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Paul Simon: Graceland - The African Concert

4.3 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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(Mar 23, 1999)
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1
$99.95 $39.84

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Editorial Reviews

Actors: Paul Simon, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo Release date: March 23, 1999 Language: English (PCM Stereo) Subtitles: English Region code: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only) Studio: Warner Bros / Wea Run Time: 90 minutes Number of Disks: 1 ASIN: 6305342784 Amazon.com Sales Rank: 122136

Special Features

  • Songs include: "Township Jive," "The Boy In The Bubble," "Gumboots," "Whispering Bells," "Bring Him Back Home," "Crazy Love: Part 2," "I Know What I Know," "Jinkel E Mawani," "Soweto Blues," "Under African Skies," "Unomathemba," "Hello My Baby," "Homeless," "Graceland," "You Can Call Me Al," "Stimela," "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes," and "N'Kosi Sikeleli Africa (Traditional)," "King of Kings"

Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Simon, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: German (Stereo), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner/Reprise Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305342784
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,126 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is one of the most amazing concerts ever! Not only is the music amazing, but the players are royalty. It is a powerful example of the potential music has to speak the truth and move the soul. Somebody complained about the quality of the sound or whatever -- but I don't understand how that can even be an issue you'd want discuss in the review of such a powerful piece of musical history.
This concert is a celebration of freedom, and the music is a celebration of truth. It is a joy to watch, and even if you're not a Paul Simon fan, you probably still won't be able to keep yourself from being moved -- either figuratively or literally: my friend (who's not a big Paul fan) said she couldn't stop dancing. Miriam Makeba -- who had been in exile from her homeland for 27 years because of her political beliefs -- has an inspired presence, as does Hugh Masakela -- also a political exile. Ladysmith Black Mambazo is both a force to be reckoned with and a perfect example of gentle humility. All the "back-up" players are astounding, and Paul is as full of love and humility and sincerity as he could possibly be.
I have watched this concert a dozen times, and look forward to the next dozen. It is a rare gem that I enjoy sharing with the people in my life I love the most.
To sum it up? GET THIS CONCERT.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Simon's creativity is timeless. This concert is 13 years old, and the politics which lurked behind it have changed dramatically. But the music still moves me to tears and laughter. Very few American musicians (especially white ones) could blend their style with the exciting rhythms and language of the African culture the way Simon has. It has to be the music which makes this album great, since the production is simple enough to have been performed in a high school auditorium. Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela were long appreciated by me, but the Ladysmith Black Mambazo group was a delightful new find.
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By A Customer on May 26, 2000
Format: DVD
Lets keep a couple of things in mind here, people! First of all this was recorded in 1987, in Africa, in that time period BEFORE digital cameras. And secondly, digital audio (DAT and PCM) was still a maturing medium (still is as far as I'm concerned). The point of the concert was to go there and make a statement and entertain those people, not to put out a hi-fi, hi-res DVD 13 or 14 years later. I have a Sony Trinitron TV and a Sony DVD player, and I think it looks and sounds great, despite those afore-mentioned physical limitations. And what is reviewer #1 talking about? I don't have ANY interviews on my copy. I don't think he/she is reviewing the same thing we are. I have exactly what the description says- a live concert. The performance is fantastic. The sound is great, and the video quality is pretty darn good. If you like the Graceland CD, you will love this concert.
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By A Customer on August 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
This video showcases the timeless music of Paul Simons GRACELAND album. Paul Simon and his unbelievable African cohorts manage to combine intricate African rhythm with pop music and seemingly bridge the gap between two cultures.
Lady Smith Black Mombazo are especailly moving and Hugh Masekela singing FREE NELSON MANDELA is unforgettable. The lyrics are Simon at his best.
The emotions of the African musicians, exiled from their homeland as a result of Apartheid charge the air and the concert must surely be remebered as a musical milestone.
"Five Stars are not enough" here here...
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By A Customer on August 6, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
An excellent concert!
This video is well worth owning. I watch it often, and enjoy it every time. I have noticed comments regarding poor sound quality in other reviews. Personally, I did not find that to be a problem in the overall quality of this film; after all, this concert took place in South Africa, not Central Park.
Watching Paul's performance during this concert, it was hard to believe that he was at a very low point in his career at the time. Performances by all other artists involved were equally good, and the obvious respect between Paul Simon and the South African artists--particularly Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo--was moving.
I also enjoyed seeing footage of South Africa at various points in the film. I felt it added to the "being there" feeling of the film itself. The singing of the National Anthem of South Africa at the end of the concert was a perfect ending.
I would recommend this to all world music fans, not just Paul Simon fans.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an excellent DVD. The production is excellent and for musicians it has a lot of shots of the players as opposed to just the singer. The 'jam' factor is pretty high and you can see it in the intensity of the dancing going on in the crowd.

The only reason why i did not give 5 stars is because there were no 'extras'.

The DVD is definitely worth seeing on a large screen TV with progressive scan and with a good set of full range speakers. The 'sound' is vintage 'yamaha' and full and warm. The engineers knew what they were doing on this recording. The use of subtitles for the words of the song even fulfills a quasi-karaoke function and lets you sing along to the more famous songs like graceland, diamonds, call me al, etc.
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