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Graceland 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
In a year where the debut LP of Schoolly D, Slayer’s Reign In Blood and The Dead Kennedys’ Bedtime For Democracy all hit your local Tower Records, it was Paul Simon’s Grammy-winning smash album Graceland that ignited the most controversy in 1986. Determined to record in South Africa with black musicians he heard on a cassette of Soweto street music, Simon defied a United Nations-sanctioned cultural boycott against the country for their segregationist Apartheid system, landing him in political hot water with the international community. That despicable regime of racism is now but an ugly scar on the face of human history, yet Graceland remains Simon’s crowning achievement as a solo artist: a stellar fusion of American roots music and South African “Township Jive” that’s influenced a generation of younger acts like Vampire Weekend and The Dodos.
In honor of its 25th anniversary, comes this definitive Collector’s Edition box set housing the original album, a second disc of bonus material and two must-have DVDs in director Joel Berlinger’s eye-opening documentary Under African Skies about Simon’s exploratory journey back to South Africa, and the complete performance of the singer’s acclaimed 1987 “African Concert” in Zimbabwe. A quarter century later, Graceland remains one of rock’s most groundbreaking milestones, and this gorgeous compendium is a fitting testament to its enduring legacy.
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