"The Sound of Silence" is a song by singer-songwriter duo Simon & Garfunkel. Written in February 1964 by Paul Simon in the aftermath of the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, the song propelled the group to mainstream popularity. An initial version preferred by the band was remixed and sweetened, and has become known as "the quintessential folk rock release". In the U.S., it was the duo's second most popular hit after "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
The song features Simon on acoustic guitar and both singing. It was originally recorded as an acoustic piece for their first album Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. in 1964 but on the initiative of the record company's producer, Tom Wilson, it was later overdubbed with drums, electric bass and electric guitar, all without the knowledge or participation of Simon & Garfunkel and rereleased as a single in September 1965. The single reached number one on New Year's Day 1966 and was included in the 1966 album Sounds of Silence. On the accoustic version, each of the voices were on different channels and there was clarity and crispness missing from the electric version, which Wilson had mixed the voices together in the center.