Paul Simon


Sep 1986

Recorded in analogue but edited on early digital technology

Rock and Pop, African, World

The album that introduced South African music to the world was also a meeting of musical generations.

Although the phrase world music was not entirely new - African rhythms mixed with western rock had been the confines of the occasional Peter Gabriel song. When Paul Simon filled an album with African rhythms the entire world sat up and took notice. The cultural impact of this record was gargantuan.

As you listen to this deftly recorded album laid down at studios around the world you hear a collaboration across the ages. The Boyoyo Boys give accordion and tambourine shuffle to Gumshoes – The Everly Brothers add vocal warmth to Graceland – guitarist Adrian Belew skews The Boy In The Bubble – while African vocal supergroup Ladysmith Black Mambazo stole everyone’s hearts with Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes and Homeless.

Linda Ronstadt joins Simon for Under African Skies while Rob Mounsey brings synth bopping happiness to the huge hit You Can Call Me Al. The whole record was a collaboration of cultures but also a celebration of them too. The sound is spectacular, it has energy, depth and texture and instruments and voices that sound real.

If you want a more expansive experience - get your mitts on the CD and DVD 25th Anniversary Edition that features the movie Under African Skies – Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey.