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Revisiting “The Graduate” soundtrack

Traci Taylor
Staff Writer

When music lovers think of romantic artists from the past, they think along the lines of Marvin Gaye.
Now, I wouldn’t argue against that in any sense. However, for me, I’ve always found the tunes of Simon and Garfunkel have gotten me through times of love and loss.
Considering Valentine’s Day is today and in 1966 “Sounds of Silence” was certified Gold on February 14, it is fitting to review “The Graduate” soundtrack.
The connection between the feelings of the main character, Benjamin Braddock played by Dustin Hoffman, and the lyrics of the song intertwine beautifully.

Simon and Garfunkel made the soundtrack to the film “Graduate.”
Simon and Garfunkel made the soundtrack to the film “Graduate.”

“And in the naked light I saw, ten thousand people, maybe more. People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening.”
That line from “Sound of Silence,” connects with the inner turmoil Braddock feels about not being understood by anyone he speaks to.
The majority of the album consists of instrumental songs. The full version of “Mrs. Robinson,” does not appear on the soundtrack.
On the first side there is an instrumental version, and on the second side there is a short tapered version of the song.
It is a way the soundtrack stays true to the film, because the full length version of “Mrs. Robinson” is never played.
Every song in the soundtrack is an example of the journey that Braddock endures throughout the film; within his interactions with Mrs. Robinson, and his life post-graduation.
On the back of the vinyl cover there are a few different quotes about the movie.
Charles Burr said, “…it is the inside life of the soul that this picture is about- sincerities so deep they can only be whispered. And it is this that the young- all people for whom it is not already ‘too late’- are taking seriously.”
Burr’s words sum up the connection of what both the film and movie represented. Each song on the album conveyed the sadness, joy, and confusion of emotions that the film embodied.
Side two of the record is the transition and is less upbeat than side one. At this point Braddock’s character is going through a radical epiphany moment. Finding himself rejecting the affair with Mrs. Robinson and falling for her daughter.
“Scarborough Fair/Canticle,” is another one of the full version songs of Simon and Garfunkel that appear in the soundtrack.
Overall the soundtrack is worth listening to. It is easier to appreciate if the film has been viewed before-hand.
The film gives visual to the instrumentals compiled together on the soundtrack.
The album concludes with an acoustic, increased mellow version of “Sounds of Silence.” Each song or album that Simon and Garfunkel are involved with always is a musical work of art.

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