Today their acclaim is universal but in 1964 Simon & Garfunkel’s debut LP Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. ... only sold about 2,000 copies. A mix of Paul Simon originals, folk covers and traditional tunes, its highlight was a Simon composition recorded on March 10, 1964, "The Sounds of Silence."
...Simon and tenor Art Garfunkel honed the song in Greenwich Village coffeehouses before they recorded "The Sounds of Silence" with producer Tom Wilson. Backed by just two acoustic guitars and an upright bass, ‘The Sounds of Silence’ was drowned out by the wave of Beatlemania that swept America in 1964. Discouraged, the long-time friends split up. Simon moved to England and Garfunkel returned to college in New York.
In an interview with NPR, Simon explained the appeal of the song, retitled "The Sound of Silence" on later compilations. “The key to ‘The Sound Of Silence’ is the simplicity of the melody and the words, which are youthful alienation.