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What Paul Simon Cover Song Did David Bowie Cover In 1970 What Paul Simon Cover Song Did David Bowie Cover In 1970

Cover Song

What Paul Simon Cover Song Did David Bowie Cover In 1970

Written by: Gertrud Nations

Discover David Bowie's cover of a Paul Simon song in 1970. Explore the dynamic world of cover songs and Bowie's unique interpretation in this captivating musical journey.

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Cover songs are a unique and fascinating aspect of the music industry. They provide musicians with the opportunity to put their own spin on a well-known or beloved track, often introducing new interpretations and perspectives to the original piece. Throughout history, many iconic artists have taken part in the tradition of covering songs, including the legendary Paul Simon and the iconic David Bowie.

In this article, we will delve into the world of cover songs and explore a particularly interesting instance where David Bowie covered a song by Paul Simon in 1970. We will explore the significance of this cover song, the impact it had on both artists’ careers, and the lasting legacy of their collaboration.

But first, let’s take a step back and understand the concept of cover songs. A cover song is a rendition of a previously recorded track performed by an artist other than the original creator. It can be an homage to a musical influence, a reinterpretation of a classic, or simply a way for an artist to pay tribute to another artist’s work. Cover songs allow for artistic expression and creativity, as musicians can add their own unique flair and style to a well-known piece of music.

Paul Simon, born on October 13, 1941, is an American singer-songwriter who rose to fame as one half of the folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. With his introspective lyrics and captivating melodies, Simon has become one of the most revered figures in the music industry. His songs, such as “The Sound of Silence” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” have become cornerstones of American music history.

David Bowie, born on January 8, 1947, was an English singer-songwriter and actor known for his eclectic musical style and innovative approach to art. Bowie reinvented himself multiple times throughout his career, captivating audiences with his chameleon-like persona and boundary-pushing music. His hits, including “Space Oddity” and “Heroes,” solidified his status as a music icon.

As we dive deeper into the realm of cover songs, we will explore the intriguing tale of how David Bowie paid tribute to Paul Simon by covering one of his songs in 1970. Join us as we unravel the details of this collaboration and the impact it had on both artists’ careers.


Paul Simon’s Cover Song

Paul Simon, throughout his illustrious career, has demonstrated his versatility and ability to adapt to various musical styles. While primarily known for his original compositions, Simon has also ventured into the realm of covering songs, breathing new life into familiar classics.

One notable cover song performed by Paul Simon is his rendition of “The Boxer.” Originally released by Simon & Garfunkel on their 1970 album “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” this track showcases Simon’s remarkable talent for storytelling through his lyrics and heartfelt delivery.

With “The Boxer,” Simon took a folk-infused approach, incorporating acoustic guitar and harmonies to create a haunting and introspective atmosphere. The song tells the tale of a struggling and resilient boxer, metaphorically representing the triumphs and trials of the human experience.

Simon’s cover of “The Boxer” showcases his ability to take an already beloved song and make it his own. He adds layers of emotion and depth, infusing his personal touch into the lyrics and melodies. Through his reinterpretation, he manages to captivate listeners and evoke a sense of connection and understanding.

It is worth noting that “The Boxer” is just one example of Paul Simon’s prowess as a cover artist. Throughout his career, he has tackled songs from various genres and eras, showcasing his appreciation for musical history and his ability to inject his own unique style into these beloved tracks.

Paul Simon’s cover songs not only pay tribute to the artists who originally recorded them but also allow him to explore different musical territories and challenge himself as a performer. Whether it’s folk, rock, or world music, Simon’s interpretations always bring something fresh and engaging to the table.

Ultimately, Paul Simon’s cover songs stand as a testament to his artistic versatility and his deep understanding of the power of music. By reimagining and breathing new life into familiar tunes, he continues to leave an indelible mark on the world of music.


David Bowie’s Cover of Paul Simon’s Song in 1970

The year 1970 marked a significant moment in the career of the legendary David Bowie. During this time, Bowie was in the process of shaping his musical identity and experimenting with different genres. It was during this period that he decided to cover a song by none other than Paul Simon.

Bowie’s cover song choice was “America,” originally released by Simon & Garfunkel on their 1968 album “Bookends.” This track showcases Bowie’s early fascination with folk-rock and his ability to infuse it with his unique artistic flair.

With his rendition of “America,” Bowie took an already poignant and introspective song and gave it a fresh interpretation. He added a touch of his signature theatricality, combining it with his distinctive vocal style and meticulous attention to detail. The result was a captivating and memorable cover that showcased Bowie’s emerging talent and his ability to inject new energy into familiar songs.

What makes Bowie’s cover of “America” particularly fascinating is the fact that he chose this track at a pivotal moment in his career. At the time, Bowie was venturing into uncharted territory, experimenting with different musical styles, and seeking to establish his own unique sound. By covering Paul Simon’s song, he not only paid homage to a respected artist but also used it as an opportunity to explore his own artistic boundaries.

Bowie’s rendition of “America” showcased his distinctive vocal range, from delicate and introspective moments to powerful and dynamic crescendos. He added his own musical flourishes, intertwining electric guitar riffs and atmospheric arrangements to create a fresh and mesmerizing take on the song.

Interestingly, Bowie’s cover of “America” was not widely known at the time of its release. It served as a glimpse into his evolving musical style and hinted at the innovative and boundary-pushing path he would embark on in the years to come.

While Bowie’s cover song of “America” may not have received immediate commercial success or critical acclaim, it served as a stepping stone in his artistic journey. It showcased his ability to reinvent and reimagine existing songs, setting the stage for the groundbreaking and influential music he would later create.

In retrospect, Bowie’s decision to cover Paul Simon’s song in 1970 was a pivotal moment in his career. It demonstrated his willingness to take risks, his passion for musical exploration, and his knack for infusing his unique style into familiar material. It served as a preview of the remarkable artistic journey Bowie would undertake, solidifying his status as one of the most iconic and influential musicians of all time.



The world of cover songs is a fascinating space where musicians can pay tribute to their influences, showcase their artistic versatility, and offer fresh perspectives on beloved tracks. The collaboration between Paul Simon and David Bowie in the realm of cover songs is a testament to the power of reinterpretation and the enduring legacy of these iconic artists.

Paul Simon, with his ability to infuse emotion and storytelling into his covers, has left an indelible mark on the world of music. His rendition of “The Boxer” exemplifies his talent for breathing new life into familiar songs, capturing the hearts of listeners and showcasing his versatility as a performer.

David Bowie, on the other hand, used cover songs to explore new frontiers and experiment with different musical styles. His cover of Paul Simon’s “America” was an early indication of his artistic evolution and his ability to infuse existing songs with his distinctive style and theatrical flair.

Through their respective cover songs, Paul Simon and David Bowie paid homage to their influences while forging their own unique paths in the music industry. Their interpretations of familiar tracks added layers of depth, emotion, and creativity, captivating audiences and leaving a lasting impact on the world of music.

While each artist’s cover song had its own distinct qualities and contributions, they both showcased the power of reinterpretation and the ability to make a song your own. Whether it’s Simon’s introspective storytelling or Bowie’s theatrical flair, these cover songs demonstrated the transformative power of music.

As we reflect on the collaboration between Paul Simon and David Bowie in the realm of cover songs, we are reminded of the immense talent and creative spirit of these iconic artists. Their reimagining of familiar tracks serves as a reminder that music is a universal language that can transcend time and connect artists and audiences across generations.

In the grand tapestry of musical history, the convergence of Paul Simon and David Bowie in the world of cover songs stands as a testament to their enduring impact on the industry. Their artistic contributions and their ability to breathe new life into existing material ensure that their cover songs will continue to be celebrated and appreciated for years to come.

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