Paul Simon / In The Blue Light

Paul Simon will release his 14th studio album, In The Blue Light, in September.

Produced by Simon and the legendary Roy Halee, the album sees the musician and songwriter revisit and rework personal favourites from his own back catalogue.

The songs aren’t necessarily well known to the casual fan (some are from as recent as 2011’s So Beautiful Or What and 2000’s You’re The One) but that’s part of the point of the exercise. As Paul Simon says: “This album consists of songs that I thought were almost right, or were odd enough to be overlooked the first time around. Re-doing arrangements, harmonic structures, and lyrics that didn’t make their meaning clear, gave me time to clarify in my own head what I wanted to say, or realise what I was thinking and make it more easily understood.”

Unsurprisingly, Simon has secured the services of many talented musicians for this record, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, guitarist Bill Frisell, and drummers Jack DeJohnette and Steve Gadd.

Two songs are recorded with the New York-based chamber ensemble sextet yMusic including the beautiful Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog After the War (originally on Hearts and Bones from ’83 and included on the Negotiations and Love Songs compilation later that decade).

Simon writes in the sleeve notes that “It’s an unusual occurrence for an artist to have the opportunity to revisit earlier works and re-think them; to modify, even completely change parts of the originals.

“Happily, this opportunity also gave me the gift of playing with an extraordinary group of musicians, most of whom I hadn’t recorded with before. I hope the listener will find these new versions of old songs refreshed, like a new coat of paint on the walls of an old family home.”

In The Blue Light will be released on 7 September 2018 on vinyl and CD and coincides with the final leg of Homeward Bound – Farewell Tour which reaches its conclusion on 22 September in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

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In The Blue Light - CD edition


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01 One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor

Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Joel Wenhardt: Piano
Nate Smith: Drums
Jim Oblon: Guitar
John Patitucci: Bass
Edie Brickell: Finger Snaps
CJ Camerieri: Trumpet
Andy Snitzer: Saxophone

02 Love

Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion, Harmonium
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Steve Gadd: Drums
Renaud Garcia-Fons: Bass 

03 Can’t Run But

Paul Simon: Vocal
With yMusic
Arrangement by Bryce Dessner based on the original arrangement from Rhythm of the Saints by Marco Antônio Guimarães 

04 How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns

Paul Simon: Vocal
Sullivan Fortner: Piano
Nate Smith: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet

05 Pigs, Sheep and Wolves

Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet
Marcus Printup: Trumpet
Dan Block: Clarinet
Walter Blanding: Saxophone
Wycliffe Gordon: Tuba
Chris Crenshaw: Trombone
Marion Felder: Drums
Herlin Riley: Tambourine
Arrangement by Wynton Marsalis 

06 René and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War

Paul Simon: Vocal, Electric Guitar
With yMusic
Arrangement by Robert Sirota 

07 The Teacher

Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Odair Assad: Guitar
Sérgio Assad: Guitar
Renaud Garcia-Fons: Bass, Percussion
Walter Blanding: Saxophone
Jamey Haddad: Percussion

08 Darling Lorraine

Paul Simon: Vocal, Percussion
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Vincent Nguini: Electric Guitar
Mark Stewart: Acoustic Guitar
Steve Gadd: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
With yMusic
Arrangement by Rob Moose

09 Some Folks’ Lives Roll Easy

Paul Simon: Vocal
Sullivan Fortner: Piano, Celeste
Jack DeJohnette: Drums
John Patitucci: Bass
Joe Lovano: Saxophone 

10 Questions For The Angels

Paul Simon: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Harmonica, Percussion
Bill Frisell: Electric Guitar
Sullivan Fortner: Harmonium, Chromelodeon
John Patitucci: Bass
Skip LaPlante: Percussion

yMusic is

CJ Camerieri: trumpet, piccolo trumpet
Alex Sopp: flute, alto flute
Hideaki Aomori: clarinet, bass clarinet
Rob Moose: violin
Nadia Sirota: viola
Gabriel Cabezas: cello

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Cranston Lamont

Just a terrific album. How the Heart alone is worth the price of admission.

Ken Lim

Beautiful people.
Songs which fill listener’s leisure time beautifully – Thank you.

Will try to remember to support after 25th September when I am free.

Mark Vick

cover reminds me of Gary Newman’s Berserker album

Disney Mike

No matter how good the remakes are, revisiting old material for a new album always feels like “jumping the shark.” Seems like most artists, if they last long enough, eventually do it, and their careers never seem the same afterward, as if some magic has been lost.

Personally, I’d rather an artist who has lost his muse do an album of covers of OTHER artists’ songs. At least you’re getting to hear material you haven’t heard before from that person.

I’m sure I’ll pick up the Paul Simon album, and I might even like parts of it. I just don’t have much confidence that he’ll be producing much, if any, new material worth listening to in the future.

Agustin Albarran

Let’s keep in mind that Mr. Simon is almost 78 years old before making any forecast about his career.

Randy Metro

Carly Simon released an album of re-visits/remakes/re-dos/reworks called Never Been Gone. The title seemed a bit odd unless it was meant as sarcasm because she’s only been gone when she had cancer or surgery. It didn’t go over well; I don’t know why. Mostly comments like “the originals sound better.” They were acoustic, unplugged, & informal and never meant to sound better.

Jeff Lynne’s remakes of ELO hits went over well with fans. Opinions varied but mostly that they sounded “just like the originals” (I don’t agree) which is what Lynne was aiming for – to license for use by advertisers and avoid paying royalties to his old band.

David Bowie recorded an album of re-dos/remakes which was shelved and not officially released but we all have a copy of most of the recordings.

And then there were those remix/remakes of the T.Rex hits without input, obviously, from the artist. The most positive comments were, “I like a couple of them…” Bolan, himself, did a few remakes of his older songs; they weren’t released during his lifetime. (Baby Boomerang ’74 had a killer guitar solo/outro.)

Who knows how these things will go. Avoiding the hits, avoids the comparisons from the hits oriented fans. I’m hoping for a winner with Simon (Paul).

Charles K

Other than the Graceland Remix album the man has been on absolute fire with his last several releases, but when has truly released a bad album? Looking forward to this…

Dave Richards

Ah yes, I had forgotten about Eddie Brickell. (Love her solo album).
I will be interested to give this a listen, but I sense that Mr. Simon is in his coasting period, which is really unlike him.


There’s no release date announced for the “Alternate Tunings” rarities collection in the tourbook. But I’m sure SDE will inform us on time. His new album “In The Blue Light” is mentioned as is his biography “Paul Simon The Life” (which I’m reading now).


Excellent, I’m looking forward to this. I wasn’t able to catch him this time round but the download card in the tourbook is a nice touch.

Charlie Waffles


Tim Joseph

But … but … I’ve been checking on here every day for news of Alternate Tunings!!

Calum McGregor - Aberdeen

Based on last night’s awesome performance in Glasgow (superb band, music and sound no less) this will be a necessary purchase. Paul Simon was in fantastic form last night … well worth the trip down from Aberdeen (p.s. James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt were also excellent the night before. James Taylor band included Michael Landau on guitar and Steve Gadd on drums …super tight renditions of James’ tunes … Bonnie Raitt was also great … )

Saar Freedman

How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns, from which the title of this album is taken , had always been one of my all time favorite Paul Simon songs. a perfect song.

Looking forwards to this.

You’d kind of expect this to automatically have limited blue Vinyl edition, kinda Glad Simon is above such aggressive marketing gimmicks.


I’m sure it will be along in a minute.


Blue vinyl?


Hopefully better than Graceland – The Remixes when he also revisited and reworked old material.

James Lee

I don’t think the remixes of Graceland has any input by Paul though he must have authorised it. Avery bad decision from what I have heard of it! This new album sounds fascinating. I am really looking forward to it. Typically for him they are not the songs you would guess he would redo.


I saw him live last week in Antwerp. What a great show. The New York-based chamber ensemble sextet yMusic is on tour with him. Great new arrangments and I really liked “Can’t Run But”.

I bought the tourbook. In that tourbook you will find a exclusive download card, offering an exclusive six-song preview from the forthcoming rareties collection: Alternate Tunings. Drawn from Paul Simon’s vast archive of recordings, this collection spans his entire career. The previously unreleased songs are:

Song for the asking (solo demo)
Papa hobo (solo demo)
Learn how to fall (solo demo)
Silent eyes (film score outtake)
Hearts and bones (solo demo)
Citizens of the planet (solo demo)


Sounds great , any info on when Alternate Tunings is out ?


I thought “One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor” as well as “Darling Lorraine” were perfect as it is; anyway, will look forward to the release! :)


Now that’s some imagination! I really wish he had done THIS with Graceland instead of that awful remix album. Looking forward to it.


I just saw him last month in Dallas, TX. After the opening song, his voice proved timeless as ever.

He actually played the yMusic versions of Can’t Run But and Rene….. as well as the ever beautiful Questions for the Angels. The new coat of paint suited the songs fantastically. At the concert, many people were using these performances as a excuse to go to the restroom or grab another beer. My wife and I were mesmerized.

While I would admittedly prefer to hear new material, I think this is a fabulous idea and will absolutely be purchasing this day one.

Wayne Olsen

Great. Got tickets for the Newark show. This is bound to be more listenable than Graceland remixes.


Brilliant news. September 7th is looking great for me, with this, the new Macca and the new Spiritualized