Paul Simon’s finest solo album. A beautiful marriage of American and African music. Album of The Year. One of the goofiest ’80s music videos ever made. What else is there to say about Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland?
A lot, actually.
Legacy Recordings and A&E Indie Films are teaming up to celebrate the album’s 25th Anniversary with a deluxe re-issue of Graceland and a full-length making-of documentary by Joe Berlinger (of Paradise Lost and Some Kind of Monster fame) called Under African Skies.
Under African Skies, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and will also air on A&E, features a reunion of the Graceland musicians, as well as interviews with Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne, and Peter Gabriel.
Graceland was just re-released on CD in October of 2011 with bonus tracks, so one has to wonder if any new music will surface on this package. Details — including a solid release date — for the album are sparse as of this writing, but check out Paul Simon’s official website for updates.
And while we’re on the subject of music documentaries…
I stumbled across the news release for the 25th anniversary of Graceland by accident while researching The Harmony Game, a making-of documentary for Simon & Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water. This retrospective by Jennifer Lebeau includes wonderful insights from Paul, Art, and producer Roy Halee on the creation, recording, and arrangement of each track on the duo’s final studio album. The Harmony Game is currently airing on Palladia and it’s also available on DVD as part of the 40th Anniversary Edition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. The album is a classic to be sure, but I guarantee you’ll gain an even greater appreciation for it after watching The Harmony Game.