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Graceland Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, July 27, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In a remarkable career spanning six decades, singer-songwriter Paul Simon has amassed 9 Grammy awards & has been inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice. The first occasion recognized has brilliant work as one half of Simon & Garfunkel. Simon's second induction, in 2001, heralded his equally massive contributions as a solo artist & composer. The songwriter's solo catalog is one of the most diverse, literate, adventurous, & musically rich in all of popular music. Today regarded as one of the greatest composers of the rock n' roll era, Simon is an American treasure, now celebrated by these five expanded & remastered classic albums.

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

Track Listings

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 Your Mother
  11. All Around The World Or The Myth Of Fingerprints
  12. Homeless (Demo)
  13. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
  14. All Around The World Or The Myth Of Fingerprints

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B0002EQ7E2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,526 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This seamless blend of African pop and American folk styles is one of the most exquisite musical achievements of the 20th century. The melodies are beautiful, the voices divine, and each and every one of the tracks is a classic. This extended version contains alternate takes of three songs.

The best loved songs include The Boy In The Bubble, Graceland, Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes and Under African Skies, but the rest hold great charm too. The most rootsy African sounds surface on I Know What I Know with the soulful vocal infusions of The Gaza Sisters.

Paul Simon has always successfully integrated exotic sounds in his music to create great beauty: Andean flutes in El Condor Pasa, reggae in Me And Julio Down By The School Yard and in Mother & Child Reunion, and Latin/South American sounds in Rhythm Of The Saints, but Graceland is his towering achievement as a solo artist, a truly exceptional album with a power and beauty that transcends all musical boundaries.
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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. The reissue, like all the others in the Paul Simon collection, is first rate. The sound is greatly imporved and the packaging replicates the original album nicely. Also like the other reissues, the three bonus tracks of demos are okay, but not revealing or required listening.
2 Comments 51 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Well, reviewing reissues are always a bit interesting. To be fair, I guess you have to judge the product on its own and this is a beautiful package - amazing CD's, two books and two good DVD's so there's no way to judge this less than 5 stars. Having said that though it's also pretty fair to complain a little. Just like the first reviewer, I bought this CD in 1987, a enhanced copy quite a while ago and then as part of the boxed set about 5 years ago. So, as far as music, you get two additional demos only (that do not even have singing on them) and you get the 1987 concert which any self respecting Simon fan already has, and you get the new DVD documentary and a couple of booklets.

It's a lot of money for little new stuff, but the book is nice and the new DVD is interesting. Truth be told however, I am having a little buyers remorse. I probably just should have bought the new DVD on its own, but even the DVD is a bit disppointing. I am wondering why the DVD focuses so much on the rehearsals for what looks to be a great reunion show, but then we are not trated to the show itself.
3 Comments 25 of 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am not a musician and cannot carry a tune. I love all kinds of music and always felt Paul Simon was a musical/lyrical genius. I had never listened to the entire Graceland album until I purchased this CD/DVD combo and also the DVD copy of "Graceland: The African Concert. What led me to this sudden cash outlay was the recent airing on cable TV of "Under African Skies" and recently seeing a live performance of Ladysmith Black Mambazo at a local theater.

I firmly believe one should listen to cut 17 on the CD, The Story of "Graceland" as told by Paul Simon, before listening to "Graceland" or viewing the DVD. I have listened to cut 17 three times and wish I had studied music when I had the opportunity so I can have a better understanding of Paul Simon's narration. I give it 5 stars because the entire package deserves the highest rating.
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Format: Audio CD
Paul Simon has been at the forefront of music, for as long as most of us can remember. with a career dating back as far as the 1950's, and having already established himself with the seminal work, as the 'Simon & Garfunkel' duo. It wouldn't have been unreasonable to think that his solo work, would have paled in comparsion. Yet after a steady stream of steadily more accomplished solo albums, it wasn't until this his 9th studio album (Released in 1986), that he hit his creative peak, with his "Graceland" album. An album that so beautifully (and some would argue 'Seamless'), fuses: Singer/Songwriter, Worldbeat, Contemporary Pop/Rock, African hymnal songs, and presented in such a largely accessible way, that it became one of the first 'World' music (or certainly 'World influenced albums), that was a huge hit in the west.

It's not hard to see why this album was so easily accepted by the western music buying public. With an elite cast of musicians that would eclipse most festivals, these were either musicians that were already huge on the musical circuit, or due to become big after having a hand in this people such as: Linda Ronstadt (Vocals), Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Vocals), Youssou N'Dour (Percussion), Los Lobos' - Cesar Rosas (Vocals, Guitar), all contributed to the construction of this album, and their performances are beautifully captured (especially Ladysmith Black Mambazo, backing vocals, on some tracks) and remains a remarkably powerful album. Possibly because the album covers so many bases. (Possibly in an effort to appeal to as wide an audience as possible). And so it proved to be as eclectic a record as Paul Simon ever recorded.
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