11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released during the tense final years of apartheid, Paul Simon's Graceland introduced the buoyant textures of South African township music to vast international audiences. Simon’s collaborative genius—which calls on Los Lobos, Zydeco legend Good Rockin’ Dopsie, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo—invented a new musical language and earned a 1987 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. The fractured narratives and emotionally fragile characters are unforgettable—whether it's the divorcé and his kid en route to Graceland, the unattainable girl with diamonds on the soles of her shoes, or the soft-in-the-middle hero of “You Can Call Me Al."

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released during the tense final years of apartheid, Paul Simon's Graceland introduced the buoyant textures of South African township music to vast international audiences. Simon’s collaborative genius—which calls on Los Lobos, Zydeco legend Good Rockin’ Dopsie, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo—invented a new musical language and earned a 1987 GRAMMY® for Album of the Year. The fractured narratives and emotionally fragile characters are unforgettable—whether it's the divorcé and his kid en route to Graceland, the unattainable girl with diamonds on the soles of her shoes, or the soft-in-the-middle hero of “You Can Call Me Al."

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
164 Ratings
164 Ratings
Katstounding

Tradition

Being a child that grew up in a large family with grandparents a 5 hour car trip away I appreciate this album as the only one all of loved!

wahinekiwi

Clearly one of the best artists of our time.

I just watched the documentary of the making of this album. Gave me an even deeper understanding of what Paul Simon and the South African artists had to go through at the time. They are all persevered despite the political cries for the cultural boycott. Perhaps BigTimmyD should educate himself before reviewing an artist he clearly knows nothing about...the fact that he had to 'look this guy up to find out who he was' says it all! Buy the album!

Eric Coffey

One of my all-time favorites

I remember listening to this album when I was a child, played by my parents who were Paul Simon fans. I still enjoy it today. My younger brother was named after "Under African Skies!" I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Simon at my job, and even though it is very discouraged, I made it a point to tell him how big of a fan I was of him in general but especially this album. He thanked me with a smile and it made my day!

About Paul Simon

There are musical storytellers—and then there’s the low-key but wildly ambitious Paul Simon, who copyrighted his first song with partner Art Garfunkel when they were in their early teens. Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1941, Simon mixed the mass appeal of ’50s rock ’n’ roll with the introspection of the singer/songwriter era, opening up a universe of emotional terrain previously unexplored in popular music. (Just listen to the playful poetry of 1968’s “Mrs. Robinson” or the existential ache of “The Sound of Silence”—songs you could whistle along to, or subject to rigorous literary analysis.) Though he was originally associated with folk, Simon is a remarkably eclectic artist, drawing variously on gospel and jazz, Brazilian batucada, and, perhaps most famously, South African township music. His landmark 1986 album, Graceland, helped build a bridge for his collaborators Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Hugh Masekela, and Miriam Makeba during the height of apartheid. For as uplifting as his music can be (think: the chorus chant of “Cecilia,” the rocksteady of “Mother and Child Reunion,” and the bright horns of “You Can Call Me Al”), at its heart is a profound bittersweetness. Embarking on his farewell tour in 2018, Simon celebrates an inimitable career spent mining themes of aging, separation, and loss with a muted reserve, suggesting that all things—good and bad—do pass.

HOMETOWN
Newark, NJ
GENRE
Pop
BORN
October 13, 1941

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