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Paul Simon‘s self-titled 1972 album wasn’t really his solo debut. But it might as well have been.

Following his split from Art Garfunkel in 1970, Simon spent part of the following year teaching songwriting at New York University. The course made him re-evaluate his own work, which Simon had grown more introspective toward since Simon & Garfunkel‘s breakup.

It wasn’t the first time the duo called it quits. Following the release of their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM, in 1964, and its failure to excite record buyers, Simon moved to England and soon considered giving up music altogether. By early the next year, he reconsidered and, while touring England as a solo artist, recorded The Paul Simon Songbook – essentially a collection of demos that would end up on later Simon & Garfunkel albums after they got back together.

Read More: 45 Years Ago: Paul Simon Declares His Independence on His First Real Solo Album |