I Know What I Know - (featuring General M. D. Shirinda/Gaza Sisters)
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
You Can Call Me Al
Under African Skies
Crazy Love, Vol. II
That Was Your Mother
All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - (previously unreleased, alternate take)
All Around the World or the Myth of Fingerprints [Early Version]
Personnel includes: Paul Simon (vocals, guitar); Linda Ronstadt, The Everly Brothers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, General M.D. Shirinda, The Gaza Sisters, Joseph Shabalala (vocals); Adrian Belew (guitar, syntesizer guitar); Chikapa "Ray" Phiri, Daniel Xilakazi (guitar); Demola Adepoju (pedal steel); Forere Motloheloa, Jonhjon Mikhalali (accordion); Alex Foster (alto sax); Lenny Pickett (tenor sax); Ronnie Cuber (baritone saxophone); Earl Gardner, Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Lew Soloff, Alan Rubin (trumpet); Rob Mounsey (synthesizer); Baghiti Khumalo (bass); Vusi Khumalo (drums); Lulu Masilela (tambourine); Youssou N'Dour, Makhaya Mahlangu Ralph McDonald, Babacar Faye, Assane Thiam (percussion).
Los Lobos: Cesar Rosas (vocals, guitar); David Hildago (vocals, guitar, accordion); Steve Berlin (saxophone); Conrad Lozano (bass); Louie Perez, Steve Gadd (drums).
Engineers include: Roy Halee, Peter Thwaites, Mark Cobrin.
Aired on VH-1 and PBS, GRACELAND includes interviews, performances, and additional footage not previously seen.
Liner Note Author: Paul Simon.
Recording information: Abbey Road Studios, London, England; Amigo Studios, Los Angeles; Master-Trak Enterprises, Crowley, LA; Ovation Studios, Johannesburg, RSA; The Hit Factory, New York.
Arrangers: Chikapa "Ray" Phiri; Paul Simon.
With Graceland, Paul 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. As eclectic as any record Simon had made, it also delved into zydeco and conjunto-flavored rock & roll while marking a surprising new lyrical approach (presaged on some songs on Hearts and Bones); 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. An enormously successful record, Graceland became the standard against which subsequent musical experiments by major artists were measured. [A 2011 remastered version added bonus tracks.] ~ William Ruhlmann
Rolling Stone (11/89) - Ranked #5 in Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Best Albums Of The Eighties."
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.116) - Ranked #81 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...Simon created an album about isolation and redemption that transcended 'world music' to become the whole world's soundtrack..."
Uncut (magazine) (p.91) - "Wisely, Simon made an intimately personal album rather than an explicitly political one, but GRACELAND was nevertheless a liberation."
CD (0 Disc); Stereo
24 October, 2011
The Everly Brothers; Los Lobos; Ladysmith Black Mambazo; Youssou N'Dour; Alan Rubin; Jon Faddis; Ronnie Cuber; Linda Ronstadt; Randy Brecker; Adrian Belew; General M. D. Shirinda; Gaza Sisters; The Boyoyo Boys; Stimela; Rockin' Dopsie & The Twisters
This album is really uplifting and joyous - Paul Simon records with South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo for a few of the tracks, and All Around the World or The Myth of Fingerprints was originally a collaboration with the band Los Lobos. It's hard not to feel happy listening to this album, and the poetry of Simon's lyrics is often beautiful.
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