Bridge over Troubled Water is the fifth and final studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, released in January 1970 on Columbia Records. Following the duo's soundtrack for The Graduate, Art Garfunkel took an acting role in the film Catch-22, while Paul Simon worked on the songs, writing all tracks except one. With the help of producer Roy Halee, the album followed a similar musical pattern as their Bookends, partly abandoning their traditional style in favor of a more creative sound, combining rock, R&B, gospel, jazz, World music, pop and other genres. After filming Catch-22, Garfunkel returned and the duo recorded around 14 tracks, three of which were not featured in the album. The inclusion of a 12th track was long discussed but they eventually decided upon 11 songs. It was described as both their "most effortless record and their most ambitious."
Bridge over Troubled Water was released in January 26, 1970 and several re-releases followed. Columbia Records released a 40th Anniversary Edition on March 8, 2011, which includes two DVDs, including the political TV special Songs of America, the documentary The Harmony Game, additional liner notes and a booklet. Other reissues contain bonus tracks, such as the 2001 version, which covers the demo tapes of "Feuilles-O" and "Bridge over Troubled Water".
Despite numerous accolades, the duo decided to split up, and parted company later in 1970; Garfunkel continued his film career, while Simon worked intensely with music. Both released solo albums in the following years. Bridge includes two of the duo's most critically and commercially acclaimed songs, "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer", which were listed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Both critically and commercially successful, the album topped the charts in over ten countries and received two Grammy Awards, plus four more for the title song. It sold around 25 million records and was ranked on several lists, including at number 51 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.