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POP EYE

February 01, 1987|PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

RHYMIN' SIMON: We knew Paul Simon was enjoying a big comeback, but even the pop oldster will probably be surprised to hear that the Coolies, a young band from Atlanta, has released an entire album of Simon cover songs. (Actually, the group recorded one Paul Anka tune, "Having My Baby," but we won't let that spoil the concept.)

Available on DB Records, the album, titled "Dig . . .," features a Lou Reed-style version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," a heavy-metal rendition of "The 59th St. Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)," a Stax-Volt soul cover of "I Am a Rock," a Jimi Hendrix-style knock-off of "El Condor Pasa" and a Duane Eddy-tinged instrumental version of "Mrs. Robinson." The group's best-known performance so far was at a Music Can Help benefit show in Atlanta, where lead singer Clay Harper fell off the stage in the midst of a rave-up rendition of "Cecilia." The record also features liner-notes by one "R. Garfunkel."

How did the band get its moniker? According to Garfunkel: "The dictionary defines a coolie as 'one who does heavy labor for little pay.' I'm surprised there aren't more bands around called the Coolies."

Does Paul Simon have a sense of humor? You decide. When asked what Simon thought of this unusual homage, his spokeswoman responded: "Paul never comments on any covers of his compositions."

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