7 of Paul Simon's greatest solo songs ever

10 July 2018, 16:49 | Updated: 10 July 2018, 16:52

Paul Simon
Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

He's one of the greatest and most successful singer-songwriters of the last 50 years.

As part of Simon & Garfunkel, he created some of the best folk rock tunes of all time, and he went on to record many huge solo albums after their initial split in 1970.

Here are just a handful of Paul Simon's greatest solo songs ever.

  1. You Can Call Me Al

    QUIZ: How well do you know the lyrics to 'You Can Call Me Al'?

    This catchy 1980s anthem was the first single to be released from Simon's iconic album Graceland. In the UK it peaked at number four.

    The song is about a person seemingly experiencing a midlife crisis. Its lyrics were partially inspired by Simon's trip to South Africa and experience with its culture. It had one of the most famous music videos of all time, with Paul being joined by actor Chevy Chase, who had rehearsed the lyrics on the way to the shoot.

  2. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

    This reflectful ditty was written after Simon's divorce from first wife Peggy Harper. It is a mistress's humorous advice to a husband on ways to end a relationship. Cheeky.

    Backing vocals on the single were performed by singer-songwriters Patti Austin, Valerie Simpson (of Ashford & Simpson), and Phoebe Snow.

  3. Train in the Distance

    This song featured on Simon's 1983 album Hearts and Bones, which was originally intended as a new Simon & Garfunkel album. However, Garfunkel left the project during its creation.

    Nile Rodgers features on this song on electric guitar

  4. 'Still Crazy After All These Years'

    This is the title track from Simon's 1975 album of the same name. The 'old lover' referenced in the song has been interpreted to be either Simon's ex-wife Peggy Harper, from whom he was recently divorced, his former girlfriend from the 1960s Kathy Chitty, or even Art Garfunkel, who appears on the song that follows 'Still Crazy After All These Years" on the album.

    After sharing a few beers, the singer and the 'old lover' part ways again. He says that he is "not the kind of man who tends to socialize" but rather leans "on old familiar ways" and is "still crazy after all these years".

  5. 'Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes'

    Taken from Simon's Graceland album, Simon wrote the track after his visit to South Africa. While he was there, he gathered various music from locals, and risked possible imprisonment due to the apartheid regime at the time.

    Ladysmith Black Mambazo sing in Zulu on the track. Their lyrics roughly translates to: "It's not usual but in our days we see those things happen. They are women, they can take care of themselves."

  6. 'Slip Slidin' Away'

    This became a hit for Simon after he included it on a Greatest Hits album in 1977.

    Backing vocals on the song are provided by The Oak Ridge Boys. It was originally recorded and considered for Simon's album Still Crazy After All These Years, but he decided not to include it.

  7. 'Kodachrome'

    This was the lead single from Simon's 1973 album There Goes Rhymin' Simon.

    It is named after the Kodak 35mm film of the same name, and gave him a number two hit in the US.