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Graceland [25th Anniversary Edition]
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Graceland [25th Anniversary Edition]

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by Paul Simon
 

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The simple answer to the question, "What made Graceland the most successful album of Paul Simon's solo career and one of the best albums of the 1980s?" is that Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him

Overview

The simple answer to the question, "What made Graceland the most successful album of Paul Simon's solo career and one of the best albums of the 1980s?" is that Simon hit on the idea of combining his always perceptive songwriting with the little-heard mbaqanga music of South Africa, creating a fascinating hybrid that re-enchanted his old audience and earned him a new one. It is true that the South African angle (including its controversial aspect during the apartheid days) was a powerful marketing tool and that the catchy music succeeded in presenting listeners with that magical combination: something they'd never heard before that nevertheless sounded familiar. But there was more to it than that. For one thing, the album, as eclectic as any Simon had made, also delved into zydeco on "That Was Your Mother" (on which Simon was accompanied by Good Rockin' Dopsie & the Twisters) and into conjunto-flavored rock & roll on "All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints" (on which he was accompanied by Los Lobos). For another, beyond its aural delights, Graceland marked a surprising new lyrical approach (though it was presaged by some songs on Hearts and Bones, if anyone was listening). For the most part, Simon abandoned a linear, narrative approach to his words, instead drawing highly poetic ("Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"), abstract ("The Boy in the Bubble"), and satiric ("I Know What I Know") portraits of modern life, often charged by striking images and turns of phrase torn from the headlines or overheard in contemporary speech. When combined, the unusual musical contexts and surprising lyrics (along with Simon's own ease and confidence as a singer) made for a creative rebirth for an artist already known for a string of artistic accomplishments. As a result, Graceland went multi-platinum, won Grammys for Album of the Year and Record of the Year (for the title song), and became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured. (Besides, it has a good beat and you can dance to it.) [The 25th Anniversary edition of Graceland arrives in several different formats: a single-disc expanded by four cuts -- a demo of "Homeless," an alternate version of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," an early version of "All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints," and "The Story of 'Graceland' as Told by Paul Simon"; a double-disc that contains all those four tracks and adds demos of "You Can Call Me Al" and "Crazy Love" to the CD, then devotes a DVD to the acclaimed feature-length documentary Under African Skies; and a deluxe box, exclusively sold at Amazon, that separates the bonus tracks onto a second CD, adds a third CD of five live tracks recorded on a 1989 tour of Spain, then has the DVD of the documentary, in addition to various tchotchkes, books, and replicas. Among all these musical extras lie only two new archival cuts: the spare demos of "You Can Call Me Al" and "Crazy Love," items that are surely worth the time of the devoted, but what makes this worthwhile for those who have purchased either of the previous reissues of Graceland -- the latest arriving in 2011, just months before the release of this deluxe set -- is the presence of Under African Skies, the feature directed by Joe Berlinger (who helmed the Metallica doc Some Kind of Monster), who doesn't shy away from some of the uncomfortable questions surrounding the creation of Graceland.]

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2012
Label:
Sony Legacy
UPC:
0886919147124
catalogNumber:
191471
Rank:
9834

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. The Boy in the Bubble
  2. Graceland
  3. I Know What I Know
  4. Gumboots
  5. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
  6. You Can Call Me Al
  7. Under African Skies
  8. Homeless
  9. Crazy Love, Vol. II
  10. That Was You Mother
  11. All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints
  12. Homeless
  13. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
  14. All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints [Ve
  15. You Can Call Me Al
  16. Crazy Love, Vol. II
  17. The Story of "Graceland"

Disc 2

  1. How We Begin to Remember
  2. Comparing Notes
  3. A Chance in a Million
  4. I Know What I Know
  5. A Different Perspective
  6. He Is My Brother
  7. Roy Halee Goes to Work
  8. London Sessions
  9. Do You Think People Are Going to Like This?
  10. Immediate Praise?
  11. Setting a Tone of Hope
  12. Zimbabwe
  13. The Roots of the Rhythm Remain
  14. Whoopi Goldberg
  15. Harry Belafonte
  16. Ray Phiri
  17. Barney Rachabane
  18. Hugh Masekela
  19. You Can Call Me Al
  20. The Boy in the Bubble
  21. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
  22. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes [Saturday Night Live, November 22, 1

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Simon   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Synclavier,6-string Electric Bass
Ladysmith Black Mambazo   Vocals
Adrian Belew   Guitar
Everly Brothers   Vocals
Linda Ronstadt   Vocals
Jon Faddis   Trumpet
Rob Mounsey   Synthesizer
Barney Rachabane   Saxophone
Alex Foster   Alto Saxophone
Ralph MacDonald   Percussion
Steve Berlin   Saxophone
Steve Gadd   Drums
Earl Gardner   Trumpet
Diane Garisto   Background Vocals
Morris Goldberg   Soprano Saxophone,Penny Whistle,Soloist
David Hidalgo   Guitar,Accordion,Vocals
Conrad Lozano   Bass
Isaac Mtshali   Drums
Youssou N'Dour   Percussion
Sherman Robertson   Guitar
Cesar Rosas   Guitar,Vocals
Alan Rubin   Trumpet
Alton Rubin   Accordion
Joseph Shabalala   Vocals
Assane Thaim   Percussion
Vusi Khumalo   Drums
Makhaya Mahlangu   Percussion
Ronald E. Brecker   Trumpet
Babacar Faye   Percussion
Johnny Hoyt   Saxophone
Lloyd Lelose   Bass
Petrus Manile   Drums
Lulu Masilela   Tambourine
Jonhjon Mkhalali   Accordion
Forere Motloheloa   Accordion
Teaspoon Ndlela   Saxophone
Leonard Pickett   Tenor Saxophone
Daniel Xilakazi   Guitar,Rhythm
Louie Pérez   Drums
Bakithi Kumalo   Bass
Chikapa "Ray" Phiri   Guitar
David W. Bargeron   Trombone
David Rubin   Washboard
Mike Makhalemele   Saxophone
Demola Adepoju   Pedal Steel Guitar
Kim Allan Cissel   Trombone
Lewis Michael Soloff   Trumpet
Ronald E. Cuber   Baritone Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Alton Rubin   Drums
Alonzo Johnson   Bass
Gaza Sisters   Vocals
Michele Cobbs   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Paul Simon   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
Adam Block   Executive Producer
Roy Halee   Engineer
Joseph Shabalala   Composer
Geoff Gans   Art Direction
Lulu Masilela   Composer
Jonhjon Mkhalali   Composer
Forere Motloheloa   Composer
Ethan Russell   Director
Jeri McManus   Art Direction
Gary Heery   Back Cover Photo
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff   Art Direction
Joe Berlinger   Director,Producer
Jim Blashfield   Director,Producer
Chikapa "Ray" Phiri   Arranger
Gary Weis   Director
Eddie Simon   Executive Producer,Management
Akil Brown   Producer
Steve Berkowitz   Producer
Jeff Kramer   Management
Mike Reilly   Engineer
General M. D. Shirinda   Composer
Justin Wilkes   Producer
Jon Kamen   Producer
Frank Scherma   Executive Producer
Robert Friedman   Executive Producer
Mandy Eidgah   Marketing
Jennifer Feinberg   Marketing
Jesse Kornbluth   Liner Notes
Gil Aronow   Executive Producer
Molly Thompson   Executive Producer
Sara Enright   Producer
Richard Story   Executive Producer
Robert Debitetto   Executive Producer
Nigel Siegel Org   Producer
David McKillip   Executive Producer
Amy Goldberg   Producer

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