The Sound of Silence (The Bachelors)

31 MAY 1966

This is one of those records which immediately brings to mind the question... 'why?'

Simon and Garfunkel had just scored a Top 10 hit in Britain with 'The Sound of Silence' a couple of months before the Dublin trio The Bachelors released their own (very similar) version in the UK and Ireland. Despite this, the record went to #3 in the UK, a full six places higher than the original had reached! It was in the Top 20 for two months, and while Paul Simon's accountants might have been happy, this record really highlights the rampant opportunism of the mid-60s music industry, when people would rush out covers of songs that were still in the charts. This sometimes resulted in two or even three versions of the same song being in the charts at the same time.

Other covers of 'The Sound of Silence' in 1966 included a Spanish-language effort from Spain's Los Mustang, and one from South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela. The Jamaican reggae bands The Soul Vendors and (ahem) The Gaylads also recorded the song in 1967, but at least all these artists brought something new to it, unlike the Bachelors.