Friday, 29 July 2011

Paul Simon's Graceland - 25 years later

Twenty five years ago, on 12 August 1986, American legend Paul Simon released his legendary CD, Graceland. It was a hit, topping the UK Album Chart, and reaching number three on the US Billboard 200. The album won the 1986 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, while the title song won the 1987 Grammy for Record of the Year. Graceland sold 14 million copies and in 2007, the album was added to the United States National Recording Registry, along with another 24 significant recordings that year. Graceland features an eclectic mixture of musical styles including pop, a cappella, isicathamiya, rock, and mbaqanga. Much of the album was recorded in South Africa, and it features many South African musicians and groups. Simon faced accusations that he had broken the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world against the apartheid regime in South Africa, which was in its final years at the time. This view was not supported by the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee, as the album showcased the talents of the black South African musicians while offering no support to the South African government. The worldwide success of the album introduced some of the musicians, especially the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, to global audiences of their own.
To celebrate the 25 years of Graceland, Paul and US based South African bassist Bakithi Khumalo quietly slipped into the country this week to shoot a documentary about the Graceland project. The documentary is a closely guarded secret, but Twitter-ville have been Tweeting about it that past week. Bakithi told Soweton that he and Simon were indeed in the country to shoot part of the documentary, but refused to shed more light. He referred any further questions regarding the project to Simon. "For any more details regarding the documentary, you will have to speak to Paul Simon himself." Could there be a Graceland 2 in the works?
* Paul's latest CD, So Beautiful or So What, was released in April this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment