THE ARTIST: Simon & Garfunkel, for
Bridge Over Troubled Water and its title track
THE NARRATIVE: Biz saviors.
Bridge was one of the first rock-era albums to sell 10 million copies; true to its title, it crossed the generation gap, appealing to both hippie kids and their parents.
THE COMPETITION: Bridge's fellow Album nominees—by Chicago, the Carpenters, CSNY, Elton John, and James Taylor—all had similar cross-generational appeal, but S&G's album stands up better than theirs. That's less true of Record—I'll take Taylor's "Fire and Rain" and the Beatles' "Let It Be" over "Bridge," though not the Carpenters' "Close to You" or Ray Stevens' "Everything Is Beautiful"—and Song (same nominees, subbing in "We've Only Just Begun" for "Close to You").