Simon & Garfunkel’s Paul Simon Reacted to Disturbed’s Cover of ‘The Sound of Silence’
Simon & Garfunkel is one of the most well-known classic rock duos. During their career, they crafted many hits including “The Sound of Silence.” The heavy metal band Disturbed covered the song in 2015. Here’s what Paul Simon thought about the original version of the song and Disturbed’s cover.
The famous version of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ isn’t the 1st version they released
Ultimate Classic Rock reports Simon wrote “The Sound of Silence” in 1964. The track, originally titled “The Sounds of Silence,” was part of the album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. The album was not a major commercial hit. It merely reached No. 30 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 31 weeks.
Smithsonian Magazine reports producer Tom Wilson later remixed the song to include a rock rhythm section. The new version of the song was a hit and catapulted the duo to fame. “But even after all these years, I rate it as one of the best songs I’ve written,” Simon opined.
Why Disturbed covered ‘The Sound of Silence’
According to NPR, Disturbed’s drummer, Mike Wengren, had the idea for his band to cover “The Sound of Silence.” Lead singer David Draiman said Wengren’s idea came from his childhood. “It had been something that his family had played in the background when it was time to do chores at home,” he revealed. Disturbed felt they needed to adopt a gentler sound in order to cover “The Sound of Silence.”
For Draiman, the change in sound was not unfamiliar. He had been trained as a canto when he was younger; a canto leads prayers in Jewish congregations. “I hadn’t attempted to go to that spot of my vocal ability for many years,” he recalled. “Listening to the way my vocals sounded in that beautiful bed of music — and not having heard my voice in that way for so long — it was really just very, very overwhelming.”
What Paul Simon thought of Disturbed’s cover
According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Disturbed performed the cover on Conan. Simon sent Draiman an e-mail praising the cover. “Really powerful performance on Conan the other day,” Simon wrote. “First time I’d seen you do it live. Nice, Thanks.”
Draiman responded. “Mr. Simon, I am honored beyond words,” he wrote. “We only hoped to pay homage and honor to the brilliance of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Your compliment means the world to me/us and we are eternally grateful.”
How ‘The Sound of Silence’ performed commercially
Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” was a massive success. It peaked at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, remaining on the chart for 14 weeks. Disturbed’s version charted as well, even though it didn’t chart as high as the original. It reached No. 42 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016 and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks. Even many years after Simon & Garfunkel released “The Sound of Silence,” the song seemed to satisfy audiences.