I know what you’re thinkin’: Do we have to celebrate the 50th anniversary of every damn album? No, but the fact is, both 1969 and 1970 were among the best years ever for popular music, and so many cool and landmark albums came out in those years that featured acoustic guitars prominently, and thus are worth lauding here.
Today, the album we’re celebrating is Simon & Garfunkel’s amazing Bridge Over Troubled Water, recorded in 1968 and 1969 and released on January 26, 1970 —nice way to start a year! A number of the songs on the album are bona fide classics, and many have Paul Simon’s acoustic guitar as its primary foundational element, including “The Boxer,” featured here in a 2009 performance from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary concerts in New York City in October 2009. Admittedly, this comes at the end of S&G’s sometimes tempestuous on-again, off-again run, but I still love the energy and commitment they bring to their performance, and as always they’re fronting a top-notch band. (I believe the second acoustic guitarist, who plays a prominent nylon-string line is Larry Saltzman, but I’ve had a hard time verifying that. If you know, let me know!) —Blair Jackson