All I Know

Album: Angel Clare (1973)
Charted: 9
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Songfacts®:

  • "All I Know" was written by the perennial hit songwriter Jimmy Webb, who also wrote such hits as "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

    Webb was smitten with the Welsh beauty Rosemarie Frankland, who was Miss World in 1961. She wasn't interested, but Webb took his best shot, writing a song about her that he played for her in a romantic setting at the Dorchester Hotel in London. After he played the song, Frankland declared it "silly," leaving him crestfallen.

    On his flight back to the United States, Webb read the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which revealed that Simon & Garfunkel were splitting up. His spirits lifted as he realized Garfunkel would need songs for his first solo album.

    Webb finagled a meeting with Garfunkel, where he played him a version of the song he wrote for the beauty queen, "All I Know." Garfunkel loved it and released it as his first single post-Simon.
  • The music is based on the hymns Webb grew up listening to. His father was a Baptist preacher.
  • With this track, Art Garfunkel proved he could be successful sans Simon, especially among more mature listeners. "All I Know" was his only Top 10 solo hit on the Hot 100, but it was the first of three songs that hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart on his own, followed by "Break Away" and "I Only Have Eyes For You." The Angel Clare sold over 500,000 copies in America; his next one, Breakaway (1975), topped a million.

    Paul Simon was not out of the picture entirely: He showed up for backing vocal and guitar duty on the second track of Angel Clare, a cover of "Down in the Willow Garden." Oh, and you know who else showed up for lead guitar on that track? Jerry Garcia.

Comments: 5

  • Randy H from MichiganShe called Jimmys song "silly" Poor guy spilled his heart out for her. Proof that women have no damn soul!
  • Gil from MontanaWho plays piano on the song. Terrific embellishments. Someone from the Wrecking Crew?
  • Tom from UsaThe piano version of this song was played in background at the ending of an episode of Boy Meets World when Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence (the two main TV characters) broke up. I am also using it as one of the signature songs to an audio book I am making about my relationship with a girl that I never had the chance to marry. The "I bruise you, you bruise me..." described us perfectly. The chorus lyric "...They i.e., break-ups) come too fast but they pass so slow" was so true with her. And it was over 45 years ago!
  • Maggie from West Palm BeachArt Garfunkel is my number 1 go to singer. I play his songs off and on every day. Art has an extensive list of recordings and he is still performing.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 9th 1973 Art Garfunkel's debut solo record, "All I Know", entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #79; and on November 4th, 1973 it peaked at #9 {for 1 week} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on September 30th, 1973 it reached #1 {for 4 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Between 1973 and 1981 he had seven Top 100 records; his next biggest hit was a covered version of the 1934 standard "I Only Have Eyes for You", which peaked at #18 in 1975 and also spent 18 weeks on the Top 100...
    The week "All I Know" entered the Top 100 at #79; his old buddy, Paul Simon, was at #4 with "Loves Me Like A Rock"...
    Arthur Ira Garfunkel will celebrate his 73rd birthday in two months on November 5th {2014}.
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