Paul Simon paid a visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? on Monday night (Jan. 28) to perform two tracks from his latest album In the Blue Light and talk about the making of the record, which features re-recordings of Simon’s lesser-known songs.
The esteemed singer-songwriter first performed a re-imagined version of “Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War,” a surrealist song he wrote in the 1980s; the track is based off of a picture of a couple and their pet dog he once saw. The photo was presented in the background screens at the very end of his performance, which also saw Simon accompanied by strings, a flute, clarinet and trumpet from chamber ensemble myMusic.
Simon then performed a jazzier “One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor” with The Late Show‘s Jon Batiste & Stay Human. A full band showcased the dynamic rhythm and blues of the track. “It’s just apartment house rules, so all you ‘partment house fools/ Remember one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor/ One man’s ceiling is another man’s floor,” Simon sang.
The Queens, N.Y. native also joined host Stephen Colbert on the couch for a brief interview, where they talked about Simon’s 2018 farewell tour as well as the making of his latest record. Although Simon joked that the farewell tour was “to bump the prices up,” he explained that he is indeed done touring, but will continue to perform and donate the proceeds to causes that he believes in, such as ecological groups and music education.
He added that In the Blue Light, which was released last September, was a way to revisit some of the songs he wrote in years prior — not only to cover them, but to “fix” them. “I picked 10 songs that I thought were really interesting and good songs that didn’t get much attention when they first came out, either because they were on an album that had a bunch of hits or they were on an album that had no hits,” Simon told Colbert. “It’s really quite a treat as a composer and have the opportunity to go back and fix your mistakes.”
Watch Simon’s appearance on The Late Show below.