Gladwell and Headlam recorded more than 30 hours of interviews over nine sessions with Simon, including while the singer was vacationing in Hawaii and at Simon’s Connecticut home. In addition to a preview of “Seven Psalms,” the audiobook includes previously unreleased live studio versions and original recordings of his most popular songs, including “The Boxer,” “The Sound of Silence” and “Graceland.”
In “Miracle and Wonder,” Simon reflects on his music, his childhood in Queens, his frequent collaborators including Art Garfunkel and what he thinks about the cover versions of his songs. The audiobook explores how Simon’s work, specifically his 1987 Grammy-winning album “Graceland,” has endured for decades and influenced other major artists. (“Miracle and Wonder” is a reference to a lyric in “The Boy in the Bubble” from “Graceland.”) The biography features cameos from Sting, Herbie Hancock, Renee Fleming, Rosanne Cash, Aaron Lindsey and Jeff Tweedy listening to their favorite Simon tracks and sharing what makes the songs so personal for them.
“The puzzle is, this guy was relevant in every decade since the 1960,” Gladwell said. “I was trying to answer the question, ‘What is different about Paul Simon?’”