in love with the demo, and at the last minute he asked Simon & Garfunkel to craft it into something usable. The result, in hindsight, is barely that. The now iconic "Deet-da-dee-dee" was merely a placeholder as a deadline loomed. The rest of the track is practically just a glorified chorus. But the song's drive, amongst its relatively tame counterparts, is the almost comical tension in the film's final moments. It's the perfect finale.
So here's to you, Mrs. Robinson. Revisit the iconic soundtrack below:
- Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence" Takes Us Inside The ... ›
- Simon & Garfunkel, Dave Grusin - The Graduate (Original Sound ... ›
- The Graduate | The Official Simon & Garfunkel Site ›
- Simon & Garfunkel - The Graduate (2007, CD) | Discogs ›
- R.I.P. Mike Nichols: Why 'The Graduate' Soundtrack Will Always ... ›
- 'The Graduate' at 50: How Simon & Garfunkel's Soundtrack Became ... ›
- The Story of Simon & Garfunkel's 'The Graduate' Soundtrack ›
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YG - FTP (Official Audio) www.youtube.com
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