Saturday, March 15, 2014
Art Garfunkel - Fate For Breakfast
Today (March 15th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Fate For Breakfast, the fourth solo studio album from Art Garfunkel. This 1979 release spent fourteen weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 67. The album also went to number 66 in both Canada and Japan, number 24 in Austria, number 9 in Norway, number 7 in Sweden, number 6 in Germany, number 2 in the UK, and number 1 in the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Side one opens with "In a Little While (I'll Be on My Way)"; as the first single it reached number 12 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. This mid-tempo song has a nice, easy listening vibe to it which I can see helped make it popular.
"Since I Don't Have You", the second single, went to number 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 38 in the UK, and number 5 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. This is a good cover of the 1958 doo-wop hit by the Skyliners. Garfunkel keeps the vocals tightly controlled and does not even attempt the ceiling-shattering high note from the original.
The B-side to the first single was "And I Know". It starts with a bit of a playground-taunt and later moves into a star-soaring accompaniment (the latter courtesy to some keyboard tricks). Michael Sembello was one of the co-writers of this one.
"Sail on a Rainbow" has that seeing the world through the rose-colored glasses of love aspect to it, both lyrically and musically. If you think it sounds like something Stephen Bishop would have recorded in the 70's, you are right on the money. Bishop wrote the track and also provided guitar and backing vocals on it.
"Miss You Nights" closes the first half with a beautiful piano ballad from the heart.
Side two begins with "Bright Eyes", which was not included on the original US vinyl release. The song, with its gentle flowing melody, was featured in the British animated film Watership Down, based on the novel of the same name by Richard Adams. This third single went to number 29 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number 1 in the UK.
"Finally Found a Reason", a love declaration, is next.
The mood gets a little bit somber with "Beyond the Tears". I like those sad guitar slides that are utilized here; they very much remind me of the 1970's lighter songs. But in the end, it is a message about being there to pick someone up in their time of pain.
"Oh How Happy" is a cover of the 1969 single from Motown singer/songwriter Charles Hatcher.
"When Someone Doesn't Want You" was the B-side to the second and third singles.
The album closes with the escapist "Take Me Away".
This was my first listen to Fate For Breakfast, even though this was the kind of lighter pop music I likely would have been hearing on the radio in the late 1970's anyway. I liked it well enough; it is a very mellow record that would be good to put on after a long, stressful day (so you can just let all the tension sail off into the sunset). Art Garfunkel's vocal style here is at ease.
For Garfunkel's 1982 album The Concert in Central Park with long-time collaborative partner Paul Simon, click here.