Paul Simon ‎– So Beautiful Or So What

Hear Music ‎– HRM-32837-01
Vinyl, LP, Album

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Getting Ready For Christmas Day
Backing Vocals [Background Harmony] – Edie BrickellDrums – Jim OblonGuitar [Electric And Acoustic Rhythm] – Vincent NguiniVocals [Excerpts From Sermon] – Reverend J.M. Gates With congregation*Vocals, Electric Guitar, Percussion – Paul Simon
A2 The Afterlife
Drums, Guitar [Slide Baritone] – Jim OblonElectric Guitar – Vincent NguiniVocals, Guitar [12 String Rhythm], Percussion – Paul Simon
A3 Dazzling Blue
Backing Vocals – Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver*Dobro – Joshua SwiftFiddle – Gabe WitcherPercussion [Clay Pot] – V. Suresh-GhatamPercussion [Indian Ensemble, Vocal Syllables Of Percussion] – Karaikudi R. ManiTabla – V.B. MadhusadananVocals, Guitar [Electric And Acoustic], Percussion, Glockenspiel – Paul Simon
A4 Rewrite
Kora – Yacouba SissokoPercussion [Tuned Bass Djembe, Talking Drum, Anglung, Glass Harp, Brushes], Bass – Steve ShehanVocals, Acoustic Guitar, Whistle, Percussion – Paul Simon
A5 Love And Hard Times
Arranged By – Gil GoldsteinBass – David FinckCello – Jeanne Le Blanc*, Richard LockerClarinet – Charles Pillow, Mary AbtEnglish Horn – Diane LesserFlute – Elizabeth Mann*, Pamela Sklar, Sara CutlerPiano – Mick Rossi (2)Viola – Desiree Elsevier, Lois Martin, Vincent LiontiVocals, Acoustic Guitar, Bells – Paul Simon
B1 Love Is Eternal Sacred Light
Backing Vocals – Doyle Lawson & QuicksilverDrums, Percussion, Electric Guitar [Drop D] – Jim OblonOther [Electronic Intro] – Chris BearPercussion [Brushes, Cymbal, Conga, Sticks] – Steve ShehanSoloist, Harmonica – Sonny TerryVocals, Electric Guitar [Lead], Percussion, Glockenspiel – Paul Simon
B2 Amulet
Guitar – Paul Simon
B3 Questions For The Angels
Celesta [Celeste] – Etienne StadwijkGong, Wind Chimes, Harp [96 Note] – Skip La PlanteHarp – Sara CutlerMarimba – Nancy ZeltsmanVocals, Guitar, Percussion – Paul Simon
B3 Love & Blessings
Backing Vocals [Background Harmony] – Lulu SimonBass [Danelectro], Drums – Jim OblonClarinet – Dr. Michael WhiteVocals [Excerpts From 1938 Recording] – The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet*Vocals, Guitar [Acoustic, Nylon And Moog], Percussion – Paul Simon
B5 So Beautiful Or So What
Acoustic Guitar – Vincent NguiniBansuri – Steve GornBass, Resonator Guitar, Percussion [Angklung, Crotales, Saz] – Steve ShehanDrums – Jim OblonVocals, Electric Guitar, Glockenspiel – Paul Simon

Companies, etc.



Track A1, excerpts from "Getting Ready For Christmas Day" sermon, recorded October 1941 by Reverend J.M. Gates with congregation, used by permission of Document Records Ltd.

Track B1, excerpts from "Train Whistle Blues", used by permission of Document Records Ltd. and Modern Music Publishing Co.

Track B4, excerpts from "Golden Gate Gospel Train", recorded by The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet in 1938, used by permission of Document Records Ltd.

℗&© 2011 Paul Simon. Under exclusive license to StarCon, LLC d/b/a Hear Music.

Comes with a download code card for the entire album in 24 bit 96kHz high resolution plus a bonus track of the live rehersal of "So Beautiful or So What".

Some copies come with a square orange and black sticker on the shrink-wrapping:

"Best since Graceland." Rolling Stone

" So Beatiful or So What
balances great poetry and pop.
Paul Simon is a national treasure."
Includes a digital download
of the album and a live bonus track. • so hpm-82387

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 8 88072 32837 2
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout etched): HRM-32837-01A RJ S-75659 19699.1(3)...
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout etched): HRM-32837-01B RJ S-75660 19699.2(3)...
  • Matrix / Runout (Both sides runout stamped): STERLING

Other Versions (5 of 23) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
HRM-32814-02 Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What(CD, Album, Dig) Hear Music, Concord Music Group HRM-32814-02 US 2011 Sell This Version
0888072329911 Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What(CD, Album) Hear Music, Concord Music Group 0888072329911 Europe 2011 Sell This Version
HRM-32836-00 Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What (CD, Album, Dlx, Ltd, Del + DVD, Del) Hear Music, Concord Music Group HRM-32836-00 US 2011 Sell This Version
HRM-32814ADV Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What(CD, Album, Promo, Dig) Hear Music, Concord Music Group HRM-32814ADV US 2011 Sell This Version
0888072328143 Paul Simon So Beautiful Or So What(CD, Album, Unofficial) Hear Music (2) 0888072328143 Russia Unknown Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 2 Reviews

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January 15, 2020
edited about 1 month ago

My copy sounds just fine, with minimal or no surface noise at all. This is a very quiet album, and listening to it on vinyl really enhances the musical experience.
Without me really being a huge fan, I love Paul Simon and everything he does.There is something about his musical journey that speaks to me very closely and in volumes.
This album, being released in 2011, proves the point that Paul Simon, for SIX DECADES, has been at the avantgarde of the musical scene, and he still has a meaningful story to tell while pushing 70.


December 12, 2018
I just do not understand why an artist of the stature of Paul Simon is subjected to having the vinyl edition of his work pressed at Rainbo??? If he were an unknown 'indie' artist, maybe I would. Needless to say, my U.S. pressed vinyl copy of this album is shockingly bad. It has loads of non-fill/stitching which is just typical of Rainbo vinyl. It is unplayable so I had to buy the U.S. CD. I bought my copy in Germany in 2011/12, there is no European vinyl pressing. A friend of mine bought his copy one year later and it is identical to my copy. I did warn him to steer clear of Rainbo vinyl. What a debacle! This is probably one of Simon's best recorded works next to 'Graceland' and the issuing label, Hear Music, couldn't even take the trouble of selecting a decent pressing plant. Even the 'dogs' in the street know Rainbo is useless. Had I known that the vinyl was a Rainbo 'effort', I wouldn't have wasted my money on it.

I hope somebody reissues this album on vinyl in the future and entrusts the pressing work to a competent manufacturer.