Artists such as James Taylor, Randy Newman, Cat Stevens, Billy Joel, and/or Fleetwood Mac.
Have a BBQ party with friends and spin Graceland. With its happy-go-lucky, fun, and somewhat reflective themes, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn’t take to the music.
Arriving three years after Paul Simon’s Hearts and Bones, Graceland sounded a call that the singer-songwriter aimed to try something new and bold. Another Sounds of Silencethis album is clearly not. Politically motivated and surrounded in controversy due to apartheid, it broke new ground for a mainstream pop album by featuring hired South African musicians doing most of the heavy lifting on the songs. Indeed, many of the catchy African beats and rhythms (“Homeless,” “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” “Under African Skies”) remain the record’s focal point.
And who can forget the hip MTV video hit “You Can Call Me Al” with Chevy Chase and Simon trading jabs, jokes, and verses? Or the smash title track, tied to the obvious King, Elvis Presley, and thematically suggesting that no matter your past or present, you will find redemption at Graceland.
Sonically, Legacy’s 25thAnniversary Edition shines on several fronts. Bettering the original pressing—a mint copy, at that—by several times over, its bass lines are tighter, deeper, and funkier. Given the prevalence of African instrumentation, this reissue also helps tidy up dynamics. In addition, Simon’s vocals move toward the front and center. The all-important spatial cues feel further refined. You can’t go wrong with this pressing.
Last chance to change your mind...