In 1967, The Gaylads covered “The Sound of Silence” originally written and performed by Simon and Garfunkel
After Jamaica gained its independence in 1962, the country embraced a cultural revolution. In the early 60’s, Ska music flourished extensively with the help of sound systems. Later on, Rocksteady grew out of Ska as a slowed down version of it. Even though, the Rocksteady era was short, you cannot deny its influence on the Reggae movement, which followed.
Between 1966 and 1968, numerous Rocksteady bands emerged. Their music was heavily influenced by American Pop, R’n’B and soul music. Therefore, they often sung love songs and covered top charts classics, fusing american compositions with caribbean sonorities.
“The Sound of Silence” was originally written and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1964 and featured on their debut album. It only rose to the number one position on the Billboard charts after the release of a remixed version in 1965. The fusional harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel‘s soft voices, accompanied by a soothing acoustic guitar melody didn’t leave The Gaylads indifferent.
Consequently, in 1967, recorded a Rocksteady cover of it. The chord progression has been slightly modified to fit better Rocksteady style. The cover is introduced with an instrumental version of “The Sound of Silence” dubbed by an alto sax, which the tenor tone perfectly substitutes the warmth of human voices. Then they pick up the singing when the other half of the song starts.
And in the naked light I saw,
Ten thousand people maybe more.
People talking without speaking.
People hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never shared.
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence…
Listen to the original version
Learn more about The Gaylads, Rocksteady, and Simon & Garfunkel:
- The Gaylads on JamaicansMusic
- Rocksteady on JamaicansMusic
- Simon & Garfunkel Official Website
- iTunes Music