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Hearts and Bones is a 1983 rock album by Paul Simon. It is his fifth album in his solo career.

The album was originally intended to be a Simon & Garfunkel reunion album called Think Too Much, following their Central Park reunion concert in 1981, and the world tour of 1982 - 1983. In fact, some of the songs intended for Think Too Much were previewed on the tour. However, creative tensions appeared between the duo during the sessions; Garfunkel supposedly was not comfortable with the personal nature of the songs, and Simon apparently did not want Garfunkel's vocals on the songs. This led to the duo abandoning the project altogether; Simon wiped Garfunkel's vocals from the completed tracks and reworked the songs for a solo album.

The title track is about Simon and his then-wife Carrie Fisher as they travel through New Mexicomarker ("one and one-half wandering Jews"), and also about love in general. The album also contains one of the few songs about numbers (and love) — "When Numbers Get Serious", which evokes the beginnings of the Information Age. Also unusual is "Think Too Much", actually two different songs with the same title and chorus line, dealing generally with thinking (and love).

The eighth track is a surreal song about the surrealist artist René Magritte and his wife Georgette, and fancifully suggests that they secretly admired the music of such doo-wop artists as The Penguins, The Moonglows, The Orioles, and The Five Satins. The title derives from a caption to a photograph of the Magrittes, "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog During the War". Simon changed "During" to "After" as it scanned better for the song lyric.

The last track is Simon's homage to John Lennon, who had been assassinated shortly before Simon wrote it. The song and its title also wistfully harken back to Johnny Ace, an early rock and roller who died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot to the face. Simon had actually premiered the song during Simon and Garfunkel's reunion concert in Central Parkmarker; near the end of the song a fan ran onto the stage, which can be seen in the DVD of the concert. The attack was possibly in response to Simon mentioning John Lennon in the lyrics. The closing music of this track (an instrumental section using strings, Clarinet, and Flute) was written by composer Philip Glass.

In 1983, this album was considered a failure and signaled a low point in Paul's career. However, this album has been re-examined in recent years and is considered to be one of Paul's more important records and a lyrically strong one.


There were two songs from this album released as singles. The first single with Allergies as the A-side and "Think Too Much (b)" as the B-side peaked at #44 in the US Hot 100. The second single failed to chart, this being "Think Too Much (a)" (A-side) and "Song About the Moon" (B-Side).

Track listing

All songs written by Paul Simon
  1. "Allergies" – 4:37
  2. "Hearts and Bones" – 5:37
  3. "When Numbers Get Serious" – 3:25
  4. "Think Too Much" (b) – 2:44
  5. "Song About the Moon" – 4:07
  6. "Think Too Much" (a) – 3:05
  7. "Train in the Distance" – 5:11
  8. "René and Georgette Magritte with their Dog after the War" – 3:44
  9. "Cars are Cars" – 3:15
  10. "The Late Great Johnny Ace" (Simon, Glass) – 4:45
11-14 are bonus tracks on the remastered Rhino Records CD-release (July 2004):
    • "Shelter of Your Arms" (work-in-progress) – 3:11
    • "Train in the Distance" (demo) – 3:13
    • "Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War" (demo) – 3:47
    • "The Late Great Johnny Ace" (demo) – 3:22


    Paul Simon - guitar, programming, vocals



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