The April 26th issue of Rolling Stone, now on newsstands, includes an article about the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” as one of the best things in rock right now. The magazine highlights the documentary film “Under African Skies,” upcoming anniversary editions available June 5th, and European tour dates featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Here is an excerpt from the article:
When Paul Simon traveled to Johannesburg in 1985 to record with local musicians, he had no idea a landmark record would come of it. “It wasn’t like we knew we were making a transformative piece of music,” Simon says. “We were just making an album.” That album, Graceland, turned out to be a milestone: a melding of South African rhythms and Simon’s melodies and lyrics that went on to win the Grammy for Album of the Year, sell 14 million copies, introduce styles like township jive to audiences outside Africa and reinvigorate Simon’s career. “It was the first real breakthrough in world music and collaborations between musicians from different cultures,” Simon says. “That’s now a ubiquitous fact of life in music. All kinds of musicians play with all kinds of other musicians, and nobody thinks anything of it. Graceland didn’t invent that idea, but it opened the door to it.”
Note: Ray Phiri, who is mentioned in the article, is currently not confirmed for the Paul Simon concert dates.