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Recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with Jimmy Cliff's backing group, Paul Simon's first single as a solo artist since I Am A Rock in 1965, came as a bit of a surprise after seven years spent with Art Garfunkel in the hugely successful duo Simon and Garfunkel. Simon was interested in Reggae and had previously tried his hand at the genre in the earlier song Why Don't You Write Me, which appeared on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album a couple of years prior to the release of this single. With Mother and Child Reunion, the title allegedly inspired by a chicken and egg dish on a Chinese menu, Simon managed to create a more authentic feel, largely due to the guitar playing of Hux Brown and Jackie Jackson's bass, two of Jimmy Cliff's sidemen who were also long serving members of Toots and the Maytals. The single, which also featured Cissy Houston, appeared as the opening track to Simon’s eponymous second solo album released in the same year of 1972.