Sounds of (not so) silence

A friend shared this beaut version of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel singing 'The Sounds of Silence' live.

For me this song often prompts one of those 'what if?' moments.

Originally it was recorded without the electric instruments accompanying it, so I sometimes wonder how Paul Simon felt after hearing what happened to it.

After Bob Dylan went electric in 1965, Columbia Records' producer Tom Wilson decided this was now the fashion for folk music:

By June 1965, folk-rock had its first number one hit with The Byrds’ amped-up version of Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man.” That month Wilson produced “Like a Rolling Stone,” Dylan’s landmark electric rocker… Without the knowledge of Simon or Garfunkel, Wilson hired session players – bassist Joe Mack, drummer Buddy Salzman and guitarists Vinnie Bell and Al Gorgoni – to overdub an electric backing track onto “The Sounds of Silence.”

Gorgoni later said he regretted the decision:

“I love the song – but those guitars ... they’re just awful. I really can’t listen to it now. ... Of course, all the things that are wrong with the recording didn’t stop it from becoming a huge success. So there you go.”

It's difficult to imagine the song without those backing parts now, but I wonder if it would've still found an audience.

I guess Simon and Garfunkel have accepted the electric instruments, or are they included in the live performance above to meet the expectations of the audience?

These days a producer would make it sound like the version below!