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Graceland (2011 Remaster) Original recording remastered
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About the only good reason to remaster a classic album for CD these days is to improve upon errors made on past remasters, since most classic albums have now been released on CD multiple times already. The best a remastering can do is to faithfully reproduce the sound of the original album, as it was intended by the creative forces that produced it, and possibly improve on it with a superior higher-resolution transfer of the original tape. More often than not, however, remasters are just used as a justification by the record companies for the umpteenth dip into our wallets, doing nothing to improve the sound, and going a good distance toward making it worse. Unfortunately, that is exactly what we have with this latest version of Graceland. Rather than giving us something noticeably better than the previous 2004 remaster, Sony has just given us more of the same. Because the company has its eye on the deluxe package market, with all the bonus tracks, luxury-grade packaging, DVD concert, and an $85 price tag, the album itself has become almost an afterthought. That is unfortunate, because this classic album deserves better.
A bit of a history lesson for the unaware: Graceland was first issued in 1986. Mastered by Greg Calbi, the CD at that time presented the album very well - with an appropriate level of gain that left breathing room for the dynamics, and a natural, mellow EQ that allowed the music to speak for itself. Indeed, comparisons to vintage vinyl reveal that the 1986 CD was very similar in sound and dynamic range to initial vinyl pressings of the album. In 2004, Warner reissued the album with (non-essential) bonus tracks.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have listened to this CD almost nonstop while driving. It's simply beautiful.Published 23 days ago by Shop Girl
This is an old album I had once before some time ago; must have eventually tossed it. Reordered and still like it a lot; PSimon has a great voice, and his work with the (I believe... Read morePublished 1 month ago by navajo spirit
I have always loved this album! It says Remastered but it still sounds great.Published 2 months ago by Cambria
Without trying to analyze and describe every song in Paul Simon's Graceland I'll just say this is my favorite Paul Simon album. Read morePublished 2 months ago by C. DIPAOLO
really nice album. i was listening his new stuff from radio now and i wanted to return to this again and i like it alotPublished 2 months ago by Byron