Mrs. Robinson, Are You Trying to Seduce Me? The Soundtrack from The Graduate Makes My All-Time Album List.

graduateIt has been a while, but it's time to add to my compilation of all-time favorite albums. My earlier list included one soundtrack LP from the '60's, The Beatles'  A Hard Day's Night. Today I'm adding another. In 1968 I was too young to see Mike Nichols' classic film The Graduate but old enough to catch the buzz about it.  I knew my dad liked the movie and I bought the album as a Fathers Day gift for him. I don't know how often he listened to it, but I do know that I listened to it, a lot!

Everyone associates the music from The Graduate with Simon & Garfunkel and indeed, all of the vocals are theirs. The album kicks off with their first hit, 1966's The Sounds of Silence, but this is no S & G Greatest Hits album.

Mrs. Robinson is on board (and in bed,) but it isn't the version of the song that gave Simon and Garfunkel their number one hit. For that, you need to grab their Bookends album. On this album, you will find Mrs. R. in an instrumental version and a short vocal variation. Other big hit songs? Nope. Instead, we have the absolutely lovely April Comes She Will, and Scarborough Fair/Canticle, with its haunting melody and counterpoint singing. There is also a little oddball number, The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine.

That is about it for Paul and Artie. The rest of the album consists of instrumental pieces by  Oscar and Grammy award-winning composer/pianist  Dave Grusin. I've been a fan of Grusin's music for a long time. I used his theme music for the TV show St. Elsewhere as the soundtrack to the first video montage I ever created, a tribute celebrating married life up to the birth of our son Michael. Grusin's melodies are just right on this album as well.

Interestingly, the review of this album on the AllMusic Website rips this disc as a sleazy repackaging of old material designed to sell a few new songs. In fact, it castigates the album for being

"the earliest and one of the most successful Hollywood repackagings of "found" pop songs, a formula essentially based around coercing fans to purchase soundtrack albums filled with material they already own in order to acquire the occasional new track or two."

But I loved the album, and when I was finally old enough to see the movie, knowing the soundtrack made it all the more enjoyable. You are trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson, aren't you?

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