Paul Simon: Graceland

Album review
Paul Simon: Graceland

Paul Simon


Label: Legacy
Media: LP
Genre: Rock/pop

A sense of wonder still emanates from the graceful South African rhythms heard on this controversial, Grammy-winning 1986 album, newly reissued as a 180- gram LP and a four-disc 25th anniversary deluxe-edition box set. It’s impossible to separate the music from the politics from which Graceland emerged amid criticism that Simon broke a UN boycott against musicians traveling to a nation in which a white minority controlled the black majority through brutal segregation. The politics and making of the landmark album are detailed in an excellent documentary in the box set, which also contains a remastered version of the original album, a CD of demos and outtakes, and a DVD of a recent Graceland reunion concert. The box set also has an essay, lyric sheets, and collectible poster. The quiet-as-a- whisper LP includes a poster and a code for downloading an MP3 version of the entire album, plus three bonus tracks. Either way, the tribal rhythms, percolating guitar lines, midrange thump of Baghiti Khumalo’s fretless bass, and haunting vocal incantations of Ladysmith Black Mambazo are as fresh today as when first introduced to mainstream audiences.

More Info

  • primary artist, Paul Simon

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