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Graceland [Enhanced]

Paul SimonAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)


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There is a newer version of this title:
Graceland (25th Anniversary Edition CD) Graceland (25th Anniversary Edition CD) 4.7 out of 5 stars (181)
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Biography

During his distinguished career Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards including 12 Grammy Awards, three of which ("Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Graceland") were albums of the year. In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon and Garfunkel. He is ... Read more in Amazon's Paul Simon Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 22, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002NBY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (365 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,811 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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 Your Mother
11. All Around The World Or The Myth Of The Fingerprints

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The melding of South African styles and Simon's trademark sensibility made for one of the most intriguing albums--not to mention commercial hits--of the '80s. At once lively, thoughtful, gorgeous, and tough, Graceland acknowledges splits both in South Africa's social fabric and in Simon's personal life (the title track is a clear descendant of the earlier "Hearts and Bones," a song about the singer-songwriter's brief marriage to Carrie Fisher). Humor is hardly absent from the mix, though; witness the addled "I Know What I Know" and the fable-like "You Can Call Me Al." --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Graceland--is it Paul Simon's best album? January 8, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I have a hard time deciding if Graceland isn't Paul Simon's best work. Take his first album (simply titled Paul Simon.) That was a breakthrough song fest when it came out in 1972. We were all sorry to see Simon and Garfunkel break up --would we ever see the likes of "Bridge over Troubled Water" again? While Paul's solo work was different than the duo, who could resist those catchy and quirky songs? This was one of the great albums that debuted during pop and rock music's finest years (in my opinion) --the early 70's.

When "Graceland" came out after the music's death by disco in the 80's, I was thrilled. At last, something great to listen to. What a sound! The mix of South African music with Simon's style of songwriting was unique and appealing. The deep, swooping tones of Ladysmith Black Mambazo make a wonderful contrast to Simon's light tones in the title cut. The typical Simon bouncing rhythm is vastly improved by the African mix. And Simon does the favor of introducing the great South African band, who went on to enjoy their own, richly deserved fame.
All in all, a great album that never fails to cheer me up.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Scores With Pure Heart And Soul September 12, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The poet, singer, musician and visionary Paul Simon scores a huge triumph with "Graceland," his foray into South African, Zydeco, and pure funk rhythms and sounds. He starts out strong with "The Boy In The Bubble," an almost profound musing on our contemporary world: "These are the days of miracle and wonder / This is the long distance call / The way the camera follows us in slo-mo / The way we look to us all," then takes you right into the title cut, "Graceland," on which he is joined by the Everly Brothers, a song filled with poignant metaphor and memorable images: "The Mississippi Delta / Was shining like a National guitar / I am following the river / Down the highway / Through the cradle of the Civil War." "I Know What I Know," is a catchy, fun song followed by the upbeat, rhythmic "Gumboots," on which he is joined by The Boyoyo Boys. A hook of South African rhythms launches the hypnotic "Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes," which features an a capella intro that sets the mood for a wonderfully transporting piece of music. Then it's fun again with the funky "You Can Call Me Al," filled with subtle humor that's like an invitation to sing along. Linda Ronstadt joins Simon on the melodic "Under African Skies," a lilting tune with the pensive refrain: "This is the story of how we begin to remember / This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein / These are the roots of rhythm / And the roots of rhythm remain." The South African sound predominates the driving "Homeless," on which Ladysmith Black Mambazo joins in; this song, which incorporates Zulu is not only uplifting, but mesmerizing. The South African band Stimela backs up Simon on the syncopated "Crazy Love, Vol. Read more ›
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon's World Beat December 6, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Prior to the release of Graceland in 1986, Paul Simon was already a musical superstar. From his 60's days as one half of Simon & Garfunkel to his solo work the 70's, he created some of the most memorable songs in music. Through it all, the basis of his music was an acoustic guitar and deeply rooted in American sounds like doo wop, folk or jazz. When one heard the South African rhythms that came from Graceland, the last person you'd expect them to come from would be Mr. Simon. The lyrical content of the album is no surprise as Mr. Simon is one of the best in the business, but the musical backing is fresh, new and vibrant. "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble" just explodes out of your speakers and for some reason the song reminds me of a carnival. Ladysmith Black Mambazo adds stirring vocals to the sublime "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" while adding a plaintive almost mournful sound to "Homeless". Linda Ronstadt supplies a fine harmony vocal on "Under African Skies" while Los Lobos assists on the albums closer "All Around The World". "You Can Call Me Al" had a hilarious video with Chevy Chase but beside having a good video, the song is as bouncy and catchy as anything he's ever recorded. He not only uses South African beats, but he explores zydeco music on "That Was Your Mother" and stays at home on the title track. Graceland is the peak of Paul Simon's long and illustrious career.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Territory for Paul Simon June 10, 2002
Format:Audio CD
This CD was made in the mid- to late 1980's and features collaborations with many different performers and many different styles. Here, you will hear various South African artists, like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Boyoyo Boys, and Baghiti Khumalo; the Everly Brothers; the east L.A. band Los Lobos, the cajun band Good Rockin' Dopsie and the Twisters; and Linda Ronstadt. Listening to this music will take you from the bayou of Louisiana to the heart of Africa.
The first thing that struck my attention is the use of percussion and accordion. This is the emphasis for the songs rather than the guitar work. The second thing is the blending of Zulu and English lyrics like in the songs "I Know What I Know" and "Homeless." Both things are a breath of fresh air into Simon's work.
The two stand-out songs on this album, for me, were "You Can Call Me Al" and "Under African Skies." The former was very popular on MTV at the time, and in concert, Paul Simon usually played this song twice through the early 1990's. That is just how energetic it is. The latter has Linda Ronstadt who has such a great voice.
I would highly recommend this album. The rhythm is catchy and will get your toe tapping.
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