Greatest Hits: Shining Like a National Guitar

Greatest Hits: Shining Like a National Guitar

by Paul Simon



The various compilations of Paul Simon's work that have been released with his input over the years have been an unsatisfying bunch, leaving out key tracks in favor of the artist's own favorites, so that none of them could be recommended unreservedly. The international release Greatest Hits: Shining Like a National Guitar is by far the best such collection ever released, selecting 19 songs from Simon's studio recordings originally released over a 25-year period between 1972 and 1997. All ten of Simon's British chart singles are included, though American fans picking up import copies will note the omission of a number of U.S. singles, notably the Top 40 hits "American Tune" (which, confusingly, is discussed in Peter Doggett's liner notes as if it were present), "Gone at Last," and "One-Trick Pony." That leaves room for plenty of album tracks, and Simon shows consistency in his choices, again picking, for example, "Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War" and "Hearts and Bones" from Hearts and Bones, just as he did for 1993's The Paul Simon Anthology, rather than, say, "Train in the Distance" (which Doggett talks up) or the exquisite "Song About the Moon." But that's just a way of saying that Simon has too many great songs to fit onto a single disc, and, of course, it is the fate of underrated albums like Hearts and Bones and Songs from The Capeman to be underrepresented on greatest hits albums. The real strength of this one lies in its sequencing. Simon has experimented with many different styles of writing and music, which would seem to make it difficult to fit the light jazz of "Still Crazy After All These Years" with the South African and Brazilian music he employed later on. But this compilation reveals the similarities between, for example, "You Can Call Me Al" from 1986's Graceland and "Mother and Child Reunion" from 1972's Paul Simon, which follows it, just as the distinctive march-drum pattern of "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" segues well into the massive drums of "The Obvious Child." It's impossible to listen to this album and not marvel at Simon's accomplishment as a musician over a quarter century, and that's as strong a recommendation for a compilation as anybody should need. Unfortunately, though it was a chart success across Europe, Greatest Hits: Shining Like a National Guitar was not issued in the U.S., remaining a pricey import, and with the release only a few months later of a new Simon album, You're the One, it seemed unlikely it would get stateside release. (Note that, as is typical on Simon compilations, several tracks have been trimmed slightly to fit so many songs on one CD.)

Product Details

Release Date: 05/23/2000
Label: Warner Bros Uk
UPC: 0093624772125
catalogNumber: 247721

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Simon   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,6-string bass,Hi String,6-string Electric Bass
Oak Ridge Boys   Vocals,Background Vocals
Dixie Hummingbirds   Background Vocals
John Tropea   Electric Guitar
Ladysmith Black Mambazo   Vocals
Naná Vasconcelos   Electric Guitar,Berimbau,gourd
Patti Austin   Background Vocals
Adrian Belew   Synthesizer Guitar
Everly Brothers   Vocals
Phoebe Snow   Background Vocals
Michael Brecker   Synthesizer,Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,EWI
Ronnie Cuber   Baritone Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer
Lew Soloff   Trumpet
Pete Carr   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Alex Foster   Alto Saxophone
Harptones   Background Vocals
Arlen Roth   Acoustic Guitar
Kevin Harrison   Background Vocals
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Uakti   Percussion
Milton Cardona   Background Vocals
Kim Wilson   Harmonica
Airto Moreira   Percussion
Ademola Adepoju   Pedal Steel Guitar
Clifton Anderson   Trombone
Bobby Allende   Bell-tree
Robby Ameen   Drums
Mingo Araujo   Conga,Triangle
Dave Bargeron   Trombone
John Beal   Bass
Barry Beckett   Keyboards,Electric Piano
Errol Crusher Bennett   Shaker
Briz   Background Vocals
Hux Brown   Guitar
Wells Christy   Synclavier
Kim Cissel   Trombone
Cissy Houston   Background Vocals
Ray de la Paz   Background Vocals
Charles Doherty   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Shannon Ford   Drums
Steve Gadd   Drums
Eric Gale   Electric Guitar
Earl Gardner   Trumpet
Russell George   Bass
Morris Goldberg   Penny Whistle
Paul Goldberg   Penny Whistle
Myrna Lynn Gomila   Background Vocals
Winston Grennan   Drums
Roger Hawkins   Drums
Oscar Hernandez   Synthesizer,Celeste,Glockenspiel,Vibes
Neville Hinds   Organ
Bill Holloman   Trumpet,Tenor Saxophone
David Hood   Bass
Errol Ince   Trumpet
Anthony Jackson   Bass,Contrabass Guitar
Rev. Claude Jeter   Falsetto
Jimmy Johnson   Electric Guitar
Larry Knechtel   Piano
Denzel Laing   Percussion
Tony Levin   Bass
Michael Mainieri   Marimbas,Vibes
Hugh McCracken   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Clyde Mitchell   Trumpet
Isaac Mtshali   Drums
Youssou N'Dour   Percussion
Vincent Nguini   Bass,Guitar
Onward Brass Band   Horn,Overdubs,Musician
Horace Ott   Piano
Dean Parks   Hi String
Greg Phillinganes   Synthesizer
Michael Ramos   Accordion
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Robert Sabino   Piano
Valerie Simpson   Background Vocals
Von Eva Sims   Background Vocals
David Spinozza   Guitar
Richard Tee   Synthesizer,Piano,fender rhodes
Assane Thaim   Percussion
Robby Turner   Pedal Steel Guitar
Paul Livant   Guitar
Makhaya Mahlangu   Percussion
Renelie Stafford   Background Vocals
Asante   Drums
Ken Asher   Organ,Piano
Ronald E. Brecker   Trumpet
Babacar Faye   Percussion
Forere Motloheloa   Accordion
Leonard Pickett   Tenor Saxophone
Deidre Tuck   Background Vocals
Bakithi Kumalo   Bass
Chikapa "Ray" Phiri   Guitar
Oriente Lopez   fender rhodes
Michael Mainieri   Marimbas
Teana Rodriguez   Background Vocals
Sara Ramirez   Vocals
Husks Brown   Guitar
Wallace "Red Rat" Wilson   Rhythm Guitar
Yo Yo De La Nelson   Chakeire
Grupo Cultural Olodum   Drums
Jackie Jackson   Bass

Technical Credits

Paul Simon   Composer,Producer
Bob James   String Arrangements,Woodwind Arrangement
Harptones   Vocal Arrangements
Georges Delerue   Orchestration
Dave Grusin   Horn Arrangements
Lynn Goldsmith   Cover Photo
Roy Halee   Producer
Oscar Hernandez   Producer,Vibe Master
Phil Ramone   Producer
Joseph Shabalala   Composer,Contributor
Russ Titelman   Producer
Antonio Luis Alves de Souza   Director
Peter Doggett   Liner Notes
Forere Motloheloa   Composer
Michael Mainieri   Vibe Master
Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section   Producer
Neguinho DeSouza Alves (Do Samba   Contributor
Antonio Luis   Director
Eleanor Swan   Contributor

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