I believe in the future: The best of Paul Simon, solo

The Paul Simon I discovered in 1990 coincided with an idea of dad rock whose potency looked ascendant and unstoppable. Fifteen-year-old boys who read the music press looked to Richard Thompson and Paul Simon for maturity and distinction. The mild Brazilian pitter-pattering percussion on The Rhythm and the Saints was just what the doctor ordered; fortunately, the songs hold up, hence its prominence on my following list, particularly the polite anger in Vincent Nguini’s guitar work in “The Cool, Cool River.” Speaking of the list, several tunes recorded in the last decade but nothing from Stranger to Stranger, an album I liked — yet.

The biggest surprise? How much I still adore the eponymous 1972 album, the standard for dad rock — and better than the other entries in 1990.

1. Hearts and Bones
2. The Cool, Cool River
3. Congratulations
4. Mother and Child Reunion
5. Kodachrome
6. Run That Body Down
7. Graceland
8. Duncan
9. Peace Like a River
10. The Boy in the Bubble
11. Can’t Run But
12. Paranoid Blues
13. Late in the Evening
14. Something So Right
15. Slip Slidin’ Away
16. Loves Me Like a Rock
17. So Beautiful or So What
18. The Late Great Johnny Ace
19. Father and Daughter
20. Think Too Much
21. Gumboots
22. Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War
23. Have a Good Time
24. Gone at Last
25. St. Judy’s Comet
26. American Tune
27. I Know What I Know
28. Dazzling Blue
29. Darling Lorraine
30. The Riverbank

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