The international release The Paul Simon Anthology was a two-CD abridged version of the three-CD box set Paul Simon 1964-1993. For this version, the first two discs of the box set were condensed into a single CD, while the third disc, left untouched, was now the second disc. This accentuated one of the weaknesses of the box set, weighting the selections even more heavily toward Simon's later work. Here, his recordings originally released between 1965 and 1983 (including six Simon and Garfunkel tracks) made up the first disc, and the second disc covered only the period 1986-1993, and really 1986-90, since the only recordings released after 1990 were "Thelma," an outtake from the 1990 album The Rhythm of the Saints and three performances from the 1991 live album Paul Simon's Concert in the Park. While the abridgment seemed to have been made with an eye on the British charts, for the most part eliminating only songs that had not been hits in the U.K. (the exceptions being "America" and "Take Me to the Mardi Gras"), the album still didn't function as a full-fledged greatest hits album, lacking such British chart singles as "Homeward Bound" and "I Am a Rock" (neither of which were on Paul Simon 1964-1993, either). In its choices of material, particularly in the disproportionate number of songs from Graceland and The Rhythm of the Saints, the album reflected the current taste of its subject rather than the expectations of fans, who might have hoped for more hits and more rarities. In an odd way, however, Simon did gratify the latter hope, if only by tinkering, as he had on previous compilations, with the editing and mixing of his familiar recordings. In several cases, the tracks were noticeably remixed, and the lengths of songs changed -- "Loves Me Like a Rock" and "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" both got shorter, while "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" got longer.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2