Album Review #113: Graceland (Paul Simon)

in music •  3 months ago

PAUL SIMON
GRACELAND
1986-WARNER BROTHERS
Produced By PAUL SIMON

  1. The Boy In The Bubble
  2. Graceland
  3. I Know What I Know
  4. Gumboots
  5. Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
  6. You Can Call Me Al
  7. Under African Skies
  8. Homeless
  9. Crazy Love Vol. II
  10. That Was Your Mother
  11. All Around The World or The Myth Of Fingerprints

By 1985, Paul Simon was considered done. It had been 10 years since Still Crazy After All These Years, and his last 2 albums, the soundtrack to his disastrous film One Trick Pony and Hearts And Bones, had gone nowhere. In 1986, he came from nowhere with his masterpiece, Graceland. Refreshed by African music, Simon puts forth his best overall collection of songs. Using mostly African musicians, the album has a completely different feel from anything that was mainstream at the time, and shows that he really was at his best when working with exotic rhythms ("El Condor Pasa" from the Simon & Garfunkel days is evidence that he excelled with this). Every track is stunning work and shows the true genius of Simon. One of the very best albums of the 1980's.

Not without controversy. The last track features Los Lobos, who have claimed for years that they wrote the song and that Simon stole it from them. Simon says that there was nothing said to him by anyone until the album was a hit, and then they suddenly wanted credit. No lawsuit that I know of has ever been filed. Oh, well. It's still a damn fine album.

This is album #113 in an ongoing series.

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