The 25th anniversary of Graceland, Paul Simon’s groundbreaking album that continues to influence and inspire generations, will be commemorated with musical and film celebrations stretching into the summer. Following its Sundance Film Festival premiere, the Joe Berlinger-directed documentary “Under African Skies,” chronicling the creation and lasting influence of Graceland, will have its US television premiere on A & E this spring. The documentary has been garnering critical acclaim on the film festival circuit with screenings at SXSW 2012, where it received an Audience Award, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. The film is slated for variety of screenings this spring and summer including showings at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Florida Film Festival and the RiverRun Film Festival. In May, “Under African Skies” will screen at the Seattle International Film Festival and Sundance UK as well as other festivals worldwide. The film will enjoy a limited theatrical engagement in New York and Los Angeles, beginning May 11th (check local listings for screening times).
To help commemorate the anniversary and celebrate the indelible musical legacy of Graceland, Legacy Recordings will be offering several 25th Anniversary versions of Paul Simon’s Graceland on June 5th:
Special Graceland 25th Anniversary Collector’s Edition Box Set – a 2 CD/2 DVD set which including the remastered original album, the “Under African Skies” documentary film extended interviews, the original 1987 “African Concert” from Zimbabwe, three original music videos and the iconic “Saturday Night Live” performance of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.” The box set also features the audio narrative “The Story of ‘Graceland'” as told by Paul Simon, replicas of an original Graceland poster and a handwritten lyrics pad, plus a deluxe 80-page book featuring new and archival photos and interviews with Paul Simon. The box set also includes a special short audio documentary of Simon discussing the making of the record.
The official Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD – an exclusive two disc set featuring the remastered original album with five bonus tracks and audio documentary, and “Under African Skies” film with bonus features, three original music videos and “Saturday Night Live” performance of “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes.”
“Under African Skies” Blu-ray Disc – the feature documentary in state-of-the-art 5.1 sound with bonus extended interviews.
Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Vinyl – This audiophile edition is remastered on 180-gram 12″ vinyl and includes an art-quality collectible Graceland poster and a download card with the full album plus three bonus tracks. It will be available beginning Saturday, April 21 at independent retailers worldwide participating in Record Store Day.
An ultra-deluxe Graceland 25th Anniversary Edition Box Set package – The ultimate Graceland set includes the boxed set, the 180-gram 12″ vinyl and a signed and numbered autographed commemorative poster–will be available direct-to-consumers during a limited time exclusive offer on the official Paul Simon website (www.paulsimon.com).
About “Under African Skies”
The story of the making of Graceland, and the controversy created when Paul Simon went to South Africa to record with local artists, is told in “Under African Skies,” the new full-length documentary from two-time Emmy, Peabody Award winner and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (“Brother’s Keeper,” “Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” the West Memphis Three/”Paradise Lost” trilogy) and [email protected] and A&E IndieFilms.
Featuring interviews with key anti-apartheid activists of the time and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney, David Byrne and Peter Gabriel, “Under African Skies” travels with Paul Simon back to South Africa, 25 years after his first visit, and recounts the making of the record, surveying from the vantage of history the turbulence and controversy surrounding the album’s genesis. His artistic decision to collaborate with African musicians created a new world musical fusion, combining American and African musical idioms while igniting an intense political crossfire, with Paul Simon accused of breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime.
The universal appeal of the music of Graceland proved more powerful and enduring than the political hotbed attending its creation. In 1986, the album sold 14 million copies worldwide, received universal praise from critics around the globe. Simon and the members of Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed on “Saturday Night Live” in what turned out to be a landmark moment in SNL history.
Graceland won “Album of the Year” at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Then, in an unprecedented carryover, the album garnered the Grammy for “Song of the Year” with its title track in 1988. The album generated three hit singles–including “You Can Call Me Al” and its iconic video with Chevy Chase–and kept Paul Simon and the Graceland tour on the road for five years. It continues to be a major force and a source of inspiration and joy for musicians and fans alike.
For additional information about the 25th anniversary of Graceland, related programming and products, please visit www.graceland25.com.
About A&E IndieFilms
A&E IndieFilms is the feature documentary production arm of A&E Network. A&E IndieFilms is committed to developing the work of outstanding independent filmmakers and helping them reach the broadest possible audience. A&E IndieFilmscommissions, acquires and provides finishing funds for feature documentaries intended for co-branded theatrical release. Films include the 2006 and 2007 Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature, Murderball and Jesus Camp; Nanette Burstein’s American Teen, which received the Directing Award at Sundance Film Festival; Amir Bar-Lev’s My Kid Could Paint That; R.J. Cutler’s The September Issue; Amir Bar-Lev’s 2011 PGA Award nominee The Tillman Story and Alex Gibney’s 2011 PGA Award and DGA Award nominee Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.
@radical.media is a global transmedia company that creates some of the world’s most innovative content across all forms of media. The company develops, produces and distributes television, feature films, commercials, music programming, live events, smartphone & tablet applications, digital content and design. The company has produced a number of award-winning feature projects, including the Academy Award®-winning documentary The Fog of War; the Grammy Award-winning Concert for George; the Independent Spirit Award-winning Metallica: Some Kind of Monster; the pilot episode of the Emmy® and Golden Globe winning series Mad Men; the Emmy-winning 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America for the History Channel; six seasons of the critically acclaimed series Iconoclasts for the Sundance Channel; the premiere seasons of Oprah Presents Master Class and Visionaries for OWN; and recently, the HBO documentary, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory. Additionally, the company has garnered numerous accolades for digital initiatives such as The Johnny Cash Project, Arcade Fire’s The Wilderness Downtown, the Sting 25 Years App and the Gagosian Gallery’s iPad App. In addition to its Oscar®, Golden Globe® and Grammy® wins, @radical.media has earned two Palme d’Or Awards at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival. The company has won numerous Emmys®, Webbys®, D&AD Pencils, One Show Pencils, MTV VMA Awards, Clios, Art Directors Club medals, the prestigious Smithsonian National Design Award for Communications Media and just about every accolade and trophy associated with the advertising and marketing industries, in both traditional and new media. @radical.media is a FremantleMedia Company. FremantleMedia’s global production arm is responsible for many of the world’s highest rated prime time television programmes and its brand extension arm FremantleMedia Enterprises offers a one-stop-shop for all Licensing, Distribution and Home Entertainment globally. www.radicalmedia.com
About Legacy Recordings
The multiple Grammy-winning Legacy Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog division, produces and maintains the world’s foremost catalog of historic reissues, an unparalleled compendium of thousands of digitally remastered archival titles representing virtually every musical genre including popular, rock, jazz, blues, R&B, folk, country, gospel, Broadway musicals, movie soundtracks, ethnic, world music, classical, comedy and more.
Founded in 1990 by CBS Records (rebranded Sony Music in 1991), Legacy’s original mission was to preserve and reissue recordings from the extensive catalogs of Columbia Records (including ARC, Brunswick, OKeh and Vocalion), Epic Records (including Philadelphia International Records) and associated CBS labels. Following the creation of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (now Sony Music Entertainment) in 2005, Legacy assumed responsibility for the preservation and ongoing availability of recordings from the archives of the BMG family of labels including RCA Records, Arista, J Records, Jive, Profile, Silvertone, Sony BMG Nashville and Windham Hill, as well as imprints including American, Bang!, CTI, Mainstream, Monument, Ode, and others.