Disturbed - The Sound Of Silence - About the song
The first recording was an acoustic version on Simon & Garfunkel's first album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, which was billed as "exciting new sounds in the folk tradition," and sold about 2000 copies. When the album tanked, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel split up. What they didn't know was that their record company had a plan. Trying to take advantage of the folk-rock movement, Columbia Records had producer Tom Wilson add electric instruments to the acoustic track, and released it as a single. Simon and Garfunkel had no idea their acoustic song had been overdubbed with electric instruments, but it became a huge hit and got them back together. Had Wilson not reworked the song without their knowledge, the duo probably would have gone their separate ways. When the song hit #1 in the States, Simon was in England and Garfunkel was at college.
50 years after its original release, a cover version of "The Sound of Silence" was released by American heavy metal band Disturbed on December 7, 2015. A music video was also released. Their cover hit number one on the Billboard Hard Rock Digital Songs and Mainstream Rock charts, and is their highest-charting song on the Hot 100, peaking at number 42. It is also their highest-charting single in Australia, peaking at number four. David Draiman sings it in the key of F#m. The chord progression is F#m, E, D, A. The first two verses are sung an octave lower than the original and jumped up an octave for the last three verses. His vocal span goes from E2 to A4 in scientific pitch notation.
In April 2016, Paul Simon endorsed the cover. Additionally, on April 1, Simon sent Draiman an email praising Disturbed's performance of the rendition on American talk show Conan. Simon wrote, "Really powerful performance on Conan the other day. First time I'd seen you do it live. Nice. Thanks." Draiman responded, "Mr. Simon, I am honored beyond words. We only hoped to pay homage and honor to the brilliance of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. Your compliment means the world to me/us and we are eternally grateful."As of September 2017, the single had sold over 1.5 million digital downloads and had been streamed over 54 million times, estimated Nielsen Music. As of February 2022, the music video has over 780 million views on YouTube, while the live performance on Conan has over 128 million, making it the most watched YouTube video from the show.
The Sound Of Silence - Lyrics
Hello, darkness, my old friend I've come to talk with you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of silence In restless dreams I walked alone Narrow streets of cobblestone 'Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damp When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light That split the night And touched the sound of silence 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 share And no one dare Disturb the sound of silence "Fools," said I, "You do not know Silence, like a cancer, grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you" But my words like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence And the people bowed and prayed To the neon god they made And the sign flashed out its warning In the words that it was forming And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenement halls And whispered in the sound Of silence"